10 of the most significant one-club men in English football history
19 March, 2021

West Ham United announced last week that Mark Noble had signed a one-year extension to his contract with the club. The man himself then revealed that next season will be his final one as a Hammer, although he has yet to decide whether or not he will retire.
Nicknamed ‘Mr West Ham’, Noble is an example of a one-club man. He did play a handful of games for Hull City and Ipswich Town during brief loan spells towards the start of his career, but to all intents and purposes he has spent his entire career to date at West Ham.
In light of his recent contract extension, we have picked out some other notable one-club men in English football.

Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

It is hard to separate these three players, all of whom spent their entire careers at Old Trafford. Ryan Giggs is the most decorated, having won 13 Premier League titles under Alex Ferguson, and the man with the most appearances in Manchester United’s history. Paul Scholes is third in that list, while Gary Neville is fifth.

Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool)

Jimmy Armfield was Blackpool through and through. The future right-back moved to the town with his family during the Second World War and went on to play 569 league games for the local club. An England international, he showed commendable loyalty to the Tangerines, who did not win a trophy during his entire career at the club.

Nat Lofthouse (Bolton Wanderers)

A legendary figure in the English game, Nat Lofthouse was the archetypal centre-forward. Born and raised in Bolton, he first joined his hometown club in 1939 and went on to make his first-team debut seven years later. Lofthouse scored 255 goals in 452 league games for the Trotters, while he also netted two in Bolton’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the 1958 FA Cup final.

Tony Adams (Arsenal)

Born in Romford in east London, Tony Adams is associated with a club from the north of England’s capital. One of the best centre-backs of his era, Adams made his Arsenal debut in 1983 and was still a key part of the team almost two decades later. The defender won four league titles at Highbury, two of which came in the Premier League era.

Jack Charlton (Leeds United)

Another centre-back who spent his entire career at one club, Jack Charlton is a bona fide Leeds legend. Born in the northeast of England, he joined the Whites’ academy in 1950 and soon broke into the first team. By the time he retired in 1973, Charlton had won the league and the FA Cup with Leeds, as well as the World Cup with England.

Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)

Ian Callaghan is Liverpool’s all-time record appearance holder, having turned out for the club on 857 occasions. Callahan went on to play for three more clubs on a permanent basis, though. Carragher, who is second on the appearance list, only ever represented Liverpool, despite the fact he grew up as an Everton fan. The defender won seven major trophies at Anfield.

Billy Wright (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Major Frank Buckley, a former Wolves manager, once told Billy Wright that he was “too small” to make it at the club. Yet the centre-half defied his former boss and went on to play for the West Midlanders for 20 years. Wright is one of only nine players to have won more than 100 England caps.

Ronnie Moran (Liverpool)

While some of the names mentioned here went on to manage other clubs after their playing careers had ended, Moran stayed loyal to Liverpool even after he had hung up his boots. After spending 16 years in the first team at Anfield, Moran joined the coaching staff in 1966 and remained there until retiring in 1998.


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