World Cup 2014 coverage:

Richard Whittall

Ledley King loves knee, possibly country, more than own son

Dirty Tackle

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"Ooh! Look a pretty bug—OW OW MY KNEE! MY KNEE!"

Sure, Ledley King might be able to play at the highest standard for a Champions League-qualifying club in one of the world's best soccer leagues with almost no pre-game training to speak of and a knee made out of something like gobs of wet kleenex.

Sure, Ledley King might be ready to undergo excruciating pain just to help cover for his injured England teammates at the World Cup in South Africa. Sure, Ledley King will happily the suffer the stress and uncertainty of not knowing his place within the England squad if it means he'll have a chance to play for his country.

And yes, Ledley King might have left the 2004 Euros in Portugal early because his son Coby was born nine weeks ahead of schedule, and okay, he might have a tattoo with his son's name in it. But Ledley King is clearly a terrible person, as the Telegraph's Henry Winter was recently able to discover:

King can risk his damaged bones for club and country but not for his flesh and blood. Where once there was cartilage, only frustration now resides.

“Coby loves football and there’s plenty of times when he’s trying to get me out in the garden or in the park to play and it can be tough,’’ King reflected on Sunday at England's World Cup base. “I have to say ‘no’. He’s heard enough to know there’s some kind of a problem with the knee but as a kid you can’t really understand that. It’s difficult as a dad to say, ‘I can’t come and play’.’’

That's right. Ledley King can't kick the ball around the backyard with his son because of his permanently damaged knee. Little Coby will simply have to make do with the knowledge that his dad is a monstrously-talented, multi-million pound-earning Tottenham player who was selected among countless hopefuls to play for England in the World Cup in South Africa even though there's only a bit of chewed up gristle where his knee is supposed to be.

Maybe one day Coby might deal with the pain of getting blisters on his palms after his friends constantly high-five him for telling them what Aaron Lennon and Wilson Palacios are actually like in person.

Photo: Getty Images

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