Fulham Greats #4 - Damien Duff: The Midfielder

Fulham Greats #4 - Damien Duff: The Midfielder

Ahead of Fulham's return to the Premier League this season and their quest to re-establish top-flight status, we look back at legends who called Craven Cottage their home, with the focus for the final time here on Irishman Damien Duff who dominated the Cottagers midfield and was arguably the Whites' finest creator-in-chief.

Neil Leverett

When the conversation about legends of Fulham Football Club arises, Damien Duff name springs from the tongue of an elite band of players that graced Craven Cottage in their last stint in the Premier League.

Spending five year by the river in London, the Irishman racked up 168 appearances alone, scoring 22 times. 

His contribution however will be more remembered for his creative abilities, a facet that saw Duff score 19 goals from open play, with 26 assists to his name primarily operating from a wing position.

A Blue turned Fulham favourite

At his peak, Duff was arguably the best winger in the Premier League. Having spent three seasons with Chelsea and then Newcastle United, Duff had an equally impressive impact in the rivaling part of west London.

Despite his status as a former employer of such a staunch enemy a mere stone's throw from Putney, Duff quickly etched his way into the hearts and minds of the Cottagers' fanbase.

Injuries may have robbed him of some of the threat of his younger days, but he nonetheless enjoyed a fruitful tenure 'down by the river' as a roaming attacking midfielder.

Duff brought winning mentality

Bringing with him Premier League-winning credentials with the Blues, Duff's quality seeped into all aspects of life within Fulham.

Before the modern day high-pressing game was injected into the English top-flight, the Irishman's work ethic and energy up and down the pitch was often the energy the Cottagers needed at times of need, with Duff only too keen to express himself on the field.

Such was the quality of the diminutive winger, Duff was ambidextrous in feet, capable of scoring with either his right or left peg and was also not averse to shying at the target from set-pieces.

Potent attacking force

During his five seasons by the Thames, Fulham did not lack potency in the final third and Duff was just the centerpiece. 

Joined by tag-team partners Zoltan Gera, Danny MurphyClint Dempsey and a burgeoning Mousa Dembele in midfield, forward Bobby Zamora was never short of a chance in front of goal, whether finding the net or indeed row Z

As Fulham return to the top flight this weekend, having now assembled a strong, fluid role call in midfield after swathe of deadline day deals, the Cottagers are now set for an assault on the top flight after a four year absence.

However, even if the likes of Ryan Sessegnon lights up to Premier League this season, he will do well to follow in the footsteps of Duff, who is arguably one of Fulham's greatest ever players.