Peter Whittingham goes down as Cardiff City's greatest player, says Michael Chopra

Peter Whittingham and Michael Chopra
Peter Whittingham (L) and Michael Chopra (R) were part of the Cardiff team who were beaten in the Championship play-offs in 2011

Michael Chopra believes former team-mate Peter Whittingham should be remembered as Cardiff City's greatest player.

Whittingham died this week aged just 35 after suffering a head injury in a fall.

Ex-striker Chopra, 36, described former England Under-21 player Whittingham as "a Cardiff legend".

"He is probably the best player that's ever played for Cardiff as well," Chopra said.

"You don't find many players who could pick a player out or take a dead ball like Whitts did.

"For a midfielder to do what he did and to play for Cardiff for ten-and-a-half years is phenomenal.

"I will remember Whitts as a quiet guy, a magician with the football and a family man. It was a privilege to play with him."

Former Newcastle and Sunderland forward Chopra played alongside Whittingham in three spells at Cardiff under Dave Jones.

It was Jones who brought Whittingham to the Welsh capital from Aston Villa for £350,000 in 2007.

The signing proved to be a masterstroke, with Whittingham going on to score 98 goals in 459 Bluebirds appearances.

Dave Jones
Dave Jones managed Cardiff City between 2005 and 2011

Jones, a former Everton player, told BBC Radio Wales Sport he was such a fan of Whittingham's that he recommended him to Liverpool.

"I remember having dinner with Kenny Dalglish," Jones said.

"He was at Liverpool at the time. It was his second spell and they were looking to try to change their midfield.

"I told Kenny to have a look at him. I said, 'we have got a midfield player I have no doubt could easily fit into your set-up'.

"Kenny never came back - I don't know why. I was glad he didn't because it meant we kept him. That's how highly I thought of him.

"He is probably one of the greatest players who has been at Cardiff - the length of the time he was there, the games he played and the goals he scored. He is up there with the best Cardiff have had."

Peter Whittingham scores for Cardiff City at Middlesbrough in 2008 FA Cup

Jones says Whittingham, a stylish, left-footed playmaker with an eye for a spectacular goal, was a "delight to watch".

"He was not just a superb footballer but a superb guy," he added.

"If you could be lower than low maintenance, he was lower than low maintenance.

"I can never remember him losing his temper. Even when players kicked him, his revenge was in his ability - he would stick one in the top corner."

Neil Harris, Cardiff's current manager, did not work with Whittingham but played against him on a number of occasions.

Harris said: "The best tribute I can give him is a footballer is that when I used to check the scores after games and see Peter Whittingham had scored a goal for Cardiff, it was Sky Sports time to see how he had scored - how good was his goal?

"We all were amazed by the goals he scored. He just oozed class. He made the game look so easy."

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