Born: Houston, Texas, United States, 20 June 1981

Position: Centre back/defensive midfielder

Nationality: Norwegian

International caps: 91

International goals: 4

Signed: 18 January 2008 from FC Copenhagen (£2.5m)

Fulham debut: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Fulham, 29 January 2008

Fulham appearances: 271

Fulham goals: 12

Honours: UEFA Europa League runners up (2009-10).

Sold: 30 June 2014 (released).

Brede Hangeland’s impact on Fulham’s fortunes can’t be underestimated. The Norwegian arrived at Craven Cottage with the Whites teetering on the brink of relegation. He forged a fabulous central defensive partnership with Aaron Hughes that carried the Craven Cottage outfit first to safety in the Great Escape, then to a club-record seventh place finish in the Premier League and, famously, to the final of the Europa League.

Hangeland, tempted to London by former manager Roy Hodgson, became a totemic member of the Fulham defence and an inspirational club captain, who endeared himself to the Fulham faithful by turning down a move to Arsenal. The Norwegian international was an organiser as well as a repeller of opposition crosses and an outstanding reader of the game. He popped up with vital goals, including securing a home win over the Gunners and grabbing a stoppage-time equaliser against Manchester United. He stood up to managers, including Felix Magath, and authority at the football club – particularly when he was shamefully informed of his release from Fulham via email at the end of the relegation season.

Hangeland signalled his special bond with the club by standing at the Hammersmith End after he had been let go and now works for the Norwegian FA after excelling as a television analyst in his homeland.