The tribute is planned as Holland legend Cruyff approaches his 60th birthday.

"Johan Cruyff was of immense worth to Ajax and gave the club a worldwide name and fame," said chairman John Jaakke.

"Whoever thinks of the number 14 thinks of Johan Cruyff. That is why we will freeze his number as a homage to a unique football player - Johan 60, 14 forever."

The number 14 shirt will be framed and put on display at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Cruyff, who turns 60 on April 25, laughed off the tribute, saying: "That is no honour, is it? You must let your best player play with number 14!"

The tradition comes from America, where star players in baseball, basketball, ice hockey and American football have been honoured in this way.

FC Utrecht decided in December 2005 to never again use the number four jersey in memory of defender David Di Tomasso, who died last season.