Another Legend Passes, Rest in Peace Trevor Cherry
29 Apr 2020 08:17 pm, by YorkshireSquare
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Leeds United legend Trevor Cherry, who has died unexpectedly at the age of 72. Cherry attended Newsham County Secondary Modern School and played for Huddersfield YMCA before signing professional forms with Huddersfield Town in July 1965. It was a dream come true for both himself and his father who had been fervent Town supporters all their lives and soon he was dreaming of playing alongside his heroes, such as Ray Wilson, Mike O'Grady, Ray Wood, John Coddington and Len White. When he played his first games in the 1966-67 season, he did so alongside John Coddington.
He became a regular in the following season when the transfer of John Coddington to Blackburn Rovers left room in the Town defence. He was an ever-present in 1968-69 when Town, under new Manager Ian Greaves finished sixth in the Second Division. He Captained the Terriers from Left Half when they won the Second Division title in 1969-70 and he formed a fine defensive partnership with Roy Ellam. His first season in the First Division saw Town in fifteenth place and a 0-0 draw at Leeds Road with United saw them concede the title to Arsenal with Cherry and Ellam being the two main reason for them not taking the expected full points.
1971-72 saw Town relegated in bottom spot but once again they had caused United to miss out on the Championship when they won at Leeds Road by 2-1 on 25th September 1971 and a Leeds win or draw would have seen them do the double. At season's end Leeds were quickly in for Cherry and Ellam to bolster their defence as Jack Charlton was starting to show signs of ageing. Leeds bought him in June 1972 for £100,000 and although signed as a central defender, his ability to play full-back and in midfield made him a valued member of the team. He had scored twelve goals in one hundred and eighty-eight League games while at Leeds Road.
He was groomed into an England regular after being the only non-International in Leeds first team squad for several seasons, after he was given the chance to make the left-back spot his own, when Terry Cooper failed to recover from his broken leg for almost two seasons. He first had to endure the disappointment of being beaten in the 1972-73 Cup Final by Sunderland being deeply involved in the incident in which Jim Montgomery's save that won the Cup for the Wear-siders. He was also the only member of the team that had not won a medal the previous year and so he felt the disappointment even more than the others!
He kept the left-back spot until the emergence of Frank Gray saw him move back into his old spot of left-half. He had picked up a First Division Championship medal in 1973-74, but it wasn't until 24th March 1976 that he gained his first England Cap, when Don Revie selected him for the 2-1 win against Wales at Wrexham. The previous week he had gained his first representative honour when he represented the Football League against the Scottish League at Hampden Park on 17th March 1976, and, playing at right-back, scored the only goal of the game.
Cherry had become a mainstay in the Leeds defence and was made club captain after Billy Bremner left in 1976. He also became the second Leeds player to captain England, the first being Willis Edwards, when he captained England against Australia in 1980 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Named the United "Player of the Year" in 1980-81, Cherry stayed with Leeds through thick and thin. After he had won a League Championship medal in only his second season with Leeds, he remained with them through the decline which saw them relegated in 1981-82, when Leeds dropped into Division Two. Midway through the first season in the Second Division, Cherry joined Bradford City as Player-Manager in December 1982. Cherry made 486 appearances for Leeds and as part of the recent Centenary celebrations was granted the Freedom of the City of alongside fellow members of the Revie team.