Leeds United’ greatest ever wide men, who makes your list?
31 May 2020 07:52 am, by YorkshireSquare
The regular contributors to our message boards are spending lockdown debating the best Leeds United players for each position. Attention has now turned to the best right sided and left sided midfielders and wingers. Are the Revie era ‘Last Waltz’ and ‘Lash’ the greatest ever for you? Has enough water passed under the bridge for Harry Kewell to make the list? Where do Howard Wilkinson’s wide men feature in the list? Are there any recentl players who make you list, Snoddy perhaps or the talismanic Pablo Hernandez?
6) Pablo Hernandez (2016-)
Country: Spain | DOB: 11/04/1985 | Apps: 150 | Goals: 33
Since his transfer during in the Summer of 2016 (from Al-Arabi), Pablo Hernandez has been one of the most influential signings since Leeds fall from grace 16 years ago. The versatile Spaniard has been one of the first names on the team sheet since Garry Monk persuaded the former Swansea midfielder to put pen to paper! Four years on, at the grand old age of 35, Hernandez is still working his magic. This season alone, the he has been involved in 12 goals, and has netted 6 times, making him Leeds second highest goal scorer this season. A talismanic figure on the pitch, should we achieve promotion his contribution and impact could be compared to that of Gordon Strachan thirty years ago.
5) Gary Speed (1988-1996)
Country: Wales | DOB: 08/09/1969 | Apps: 311 | Goals: 57
Born 1969, Speed joined Leeds straight from school in 1987. A Welsh Youth International, he got his first team chance after he scored in 12 consecutive Northern Intermediate League games. After one appearance for the first team he was called into the Welsh full squad for whom he appeared 34 times whilst at Leeds. He excelled in Uniteds' championship winning team when his forays down the left and his ability in the air brought him , and others, plenty of goals. He made 291 full and 20 substitute appearances scoring 57 goals before moving to Everton for £3.4m in 1996. He later moved to Newcastle United and a testament to his longevity and freedom from serious injury was that Gary held the record for most appearances of any outfield player in the EPL, long after his retirement.
4) Peter Lorimer (1962-1985)
Country: Scotland | DOB: 14/12/1946 | Apps: 616 | Goals: 219
Leeds' youngest ever first team debutant just short of his 16th birthday, his powerful shots on goal earned him the nicknames "Lash" and "Hotshot" from the fans, especially after a newspaper recorded one of his shots at 90MPH! His shooting aside, he was a superb right winger and his crosses to the Leeds forwards were deadly accurate. However he will be remembered for his blistering shooting skills in his two periods with Leeds, which resulted in 238 goals in a total of 676 games. Capped 21 times for Scotland Peter also played in Canada, South Africa and Israel, before finally hanging up his scorched boots in the mid 80's.
3) Gordon Strachan (1989-1995)
Country: Scotland | DOB: 09/02/1957 | Apps: 244 | Goals: 45
Scottish International Strachan joined LUFC from Man U for £300,000 in 1989. He enjoyed a successful career on both sides of the border. Scottish player of the year in 1979-80, he joined Man U for 500,000 in 1984, where he acquired a Cup-winners medal before joining Leeds. A prominent member of Scotland's 1982 and 1986 World Cup campaigns, he was the inspirational skipper of United's Second Division Championship team. Anyone who doubted his ability to cope with a return to the top flight were woefully wide of the mark as he was named Footballer of the Year in 1991 and led Leeds to the Championship the following year and was awarded an OBE in 1993. Retiring with 50 Scottish Caps he played 234 games and scored 45 goals.
2) Harry Kewell (1995-2003)
Country: Australia | DOB: 22/09/1978 | Apps: 242 | Goals: 63
A product of the Australian Institute of Sports, Harry was a member of LUFC's superb 1996-97 FA Youth Cup-winning team and debuted at left back in early 1996. With power, pace, courage and and a great footballing brain, his enormous potential was recognised by his fellow professionals when he was voted young player of the year and third overall in 1999-2000, when his worth was rated at £20m. While Kewell's performances in his first three years brought a drooling collection of admirers, his Achilles injury caused him to miss the initial part of 2000-01, but his return coincided with United's charge to the ECL semi-final. His form dipped the following season but, switched to striker by Venables, he scored several classic goals, including a superb header against Man U. The Australian International made 227 starts, with a further 15 from the bench and scored 63 goals.
1) Eddie Gray (1965-1984)
Country: Scotland | DOB: 17/01/1948 | Apps: 577 | Goals: 68
In the late 60's and early 70's Eddie Gray punished the best defenders in Europe, scoring 68 goals in his 19 years as a Leeds player. None of them better than his brace against Burnley at Elland Road, his amazing dribble around 7 defenders before scoring, was met with a full 30 second silence - the Leeds fans were struck dumb by the majesty of what they'd just seen! The players were on their way back to the centre circle, when Elland Road erupted! Just one of numerous occasions that this gifted left winger had the Leeds fans in euphoria.