Brentford v Leeds United 22nd May 2022 at the Brentford Community Stadium

 

Brentford A 22nd May 2022

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 Thorp Arch visit with Nikki re SAB 16th May 2022

Thorp Arch visit with Nikki re SAB 16th May 2022

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End of game celebrations with the fans and players of Leeds United

 My message this morning was for us to ‘Keep Fighting’ until the final whistle, play for the shirt, play for themselves and most of all to play for us fans. Having seen Cooper, Struijk and Phillips at Thorp Arch on Tuesday, I’d told them to go out, do their best, and we would be there to support them. Euphoric scenes at the end of the game with an electric atmosphere and celebrations with the team, showed us that is what happened as Leeds retained our Premier League status at the death with a goal by Harrison ensuring we got a win. With Burnley losing, it was still tight at the bottom with a few minutes left and we were willing them not to equalise against Newcastle. For once in our lives, things went our way and I think my looking to the skies and praying for a result in our favour as we got back on the coach at Holborn, actually worked!

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Firpo, Llorente, Koch, Harrison, Raphinha, Phillips, Rodrigo, Gelhardt and Greenwood (making his first Premier League start).

Subs: Struijk for Gelhardt (71), Klich for Greenwood (85)

Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Bate, Hjelde, Roberts, Shackleton and Gray.

Leeds won the game 2-1 with Raphinha (penalty 56) and Harrison (90+3) scoring the goals.

Attendance: 16,957with 1,725 Leeds fans.

Referee: Paul Tierney.

Booked: Phillips.

It was nice to add another new ground today to the list I’ve been to and although their old ground Griffin Park was traditionally old school, I liked this one even though the capacity is still quite small. With the stands bathed in sunshine, there was a great atmosphere around it. I’d a great view and was sent photos by fans in Australia, Norway and America who saw me on the TV prior to kick off. Thanks for that. I did keep thinking the coloured seats looked like cardboard cut outs though. We built up a good rapport with a Brentford fan who was from Yorkshire who did his best to keep us updated on the Burnley situation. The only thing that had a bit of a downer for me was when I somehow upset a long-standing Leeds fan when I asked for a photo. I have no problem with anyone refusing as I will always comply with their wishes, but as I’ve taken photos of the couple before I felt I had to say sorry to his wife if I had caused any upset.

The game kicked off with Brentford on the attack and plenty of end-to-end football, but scores stayed level. With approximately 20 minutes gone, Leeds attacked the other end when Gelhardt after a great pass from Harrison, sent a great ball into the net to take the lead. After lots of celebrations from us and the team at the far end of the ground, I suddenly realised that VAR was looking at our goal. As the Brentford fans cheered, we saw the goal was disallowed for offside which felt like things were going against us once again, A few minutes later Leeds fans started cheering and going nuts as we received confirmation that Newcastle had taken the lead against Burnley. When I’d heard we were playing in a figure of 8 today, it was good to see that Phillips was back in front of the back four in his strongest position. Meslier was called into action when he tipped a great shot over the bar to prevent Brentford taking the lead. Luckily for us they shot wide when in a good position to leave the scores still level at half time.

Brentford had the first chance of the second half when Meslier saved from their player before Leeds came back at them with the final shot from Rodrigo saved by their keeper after some good play from Raphinha. Leeds were sent a lifeline when Raphinha had his legs taken from him and we were awarded a penalty. I kept saying, don’t miss, don’t miss and although Raphinha seemed to take a long time and nearly stopped, he sent a great penalty into the net to put us into the lead. A few minutes later we heard Newcastle had scored again as things seemed to be going our way. Burnley then pulled a goal back, so it wasn’t over yet. When Struijk replaced Gelhardt who took an earlier knock, we looked to have committed suicide by starting to go backwards to Meslier instead of moving the ball forwards. It didn’t take long before they got theit equaliser as I screamed that the best form of defence is attack and don’t start passing back to Meslier. Having used all their substitutes, Brentford were already down to 10 men when one of their players was injured and had to go off. I hadn’t realised their scorer Canos had been booked for his goal celebrations, only to receive a booking for bringing Raphinha down shortly afterwards. Suddenly realising they were down to nine men I assumed another had gone off injured only to find out he had been sent off, oops! Despite being down to nine men though, Brentford were still putting us under pressure as the end of the game loomed. As Brentford fans started cheering again it sounded like Burnley had got an equaliser only for other Leeds fans to confirm they were still losing 2-1. It felt too close for comfort as I kept taking deep breaths to keep calm. Until those final whistles blew, nothing could be taken for granted that’s for sure.

As injury time approached, Leeds started to get the better of Brentford and started attacking with that never say die attitude I asked for. When the ball came to Harrison outside the box, he hit a shot that deflected into the back of the net to send the Leeds fans and team wild as celebrations ensued. With Leeds now back in the lead, it meant we needed it to stay that way until the final whistle. As I was wondering how we would know when the final whistle went at Turf Moor, the referee blew the whistle for our game as everyone on the Leeds bench launched themselves onto the pitch, which was the cue for everyone to go mad on the terraces as it meant we were safe and staying up. Fantastic celebrations with the players and fans were savoured and it was lovely seeing young Charlie Cresswell singing Marching on Together with the fans with such gusto. It was a wonderful feeling that for once in our lives, things had gone our way. Too many times things have gone the wrong way so I didn’t dare think it would work out for us as I couldn’t be positive, just in case I jinxed things. As I’d said a few times earlier to fans, I was using reverse psychology as I had to expect the worst so anything else was a bonus. This all stems from my superstitions that started in the Don Revie era, but with my stomach churning and nerves going into overdrive before the game there was no way I wanted to jeopardise anything.

As one of my friends was in an ambulance for 30 minutes of the first half and should in reality have gone to hospital, another was in a bad way at half time too. The stress we have all been under shows just how much supporting Leeds United means to us fans, but now we can actually just relax, savour the moment and enjoy the fantastic scenes at the end of the game. Seeing and experiencing so much happiness alongside smiling Leeds fans, certainly helps to give you a boost. Thank you to everyone for your amazing support for my blog with your comments, having photos taken and all the chats that have kept me going and love to you all. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to, I don’t think I will make the pre-season tour to Australia. If not, I will see you all in August. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Brighton 15th May 2022 at Elland Road

Brighton H 15th May 2022

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Leeds United 72 Legends – LUST, LUSCOS, LEEDS UNITED AMERICAS 12.5.22

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Leeds United 72 Legends – LUST, LUSCOS, LEEDS UNITED AMERICAS 12.5.22

It has been a busy few days for me, with another early morning call for an interview with BBC Radio Five Live as well as being invited to attend the Leeds United 1972 FA Cup Final legends with the unveiling of plaques in the East Stand from the Leeds United Supporters Trust, LUSCOS and LUAmericas. As I had a great conversation with Allan Clarke and Mick Jones, I used Sniffer’s motivational comments as part of my pre-game reel. Once they were on the pitch, they gave 100% and would die for Leeds United and we needed the team to go out and make us proud.

I got to Leeds very early today as I was meeting Jørn from Denmark as well as the Malta Whites at Billy’s statue pre-game. Jørn was collecting items for the Leeds United Museum that they are creating in Denmark and thank you for buying my book Leeds Are Going to the Premier League. Thanks also to the Malta Whites for buying the other four of my books after previously buying the others, Follow Me and Leeds United, Back to Reality, United Are Back and Leeds Are Going to the Premier League and Tonio for United Are Back.. Also thank you to those who bought the Leeds United songs recording CDs. Allan Clarke is going to play the CDs when driving to the Lake District and I will look forward to getting feedback from him in the future. As always, the support is greatly appreciated. After a visit to the Peacock, it was nice catching up with fans before I headed into the ground. As I was stood outside the turnstiles, the lead steward took pity on me and scanned my season ticket before letting me through the doors into the stand rather than struggling through the turnstiles with my “baggage”.

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Llorente, Firpo, Phillips, Raphinha, Harrison, Rodrigo, Gelhardt, Klich and Koch.

Subs: Shackleton for Koch (68), Shackleton for Firpo (83), Greenwood for Klich (83).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Gray, Bate, Hjelde, Kenneh.

Leeds drew the game 1-1 with Struijk equalising for Leeds (90).

Attendance: 36,638 with 1,986 Brighton fans.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Booked: Firpo, Rodrigo, Cooper.

A minute’s applause was held before the game started for all those Leeds United fans who have died this season. RIP. Leeds started off brightly for the first 10 minutes when Brighton after sitting back, started to look dangerous. We were often wide open on the left-hand side of the pitch from the Kop, and luckily for us Meslier was in top form making some vital saves to keep them from scoring. Sadly, we were unable to keep them out as they scored a goal when getting past our defence. Although that was a blow, it took a while to start getting forward again but had a great chance from a corner when the ball went to Klich on the edge of the box. Hitting a shot that brought a save from their keeper gave a bit of hope with a shot on target. Brighton’s time wasting had begun very early on in the game with players dropping like flies sometimes with very little contact but were given many free kicks by the referee. Ensuring we didn’t let any more goals in before half time was important for me as we ensured we went in only a goal down.

The second half started well with pressure from Leeds but without getting any shots on target and as the half wore on, with mistakes happening, the crowd started to get restless. As another pass went astray, Elland Road started to become toxic as chants from all around the ground started for Marcelo Bielsa then sack the board, sell the club and f**k off home and this is on you Radrizzani. To be honest, the crowd have been very supportive of the team all season despite results and or performances going against us but after a short lull with the subs coming on, both the crowd and the players responded with a battling performance. Raphinha brought a save out of their keeper before he combined with Gelhardt to see another shot trickling past the wrong side of the post. As the team started battling, Elland Road became a frenzied bear pit with the fans urging them on as the noise reached a fever pitch crescendo. Gelhardt saw his shot go wide before he made another chance with some brilliant footwork in the penalty area. His cross to the far post saw Struijk rise into the air to head the ball into the net to equalise at the end of normal time which saw Elland Road erupting with noise and celebrations. What an important goal that was to keep Leeds within a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League. We had shouts for a penalty with handball when half of the bench nearly ended up on the pitch too, but the referee refused to look at VAR. At the final whistle the team walked around the pitch to rapturous applause, and I am so glad the relegation places were not decided today.

This morning I had resigned myself to relegation and was quite calm. Once I arrived at Elland Road, my stomach started churning and I wasn’t ready to accept it. What I said to someone on social media this morning was that my feelings can change very quickly once they are on the pitch. If I lower my expectations the reverse psychology may work better. I even saw a lone magpie before the game too, so I think my methods worked lol. With Everton and Burnley still having a game in hand, the last relegation spot is still to be decided although when I looked at the table on the Leeds website earlier it had Everton with 39 points so assumed they’d won. It’s now been changed so we have even more hope especially as they had two men sent off. We go to Brentford for the last game of the season next week and we will know what we have to do to stay up by then. Although the outcome still isn’t in our hands, at least we still have hope at the moment. See you there, LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United 1972 Legends – LUST, LUSCOS, LEEDS UNITED AMERICAS 12th May 2022

I’m honoured to have had the privilege to join LUST, LUSCOS and Leeds United Americas at Elland Road today to unveil  plaques of our 1972 FA Cup Winner legends,  commemorating us winning the cup in the centenary year of the competition.  If I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I met them at the Hilton Hotel event last Friday, today I was even more so.  The rapport we still have with these players is something that I will always cherish and memories of following the best team in the land, will stay with me forever. Winning the FA Cup was a special moment and it was great reliving my childhood by sharing memories with Sniffer and Mick Jones about the day.

Thank you so much for letting me be there as it is greatly appreciated and made me so happy.

Leeds United 72 Legends – LUST, LUSCOS, LEEDS UNITED AMERICAS 12.5.22

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Leeds United v Chelsea 11th May 2022 at Elland Road

Chelsea H 11th May 2022

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Leeds 72 Legends at the Hilton Hotel 

Leeds United 72 Legends at the Hilton Hotel 6th May 2022

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It’s hard to believe that it was 37 years ago today that we travelled to Birmingham for the last game of the season. It is a day I will never forget due to the sad death of young Ian Hambridge who was killed at St Andrews at the end of the game. Police charged the Leeds fans still left on the terraces and due to the pressure of the crowd a wall fell on him. On getting back to the coach, news started trickling through about the tragedy of the fire at Bradford resulting in fans being killed on a very sad day for football. Rest in Peace.

If you have any memorabilia that could be displayed in a museum being created in Denmark, there will be someone at Bremner’s statue between 12 and 1.00pm to collect any donations.

My nerves had already kicked in very early today as we all knew how important this game was going to be. Deep down I didn’t expect us to do anything, but you have to live in hope. As it was, it looks as if the writing is on the wall for us as relegation beckons. I was hoping for something positive to talk about when I’m on BBC Radio Five Live at 6.20am in the morning but sadly we look down and out. That said, it isn’t over until it’s over so with our last games at home to Brighton then away at Brentford, we will know one way or another.

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Llorente, Koch, Struijk, Bate making his first start in the Premier League, Phillips, Raphinha, Harrison, Rodrigo and James.

Subs: Firpo for Harrison (injured 37), Klich for Bate (59), Gelhardt for Raphinha (injured 78).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Shackleton, Cresswell, Greenwood, Hjelde, Gray.

Leeds lost the game 3-0.

Attendance: 36,549 with 2,840 Chelsea fans.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.

Booked: Phillips. Sent off: James.

Leeds got off to another disastrous start when Chelsea took the lead within four minutes to put us on the back foot once again. Although we won an early corner we didn’t look like scoring and things went from bad to worse when James received a straight red card (our second in two games) after lunging in at the Chelsea player. Not long after the sending off Chelsea had the ball in the net again and although I thought it was going to be disallowed due to a foul in the build-up, it was disallowed for offside. The game was then stopped due to a medical emergency amongst the Chelsea fans to the left of the tunnel before play resumed. When six minutes was added on for all the injuries, it felt like a punishment as I couldn’t wait for the whistle to blow.

Although Leeds seemed to start brightly, Chelsea got a second goal 10 minutes into the half with sheer persistence which ultimately put the game out of our reach. The Leeds fans in the middle of singing Marching on Together just carried on with it. We had a brief spell where it looked like we were going to attack when Koch’s header went over the bar but in reality, there was a big gulf between the two sides. When Chelsea got a third goal, fans in the West Stand streamed to the exits but there were plenty of fans who stayed where they were and continued singing. Stats afterwards showed we didn’t get a shot on target today which shows how far we have regressed in my opinion.

We have no option now but to fight for our survival in this division otherwise we will go down with a whimper. That to me would be a disaster because getting back up again would be incredibly difficult with the way things are. See you on Sunday, LUFC – Marching on Together!

Arsenal v Leeds United 8th May 2022 at the Emirates

 

Arsenal v Leeds United 8th May 2022

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I was like a kid in a sweet shop on Friday, going to the Hilton Hotel to see the Leeds United 72 legends. Having been at Wembley in 1972 to see the best team ever win the FA Cup in the centenary year of the competition was a dream come true and the feelings were out of this world. Seeing Billy lift the FA Cup from Her Majesty the Queen are memories that have stayed with me forever and have made me the Leeds fan I still am today. The day was perfect except for Mick Janes getting injured in the final minutes of the game. The community singing led by Tommy Steele wearing white and the whole stadium singing Abide with Me, and the National Anthem were spine tingling and awe-inspiring moments to cherish. I love listening to all the stories from those players and it was great to chat to them again.

I was up at 3.30am to travel to the game so at least the early start meant there were no issues at the roadworks on the M62. We had a good run down and were in the usual stop off at the Mossy Well before getting to the ground in good time. The sun was shining and there was a good buzz amongst the Leeds fans as I took many photos before the game as I knew things could change very easily. There were Stuart Dallas t-shirts on a number of seats in the stand but apparently there weren’t enough for every seat which was a shame. As I was stood outside the ground with Nikki we got talking to a young policeman and he said they’d had advance intelligence about a group of Leeds fans who were being escorted into the game from Kings Cross, hence the reason they were there.

Team: Meslier, Ayling, Phillips, Raphinha, Koch, Gelhardt, James, Harrison, Klich, Llorente and Firpo.

Subs: Struijk for Gelhardt (29), Bate for Klich (45), Rodrigo for Raphinha (60).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Greenwood, Cresswell, Shackleton, Hjelde, Gray.

Leeds lost the game 2-1 with Llorente scoring the Leeds goal (66). The defeat meant Leeds slipped into the bottom three for the first time this season with three games left. 

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Booked: Raphinha, Klich. Sent off: Ayling.

Attendance: 60,108 with 3,000 Leeds fans.

I’d been bursting into song prior to kick off with “who put the ball in the Arsenal net, Allan, Allan Clarke.” We really needed a Sniffer Clarke in our team today. I’ve met plenty of Leeds fans who thought we could still get something from the games left, whereas I couldn’t call it. We soon found out how things would go because within five minutes we were a goal down after a disastrous pass back to Meslier from Ayling saw him take a touch, only to be pounced on by Nketiah of all people (it was always going to happen, but I still wouldn’t want him at Leeds due to the fact that he downed tools and wanted away when he came to us on loan). Before we knew it, he had scored a second one for them as Leeds looked down and out. That was just what we didn’t need but we were up against it, big style. Things went from bad to worse when Ayling went in hard on a tackle and immediately received a yellow card. Before you had time to blink, VAR was shown to be looking at the tackle and as soon as the referee went to look at the screen at the pitch side, you knew Ayling was walking with Leeds now down to 10 men as well as losing 2-0. Raphinha went berserk and chased the referee protesting and eventually found himself with a yellow card. It looked at one point as if he was trying to get himself sent off too. It never rains but it pours for us as we always make things 100% harder than they need to be. With that Joffy was taken off and replaced by Struijk which brought boos from the crowd. He finally got his chance to start the game and even that transpired against him. Meslier made a great save, and the ball was hooked off the line and away by Llorente as we continued to live dangerously.

As I went down under the stand at half time the Leeds fans were still in jovial mood despite everything. Everyone was having a laugh and singing then out of the blue, the police came and waded into the fans as beer was thrown at them. I’d not heard anything untoward but on my return to the stand, I was told there had been a little skirmish but once the police arrived, things escalated.

The second half belonged to the Leeds fans as we started to create an atmosphere. The football in a library song was on repetition before the Arsenal fans stood up and you heard them for once. When Llorente at the far post hit the ball into the net to pull a goal back, there was always a chance we could get something from the game. With our last chance of the game Rodrigo’s header didn’t have enough power on it to get past the keeper. The second half spirit from the Leeds team meant that it didn’t feel like we had only 10 men and probably played better than when we had 11 players on the pitch.

On our way back to the coach, an Arsenal fan asked me who Dallas was and then said that our fans had been brilliant. He wished us luck and other fans said we needed to beat Chelsea too. We have two home games with the rearranged Chelsea game first before Brighton at home. There are still nine points to play for and things can still change despite us now taking that third relegation place. With Burnley on the same number of points but with a better goal difference, Everton have a game in hand as well as a point more. Our fate is still in our hands if we can get some more points even if the outlook looks bleak now. Live in hope but fear the worst. See you there LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United 1972 Legends at the Hilton Hotel 6th May 2022

Leeds United 72 Legends at the Hilton Hotel 6th May 2022

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50 years ago to the day,  I witnessed my favourite ever game at Wembley, seeing Leeds United win the FA Cup in the Centenary Year of the competition. When Clarke’s goal hit the back of the net in front of us where we were to the left of the tunnel, I was dancing and crying with my friends Sue Evans nee Isherwood and Janet Milner from Selby.  Seeing Billy Bremner lift the FA Cup when presented with it by Her Majesty the Queen was my finest moment and a dream come true as my feelings were out of this world.

Apart from Jones getting injured in the final moments of the game, the day had been perfect and I just knew we were going to win the cup. From Tommy Steele leading the community singing who came out wearing white, plus Abide with Me and The National Anthem sung by the whole stadium which were spine tingling moments, these precious memories have stayed with me forever.

I feel privileged to have been there to see the best team ever and I was like a kid in a sweet shop meeting the legends again. It is quite poignant when I realised how many of our great team we have lost recently and it was very sad that Mick Jones was too ill to attend the event in the end. Thank you for another fantastic evening listening to great stories from our legends. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Manchester City 30th April 2022 at Elland Road

Man City H 30th April 2022

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Centenary Whites at the Irish Centre 30.4.22

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The sun was shining on a glorious day, making it a good day for a football game as for me it is true, it lifted my spirits up. With a big game ahead of us I headed for Elland Road under no illusions that it would be tough today but as always, just want the players to give their all. Although the final result today said we lost 4-0, I don’t think that score was reflective on the game as a whole as I didn’t think there was that much difference between the teams for a good 20 minute spell in each half. The difference in their team from the one we played at their ground was a complete contrast to me. At the Etihad, I can’t say I’ve seen such a display of football from anyone in that league at that level as no team would have performed well against them that day. They were on another level to us and that is why I was able to put the 7-0 scoreline to the back of my mind and move on. Today though, there was too much cheating and diving with every free kick given their way (I had forgotten Grealish now plays for them). Someone told me after the game that the referee was from Manchester now if that is the case, where is the impartiality in that decision because the favouritism shown to Man City was obvious on the pitch? A big thank you to Susan and Bremner for the support in buying my book United Are Back!

Team: Meslier, Ayling, Dallas, Firpo, Klich, Rodrigo, Raphinha, Koch, Struijk, Phillips and Harrison.

Subs: James for Dallas (45+7 stretchered off), Gelhardt for Firpo (62), Greenwood for Rodrigo (83).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Shackleton, Llorente, Bate.

Leeds lost the game 4-0.

Attendance: 36,771, 2,911 Man City fans.

Referee: Paul Tierney.

Booked: Firpo.

Leeds had the first chance of the game when Rodrigo was through on goal but his shot was blocked. Fine margins again that could have given us the upper hand in the game and had them chasing us. That changed on the 13th minute when City scored with a header after another free kick given their way. I haven’t seen it again, but there were disputes as to whether the kick should have been awarded in the first place. I know there were a few decisions like that in the game but couldn’t remember which one it was. As the game wore on though, Leeds started using the wings more and were putting in some good attacks, not handing the game to City on a plate. When Koch went down in an aerial challenge, this stopped the game for a while whilst he and the City player received treatment. Although when play resumed, Leeds continued on the attack and at that stage I felt we were going to get an equaliser in the moments before half time until Dallas was injured when Grealish fouled him or so I thought. When they were given the free kick afterwards, I was astounded but would need to see it again. Dallas was immediately in trouble banging the floor and after a lengthy hold up was stretchered off the pitch to applause from the fans. He didn’t look in a good way and after Cooper pulling out of the game during the warm up, our injury crisis shows no signs of letting up. I’ve just heard Dallas has a femoral fracture and faces a lengthy stint out of the side sadly. James came on to the pitch and the referee more or less blew for half time straight away. Why was there no added time during injury time for Dallas?  How many times have you seen nine minutes added on due to injuries?

The second half started similar to the first when City scored a second early goal to put more of a distance between the teams. Leeds then started attacking and Raphinha saw his blocked shot go over the bar. The stuffing was knocked out of Leeds when we went further behind. I thought you couldn’t be offside from a throw in, has that changed or did one of ours immediately tap the ball forward to another of our players? City then proceeded to run straight down the middle to the South Stand and score their third goal. Leeds continued to attack though and James saw his shot kicked off the line, then Gelhardt saw a brilliant save from the keeper to deny him as we continued to press. They got a fourth in injury time which was a shame as the team didn’t deserve to see that score against them.

Fans held up blue, yellow and white cards before the start of the game in the Family Stand, North East Corner and Cheese Wedge spelling out Yorkshire and then proceeded to use them as aeroplanes or screwed up balls to throw onto the side of the pitch. At one point the wind took some and it was like a pitch invasion as they rolled across the pitch. The fans today were immense creating an electric atmosphere and as always, I’m proud to be a Leeds United supporter. For the last 15 minutes of the game there was a constant “We all love Leeds” that carried on five minutes after the final whistle at the end of the game before “Marching on Together” was sung at top voice. This was despite being 4-0 down. It’s a shame we don’t get points for the fans as today is the first time that the table shows us too close to the bottom three for my liking and it is a great concern. With Everton leading Chelsea at the moment, it is not looking good for us I’ll admit. With four games left, none are ever easy in this division and I never take anything for granted but will always make my judgement by what I see on the pitch. The score was unfavourable today as they took their chances and although we did plenty of attacking with sheer persistence and never giving up, we didn’t get that goal to ensure Elland Road exploded.

Going back to the car after the game, there were a group of City fans on the other side of the road singing and making a lot of commotion. The next thing there was shouting as a car had come out from McDonalds and trying to turn right across the front of them. They started shouting and then I saw a couple of them lashing out and kicking the front  of the car. What I couldn’t believe was seeing the riot police stood at the side of the road next to me who didn’t react at all. When I said they are kicking the car it was like a jolt as if they should react, but they never moved at all. If that would have been our fans, I have no doubt they would have been on them like a flash. As it was as we drove to the bridge over the motorway we had to stop as loads of vans of police arrived and were stopping fans at the side of the road. Some going over the bridge which according to these Leeds fans detained were Man City fans, were allowed to continue to shout and carry on but were not moved on by them. In the end I drove around the parked car in front of us and carried on.

As I mentioned last week, my blog is late because I was going straight to the Irish Centre after the game for the last performance of the Centenary Whites. Paul Wilson had made songs about Leeds which were put to popular music and it certainly had your feet tapping with the vibe from the band and as usual I really enjoyed it. With Norwegian fans, Irish fans and plenty of others there we had a great night and was a great respite after the defeat today.

With our next game back down in London for the Arsenal game, another early morning start beckons. None of us can predict how many points we will get before the last game at Brentford, but each one we gain can make such a difference to the final table. Here’s hoping that we can pick some up in these last four games. See you there, LUFC – Marching on Together!

Crystal Palace v Leeds United 25th April 2022 at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace A 25th April 2022

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With the Chelsea game postponed, that worked in our favour as a family as we headed to Kent for my husband to complete one of his bucket lists wishes of flying in a spitfire. Heading to the game today meant it felt a long time since we had played and there were plenty of nervous fans about. Luckily for me taking photos at games does help to calm the nerves and also, I’ve not watched anyone else, just concentrated on Leeds. I didn’t relish the trip to the ground though as to me it is one of the worst grounds to get to as a fan. My worst memory was getting to the play off final against Charlton at half time by which time I’d a massive migraine and didn’t enjoy the game. That said, the reason we were delayed was because of an accident on the M1 where three Leeds fans were sadly killed on their way to the game. We had waited for ages at Leicester Forest services to meet my other coach from Selby, but it never arrived. As it turned out, the driver of that coach went down the A1 and in the days before mobile phones I’d no way of knowing. It was nearly a déjà vu moment on the way to catch the coach in Leeds this morning, as the last mile before junction 26 of the M62 saw me stuck in traffic due to access to the roundabout being continuously blocked. Although I’d rung ahead and said to not leave without me, my stress levels had started to rise the longer it took me to get to the front of the queue. Eventually after 35 minutes I got through onto the motorway and arrived at the coach right on departure time at 10am thank goodness. After a good three hour stop, we arrived at the ground an hour before kick-off.

It was good to catch up with fans before the game including Austin from South Africa attending his first ever Leeds game. Also thank you to Kev and his mate for the support in buying our CD

of Leeds chants and songs from the terraces. For anyone who doesn’t know, a group of 

Leeds fans have recorded over 200 songs and chants from the terraces starting from the Scratching Shed days until 2017. All profits after costs which have all been repaid, will go to the Leeds United Academy/Foundation and this is a piece of historic football memorabilia through supporting Leeds United.

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Ayling, Dallas, James, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison, Phillips and Llorente.

Subs:  Koch for Klich (45), Greenwood for James (59), Gelhardt for Rodrigo (74).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Struijk, Firpo, Cresswell, Bate, Kenneth.

Leeds drew the game 0-0.

Attendance: 25,357 with 3,000 Leeds fans.

Referee: Darren England.

Booked: James, Llorente.

After eventually finding out where the ladies’ toilets were and finding out there were only three once again, by the time I got in the stand the teams were already on the pitch. Another club where it seems women don’t go to football games! That said going back in time when we played Wimbledon here in an FA Cup replay, we thought the toilets were the height of luxury as they had pink tiles on the walls as well as mirrors. Anyone who used to go to games back in the day will know how bad the toilet facilities were for fans in those days. The view for watching the game was awful too and for the first half it was impossible to see the line nearest us or see the corner to the left either, it felt quite surreal watching the first half which continued at a fast pace. Palace came close to scoring in the opening minutes of the game but on the whole, the majority of play was in the middle of the park. Palace won a few free kicks but in reality, both keepers didn’t have too much to do as we went in at half time on even terms.

The second half saw Leeds attack the end to the right of the Leeds fans who had been in great voice so far without the need of a drum, starting the second half where they’d left off. Palace fans did contribute to the atmosphere more in the second half though as a couple of times, there were anxious silences before the Leeds fans picked up the noise once again finishing the game in good voice.

Joffy had a shot on target, but we didn’t really put their keeper under pressure, and it was Meslier who was the busier of the two keepers. As Gary said to me, this game had a 0-0 draw all over it, I felt that could be the case. When Mike asked me what I thought of the game, my thoughts were that it was fast paced but not a lot of pressure in front of goal. A draw would be a good result as we’ve historically never done well at this ground. I’ll admit, I did get slightly nervous towards the end of the game as if anyone was going to sneak a win, Palace looked the more likely to score but thankfully Meslier was alert and made the necessary saves. Once Rodrigo was taken off, it seemed to take the sting out of our game to be honest. The team did battle though by getting stuck in, and, in the end, we got another welcome point. I’d had a shock after the Watford game as when I looked at the table, I thought we’d have gone up a few places with the points we’d just won only to find us still in the same place. As the end of the season gets closer, we have a big game on Saturday with the teatime clash against Man City. Despite where they are in the league, we have to believe we can win them especially with the game being at Elland Road. Our fans will need to be the twelfth man and on tonight’s showing after plenty of time in the pubs, we should be on top form. After the game I’ll be heading to the Irish Centre for the last performance of the Centenary Whites (all Leeds fans) which will see another great evening of singing Leeds songs put to popular music by Paul Wilson, in the company of other Leeds fans. Because of this, anyone who reads my blogs, please note I will not be posting it until Sunday lunchtime. What takes the most time is the uploading of my photos so apologies in advance. See you then, LUFC – Marching on Together!

Birmingham 1985 photos courtesy of Andy Bates from Halifax

Birmingham 1985 courtesy of Andy Bates from Halifax

3 Birmingham 85
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Some previously unseen photos from Birmingham in 1985 that I’ve been given permission to share via my social media accounts.

Chelsea 1984 Scoreboard day

 

Watford v Leeds United 9th April 2022 at Vicarage Road

Watford A 9th April 2022

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