Messages of support were flooding in today for ex-Leeds United star Gordon McQueen after he revealed he is battling throat cancer.
McQueen, part of the all-conquering Leeds side of the 1970s, has announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx.
The 59-year-old will undergo treatment at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, which is close to his home in North Yorkshire.
United today said they were rooting for their former central defender in his hour of need.
A spokeswoman told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The club is saddened to hear the news of Gordon’s illness and would like to wish him a speedy recovery.”
McQueen’s old Leeds team-mate Johnny Giles, meanwhile, said: “I hope he gets well soon, we had some fantastic times together.
“I saw him on the TV a while back and thought he was looking well. He’s a good lad and was a top player. I will say a little prayer for him.”
Leeds United Supporters’ Club chairman Ray Fell said: “This is very sad news and of course everyone is thinking of him.
“Gordon was a great centre-half and a great servant to Leeds.”
McQueen signed for United in 1972 from St Mirren in his native Scotland and was given the unenviable task of succeeding World Cup winner Jack Charlton at the heart of the Whites defence.
He rose to the challenge and played a key role in United’s victorious First Division campaign of 1973-74 as well as their run to the European Cup final the following season.
McQueen also broke into the Scotland side, earning a total of 30 caps for his country.
His time at Leeds came to a controversial end in 1978 when he moved to arch-rivals Manchester United for a then British record fee of £495,000.
After hanging up his boots he had a spell as manager with Scottish side Airdrie before joining the coaching staff at Middlesbrough.
He now works as a football pundit for Sky TV and was a member of the channel’s team at last month’s Carling Cup tie at Elland Road between Leeds and Manchester United.
McQueen is also due to attend a dinner at Elland Road on October 20 that will raise funds for a statue tribute to Don Revie, his late Leeds manager.