Christmas mornings for Leeds United fans to savour ...

Max Gradel strikes Leeds' opening goal against QPR on December 18, 2010. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Max Gradel strikes Leeds' opening goal against QPR on December 18, 2010. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

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Waking up on Christmas Day and opening your presents tends to be the highlight of any year.

For a football fan, it’s always interesting to see what festive bounty your club brings you.

Leeds United have tended to struggle over the holiday period, but there have been some high points over the last 15 years.

Here are the THREE best Christmas mornings Leeds fans have had over the last decade and a half ...

2010: Leeds beat Queens Park Rangers on December 18 2010, the peak of a run that took them from mid-table to promotion contenders.

Max Gradel was the star on the day, bagging a brace to beat the eventual winners of the Championship.

The result moved the Whites up to second in the division, and when Leeds fans awoke on Christmas morning they were in the same position.

Few could have foreseen the collapse that would see Leeds finish seventh and miss out on the play-offs.

2009: A staggering first half to the season saw Leeds sitting comfortably atop League One on 50 points.

It was a start that would see Leeds finally return to the Championship after an extended three-year absence that no one could have foreseen.

The magic of Christmas carried on past the traditional 12 days in 2009, as the Whites travelled to Old Trafford and famously beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup third round on January 3 2010.

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2007: Leeds began the season in a terrible position, bottom of League One with 15 points already deducted from a total of zero.

By the time Christmas Day rolled around, Leeds had cleared their deduction by winning maximum points in their first five games and were third in the division, having won 16 of their 21 games, losing only twice to earn 36 points.

The Whites were only one point behind both Swansea City and Nottingham Forest, the top two, and had reason to believe automatic promotion at the first attempt was a possibility, despite the deduction. Ultimately, play-off final

failure was on the cards, but that was not to be known on Christmas morning.

Special mention – 1999: With fears about Y2K dominating the headlines, Leeds had nothing to worry about on the pitch as they headed towards the new millennium at the top of the Premier League A 2-0 victory against Chelsea on December 19 meant they were in first on Christmas Day.

That was followed by a 2-1 win against Leicester City on December 26 that meant Leeds fans had plenty to smile about over the festive period.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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