Like his 90-mile-an-hour shots, Peter Lorimer proved unstoppable in the battle to take up the right side of midfield in the YEP’s Leeds United dream team.
The club’s youngest-ever player and all-time leading goalscorer earned the nod ahead of Gordon Strachan after a close-fought battle between the two Leeds legends.
Lorimer received 57 per cent of the vote in a conclusive verdict from the YEP readers, but title-winning captain Strachan ran the fellow Scot close in a two-horse race, backed by an impressive 37 per cent of the votes.
None of the other six candidates – Lee Bowyer, Eric Kerfoot, Mike O’Grady, James Milner, Davie Cochrane or Carl Harris – figured prominently in the poll and Lorimer’s immense reputation sealed his place in a sparkling line-up which is slowly taking shape.
He becomes the first addition to the dream team midfield and follows goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, full-backs Terry Cooper and Paul Reaney and centre-backs Lucas Radebe and Norman Hunter in winning the approval of United’s fans.
The omission of Jack Charlton from the centre of defence last week caused great controversy but the selection of Lorimer, who made his Leeds debut under Don Revie aged 15 years and 289 days and who scored 168 league goals for the Elland Road club, caused no dissent.
Reader Judith Harris said: “His all-time record goal tally will probably never be broken at Leeds.
“Ninety-miles-an-hour shots put the fear of God into many defences when he hit the ball. He went on some dazzling runs down that right wing and was a tremendous tackler as well.
“He is still connected with the club and if any man has devoted his life more to Leeds United then I would be amazed. A true legend.”
Most readers, however, acknowledged that the choice between Lorimer and Strachan was a difficult call on account of Strachan’s success at Elland Road.
Strachan was an inspirational member of the squads that won the Division Two championship in 1990 and the first division title two years later and his high tally of votes reflected his role in United’s resurgence after a turgid spell in the 1980s.
“Just like the choice between Hunter and Charlton, this is another close one between Lorimer and Strachan,” wrote waynel on the YEP’s website. “But you have to go with our all-time top scorer who achieved it despite not being an out-and-out striker. Sorry Strachs, but it’s ‘hot-shot’ for me.”
Leedsls27 agreed, saying: “Strachan is one of my favourite Leeds players and was a revelation in the relatively short time he was with us but when it comes down to the best of all time it can only be Lorimer.”
The mass of votes for Lorimer and Strachan left no room for any of the other right-sided contenders, with Lee Bowyer collecting three per cent of votes and James Milner attracting only 15 from almost 1,000 cast.
Mike O’Grady, however, received a glowing appraisal from originalkoppite, who said: “It would seem that everyone has discounted O’Grady. I have to tell you that, as a 20-year-old left winger, O’Grady was one of the finest players I ever saw.
“He was fast, clever and had a great cross, he could cut in and shoot and he was selected to play for England in the days when there were many great footballers qualified to represent us.
“He was a far better footballer than Lorimer and Strachan at that age when a back injury put back his development. The player we saw was a shadow of his former self.”
HOW YOU VOTED
Peter Lorimer 57%, Gordon Strachan 37%, Lee Bowyer 3%, James Milner 2%, Mike O’Grady 1%, Eric Kerfoot 0%, Davie Cochrane 0%, Carl Harris 0%.