Alf-Inge Haaland - Leeds United fans memories of a Viking enforcer

He was Leeds United's own Viking enforcer.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 4:30 pm
Alfie-Inge Haaland. PIC: Getty
Alfie-Inge Haaland. PIC: Getty

Alf-Inge Haaland was the utility player who comfortably slotted into both midfield and defence.

He joined the Whites from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1997 and would go on to play a part of a Leeds team who reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and who also qualified for the Champions League.

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Alf-Inge Haaland in action against Derby County at Pride Park in March 1998. Leeds won 5-0.

Haaland scored eight goals in 74 league appearances for the Whites during this three seasons with the club. They included a goal at Anfield in December 1997, a feat later achieved by his Leeds-born son Erling in October 2019.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of a player who was capped 34 times for Norway.

Responses included:

Adam Martin - "I remember Alfie's performance in the UEFA Cup home leg against Roma in 2000. If memory serves he played at centre half that night against a fearsome attacking threat that they carried at the time. Yet Alfie seemed to be everywhere. He was solid, disciplined and lead by example. It was in short a perfect display from a player signed as a midfielder by George Graham for less than £2m and one who remains to this day highly thought of among LUFC fans."

Lauren Smith - "I met him at the Leeds shop in Wakefield, he was so lovely and then a few years later was sat behind him in the crowd. He was always my fave."

Rayme Lynch - "Great player, always gave 100 per cent. Never went hiding in games. With our history of disaster signings this guy was a great signing."

Lockert Eliassen - "He was a beast."

Liam Antony Bradley - "A string of superb home performances in the UEFA Cup 1999/2000. A very underrated player."

Lee Dixon - "Top player when at Leeds. Did a job of breaking up play but could also get us on the attack quickly."

Craig Tarbotton - "His two goals at home to Blackburn. I had a great view of them both sat in the Kop right behind the goals."

John W Adlard - "Leeds v Blackburn. 1997-98 we won 4-0 but he got two identical goals from quite a few yards out. Think I wasn't far off being behind the goal. Brilliant from a distance."

Graham Hawkins - "A true warrior. He would fight until the final whistle."

Phil Brennan - "Great player who would run through a brick wall."

Curtis Jones - "Honest, hardworking and bottle, lots of bottle."

Guy Hennigan - "For me he put in one of my all-time greatest performances in a Leeds shirt v Spurs at Elland Road in the FA Cup. He was fantastic!!!"

Tony Lockwood - "Great player. Always gave 100 per cent."

James Mullins - "I remember a brilliant display by him at centre half against Roma."

Morten Smedsdal - "His goal against West Ham at Upton Park in 1999 when Leeds won 5-1."

Matthew Townsley - "He scored two belters in a 4 0 win over Blackburn."

Darren Penrose - "One of my favourite players. Top man."

Torstein Helleve (@To_Hell_) - "In 2005, after his retirement, Leeds went to Stavanger for a pre-season against local Vidar. Alfie came on as a second half sub for them and was booked two minutes later after a crunching tackle. Huge cheers from the Leeds faithful (confusingly, both teams wore white shirts).

Liam O (@mastronkey) - "Leeds vs Roma 2000. His best game in a Leeds shirt by a mile. He didn’t get the goal but he bossed midfield that day."

Phil Quaite (@PhilQuaite) - "In a round 2 League Cup game against Birmingham City Alfie “dealt” with a pitch invader - who ended up having to be carried off by the stewards in a bit of a state."

Jo Bedford (@El_Loco_Jo) - "When we played Maritimo 29th Sep 1998, we won 4-1 on penalties & on the final whistle (as promised), Alfie climbed the perimeter, barbed wire fence & threw me his shirt. Some bloke tried to snatch it, so I jumped off the 5ft wall at the front of our stand & took him with me. The police rushed in, helped me up and made sure I left with the shirt, which I wore all the way home."

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