David Batty - Fans memories of Leeds United's own homegrown hero

He was the homegrown hero who lived the Leeds United dream.

Sunday, 4th October 2020, 6:00 am
David Batty. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
David Batty. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Batty was seen as a tough-tackling enforcer in the heart of midfield and won the respect and admiration of the Elland Road faithful with his no nonsense approach.

He made 373 appearances in all competitions for the Whites over two spells.

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David Batty points the way. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Batty made his debut for the club in 1987 as an 18-year-old before going on to play an integral role in the 1989-90 Second Division-winning team under manager Howard Wilkinson.

He also helped the Whites to the triumph of the 1991-92 First Division title in midfield alongside Gary Speed, Gordon Strachan and Gary McAllister.

Whites fans used to bellow "Shooooooooot!" from the terraces as the tough-tackling enforcer's lack of goals were evident, scoring just four for the club in total. Two of the most memorable were scored in the same 1991/92 season - Manchester City and Notts County - in front of the Kop at Elland Road.

He returned to Leeds in 1998 and played a key role as an experienced head in midfield to help lead David O'Leary's young guns as he helped the club qualify for the Champions League and UEFA Cup - sparking a number of memorable European nights for the club.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share their memories of a player who was capped 42 times by England including a call up for the 1998 World Cup finals.

Responses included:

Dennis Randall - "A tough tackling no nonsense defending midfielder who one part in the best midfield four to grace the old First Division."

Richard Brighton - "Man City at home....what a ROAR that was."

Chris Tiffer - "I always remember a 50/50 between him and Roy Keane. Keane came off worst and got up to have a go - saw it was Batty, nodded and walked off. Batts just wiped his nose on his shirt sleeve and carried in like nothing had happened. There’s hard and there’s Batty hard!"

Aaron Herring - "That goal against Man City at Elland Road. The Kop went mental. What a moment."

Dale Bland - "Loved the friendly against Sampdoria in 1993 where he trolled the entire team, throwing Mancini over the hoardings, getting sent off and then being allowed to come back on again. Classic Batty."

Paul Henryk Kuc - "I first saw David Batty play in a pre-season game against Halifax Town. I think he came on as a substitute. It was a poor game. Perhaps a draw or one nil Leeds....it was a long time ago. But Batty was outstanding. Full of energy, slick passing and of course crunching tackles...lots of them too! Proper tackles, proper football. I said to my mates that this lad is going to play for England one day. More importantly he played in that brilliant Leeds United first division champions midfield. He was, and will always be a legend."

Jason McLeod - "The guy was and always will be a legend. He always put in a full shift and when he scored on the odd occasion it lifted the roof off at Elland Road."

Dave Gladwin - "I was there when he scored a rare goal, picked it up on the half way line and ran towards goal before ballooning it into the top corner v Notts County. Another funny memory is v Sampdoria in the pre-season tournament we use to play. He put an Italian over the boardings with a typical no nonsense tackle then stood there shrugging his shoulders as all hell broke loose with an Italian director in a suit running onto the pitch."

Ste Walsh - "Class. My favourite ever."

Steve Lawrence (@super_leeds70) - "Been lucky enough to see him make his debut v Swindon in November 1987 and witnessed him scoring all four of his league goals for Leeds."

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