Eddie Lewis - Fans memories of a free kick specialist

He was a set piece specialist who scored some memorable free kicks during his time with Leeds United.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 4:30 pm
Eddie Lewis celebrates scoring against Preston North End in the play-off semi final first leg at Elland Road in May 2006. PIC: Getty

Winger Eddie Lewis arrived at Elland Road in June 2005 on a free transfer for Preston North End having already notched up 49 caps for his native USA.

His performances, both on the left wing and at left back, led him to be voted Leeds United fans Player of the Year at the end of the 2006/07 campaign - only the fourth non-British player in the club's history to receive the award.

He made 96 appearances for the Whites scoring eight goals during three seasons with the club. His first goal for the Whites came at Elland Road in August 2005 as he helped Leeds end a 21-game unbeaten league run of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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Eddie Lewis scores from a free-kick against Burnley at Turf Moor in October 2005.

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Another stand out strike followed two months later against Burnley at Turf Moor when he curled a wonderful free-kick into the top corner past goalkeeper Brian Jenson to equalise before setting up striker Rob Hulse for the winner.

Yet arguably his best moment in a Leeds shirt came from a free kick against his former club, PNE, in the play-off semi-final first leg at Elland Road in May 2006. He curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box to help Leeds fight back to earn a draw.

He evenutally moved on to Premier League side Derby County in 2007 which prompted a tribute from Leeds United manager Dennis Wise.

Eddie Lewis in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road in August 2005. He scored in a 2-0 win.

"I wanted to keep Eddie, but this is a wonderful opportunity for him. He phoned me up and I was never going to stand his way and say 'sorry you're not going'. I think he would have been annoyed with me if I'd have done that," said Wise at the time. "He's been a good pro, he's done very well for us and I'm chuffed to bits he's got an opportunity like that."

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of a player who was capped 82 times for the USA scoring 10 goals and represented his country at two World Cups - 2002 in South Korea and Japan as well as the 2006 tournament in Germany.

Responses included:

Paul Wilkinson - "Eddie had a great left foot and I remember him scoring a brilliant free kick against Norwich at Elland Road. He was a very good player at that time."

Eddie Lewis fires home a free kick against Norwich City at Elland Road in March 2006. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Tom Duncan - "A wonderfully curled free kick to equalise against Burnley away. Followed by him teeing up Hulse with an impeccable cross to fire home the winner. Cult hero."

Chris Barker - "Free kick against Preston in play-off semi-final first leg at Elland Road!"

Liam Murphy - "Stunning free kicks."

Danny Yates - "He was good."

Matt Jackson - "Crying when he scored the free kick vs Preston in 2005."

Frainy_180 (@frainy_180) - "I was there for most of the games he played in, but I can't remember anything past that free kick against Preston. Genuinely struggling."

Stevie Dewar (@SJDewar1990) - "Met Eddie outside the West Stand the night he scored that free kick against PNE in the play off semis. Always remember someone asked him 'Do you play Footy Manager?' to which he jokingly replied 'Yeah I did until I saw myself sold to Rushden & Diamonds'.

Matt Vare (@Matt_Vare) - "Play off free kick against Preston. Phenomenal."

Billy Ball (@BillyBall88) - "Preston free kick."

NRM (@nrmarwood) - "Can’t remember who it was against, but he was giving the ball back to the opponents' after it was kicked out. He played it all the way down the line, hit the corner flag and went out for a throw."

LEEDSLEEDSLEEDS (@Leedsleedslee11) - "Play offs against Preston in 2005. Free kick scored by Eddie Lewis in Kop End I was 13. Remember like it was yesterday . Two guys behind me and my mate picked us both up celebrating in Kop like crazy. Ha. Great memories."

Julian Fortuna (@jfortuna42) - "A very classy player. Great free kick. Especially the playoff match vs Preston."

Chris Quirke (@Quirke1807) - "That late goal from free kick against Norwich in 2006 was amazing. Limbs everywhere. My Norwich supporting friend was in the away end making it all the sweeter."

@MesutAutesil - "Has to be THAT free kick vs Preston in the first leg. We were fairly ordinary that night and he kept us in with a fighting chance for the second leg."

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