Frazer Richardson - Fans memories of a long serving defender

He was the right back who scored his first goal on just his second start for Leeds United.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:30 pm
Frazer Richardson celebrates scoring against Preston North End at Deepdale during the play-off semi-final second leg in May 2006. PIC: Gerard Binks
Frazer Richardson celebrates scoring against Preston North End at Deepdale during the play-off semi-final second leg in May 2006. PIC: Gerard Binks

Frazer Richardson's strike against Derby County at lunchtime on the opening day of the 2004/05 campaign was notable for another reason - it was the first ever goal in the newly rebranded 'Football League Championship'.

It was the not the only memorable goal Richardson bagged during his nine years with the Whites. He scored on a night to remember at Deepdale in May 2006 during the play off semi-final second leg against Preston North End.

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Frazer Richardson celebrates scoring against Derby County at Elland Road on the opening day of the 2004/05 season. PIC: Simon Hulme

He was a player generated through United's successful academy and kicked off his senior career in 2002 as a second-half substitute during the UEFA Cup second round second leg against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

He replaced Gary Kelly at right back that night, a position he was expected to fill following the retirement of the club legend.

He did indeed go onto to do just that after Kells called it a day but also impressed on the right side of midfield during his time with the club.

He went on to make 186 appearances only punctuated by two loan spells at Stoke City in 2003.

Frazer Richardson celebrates after scoring during the League One clash against Northampton Town at Elland Road in December 2007. PIC: Gerard Binks

And he was made captain under manager Gary McAllister in 2008 which he described at the time as "a fantastic honour."

"I wouldn't say I feel under any pressure as captain because I try to take things in my stride, but I do understand the responsibility it involves. There's a duty to set the right example," he told the YEP in an interview. "Good role models are important in football. People have spoken a lot recently about referees and the way they are treated, and the respect aspect of the game is very important for me. I do think that players everywhere should be trying to create better role models, on and off the pitch."

Your YEP asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of the long serving defender.

Responses included:

Frazer Richardson celebrates scoring against Sheffield United at Elland Road in October 2005. PIC: Dan Oxtoby

David J Díaz - "His goal v Derby on the first game of the season 2004/2005. It just came out of nowhere! I still believe that he was never given a lot of credit, despite playing out of position most of the time. He had a good eye for goal, he scored one against Sheffield United in 2005/2006 that was ace and of course who could forget his goal v Preston in the play-off semi- final? Despite what happened after, it was a pivotal goal and one we should speak more of."

Stuart Salvage - "That play off game at Deepdale."

Andrew Billups - "Played against him in Rotherham schools football. Always stood out. You could tell he was disciplined and good enough even then. He never let us down."

Ricky Moffat - "I was there in our first game after being relegated, against Derby County, where we had about 127 new signings all on a free and it was one of our own who got us the winner. I felt confident after that game of a quick return to the Prem... 17 years later here we are."

Frazer Richardson in action against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park in December 2008. PIC: Tony Johnson

Ian Elliott - "Richardson was a good player and versatile to as he could play right wing and left back if needs be. I remember thinking him and Kilgallon were destined for huge things around 2004-06 time. You look at what we have now with the current crop and its fair to say I wouldn't care all that much for bringing many of them back. How far we have come."

Chris Minshull - "Opening day goal against derby at home 04/05."

Matthew Pickford - "That goal vs Northampton at home, where he ran all the way - underrated goal!"

Andrew Wicks - "Who put the ball in the Preston net? Frazer Richardson - away at Preston play off semi final. Job done. Deepdale 2006 in the away end went crazy."

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