Gary Speed - Fans memories of a Leeds United legend who will never be forgotten

He's the Leeds United legend whose playing days still burn bright for a generation of the Elland Road faithful.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 4:30 pm
Gary Speed. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
Gary Speed. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Welsh wizard Gary Speed may be gone but will never be forgotten by Whites fans and the wider football family.

He began his Leeds United career as a trainee when he left school before making his debut for manager Howard Wilkinson aged 19.

And he quickly established himself as the club's revival under Sgt Wilko gathered pace. He was part of the team which secured promotion back to the top flight after winning the Second Division title in 1990.

Gary Speed celebrates scoring against VFB Stuttgart at Elland Road in September 1992.

And the best was yet to come as Speed played a key role in Leeds United's 1991/92 First Division title win in a midfield quartet alongside Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and David Batty.

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

He played 312 games for Leeds United between 1988 and 1996 scoring 57 goals, including his first for the Whites against Bradford City ,

Other stand-out strikes include a goal against Sheffield United in April 1990 which spawned the immortal commentary 'Go On Gary Speed, Get One Yourself Son' and a "superb left-foot volley" against VfB Stuttgart in September 1992 which he later described as his best ever goal.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of a Leeds United number 11 who was capped 85 times by Wales.

Responses included:

Liam Berry - "Fantastic sportsman and role model. Sadly missed."

Trevor Binks - "In one word - awesome."

Stuart Clapham - "Once came into a restaurant where I worked. I never approached him as it wouldn't have been good manners but he never seemed to mind people approaching for his autograph. On the playing side I have too many good memories. He was one of the best headers of the ball I have seen for years."

Mike Watson - "Met Garry in Kuala Lumpur during an early 90s pre season tour. The nicest guy I had have met. Not talking about himself just asking what we were doing there, real down to earth guy."

Ian Cokayne - "Meet him many times. The best time was at Rotherham branch player of the year do when he came back to my mate's house for a drink we stayed up all night."

Michael Lufc Northridge - "A real professional footballer for all the clubs he played for."

Adrian White - "The height he used to get up for the headers was unreal!"

Tony Mcgann - "Just proud to have seen him in all white. Top man."

Jamie Thurwell - "That goal against Sheffield United. Go on Gary Speed get one yourself."

Jon Ashworth - "Volley v Stuttgart gave us hope in the Euro comeback."

Dave Bland - "All goals scored in the kit of LUFC."

Ole Evert Ljosdal - "The volley home against Stuttgart comes to mind. A steady performer that had a bit of everything in his game. Speed was a 10+ goal a season midfeilder and seldom out with injuries. Top player."

Cat Breakwell-Milner - " His first goal against Bradford in 1990."

Neil Addy - "August 1995. My first wedding anniversary with my wife at Elland Road. She put Leeds to win and Speed to score the first goal. The bet came in and a 2-0 win. Thank you Gary."

Michael Wilson - "The goal against Sheffield United at Elland Road in 1989/90 promotion season. We destroyed our promotion rivals 4-0. Speedy ran from half way scored a cracker."

Seamus Connolly - "I was at the Leeds v Bradford City game in 1990 and Gary Speed put Leeds 1-0 up. I think it was his first Leeds goal but near the end Bradford got a controversial penalty. I think I remember Billy Bremner came on the pitch at the end to confront the referee even though he was just watching from the stands."

Eddie Wright - "For me the goal against Wimbledon in the 4-0 win where he steers it in from well outside the left hand post from about seven yards out."

70sFootball (@1970sfootball) - "The Welsh 'Martin Peters'. Many a goal ghosting in around the back of a defence. Tremendously good in the air too and a terrific shot, Gary had the looks, the athleticism. He had everything. His goal against Man Utd in the 1991/92 League Cup sticks in my mind."

Tosey (@clearlysighted) - "March 10, 1990. Gary had not been in the team long but announced himself away at Oxford. Leeds came back from 2 down to win 4-2 and Speed dispossessed Steve Foster before showing him a clean pair of heels and then laying it on a plate for a Chapman tap in."

jonnyr (@jonro1465) - "Left foot and right foot cracking goals at the dell in 4-0 win . High high quality I will never forget."

James Hutchinson (@JimHutchy) - "My late grandad took me on Bonfire night 1994 to my first Leeds game against Wimbledon. We won 3-1 and I still have my ticket, programme & shirt from the old portakabin club shop. Gary got one of the goals as well as David Wetherall and David White. I was totally besotted after that."

Jan Dekker (@Fendweller) - "His goal v Stuttgart. Lit the fuse for an incredible fightback."

David Sarsfield (@DavidSarsfield3) - "Boxing Day 1991 v Southampton. Scored at the South Stand end where I was sat - my first ever game. Can still picture the goal now."

Bobby Joyce (@bjlufc) - "Brighton away in promotion run-in 1990. He leaped like a salmon to power a header in the net. I thought we had some player here - we sure did. Was worth the trip alone for that moment."


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Laura Collins