Ian Baird joined the Whites from Southampton for £50,000, and there was little in his record to suggest he would become a cult hero among the Elland Road faithful. He had scored only five goals in 22 games for the Saints, but it was his work rate, attitude and aggression that endeared him almost immediately to Leeds fans His first spell in West Yorkshire saw him hit home 33 times in 85 games. He was taken into Leeds hearts so fully that he was made captain of Leeds by United’s greatest ever captain, Billy Bremner. While Baird’s first spell would be characterised by a series of bitter disappointments, such as the FA Cup semi-final loss and the play-off defeat at St. Andrews, upon his return from Portsmouth he would finally find success. He was brought back for only £120,000 and resettled quickly, winning the club’s player of the year award. And he played a key role in the first half of Howard Wilkinson’s first season at the club as Leeds fought for promotion from the second tier. Enjoy these photos showcasing a striker whose goals and contribution to the cause will be remembered by a generation of fans. READ MORE: John Sheridan - 12 memories of a Leeds United midfield maestro
Ian Baird - 9 memories of a Leeds United cult hero
He was the striker who proved to be one of few shining lights as Leeds United stumbled around in the gloom of the 1980s.
By Andrew Hutchinson
Saturday, 24th October 2020, 11:30 am