Jermaine Beckford - Fans memories of a striker for the big occasion

He was the Leeds United striker for the big occasion.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 4:30 pm
Jermaine Beckford celebrates scoring against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road in May 2010. PIC: Getty
Jermaine Beckford celebrates scoring against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road in May 2010. PIC: Getty

Jermaine Beckford scored when it mattered - from bagging the winner at Old Trafford to scoring the goal that sealed promotion back to the Championship.

His 19th-minute strike in front of the Stretford End will be recollected forever and a day by the 9,000 Whites fans who headed over the Pennines to Old Trafford in January 2010 and thousands of others who joyously watched Leeds create the shock of the FA Cup third-round by sinking Manchester United in their own back yard.

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Jermaine Beckford talks to teammate Max Gradel during the clash against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road in May 2010.

As sweet as that strike was, it was Beckford’s leaving present against Bristol Rovers in May 2010 in front of 38,234 fans on a nerve-shredding spring afternoon at Elland Road which had more lasting ramifications.

His 63rd-minute goal helped bring an end to three painful campaigns in third-tier football, with ten-man United, doing it the hard way to finish in the second automatic promotion slot and avoid the cursed play-offs.

Beckford's wide-eyed, tongue-sticking-out celebration, wearing the captain’s armband in his final outing for the club, also became the stuff of legend.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share their memories of a striker who goal-laden time with the Whites proved memorable.

Responses included:

Paul Blakemore - "He came during some dark times and illuminated the club. His goals at Old Trafford and against Bristol Rovers are already folklore. Remember his chip against Hartlepool that took us back to 0 points after -15 with great fondness."

Paul Rowley - "Winner against Norwich at Elland Road. We won the match 2-1."

Sean Caden - "Being in the South Stand, over from Australia, when Jermaine exquisitely chipped the Hartlepool keeper to make it 2-0 and wipe off the -15. Two fingers to the Football League! The atmosphere, on the day, and the 'us against the world' mentality which ran throughout the club was electric, and the celebrations & collective feeling of Joy afterwards was amazing. Maybe not on many lists but what a day to be a Leeds fan."

Nick Appleby - "Bristol Rovers 100%."

David Dalton - "Bristol Rovers. Excellent leaving present."

Dougie Walsh - "That promotion goal."

Martin Lear - "January 3rd."

Dennis Randall - "A great acquisition to the club and proved he could make the step up from non league and also wrote himself into Leeds legendary status with that goal on January 3rd, remember the date."

Simon Emmott - "When he dragged Max Gradel off the pitch, in the game where we went up from League 1. He was captain that day I think. Put a proper shift in and I was never more proud of him. It was his last game for us."

Garry Ford - "Was in the West Stand watching with my son that day, Max Gradel completely lost his head that day and nearly cost us promotion. What a great end to the match though. Elland Road was proper rocking with Jermaine's winning goal."

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Laura Collins