Lee Bowyer - Fans memories of a midfielder who epitomised the Leeds United spirit

He was the talismanic Leeds United midfielder who always played with his heart on his sleeve.
Lee Bowyer. PIC: Varley Picture AgencyLee Bowyer. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
Lee Bowyer. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Snarling and relentless Lee Bowyer was talented, energetic, gutsy, whole-hearted and technically gifted - all qualities which helped make him a fans' favourite during his seven years with the Whites.

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Bowyer was signed for £2.8 million in 1996 - at the time a record for a British teenager - and would go on to make 265 appearances for Leeds United in all competitions, scoring 55 goals.

Lee Bowyer celebrates scoring against Sunderland at Elland Road. PIC: Varley Picture AgencyLee Bowyer celebrates scoring against Sunderland at Elland Road. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
Lee Bowyer celebrates scoring against Sunderland at Elland Road. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
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He played a key role as the Whites became the talk of Europe thanks to a Champions League run which saw him score crucial goals against Anderlecht, Milan and Barcelona. Indeed he was voted player of the year by supporters in 2000/01, an accolade he had previously won thanks his performances during the 1998/99 season.

Your YEP asked the Elland Road faithful for their memories of a player who epitomised the spirit of Leeds United.

This is what they had to say of a Leeds United number 11 whose playing days straddled the Wilkinson and O'Leary eras:

Marc Foss - "My favourite player to have worn the shirt in my lifetime. Tireless, committed and with an eye for goal - just the perfect midfielder for us."

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Michael Bentley - "End to end player, one of the best, didn't care about big name teams or players, just ran rings around them."

Joe Robinson - "One of my favourite Leeds players growing up. Gave everything every time he stepped on the pitch."

Baz Walker - "For me had it all, pace, could tackle, eye for goal, never gave the ball away easy. Probably what stopped him being one of the best was his temperament."

Glen Barrey - "I can't believe how much energy he had, brilliant player."

Fergal Timmon - "Always loved him as a player."

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Martin Dalton - " 100 per cent every game. Left nothing on the pitch and feared nobody."

Richard McGlynn - "Quality player who would walk into today’s team."

Mark Sanderson - "Just the goal against AC Milan is enough to make him a legend."

David Hebblewhite - "Gave his all every game."

Dean Bromley - "One of the best since the Revie era."

Aaron Herring - "When we beat Lokomotiv Moscow 4-1 at home. He scored two and was easily his performance in a Leeds shirt."

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Paul (@GravPa) - "Loads, absolutely loved him. A proper midfielder. Box to box, had a nasty streak, could pass, had vision & scored goals. Derby at home sent me tumbling down the stairs on the Kop with dozens of others. Then ended up on blue railings hailing the comeback! One of my best memories. Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes."

Stuart Ingham-Smith (@smith_ingham) - "Bowyer starting and finishing the scoring in the 6-0 Champions League victory over Besiktas. What a night that was soccer ball. He never stopped running."

bremnerbowyerbatty (@xxLizziedollxx) - "Arguably the best midfielder in the country 99-02. Sentiment for Speed aside, Bowyer's the best no11 I've seen live in a Leeds shirt 1990-present. All round drive, commitment + passion, my favourite leeds player ever."

Joshua Holmes (@JPHOLMES1992) - "My first game was 1-0 away win over Southampton where Bowyer scored the winner on the 89th minute. Always had a special place for him."

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Laura Collins