Pablo Hernandez - Fans memories of a mesmerizing midfield magician

He was Leeds United's own mesmerizing midfield magician.

Sunday, 27th June 2021, 4:30 pm
Pablo Hernandez waves to the Elland Road faithful as he leaves the pitch during his last game for the club. PIC: Getty
Pablo Hernandez waves to the Elland Road faithful as he leaves the pitch during his last game for the club. PIC: Getty

Pablo Hernandez was hugely influential in helping end Leeds United 16-year exile from the Premier League and was hailed by head coach Marcelo Bielsa "a complete player from every point of view".

He oozed quality and class with an ability to make runs behind the defence, to skill at picking out dangerous passes in open play as well as an aptitude at taking corners and free kicks.

Fans will also remember quality and loyalty 'El Mago' brought after joining the club during a difficult time in its history.

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Pablo Hernandez celebrates scoring an injury time winner against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in July 2020. PIC: Getty

He initially came on loan in 2016/17, and scored on his debut in a League Cup penalty shoot-out win over Fleetwood Town.

The quality of his first goal, at Cardiff City in September 2016, was much more reflective of what was to come.

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He made the move permanent in the summer and was the club's and his team-mates' player of the year for the next two seasons.

Pablo Hernandez celebrates his goal after just 18 seconds against West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road in March 2019. PIC: Getty

He played 175 games for Leeds in total scoring 36 goals, a number of which have gone down in folklore.

His last gasp goal winner against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium was the moment a generation of Whites watchers believed the club were returning to the promised land while his goal against West Brom after just 18 seconds lit up Elland Road on a night to remember.

Your YEP asked the Elland Road faithful to share their memories of a player who turned nutmegging opponents into an art-form.

Responses included:

A message of support from a Leeds United fan ahead the Championship clash against Wigan Athletic at Elland Road in April 2019.

Fergal Timmon - "Had to be the Swansea goal. It made me believe for the first time in 16 years that we were going up. What a warrior he was for us. So sorry to see him go, as he did so much for the club. He was our superhero."

Yvonne Smith - "Will never forget the Swansea goal."

John Brown - "Swansea goal, I knew then that this time we would go up. He leads from the front."

Michael Ward - "West Brom goal 18 seconds!"

Subegh Singh - "The stand out moment has to be his goal at Swansea which essentially promoted us."

James Jones - "That goal against Swansea, simply because it was the goal that made multiple generations of Leeds fans' dream come true."

Val Harvey - "Goal at Swansea, but so many more."

Matt Howe - "The goal against WBA in the first minute. What a strike that was and killed them off so early, they had no idea what to do after that!"

Mick Nicholson - "Definitely the Swansea goal that defined the season."

Adrian French - "West Brom but that Swansea goal made me cry. I knew that goal got us promoted."

Stephen Lamb - "Obviously the swansea one, but at cardiff, his first for us. Showed what we could expect!"

Nick Ajb - "That pass to Dallas against Stoke was one of the best things I've ever seen."

Nathan Littlewood - "Even when we were bad, he was always the best player in the league."

Mark Andrew Smith - "Goal at Swansea. That's the moment we were going up. Folklore."

Tony Field - "His first away v Cardiff. Was brilliant on the day. Knew he was something special. Was made for Leeds."

Kevin Branagan - "So many to choose from. But I think the goal against Swansea. Was such an important win, never jumped so high when it went in. Seem to take an age."

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