'Sheridan dictates' - Fans memories of a Leeds United cult hero

He was the maestro who dictated play, providing real class and and quality in the heart of Leeds United's midfield.

Saturday, 10th October 2020, 4:30 pm
John Sheridan. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
John Sheridan. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

John Sheridan was the finest player never to play for Leeds United in the top flight of English football. His quality and talent provided a bright spark for the Elland Road faithful watching gloomy Second Division football during the 1980s.

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14 memories from Leeds United's 1983/84 season

'Shez' made 261 appearances for Leeds in all competitions between 1982 and 1989 scoring 52 goals including a free kick to remember in the 1987 play-off final replay against Charlton Athletic at St Andrew's. It was a game which saw the Whites just nine minutes away from the promised land of the First Divison before a Peter Shirtliff brace broke hearts.

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Your YEP has been asking the faithful to share their memories of a player who lit up Elland Road and will be forever a hero to a generation of supporters.

Responses included:

Adrian Broadhead - "A legend in a poor team. Just imagine what Bielsa could do with a young John Sheridan."

Alex Stevenson - "As a teenager, Sheridan was definitely the player I tried emulating playing football. Class act, and great attitude to fans who idolised him and watched him and Ian Baird every week."

John Sheridan. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Merv Williams - "Still my favourite player. Those free kicks were special."

Ian Taylor - "My all-time favourite Leeds player. Class player. Skilful, dead ball expert, leader, put his foot in, old school in terms of his manner with fans. Class."

Stephen Evans - "We all got the Sheridan hair cut. What a star player."

Nick Moss - "I started watching Leeds in the late 70s and the 80s. It was tough! Sheridan was the shining light."

Shay Cunningham - "He was great to us Dublin Whites. He would bring us into the players lounge after games and often came over to the Old Peacock with us for a game of pool. He was easily the best player of that era and a great guy off the pitch."

Garry Ford - "Class act. Great free kick taker. Best memory was the free kick he scored in the very first play off final at Birmingham."

Tony Younger - "Remember coming back from 2-0 home to Brighton to win 3-2 and in dying seconds he was about 20-25 yards from goal when I shouted as loud as I could from Kop 'shoooot'. He definitely heard me because the ball flew into the back of net."

Paul Howard - "Was my first hero at Leeds. “Oh Jonny, Jonny, Jonny, Jonny, Jonny, Jonny Sheridan” Always stood out on the pitch as a class player, gifted and would be a top earner in today’s game."

Shaun Bailey - "Leeds v Derby 29th Nov 1986. Scored one of the best goals I've ever seen and was right behind it in the South Stand."

Paul Henryk Kuc - "John Sheridan was a bright star in the gloom of the old second division. I will always remember the goal he scored in the play-off final replay at St. Andrews."

Jon Ashworth - "Shez was the shining light in the 80s. Cult hero. Far too good for the second tier. Used to boss all the games."

Tommy Turner - "I played against him for vets a few years back. Still a fab footballer then."

Steven Pattinson - "Had the world at his feet but never got there."

Rich Barlow (@Richb1169) - "First year as a season ticket holder was 1986/87 and I still have one now. He’s still one of my favourites after all this time.The goal against Charlton in the play-offs that year was sublime. The fans emotions after the goal and final whistle are still with me to this day."

Allan Langton (@langtarno) - "My first match in 1987 was at Elland Road against Shrewsbury Town. We won and Sheridan scored a penalty. I’ll never forget seeing the pitch for the first time from the Kop."

Andy Limb (@andylimb) - "Tackling a less talented team mate who was dawdling on the ball and missing a chance to counter attack at Bramall Lane, 87/88. Shez nicked it off the poor fella and sprayed a perfect pass out to Glyn Snodin racing away on the wing."

Paul Snowdon (@NakedFarang) - "If I remember rightly, his debut was versus Boro. In what was possibly his first touch, a ball was played from right back to him in the centre circle, and he hit it first time on the half volley out to the left wing. I knew we had something special straight away."

Matty Hebditch (@mattyhebditch) - "His ridiculously impudent goal in FA Cup semi/play-off season against Derby, when he flicked a tapped free kick up to himself and top-cornered it. He was definitely a cut above the rest of our team then. Ran the show some matches."

JG (@JohnnyGiles) - "Home to WBA, end of 86/87 season, same outcome. Leeds won 3-2 and qualified for the play-offs. Good natured pitch invasion saw Shez chaired around the Elland Road pitch by celebrating fans."

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