Yorkshire Evening Post readers have paid tribute to Leeds United legend Billy Bremner to mark today’s 20th anniversary of his death.
Bremner, the red-headed tiger who captained Leeds during their glory years of the 1960s and 1970s, died on December 7, 1997, at the tragically early age of 54.
The YEP asked United fans for their memories of King Billy ahead of today’s anniversary and here are just some of the many replies we received.
Les Helliwell: Billy Bremner wasn’t just part of Leeds United, he was Leeds United – the core, the engine room, a dynamic and inspirational midfield general. He followed on from Bobby Collins and was the best captain Leeds have ever had.
John Scales: I saw Billy’s first game in 1960, up to his last in 1976, what a great player. You will never see his like in a Leeds shirt again. It makes you wonder when you see these players today what Billy would have been worth. He never stopped running for 90 minutes. I’ll always remember you, Billy.
Geoff Pickard: Billy Bremner was an inspirational leader and a true master of the game. I’m just glad I was around to see the king in action.
Paul Bowden: What a player he was, never knew when he was beaten and a source of inspiration to players and fans alike. I was coming home from a holiday when I heard on the radio about Billy’s death. I drove to Elland Road to pay my respects and the atmosphere was strange with grown men unashamedly shedding tears. I was with my Grandad at Wembley in 1965 and when Billy equalised against Liverpool it was the only time I ever heard him cheer at a match and to this day I’m sure that cheer was as much for Billy as it was for his beloved Leeds United.
Jeffrey Connolly: If only we had him here now. Just glad I am old enough to have experienced what it was like to be a fan of that side. A never to be forgotten moment in time, a team full of legends and feared by many, with a small man as captain but a giant amongst men. Simply the best.
Ron Lunn: Billy epitomised everything that is great about Leeds United. I had the privilege of seeing him in his pomp. It was difficult to appreciate how good he was at the time but looking back his achievements were superhuman. Every prospective Leeds United player should be shown footage of Billy and asked, “Are you prepared to make the same commitment for the team?”
Chris Smith: It was during the summer of 1995. I was at the Coca-Cola football festival at Roundhay Park. I was only 12 at the time but had been a diehard Leeds fan all my life. My mum pointed out a gentleman just enjoying his day and said that it was Billy Bremner. I was only young but I knew exactly who he was and what he did for my club. I nervously approached the great man armed with a pen and paper to get his autograph. He was so friendly and noticed my Leeds shirt and asked me if that was the new Leeds kit. I said it was and he took a long look at it and said, “I like that”. With that he was on his way and I was just left in awe of the man. It’s the only time I met Billy but it still makes me proud to think I was the one that showed him a Leeds United kit that he approved of.
Malcolm Hayes: He was and is quite simply along with John Charles the greatest ever Leeds United player. Having followed the club since 1962 Bremner epitomised what this club stands for. Skill together with a never say die attitude and SIDE BEFORE SELF every time.
Peter Collins: Billy Bremner was simply the greatest of all the great players to grace Leeds United under Don Revie. He was the engine of the machine, one of a rare breed who combine sublime skill with granite-like toughness, producing also a terrific goalscoring record, especially in the most crucial of games.
Harry Bendon: The little Scot from Stirling was one in a million. If LUFC exists for another 100 years you can be sure they will never find a player of Billy’s calibre again. In today’s market Billy would quite simply be priceless. He had everything. He could defend, control a game in midfield and score goals on the big occasions. Privileged to have seen him play from start to finish at ER.
Barbara Thomas: One of the greatest players to ever pull on our famous white shirt, and they should show new players to the club what an inspirational, committed and talented player he was! I feel so lucky to have watched him play in that Don Revie team!
Denise Mills: Small in stature with a heart like a lion, what a player. I had the privilege to see Billy and Leeds in their heyday, sadly still living on my memories but oh what memories. RIP Billy you were a giant among men.
Colin Butterfield: We met Billy in a fish and chip shop and got his autograph on wrapping paper! Can you imagine today’s players in a chip shop? Great bloke and Leeds legend.
Alan Seaman: My all time greatest player, he was Leeds United through & through I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to watch him & his teammates play.
Warren Shepherd: King Billy my childhood hero! Always used to think before a big game, “ah it’ll be okay, Billy’s playing!” 20 years since you left us. Leeds United will never forget you. RIP.
Peter Warrington: I was lucky to see him play on many an occasion. I remember one goal he scored when he ran the full length of the pitch to follow up a pass he made to a team mate and tapped in the return pass. I said to myself then, “what will we do without him?” We know now. God bless and thank you.
Mike Foster: A lot have come and gone and called themselves Leeds.....But the greatest of them all and everyone agrees.....Is that giant of a man every fan will remember...holding that cup in his hand was the legend Billy Bremner.
Paul Painter: I had the privilege of seeing him play from 1967 to 1972 and would have to say having also seen Pele, Eusebio, Cruyff and Best that King Billy was more than a match for all of them! Heart, grit, determination and skill, he had it all!
Steve Taylor: A man of the people, when he was the captain of Leeds and we were just kids he always made time to speak to us. He lived in Halton and we went to school there, used to see him most days and he would always indulge with autographs etc. In later years when we were older still used to see him out and about, he would always spend time and speak to us. Top fella. He used to tell about how much LUFC meant to him. It meant everything. One man I felt really humbled by.
David Glen Beaumont: The word ‘great’ can be easily said today about players. Billy had everything but, more than anything, he and the great players and staff around him, would die for that white shirt. I often ask myself, “what would he be worth in today’s transfer market?” Answer = money could not buy him. I have travelled worldwide to watch football since those great days at ER but nothing will ever top going to watch Billy and that great team of the 60/70s. You turned up expecting them to win, not hoping. RIP Billy, your legend will never die. MOT.
Andrew P Llewellyn: Billy Bremner, what can you say? I looked up to him as a kid, a great footballer, skilful, a great leader, great captain, covered so much ground on the pitch. Left us far too early, the best.
Irene Lister: This man had the heart of a lion and was always willing to give 110 per cent for his team. We have supported Leeds for over 55 years but no player has ever come near to matching Billy, with his guts and grit he should have been a Yorkshireman.
Guy Bradley: Words cannot express what he means to Leeds fans. I had the pleasure to see him do an after dinner speech, he was brilliant. Wasn’t very complimentary about Mr Clough!
Ben Kersten: Although I never got to see you play, your passion and impact on this club will last forever. Gone but never forgotten RIP Billy.
Michael Spivey: Absolute legend, named my son after him Bremner Spivey, marching on together!
Derek Wood: Smile on his face, dynamite in his boots and a heart as big as Elland Road itself.