IT was the ground where football’s Rolls-Royce purred through hundreds of matches for Leeds United.
And today Elland Road provided a fitting setting for a tribute to the remarkable life and career of Paul Madeley.
A minute’s applause for Paul – who died last month at the age of 73 – was held before the start of United’s first game of the season, against Stoke City.
A fan-funded card mosaic provided a stirring sight in Elland Road’s South Stand while the matchday programme was dedicated to the Leeds-born football great, with his picture featuring on its front cover.
Members of Paul’s family were present for the tributes, along with several of his former team-mates in Don Revie’s all-conquering Leeds side of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Whites emerged as 3-1 winners from the match today.
The roll call of Elland Road heroes paying their respects to their old friend included Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter, Allan Clarke, Paul Reaney and Johnny Giles.
Fans applauding Paul’s memory today included Leeds-based Crash Records boss Ian De-Whytell, who attended his first United game in 1967. He told the YEP: “It’s fantastic to see the club paying tribute to Paul Madeley, a true legend from our glorious past.
“Such a unique footballer who could slot into any outfield position in Don Revie’s magnificent team. Hopefully his memory can help inspire the current squad, especially the ones born in and around Leeds, to go on to great things this season.
“One thing is for certain though, we will never find another footballer like Paul Madeley.”
SS5, the fans’ group that organised today’s South Stand card mosaic, hailed the “incredible” backing they had received from their fellow supporters while raising funds for the tribute.