PIC: Mark BickerdikePIC: Mark Bickerdike
PIC: Mark Bickerdike

'First Division 2005: champions elect' Memories from a day of despair

"First Division 2005: champions elect" read the banner on a day of despair at Elland Road.

It was unhinged optimism that only a football fan could muster as Leeds United were relegated to Division One (Championship) in May 2004. The Whites fell through the relegation trapdoor after Charlton Athletic striker Jason Euell inspired a rousing comeback in front of 38,986 fans. The Addicks took an early lead through Matt Holland's 30-yard piledriver, but Leeds' Matthew Kilgallon restored parity with a close-range strike. Jermaine Pennant scored a superb second for Leeds before the break and Alan Smith converted a second-half penalty. But Leeds' advantage was shortlived as Euell scored from the spot and netted the equaliser from close range late on and seal United's fate. It would be Alan Smith's final game for the Whites. READ MORE: 16 of the most iconic Leeds United photos of all time LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook