'There were rumours' - Hull City star opens up on scandal from Leeds United days ahead of Elland Road return

A Hull City star has opened up on a scandal that surrounded him during his days as a Leeds United academy player.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Former Leeds United star Lewis Coyle has opened up on a story he was at the centre of during his Thorp Arch days. The 28-year-old is back with his hometown club these days, bidding for a playoff spot with Hull City, where he has been since 2020.

Coyle came through the Leeds academy before making his debut for the senior side in 2014, but not before a tapping up scandal engulfed him at the age of 10. Coyle's father alleged that then Premier League champions Chelsea had offered up to £10,000 in goods for Coyle to take part in a one-week trial.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was claimed he was even offered a new kitchen, while Spanish giants Barcelona were also reportedly interested. A move away from Leeds never came about, at least not until the versatile full-back was a senior player, eventually departing for Fleetwood Town in 2020.

Speaking to the Daily Mail about the tapping up scandal, Coyle reflected: "I got referred to as “the kitchen kid” because there were rumours that my family got offered a new house with a brand new kitchen in order for me to go to Chelsea.

"The academy manager who was at Leeds moved to Chelsea and approached my dad. My dad politely made the decision for me. There was also interest from Barcelona. I don’t know how that came about but it was a nice tag to have at that age. They’d maybe seen my long hair, maybe I looked Spanish for a game or two!"

Having worked his way back up with Hull and putting together a hugely impressive campaign, the defender believes he is now in his best moment. "I feel like I’m playing the best stuff of my career so far, that comes with age and experience and I have a lot to thank the gaffer for." he added. "I’ve learned more now than I ever have done."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.