Chris Fairclough also made his debut against Portsmouth at Elland Road after both signed for a combined fee of £800,000. A crowd of 27,042 were treated to a full-blooded encounter featuring several bust-ups and a late red card for Pompey defender Graeme Hogg:
Gordon Strachan signs on the dotted line with Howard Wilkinson on March 23, 1989.
Two days later he pulled on the number seven shirt for the for first time and the captain's armband.
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Leeds missed an early penalty when John Sheridan was denied by Andy Gosney after Ian Baird had been flattened by Gavin Maguire.
It was Sheridans third miss from the spot of the season but, ultimately, one that did not cost the home side thanks to a typical piece of quick-thinking from Strachan.
Having been fouled wide on the right flank by Mike Fillery, the Scot jumped to his feet and implored the ballboy to return the ball sharpish.
A short pass to John Sheridan then caught Pompey cold, meaning Baird was unmarked in the centre when converting the cross for his 13th goal of the season.
Bairds six months at Fratton Park the previous season after leaving Leeds in a 285,000 deal had yielded just one league goal in 20 appearances so netting the winner was a sweet feeling.
Chris Fairclough also turned out to be an inspired addition proving to be a good guide as to what the Elland Road faithful could expect in the years to come.
Strachan turned out to be everything Wilkinson could have hoped for and so much more. He went on to make 245 appearances and play a leading role in the clubs revival.