Leader of Leeds council James Lewis pays tribute to legend Peter Lorimer following his death

The leader of Leeds City Council has paid tribute to footballing legend Peter Lorimer following his death aged 74.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 12:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th March 2021, 12:06 pm

The Elland Road club’s record goalscorer and former Scotland international died on Saturday, March 20 after a long illness.

A statement issued on Leeds’ official website said: “It is with great sadness, Leeds United has learned of the passing of club legend Peter Lorimer this morning at the age of 74 following a long-term illness.

“Peter made a huge 705 appearances for the Whites over two spells and is the club’s record goalscorer, having netted 238 times in all competitions.

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Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer has passed away aged 74 after battling a long term illness. Photo: Bruce Rollinson

“Peter’s contribution to Leeds United will never be forgotten and his passing leaves another huge hole in the Leeds United family.

“He will always remain a club icon and his legacy at Elland Road will live on.

“Our thoughts are naturally with Peter’s wife Sue and the rest of his family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Peter.”

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Peter Lorimer and Don Revie. 20th November 1985

News of Lorimer’s illness emerged last month when it was revealed he was being cared for at a hospice.

Councillor James Lewis, leader of the council, and Leeds United supporter, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear the news that Peter Lorimer has passed away.

“As part of Don Revie’s great Leeds United side of the 1960s and 1970s, he helped put our city on the sporting map and brought pleasure to many thousands of fans.

“Everyone knows the stories about the power of his shooting – when you watch the old videos back now, it’s a surprise some of those 90mph cannonballs didn’t break the net.

“Peter remained a steadfast supporter of Leeds both city and club – after his retirement and it was with pride that the council was able to award the freedom of Leeds to him and the rest of the Revie boys in 2019.

“His passing comes all too soon after the losses of Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton and Trevor Cherry, three other much-loved players of the Revie era.

“Our thoughts on this sad day for the city are with Peter’s family, friends, former team-mates and everybody connected with Leeds United.”

The Scot, who at his peak was renowned to possess one of the most powerful shots in the game, wrote himself into the club’s folklore during a trophy-laden career in West Yorkshire.

Having been spotted as a youngster in is home town of Dundee, he was snapped up by Leeds and handed a senior debut at the age of 15 years and 289 days against Southampton in September 1962. He remains the youngest player to have represented the club at senior level.

Variously dubbed “Hot Shot” and “Lasher”, he was an integral member of the team assembled by Don Revie, which also included Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles and Eddie Gray, which rose to prominence at home and in Europe during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

His trophy haul included two first division titles, FA and League Cup wins, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups and the Charity Shield, and he had a goal controversially ruled out in the 1975 European Cup final as Leeds went down 2-0 to Bayern Munich.

In addition, he won 21 caps and scored four goals for his country, who he represented at the 1974 World Cup finals in Germany.

Lorimer left Leeds in 1979 for spells with Toronto Blizzard and Vancouver Whitecaps.

He returned to England with York and then in 1983 arrived back at Elland Road to make a further 87 appearances and add 19 goals to his tall, before heading for Whitby and ultimately into retirement.

He remained a prominent figure at the club he had served with such distinction, working as an ambassador and attending home and away games.

The news of his death came hours after Leeds’ 2-1 Premier League win at Fulham on Friday night.

Club chairman Andrea Radrizzani said on Twitter: “Another Legend left us. My prayers with the family. It has been an honour to meet you and host you at Elland Road, your home.”

Skipper Liam Cooper posted: “Fly High Peter. A legend that we all aspire to be like. Sending all our love to Peters family”.

Midfielder Stuart Dallas, who played at Craven Cottage, tweeted: “After the high of last night, we learn of such sad news this morning. My thoughts are with Peter’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

The Scottish Football Association said it was “deeply saddened” at his death, while the English Football League called him a “true legend of the game”.