The genius of Eddie Gray dazzled the YEP’s readers as the vote for the left-sided midfielder in our Leeds United Dream Team produced a landslide victory for the legendary Scot.
Gray left his rivals trailing to win the poll by a margin of almost 500 votes and become the seventh member of the YEP’s all-time line-up.
Previous selections were hard-fought affairs but the inclusion of 63-year-old Gray was never seriously challenged.
More than 70 per cent of readers opted for his wizardry on the left wing, bypassing credible alternatives in Harry Kewell, Jack Overfield, Gary Speed and Arthur Graham.
Gray made a long-lasting impression on Leeds during 19 years as a first-team player at Elland Road. His 579 appearances showcased brilliant footwork and majestic invention, and he finished an injury-affected career with countless domestic honours and 12 Scottish caps.
Don Revie, the manager who brought Gray south from Glasgow in the early 1960s, was quoted as saying that “when he plays on snow he doesn’t leave any footprints”, and this week’s poll proved that his skill has not been forgotten.
Writing online, Pompey Steve said: “There are some really good players in this list – none as great as Eddie Gray.
“Unlike many of the others he was loyal too, returning to Leeds again and again. There are none like him and unlikely to be in the future. He’s without comparison and one of the easiest choices in this team.”
Waynel said: “Eddie Gray was the most skillful player in a Leeds shirt I’ve ever seen – not blessed with electrifying pace but he could beat opposing full-backs with ease.
“He was our very own George Best and had he not suffered so many injuries he would have been as equally revered as Best. Who can forget his two goals against Burnley? A true one-club man, a true legend.”
Gray follows Peter Lorimer into the YEP Dream Team, leaving only four vacant positions and a single seat on the bench.
Nigel Martyn earned the nod as our goalkeeper, behind a back four of Paul Reaney, Lucas Radebe, Norman Hunter and Terry Cooper.
Next week might see the most fiercely contested vote as the club’s crowd of central midfielders look for inclusion.
Gray’s closest challenger was Kewell, a winger of great ability but whose acrimonious transfer to Liverpool left a sour taste and diminished his share of the vote.
One YEP reader wrote: “I was not, unfortunately, old enough to see Eddie Gray play live for Leeds but I did see plenty of Kewell.
“From what I’ve read and seen of old TV clips, Eddie Gray was a far better player and but for his injuries would have got far more acclaim outside Leeds.
“Kewell, on the other hand, while undoubtedly talented, didn’t play for the team and didn’t respect the fans. I for one am glad his career has not achieved its youthful promise.”
Originalkoppite said: “Kewell had plenty of talent but his treachery should bar him from ever entering the city again.”
Overfield came third in our poll with 10 per cent of the vote, while the biggest surprise was a paltry tally of 13 votes for Albert Johanneson, the first black player to appear in an FA Cup final.