Leeds United legend Eddie Gray makes huge Elland Road claim and reveals confident final day prediction

Former Leeds United hero Eddie Gray believes the support at Elland Road has never been so good.

By Flora Snelson
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 2:03 pm

With 579 Leeds appearances to his name, Gray is no stranger to the 12th-man effect that the Elland Road faithful can have at United's home fixtures.

Over 17 years, the winger scored 69 goals for the Whites and played a crucial role in the club's golden era under Don Revie.

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Since hanging up his boots in 1983, the one-club man has continued to be a familiar face at Leeds, as a prolific Whites coach, an honoured guest, and latterly to cheer on his great nephew, 16-year-old star Archie Gray, across his six bench appearances for the senior team this term.

Speaking with the experience of an association with Leeds United that spans six decades, Eddie Gray made a huge claim about the scenes in LS11 this season.

"When I've been going to Elland Road this year - you know, I played in good times - but I think the atmosphere at Elland Road just now is the best I've ever known it," Gray said.

"Every game I go to, the atmosphere is tremendous, they make it difficult for the opposition with the noise, the support for the side. Everybody seems to get right behind the club."

Leeds United legend Eddie Gray. Pic: Stu Forster.

Elland Road has borne witness to some miserable moments over the past few months, with Leeds' paltry four home wins setting an unwanted record for the worst home form ever achieved by the club across the course of a season.

But the lingering threat of relegation has not kept supporters away and, in the face of adversity, Whites fans have grown louder still - as Leeds' dispiriting 4-0 home defeat to Manchester City was coming to a close, Elland Road erupted with a round of Marching On Together so strong that United boss Jesse Marsch claimed in his post-match press conference, 'I have never seen a place like this'.

When asked by talkSPORT presenter Jim White why one of Leeds' most challenging seasons has prompted such enthusiasm in the stands, Gray suggested that the loss of the Whites' maiden Premier League season to coronavirus restrictions might have played a part.

"I don't know [why]," Gray said.

Eddie Gray in his Leeds United playing days. Pic: YPN.

"Nobody being able to go to games [during the 2020/2021 season] - I think that had a big bearing on it.

"When they came back in their numbers, they were so excited to be back, and they've not stopped all season. The noise at Elland Road is just tremendous."

At the eleventh hour, Leeds turned around a season of doubt to secure their top-flight status on the final day at Brentford.

With a defeat for relegation rivals Burnley and a winner by Jack Harrison, United became the first team in eleven years to climb to Premier League safety after kicking off the last game in the bottom three.

The Elland Road faithful in full voice. Pic: Oli Scarff.

It never looked a sure thing, according to Gray, but Leeds could depend 100 per cent on one thing at the Brentford Community Stadium.

"I had my doubts. I did have my doubts," Gray said.

"But the one thing about it is, you knew they were going to get great support. The support are fanatical."