In the wake of the beloved international break, I thought it to be time to touch on something different. Since Leeds were relegated from the Premier League we have had some truly torrid players wear the white shirt. Seriously terrible. However, Leeds really have had some cult heroes over the years, but who were they?
The now-Sky Sports presenter once played for Leeds United in the League One days. Wow, I really thought I’d forgot those abysmal years. Prutton gained popularity due to his entertaining interviews and soon became known as ‘Jesus’ due to his hairstyle.
‘Jesus’ missed only one game in his first season at Elland Road but struggled to make the team in the following seasons and was shipped out to Colchester in the promotion-winning season.
Kelly isn’t just a cult hero at Leeds. Many would put him down as a Leeds United legend. His cult hero status comes from his heart-on-the-line performances and staying with the club despite relegation. Probably more so that he went from playing with the likes of Mark Viduka and David Batty to Michael Ricketts and Julian Joachim.
A one-club man, Kelly spent 15 years at Elland Road making 528 appearances. Kelly then retired at the club in 2006. He remains the only player, outside the Revie era, to make the all-time top 10 appearance list.
Ah, good old ‘Hughsy’. Andy Hughes literally defined the term ‘cult hero.’
When asked in an interview about Leeds he replied: “I was just someone lucky enough to play for the club.”
Hughsy was a huge utility player at Leeds, often playing out of his favoured position in centre-midfield. Not once, however, would he moan or disagree.
I don’t think that there is a single reason, however, that Leeds fans hold him in such high status. Hughes says himself he was ‘just proud to wear the shirt.’ He was the first to say about his limitations as a footballer but he lived the dream playing for Leeds and always carried himself humbly.
Hughesy was the captain when we got back to 0 points from -15 and has joked since that it will be a pub quiz question one day!
As part of a younger generation of Leeds fans, I didn’t get the likes of Speed, Batty and Strachan as my heroes. In fact, some of the players I had had to witness play in my first season as a Leeds fan, I genuinely believe Ali Dia would have got in.
Although, one player who soon became a childhood hero of mine, was the Argentine Prince Luciano Becchio.
A famous commentary line amongst Leeds fans, ‘Becchio well-placed’ is one that virtually sums his Leeds career up. He did leave on fairly sour terms, moving to what was then basically our feeder club Norwich City. But whilst this is true, he really loved this club.
Becchio scored 86 goals in 222 appearances for at Elland Road. I’m just going to ignore the fact that Neil Warnock saw it fit to replace him with Steve Morison.
There isn’t a single Leeds fan out there who can honestly tell me they wouldn’t leave their partners for this man.
I think the sheer fact he was sent off on his debut for a flying air kick, he was destined for this list. Not to mention another red card in his fourth game.
I’m not sure what all Leeds fans must have been thinking at this point. Other than what on earth is this Swiss psychopath we have signed.
Berardi is another one who is repeatedly played out of position but will never complain. Whilst being deployed at left-back last season, he actually said in an interview Leeds need a better left-back than him.
On top of this, in a google image search, it is not uncommon to find him with either a head bandage or generally have his face covered in blood.