Leeds lose another legend as Trevor Cherry passes away
Wednesday, 29th Apr 2020 22:32 by Tim Whelan
Another day, another obituary to write. No sooner have we mourned the passing of Norman Hunter than some more sad news comes along tonight, as the club have announced that Trevor Cherry has passed away at the age of 72.
But unlike Norman Hunter, who we all knew was suffering greatly with the dreaded Coronavirus, news of Cherry’s passing has come as a complete shock. Apart from the announcement that he ‘died suddenly’, no other details are available.
Cherry was born in Huddersfield in 1948 and began his career with his home town club, before moving up in the world by joining Leeds in 1972, along with Roy Ellam. But while Ellam’s Leeds career was relatively brief (a centre half soon eclipsed by the emergence of Gordon McQueen), Cherry quickly established himself at left back in place of the injured Terry Cooper.
And he was to play his part at the end of the Revie era, playing in both the 1973 FA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup finals. Both were unfortunate occasions, but he finally picked up a medal the following year, making 38 appearances as Leeds stormed to the 1973/4 League Championship. In the 1975 European Cup he marked Johann Cruyff out of the game in both legs of the semi-final, yet Frank Gray was selected ahead of him for the final.
Cherry was to stick with Leeds as we gradually declined through the second half of the 1970s, becoming captain after Billy Bremner’s departure in 1976. He was still with us as we began life in the second division in 1982, but departed after three months of the 1982/3 season, as by then the club desperately needed to reduce the wage bill following relegation.
At international level he played 27 times for England, including one game in the finals of the 1980 European Championships. And he was unlucky to become only the third England player to be sent off, after being punched in the face by Argentina’s Bertoni, losing two teeth in the process, though he had made a hefty tackle in the first place.
In total he made 486 appearances for the club in all competitions, and he continued his tour of West Yorkshire football by moving to Bradford City as player/manager. He played on for two and a half seasons, and his last game ever was a 2-0 win over Bolton that secured the third division title.
But just five days after that came the Bradford fire disaster and the disruption of the following season hampered his efforts to mould a successful side in the second division once he’d decided to concentrate fully on management, and he was sacked at the start of 1987. After that he dropped out of football, spending the rest of his working life running a promotions and hospitality company in Huddersfield, a waste paper company and a five-a-side football centre.
As part of the club’s Centenary celebrations in October he was granted the Freedom of the City of Leeds by Leeds City Council, along with the other members of the great Revie side, but like Norman Hunter, he wasn’t to have that much time to enjoy it. We’ve lost too many of our former players in recent times, and the ‘Dead Good Leeds XI’ I published only last night is already out of date.
Trevor Cherry might not stand out in people’s memories as much as Norman Hunter, but he will still be greatly missed. RIP Trevor.
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