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Ridsdale and I Part 2 - Ian Baird and Liberace
Sunday, 28th Mar 2021 12:21 by Mark Monk

Continuing my tale of watching Leeds united during the Ridsdale era, in the years from 1989 to 2004. In this episode the sorry tale of how my Saturdays were freed up for me to start my new hobby of following Leeds United.

My long awaited Elland Road debut could not come soon enough and it occurred perhaps not in the most ideal of circumstances when my girlfriend decided to dump me, on my 17th birthday, 5th January 1989 by telling me she'd met someone else!

Charming! She did me a massive favour though despite her brazen infidelity, utter shithousery and lousy lack of timing that would have embarrassed John Pearson. She freed up my Saturday’s, no more holding hands in Argos with dreams of sterling silver and cubic zircona, watching rubbish films in smoky cinemas Beetlejuice springs to mind - sorry I hated it!

I was now free at last to realise my long-awaited dream, to head to Elland Road, to watch the mighty Leeds United in the flesh. In the meantime, she couldn’t make up her mind if she supported Wimbledon or Spurs; so it never would have lasted between us.

So Leeds United stepped into fill the void and I can honestly say they have never, ever let me down, unlike women!. It was Sunday January 8th 1989, I journeyed back from the house she shared with her Grandparents, having retrieved my belongs, sharing a sympathetic cup of tea with them and forgiving them for making me sleep in the box room during my stays with their Liberace LP’s.

Even though I was still 362 says from being legally old enough to drink, I headed for the pub when I got home, to celebrate Ian Baird scoring the winner at Brighton in the FA Cup and commiserate my first love lost. This was the same weekend that Coventry City were humiliated at non-league Sutton United, so at least I wasn't the only person feeling utterly embarrassed that weekend - although Gary Monk's Leeds managed to repeat the feat 28 years later!

It helped when your parents had a pub so me and a couple of my mates started in there and staggered on to the Lamb Inn nearby, again underaged service with no questions asked. After we’d drunk up, we emerged onto the main street which had a convey of Ambulances and even the local Mines Rescue Service were in a hurry to get somewhere.

A passer-by remarked that a plane had come down at East Midlands Airport, about 10 miles from where we stood. British Midland Fight 92 from London Heathrow to Belfast had tried to make an emergency landing at East Midlands, having developed engine-trouble shortly after taking off. It had crashed into an embankment just off the M1 motorway, killing 47 of the 126 occupants on board. Coming so soon after Lockerbie this was just a horrible time to be around.

And if you can’t wait for the next episode to appear on toellandback, you can sneak a peek at my blog by clicking on this link.

Photo: Action Images

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