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The 1980's - how were they for you?
The 1980's - how were they for you?
Wednesday, 17th Sep 2008 15:10

Listen, under normal circumstances I would not be seen dead buying the Daily Mail, but they have been giving away some pretty good CD's this week!

Earlier today, I drove past the scene of what arguably was our lowest point of the decade - St Andrews, where on the 11th May 1985 (the same day as the terrible tragedy at Valley Parade)  a young fan died following rioting at the Birmingham City v Leeds game.

And really, although it is very en-vogue to look back at the 1980's nostalgically, it really is an era we Leeds fans would rather forget.

The tragedy at St Andrews, other trouble elsewhere - back then, the likes of Jeremy Paxman, Colin Montgomery and the Kasier Chiefs would be signing the equivalent of their career death-warrants by admitting to being Leeds fans. The pitch invasion at the Hawthorns, when defeat at West Brom all but relegated the once mighty Leeds to Division Two. The shoddy treatment of Eddie Gray. Double FA Cup and promotion heartbreak for Bremner's class of 1987? need I go on?

But there must be some happy-memories of being a Leeds fan during those bleak days? What about May 3rd 1980? A capacity crowd at Elland Road for the last day of the season, against Manchester United - who need a win to be in with a shout of the title - typically with nothing to play for, we arise to the occasion and beat them 2-0 - Derek Parlane and a Kevin Hird penalty!

It could be anything really, the advent of sponsorship on our shirts? RF Winders? Systime? WGK? Lion Cabinets? no household names for us, until a certain Leeds-supporting MD of the Burton Group called Peter Ridsdale got actively involved with the club!

Kevin "Jasper" Hird was one such cult hero of that decade, what about the others though? Remember Frankie Worthington's brief spell here, what about Arthur Graham? the return of the old guard in Eddie and Frank Gray, Peter Lorimer and David Harvey? Young prospects such as Terry Connor, Aiden Butterworth, Neil Aspin, Tommy Wright and King Shez (John Sheridan).

There were the donkeys too - George McClumsey sorry McCluskey! remember him? Russell Doig? Mark Aizlewood (and his last game, the doubled 2-fingered salute v Walsall?), Liverpool reject Ken De Mange? Tony Arins? Marshall Burke? - the list goes on!

And what about that memorable Daily Express story (I think), where an ever-reliable exclusive claimed we were going to sign World Cup winning cheat Diego Maradona from Napoli?

The 80's also embrace the start of the Wilko era? Remember that mad summer of 1989 when the likes of Mickey Thomas, Jim Beglin and Vinnie Jones came through the hallowed portals of Elland Road? We were the most talked-about, big spenders of that summer! I wonder how many more pots of paint dear old Sir Leslie Silver had to shift that summer!

What are your favourite memories of those times? Email Me with your own recollections, I will feature the best ones and I might even get me or Tim to buy you a pint before a home-game if they are very, very good!!!

Photo: Action Images



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