Four years ago, at dawn on a Tuesday morning, I stood near Hunslet Road with Phil Beeton, co-chairman of Leeds United Supporters Club.
In the shadow of the old Tetley Brewery, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of LUSC and the football club on BBC Radio born out of the conflicts after the Leeds City club was forced to collapse and fold.
It was a time of reflection for Beeton, who has followed United since 1957.
‘A bit strange,’ he thought as he looked at the building and its distinctive curved facade.
“A guy called Charles Snape was a huge Leeds City fan and he, along with others, decided that we needed the continuity of a football club in the city .
Alf Masser played a key role in putting in place a framework. In This Morning, Mr Masser, I met with four FA representatives to explore the possibility of forming a new club – and I think this is the time First we have the FA on our side!” Citywide celebrations of the
culminated that evening with a gala dinner at Elland Road, attended by famous players of the era.
Some have since passed away: Terry Cooper, the left back who scored the goal that brought United’s first trophy in 1968, the best player Jack Charlton, top scorer Peter Lorimer and Norman “bite” Hunter’s leg.
Big Norm is a part of fond memories My favorite of that day, when a blue plaque was unveiled outside the chapel in his presence. I then joined a group of supporters inside who shared the October 17 celebration with their beloved club.
It was a special moment. It was as if history was not only preserved but also carefully passed down.
Two days later, local hero Kalvin Phillips scored the winner to beat Birmingham City in front of a rowdy crowd at Elland Road. The concrete shook and a collective howl echoed for centuries.
“I’ve never heard anything like it,” Phillips said. Head coach Marcelo Bielsa is more normal:
“Sometimes God puts things in the right place. Now he will go down in the history of the club thanks to this goal. I think it was an act that came from God.”
Divine intervention or, in other words, it’s a reminder to enjoy the occasion for what it is: a shared experience between the club, the fans and the city. Within four months, that was no longer possible as the pandemic struck and denied another pandemic the chance to win promotion to the Premier League.
History is important, as is smelling white roses along the way.
On the subject of remembering key United figures, I spoke to legendary striker Allan Clarke about being honored at a dinner named after him next month and his time in the famous white shirt.