Terry Yorath's Top 5 Leeds United's Welsh Dragons

The former Whites and Wales man turns the spotlight on his favourite Leeds countrymen in this classic from the archives of Leeds Leeds Leeds magazine...
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The former Whites and Wales man turns the spotlight on his favourite Leeds countrymen in this classic from the archives of Leeds Leeds Leeds magazine...

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The fiery, hard-man ball –winner, successor to Johnny Giles and Leeds United’s former Welsh international midfielder picks his favourite Leeds players from the Land of his fathers. Yorath is one of the few Leeds players to both play for and manage his country, he is uniquely placed to pass judgement on players he’s seen both alongside him on the pitch and later from the dugout.

1. John Charles

“When I was young and growing up in Cardiff he was simply a superstar at home, that’s a word thrown around too easily these days but “King John” was just that. When he was at Juventus they rarely used to let him come back to play internationals, but when they did he alone used to put 10- to – 20,000 on the gate at Cardiff Arms Park.”

2. Gary Sprake

“Poor Gary is unfairly remembered for his mistakes. A lot of matches weren’t televised back then, but when Sprakie made a mistake the cameras were always there! But he was just the most natural goalie for club and country that you ever saw- he really didn’t have to work too hard at his game. His technique and reflexes were almost superhuman at times, but he had quite a temper on him, too… I once remember him punching Welsh manager Bobby Gould.”

3. Ian Rush 

“His record speaks for itself- the all- time record goal scorer for Liverpool and Wales. Sadly, though, Leeds got him well after he had peaked. But he had a wonderful temperament- nothing fazed or provoked him, ever. A superb poacher of goals with blinding acceleration, he’d leap at a half chance like a cobra!”

4. Gary Speed

“A marvelous star for Leeds for his first few seasons but he seemed to lose his way after the Championship year. He was never very happy being played out wide on the left for Leeds, and I always found he prospered tucked in on the left of midfield when I played him there for Wales”.

5. Brian Flynn

“Brian was a super team player and an inspiration to have alongside you when you were in a battle. He was only a wee man but he had the heart of a giant- the courage to dive in where it hurts, and risk injury for the team. We went to some pretty intimidating places with Wales over the years- places where they played all the dirty tricks on you- but Brian proved his worth in the face of adversity like that”.

Leeds Leeds Leeds was started as the official Leeds United magazine in 1998 by then GQ Editor (and head honcho of Sabotage Times) James Brown. It's aim was to get professional journalists who supported Leeds, and fans, to create a truly brilliant mag for the club. At first some of the heady editorial atmosphere of men's publishing style of the day raised eyebrows but the club were very relaxed in letting this tone of voice go. They also gave the magazine superb access to the players.

The mag was responsible for unearthing and interviewing many of the celebrities past and presented now known to be Leeds fans at some stage in their life - Russell Crowe, Colin Montgomery, Nasser Hussein etc. LLL built up a newsstand and paid for subscription sale of over 24,000 copies and thrived in the O'Leary era as the manager bought through homegrown talent and signed big names that drove brilliant League and European campaigns. Having turned it into a members club magazine some years ago the club decided to end the magazine last season.  None of the content of the early years of the magazine has ever appeared on line so we thought we would bring this archive to life.