By Jim Mullins
In 1975 as a 6 year old I was introduced to Leeds United. It was the night of the European cup final and my friends older brother persuaded me that Leeds were the team for me, since that night I was hooked. You dont need me to remind you of the many highs and sadly the more regular lows, but I wouldn't change a thing.
Life as a Leeds fan in cork in the 80's meant you were totally dependant on bbc radio 2 and the bbc vidiprinter, it was big news to discover we were going to be live on tv at home to Everton on a Friday night in '84. Other than the delayed showing of the cup semi in '87 v coventry, tv coverage of Leeds games was as scarce as hens teeth, Elland Road had assumed a sort of mythical aura of a place we would never get to see. All was to change after promotion in 89/90 suddenly Leeds games were shown regularly on itv.
One day while at work I noticed one of my customers had a Leeds United sticker on his car window, needless to say we spent the next hour talking Leeds Utd, he suggested the possibility of forming a supporters club in Cork. The word spread via a newspaper ad and before long the Cork branch of Leeds United supporters club was formed. The level of interest was huge and life long friendships were formed, we've had countless trips to Elland Road over the last twenty years as well as painful memories of trips to Wembley v Villa and Doncaster, and Cardiff v Watford, but we just keep coming back for more.
Since relegation in 2004 a lot of those who claimed to be "huge Leeds fans" suddenly vanished, but the genuine fans stuck with it. As I type this we have just gone one behind at Blackburn, but the eternal optimist in me hopes that when this article is published we will have turned things around and headed back over the pennines with three points.
Nowadays your typical Leeds fan in Cork is closer to 50 than 40 and if you spot a youngster wearing a Leeds jersey you would consider him a protected species, I reckon that when we eventually reclaim our place in the top flight, those of us who have stayed loyal since 2004 should give themselves a pat on the back. We need to be in the Premier League and the Premier League needs Leeds United.
Marching on together,
Jim Mullins, Cork