By Keith Ingham
First an introduction, my name is Keith Ingham and I contribute a few of my 'rants' and match reports on this fine site, I've supported Leeds since the 1973/74 season and consider myself a seasoned veteran of the club, I just love the club and it's fans. My story starts back in the European Cup run of 1975, we'd been through the 'Clough debacle' and done rather well under 'Uncle' Jimmy Armfield, he always came across as one in his tv interviews.
I digress we'd beaten FC Zurich, Ujpest Doza and Anderlect before we faced the might of Barcelona in the semi final. I got a ticket at 6:00 pm in the Lowfields and will never forget the atmosphere and the two fantastic goals by Billy Bremner and 'Sniffer' Clarke. A brilliant night was followed by a nervous ninety minutes listening to the radio when Leeds drew 1-1 in the Nou Camp. Peter Lorimer scored early on, then as the Catalans battered the Leeds goal they stood tall and even the sending off of Gordon McQueen could not stop our march to Paris.
When the tickets were advertised, the season ticket holders got the first chance then it came to the token holders.. Let me explain in those days the Leeds United programme had a voucher in it, if I remember it was square with a number on it. You cut them out and sent them to Elland Road along with you cheque for big games where tickets were limited. I had all the vouchers I needed, thanks to swaps and friends. I'd been to quite a few home games as it was my 'treat' on the weekends from my Dad. Thanks Dad, a great fella who brought me up by himself since I was seven.
The first batch was despatched but I didn't get one so it looked like my first trip abroad would not happen, but just as I'd given up hope the ticket came, on a Thursday and it was bright yellow like the 'golden ticket' on the film 'Willy Wonka'. Ticket obtained, coach travel organised and a lift to Leeds by my Dad sorted, off I went fifteen years young. We all met and were given our instructions, no beer and cigarettes were frowned upon during the journey. As you can guess by the time we met the other fans travelling the coach was full of smoke and the smell of Green label ale. As I was young I was looked after by a fella called Geoff who promised he'd bring me home safely after in his words 'we'd battered the 'Krouts' and brought the cup home to Yorkshire. Needless to say a young lad on a few cigarettes and Green Label was a little green crossing the channel but Geoff made sure I ate the biggest fry up possible and nature did the rest!
We arrived in Paris and I'll never forget the scene that greeted us, White, Yellow and Blue hanging everywhere, Street vendors selling flags, silk scarfs and hats. I got the flag I've still got to this day, yellow with a European Cup on it. We made our way to the ground and most of the lads were enjoying looking at the local ladies and drinking the local French lager. It was a hot day and such a great 'buzz' about it. This was hopefully the day when Don Revie's boys finally got the biggest prize in European football.
The game started and we were at them from the off, Clarke should have had a penalty when Beckenbaur took his legs away but the referee would have none of it. They didn't seem as good as Leeds even though they'ed won it the previous year. We sang, shouted and enjoyed our big day but just couldn't get the goal we needed. Then in the second half it happened, a cross came in and Peter Lorimer lashed a unstoppable shot past their keeper, we went mental not realising it had been disallowed. From then it started to get a little 'heated' then after worse as if I remember right they scored and chairs were thrown and riot police called in, who just stood there banging truncheons on to their shields. Bayern won 2-0. Thanks to two Muller goals, 'Der bomber' and a corrupt referee had broken thousands of Yorkshire hearts, mine included.
We made our way through the streets of Paris and our coach was the last out of Calais, due to some trouble around the port. We arrived back and after the journey home to Keighley I was greeted with a 'at least you went' by my Dad. It was
quite simply the best day in my early life and one I still remember to this day.
We still sing 'We are the Champions, Champions of Europe' to this day and I
still believe that day we should have been.
On On On