Kevin Markey aka @LeedsUnited_MAD gives his first impression of his first visit to Elland Road.
My dad took me to my first game at Elland Road on Monday 6th May 1974.
Not an ordinary Monday. It was the great Leeds United legend Billy Bremner’s testimonial match against Sunderland.
We had just romped away with the Division One title finishing 5 points ahead of Liverpool. Oh, and Man United got relegated as well. What a time to be a Leeds United supporter!
I honestly don’t remember too much about the game itself. I was a little boy stood in the kop unable to see much of what action there was. My dad raised me up on his shoulder’s but I kept swaying to the motion of the crowd and found it hard to concentrate.
It was a 0-0 which was very unusual for a testimonial. I think with us losing to the Mackem’sin the 1973 Cup Final (almost a year to the day) in what was a such major surprise at the time (still is)the game was probably played more keenly than most benefit games were.
It was a surprise Sunderland were chosen for the game anyway with the history between Don Revie & Bob Stokoe but maybe that’s why Billy wanted them too. He was a very hard competitor and probably wanted some revenge for ’73. For himself & Don!
It was a full house as you’d expect after our success that season. More of a celebration for Billy and the team’s heroics. Perhaps it was best there were no goals as I would probably have got lost in the crowd somewhere!
I never forgot the experience though and it’s something that stays with you a lifetime. It’s not often you get to see household names like Bremner, Giles, Clarke, Hunter, Madeley & co. playing together in one of the best club sides there’s ever been. In your hometown!
We were ‘Super Leeds’ and it was a joy to be around at the time to soak it all up. We seemed as we were going to be invincible and on top of the football tree forever.
Sadly, Don left for the England job that year and things were going to change at Elland Road. Billy wasn’t as young as he was and all the players seemed to be aging together. Such is life.
I remember getting Billy’s autograph outside my old school once. I think he used to collect his niece now and again. His car was always crowded with little boys and girls wanting to see the great man close-up. My mum managed to get closer and he obliged and signed the bit of paper in her hand.
It was something I kept close to my heart for a long time until my brother went over it in a different coloured pen and ruined it. Brothers!
Still the memory of Billy and that game in 1974 will never be erased. Surely the greatest player to have put on that famous white shirt. God bless you Billy, it was a privilege to see you play.
By Kevin Markey
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