We asked legendary Leeds commentator Thom Kirwin to talk about the first time he saw Leeds United, here's his story.
Leeds United vs West Bromwich Albion
24th Feb 1990
It’s a difficult task to remember my actual first game watching Leeds United. The goal scorers, the score, how the game went, was it actually any good?
It’s something I had to look up years later. 24th February 1990 at Elland Road, West Brom were the opponents and it finished 2-2 with Kamara and Chapman scoring the goals.
The reason the game is such a faded memory is because I was 6 years old, it was my birthday that day and I was bloody freezing. I could write about how much I enjoyed every second of it and was instantly hooked but it would be a big fat lie.
I knew a little bit about Leeds United, my family were all fans. I even thought I knew a bit about football having chased a ball around a playground for a year. However, I had no desire to go and actually watch a game. Anyway as a birthday treat, aged 6-years old, off I went.
Most people talk about similar things but the first thing that hit me walking towards Elland Road was the size of the stadium, the towering floodlights in each corner and the sheer amount of people buzzing around the place.
So much has been written and said about football describing the symphony of a match day experience, but the smells of football are often overlooked. That’s one of my abiding memories.
At a young age your senses are in overdrive and stale booze, frying onions, cigarette smoke and police horse manure are a combination only found outside a football stadium.
I do remember the buzz of the goal going in but I didn’t really know what to do, so I just waited to be lifted into the air so I could see what was going on.
We may have drawn that day but for the rest of the season I followed every game closely as Howard Wilkinson took us back to the top flight.
I knew something special was happening around the club but had no context to place it within. By the time the title winning campaign came around I had fallen in love for the first time in my life.
I had season tickets, a shirt, the annual and my favourite players. Speed and McAllister all day long; the guile, the energy… Speedo's curly hair!
When I think of first watching Leeds United I don’t often think abut my first game, but I’ll always be eternally grateful for being taken.
It sowed the seed for what has become an equally joyful and painful relationship, but one I could never imagine not being in.
By Thom Kirwin
We'd like to thank Thom for reliving some old memories. If you'd like to be involved then tweet us @weallloveleedsu and have your own first game posted on the site!
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