Head of Content Keith Ingham remembers a legendary player and a match sealed in history for Leeds United.
It's very sad that Johan Cruyff passed away today due to cancer. In this article I'll jog some old memories as I recall the day he brought his team to Leeds 11.
I remember the day, Leeds locked horns with the mighty Barcelona. Johan Cruyff was amongst their superb squad that came to Elland Road back in 1975.
In that never to be forgotten run to the European Cup final, we'd already played some good teams on the way to the semi final but none that matched the stature of the great team from Spain. They had so many great players with Neeskens amongst them, but it was the other Dutchman that people wanted to see after his exploits in the 1974 World Cup.
Back in the seventies most European games were heavily supported and it looked like it was a game I'd also miss! I was devastated, honestly, I couldn't believe I'd miss the chance to see 'the Dutch masters' pit their wits against Leeds. So resigned to the fact I'd miss the game I'd actually organised a night by the radio, some beer that I'd hidden away too. I was fifteen so this was the next best thing, beer to drink and the radio to catch the match on.
Then fate stepped in, a big Leeds fan down the street had saved his tokens, the match programme had them in to collect for the big games. He knocked on my front door and said something like "it's yours for a tenner." Ticket in pocket I made my way over to Leeds with borrowed money from my Dad.
Strange thing is I remember how I got the ticket like yesterday but the game is something I remember little. I stood on the Lowfields Road and if you were in that section you never stayed where you started, as every Leeds attack was met with a surge of people knocking you this way and that. Happy days!
Leeds started the game with an early strike from the brilliant Billy Bremner, only for Barcelona to equalise in the second half. Leeds wouldn't be denied and Allan 'sniffer' Clarke grabbed the lead late in the game to give Leeds a goal advantage to take to the second leg in Barcelona.
Leeds scored first again in that game through an early Lorimer goal but even though Barcelona equalised we went through 3-2 on aggregate to get to the European Cup final for the first time ever.
Games like the above you never forget and the sad passing of a football legend made me remember that day back in 1975.
RIP Johan Cruyff, a true football genius.
By Keith Ingham
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