Head of Content Keith Ingham talks about meeting club hero Norman Hunter last night at the Cardiff beam back.
Sometimes it's better when you just see your heroes from afar, sometimes not. The sight of your heroes in white, yellow or whatever proclaims to be an away shirt running around your favourite place fills most fans with awe.
Because of what I try so humbly to do, I've had chance to meet some of the players that have blessed the Elland Road pitch. This was one of those nights you don't forget in a hurry.
On Tuesday, myself Andrew, Hans and his Barnsley mate went over to Leeds 11 for the beam back of the game between Cardiff City and Leeds. City unbeaten at home for a good while and a place where thirty plus years have passed since Eddie Gray's side beat them thanks to a George McCluskey goal.
Andrew is a massive Leeds fan who works in Keighley railway station ticket office, Hans has moved from Sweden a year ago and also has a love for Leeds. He met Brian McDermott when he was in charge and gave the former ex-Head Coach a picture of himself when he played in Sweden back in the day.
Sorry I digress, back to the night. The game was to be shown in the Norman Hunter suite, situated in the West Stand inside the Bremner suite. On the walls going up to the suite are famous shirts, signed by stars of yesteryear, quite a few from the Champions League days back in the 'naughties'. At the top of the stairs are two Leeds shirts, signed by a multitude of famous Leeds United players.
Once inside, beer in hand, we looked to see if we could see the great man who was to be in attendance this evening. After checking out what was on offer for food we saw him sat on the front row talking to Keith Hanley (hope I've spelt your name correctly). Keith does the corporate function rooms and is an ex-Huddersfield Town player, but I'll not hold that against him.
We introduced ourselves, shirts and jackets were signed and a photograph I'll treasure forever was taken. Then we talked, Norman may be in his seventies but the passion he showed when he crossed the white line in a Leeds shirt still burns as bright today as then. We discussed Leeds, Cellino, the players in the squad as the VT played on the screen behind us.
Norman pointed at where the likes of Sol Bamba were making mistakes "he should stay on his feet more and not dive in so much" and "Ince, what a player to have on your bench". We spent a good fifteen minutes in his and Keith's company until we parted with a handshake.
In my time I've met Gordon Strachan, most of the Championship winning team of 1992, Eddie Gray, Batts, Macca, Andy Couzens, Ben Parker and a few more that slip this middle aged mind. Yet, only a few of the above made as much of an impression on this Leeds fan, yes I was starstruck but most of all felt so honoured to meet such a wonderful kind man who is such a legend at the club.
If you ever get the chance to meet him you won't be disappointed, his knowledge of the game has not diminished with age. Thank you Keith, Norman you made my night.
For the record Leeds upset the Cardiff apple cart by beating them 2-0 with goals in each half from Sully Doukara and Mirco Antenucci finished a perfect evening.
By Keith Ingham
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