Peter Lorimer: A career in words

A look back on the great achievements of Peter Lorimer.

Peter Lorimer Web 3.jpg

Peter Lorimer was born on 14th December 1946 in Scotland.  Impressing playing football at junior level in his hometown of Dundee, Leeds United beat off competition from a number of clubs to sign Peter Lorimer in May 1962. He made his Leeds United debut at the age of 15 years, 289 days against Southampton on Saturday 29 September 1962 at Elland Road. To this day, he remains the youngest player to play for the Leeds United first team.

Following one League Cup appearance in the 1963/64 campaign and one league outing in 1964/65, Lorimer’s breakthrough season was 1965/66. This was the club’s second campaign back in the top-flight after winning promotion from the Second Division in 1964, a feat crowned with a second-place finish in the First Division in 1965.

Lorimer scored his first goal for the club against Nottingham Forest on Saturday 4 September 1965 in a 2-1 victory at Elland Road. It was the first of what would be a record-breaking tally which still stands to this day...

In total, Lorimer made 45 appearances for Leeds during his breakthrough season, scoring 19 goals. Leeds, for a second season running finished as runners-up in the First Division. He scored his first hat-trick on Saturday 22 January 1966 against Bury in the FA Cup. Lorimer also lined-up in the club’s first ever European match in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a 2-1 victory over Torino and helped the side later reach the semi-final of the competition.

The following season, Lorimer made 43 appearances in all competitions for the Whites and he helped the club reach the final of the Fairs Cup for the first time. Lorimer played in the first leg of the final, but the Whites were defeated 2-0 by Dinamo Zagreb and the subsequent second leg was drawn 0-0.

In 1967/68, Lorimer helped Leeds lift major silverware for the first time. He played in five games en route to the 1968 League Cup final, hitting a hat-trick against Luton Town in a 3-1 victory and netting in a 2-0 win against Stoke City. He then lined up against Arsenal in the final at Wembley, as Leeds ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Terry Cooper’s winner. Further silverware was just around the corner for Lorimer and Leeds in the Fairs Cup.

Lorimer hit four goals in the First Round against Spora Luxembourg in a 9-0 win at Elland Road. That was followed up with two vital strikes in each leg of the next round against Partizan Belgrade in a 3-2 aggregate win. After seeing off Hibernian in the Third Round, Lorimer again struck in the Fourth against Rangers as they were defeated 2-0 on aggregate. He then helped Leeds overcome Dundee in the semi-final and Ferencvaros in the two-legged final, which took place in August and September 1968, earning his second major honour with the Whites. Lorimer ended the 1967/68 campaign having hit 30 goals in 60 games.

After success in the Fairs Cup, Lorimer helped Leeds become First Division champions for the first time in 1969. Don Revie’s side set a new points record of 67 in the process as the Whites beat Liverpool to glory. Lorimer played 29 times and scored nine times during the campaign.

In 1960/70, Leeds challenged on all front for honours and the Charity Shield was secured with victory over Manchester City. In total, Lorimer played 58 times during the campaign, hitting 19 goals, but Leeds fell just short, finishing as runners up in the league, beaten in the FA Cup final after a replay against Chelsea, and knocked out of the European Cup in the semi-finals against Celtic.

In 1971, Lorimer helped Leeds be crowned Fairs Cup winners for the second time. Lorimer scored five goals in 10 matches during the European campaign, hitting two against Sarpsborg in the First Round, one against Dynamo Dresden in the Second and two against Vitoria Setubal in the Fourth, on the way to glory. Leeds again finished as runners-up in the league during the 1970/71 campaign. In the summer of 1971, Lorimer also had a short loan spell as a guest player for Cape Town City in South Africa.

The 1971/72 campaign saw Leeds finish as runners-up in the league for a third consecutive year. However, Lorimer completed his haul of winning every domestic honour, as Leeds won the 1972 FA Cup with victory over Arsenal at Wembley. He netted 29 goals in his 56 outings in all competitions, with three in the FA Cup, including one in the semi-final victory over Birmingham City at Hillsborough. He also scored a hat-trick in the legendary 7-0 home league victory over Southampton on Saturday 4 March 1972, widely regarded as one of the club’s best ever performances.

n 1973, Lorimer scored a fourth Leeds hat-trick in a 6-1 home win against Arsenal on the Wednesday 9 May 1973 and helped Leeds finish third in the league and as runners-up in both the FA Cup and European Cup-Winners’ Cup. Lorimer and Leeds then became First Division champions for the second time at the end of the 1973/74 season. Lorimer played in 37 of the 42 league matches, scoring 11 goals on the way to glory, including a hattrick against Birmingham City on Saturday 8 September.

Manager Don Revie departed at the end of the campaign and under Brian Clough, Leeds played Liverpool in the 1974 Charity Shield at Wembley. The game went to penalties and Lorimer scored from the spot, but Leeds eventually lost 6-5.

After Clough’s short spell, Jimmy Armfield took over and Lorimer went on to help Leeds reach the European Cup final for the first time. He scored four goals in eight games on the way to the Paris final, with efforts against FC Zurich in the First Round, Ujpest Dosza in the Second, Anderlecht in the Third and, most importantly, against Barcelona in the Nou Camp in the semi-final second leg, helping Leeds draw 1-1, ensuring an aggregate 3-2 victory. Leeds were controversially beaten in the final 2-0 by Bayern Munich, with Lorimer having a goal ruled out in the 62nd minute with the score at 0-0.

Lorimer scored his landmark 200th goal against Ipswich Town in the League Cup on Tuesday 9 September 1975 in a 3-2 victory at Elland Road. Over the course of the 1975/76, 1976/77 and 1977/78 campaigns Lorimer made 93 appearances and, after a further four outings at the start of 1978/79, he left the Whites to join Toronto Blizzard.

After a stint with York City and Vancouver Whitecaps, with Leeds now in the Second Division, Lorimer re-joined the club at the age of 37, making his second debut on Saturday 31 December 1983 against Middlesbrough at Elland Road. Over the course of the next two years, Lorimer added to his tally of 219 goals.

He retired in October 1985, having made a total of 707 appearances across his two spells for the club, netting a huge total of 238 goals. He remains the club’s all-time record goal scorer, having scored 81 more than his nearest rival to the crown, John Charles.

Peter will always be a club legend.

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