Where Are They Now: 1997 FA Youth Cup Winners

A look at where Paul Hart's successful side ended up after beating Crystal Palace

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Leeds United's U18s will go head-to-head with Man City on Friday night, as they battle it out at the Etihad to lift this year's FA Youth Cup.

No stranger to the latter stages of the competition, the Whites' have won it outright on two previous occasions, with Paul Hart's class of 1997 the most recent.

Played over two legs, Leeds defeated Crystal Palace 3-1 on aggregate, after goals from Wesley Boyle, Matthew Jones and Lee Matthews sealed the win over a side including Hayden Mullins, Wayne Carlisle and Clinton Morrison.

27 years on, we take a look at where they are now...


Originally playing with York City's youth ranks, Robinson joined Leeds United's Academy in 1996, winning the FA Youth Cup in his first season. After continuing to impress, the goalkeeper made his professional debut for the club just over a year later, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Chelsea.

Given the number 1 shirt by Terry Venables, Robinson would make 119 appearances for Leeds United, playing in the Champions League, scoring his first goal against Swindon and voted Player of the Year in 2003.

Robinson won the first of his 41 England caps whilst at Leeds, but could not prevent the Whites from being relegated in 2003/04, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur shortly after.

After four years, 175 appearances and a League Cup win with the London side, Robinson would play for Blackburn and Burnley before hanging up his gloves in July 2017.

Now 44, the former keeper is a regular pundit and commentator, working for the likes of BBC 5 Live Sport and Betfred.


Born in Dublin, Maybury joined the club in 1995, making his senior debut against Aston Villa in the same season. With Gary Kelly having cemented his place as the club's first choice right back, Maybury would be limited to just 18 games for Leeds across six seasons.

After winning the FA Youth Cup and featuring in the Whites' Champions League 3-3 draw with Lazio, Maybury would have loan spells with Reading and Crewe Alexandra before joining Hearts for £130,000.

The Irish right-back would follow manager Craig Levein to Leicester, before spells at Aberdeen, Colchester, St Johnstone, Hibernian and Falkirk.

After retiring in 2015, Maybury moved into coaching with St Johnstone and Kilmarnock, followed by a spell as Edinburgh City's manager, where he steered them to promotion via the League Two Play-offs.


Another who would win the FA Youth Cup in his first season with the club, Woodgate joined from Middlesbrough at 16, making his senior debut two years later against Sheffield Wednesday.

Impressing enough to battle Rio Ferdinand, Lucas Radebe and Dom Matteo for a spot in the heart of Leeds' defence, Woodgate would make 142 appearances for the club, becoming an integral part of David O'Leary's squad.

The central defender featured heavily during Leeds' run towards the top of the Premier League and at a time when the club was competing in the Champions League and UEFA Cup.

With financial difficulties on the horizon, Chairman Peter Ridsdale caused anger amongst the fanbase by selling the defender to Newcastle, shortly after calling him the 'Crown Jewel', leading to manager Terry Venables departing.

Woodgate made 37 appearances for Newcastle, before spells with Real Madrid, Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Stoke followed, retiring in May 2016 after a second spell at the Riverside.

A brief spell as a scout for Liverpool followed, before taking up coaching positions with Middlesbrough's first team and Academy. In June 2019, Woodgate was appointed Boro's new manager, a role he held for a season, before narrowly missing out on promotion the following campaign with Bournemouth.

The former England international is currently back at Middlesbrough, where he is first-team coach alongside Michael Carrick.


Another promising Irish import, Lynch joined from St Kevin's Boys, but despite winning the FA Youth Cup, struggled to break into a Leeds United first-team that had one of the best defences in the league.

The right-back joined Nottingham Forest in 2001, but shin splints and groin injuries ravaged his time with the club, and he returned to the League of Ireland, winning the title with Bohemians and Drogheda, whilst also starring for St Patrick's Athletic.

After retiring in 2010, Lynch moved into punditry, appearing on eirSport, Off The Ball and other media outlets.


Christened the new 'Liam Brady' by George Graham, after winning the FA Youth Cup, McPhail played 107 times for Leeds, including Champions League games against Barcelona and Lazio and memorably scored a brace against Chelsea.

After loan spells with Millwall and Nottingham Forest, McPhail joined Barnsley on a free transfer in 2004, securing promotion to the Championship after defeating Swansea City in the League One Play-Off Final.

The midfielder would sign for Cardiff City shortly after, making 219 appearances for the Bluebirds, leading them out at a FA Cup Final and part of the squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2012/13.

McPhail followed up his time at the Cardiff City Stadium with a short spell at Sheffield Wednesday, before joining Shamrock Rovers five months later, where he would remain until his retirement in October 2016.

The former Irish international is now the Sporting Director at Shamrock Rovers, having held the position since November 2016.


Coming up through the youth ranks at Leeds, Dixon featured for the club's U18s and reserve, but was unable to break into the first team. The promising midfielder would go out on a one-month loan to York City, impressing in the four games that included a League Cup tie against Wigan Athletic.

Dixon would move to Barnsley in 2001, where a fractured shin in pre-season would rule him out for the season. A loan move to Doncaster proved unfruitful, only playing reserve games, before injuries saw him drop down to non-league.

In 2015, Dixon helped form and manage Sunday league side Dawdon Park Welfare FC, who he would guide all the way to winning the Durham FA Sunday Cup in 2021.


Another promising talent, Boyle's time at Leeds was beset by injuries, limiting the midfielder to just one appearance, a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United in 1996.

Leaving the club in 2002, Boyle would return back to his hometown club, Portadown, making over 200 appearances for The Ports.

A key member of the Portadown team that won the Irish Cup by defeating Larne 5-1 at Windsor Park in the 2005 Final, Boyle was also the man of the match against Newry City when they won the Irish League Cup in 2009.

Boyle would finish up his career as player-coach at Loughgall and is now coaching youth football in Portadown.


One of the FA Youth Cup goalscorers, Matthews made three substitute appearances for Leeds, before going out on loan to Notts County and Gillingham.

After five years with the club, Matthews would make the move to Bristol City, where he'd play 54 times for the Robins, before loan spells Darlington, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town followed.

Matthews would also feature for Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra, before wrapping up his career at Livingstone.

Upon retiring from football, the former striker would set up a Sports Agency, Sport Management International, whose clients include Robert Snodgrass, Lyle Taylor and a number of Leeds United Academy players.


Hailing from Llanelli, Wales, Matt Jones joined Leeds' Academy in 1997, making 33 senior appearances for the club, competing with David Batty, Oliver Dacourt, Eirik Bakke and Lee Bowyer for a place in the midfield.

Falling down the pecking order as Leeds' spending grew, Jones was sold to Leicester City for a fee of £3 million, but his time with the Foxes was hampered by injuries, with knee and back problems forcing him to retire at the age of 23 in 2004.

The midfielder came out of retirement three years later, playing for Llanelli in the Welsh Premier League, who would win the title (for the first time in their history) and the League Cup to complete the double in 2008.

After retiring for a second time, Jones was appointed Wales' U18s manager, before replacing Paul Bodin in the same role for the U21s, where he would give Leeds United Academy star Charlie Crew his first call up at that level.


Having won the FA Youth Cup and the club's Young Player of the Year award, expectations were high for the Norwegian, but he'd only go on to make one substitute appearance for the Whites.

After four years in Yorkshire, he would return to his native country, signing for SK Brann, before spells with Bryne FK, Sogndal, Sandefjord, Tromsø, Viking and Bodø/Glimt.

Retiring in 2014, Knarvik became Nest-Sotra's assistant manager, before taking up managerial positions with Stord IL, Sotra SK and Øygarden FK.

Andrew Wright

Coming on as a second half substitute in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup, Wright would only appear on the first-team bench for Leeds, before heading out on loan to Reading, where he'd make three appearances.

Wright would join Dutch side Fortuna Sittard in 1999, before spells with Harrogate Town, SV Meerssen, Scarborough, Droylsden, Whitby Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Wakefield & Emley, Sutton Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels, Worksop Town, Leigh RMI, Blyth Spartans, Newcastle Blue Star and Harrogate Railway Athletic.

After retiring from the game, Wright received his UEFA A-License and became a Lead Phase Coach at Leeds United for six years. In 2023, he joined the management team at Dunston UTS, becoming assistant manager to Jon McDonald, a position he currently holds.

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