Eddie Gray: Leeds Means Everything

Eddie Gray: Leeds Means Everything

We chat to the Leeds United legend about his favourite moments at the club

As part of our 'My LUFC' series this season, we caught up with Leeds United legend, Eddie Gray, to discuss everything from his favourite goal to what the club means to him.

Gray, a one club man, played 579 times for Leeds, scoring 69 times and was voted the third greatest player in the Whites' history, behind Billy Bremner and John Charles.

Predominantly a winger, Gray won a slew of domestic and European trophies, winning the First Division (twice), FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (twice).

Known affectionately by fans as 'Mr Leeds', his manager Don Revie once famously said, “When Eddie Gray plays on snow, he doesn’t leave any footprints”.

Watch 'My LUFC: Eddie Gray' below:

Favourite Leeds United Game?

"Looking back, you get some games where you think you played really well and obviously some, where you don't play well.

"But the game I look back on with the most fondness was my first game, when I made my debut at 17. It was against Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road and that meant a lot for a Scotsman, to make your debut on New Years Day.

"So if people say to me, if you had to pick one game out, it would be that game, it wouldn't be a cup final, it wouldn't be any of the European games, just that first game. You know, that's something you don't forget."

Favourite Leeds United Goal?

"Well, my favourite goal, I scored two goals against Burnley one day and people talk about the second goal. My favourite goal was the first one, because I had to make my mind up quickly.

"I had to control the ball quicker, I had to have a quick glance up, and I see the goalkeeper was about six yards off his line. It wasn't that much further off his line and when I hit the chip over him, I had to be accurate.

"The second goal is the one that people talk about, but that just happened. That was just instinct, that goal, you know, because people are coming in and you're just trying to avoid them. All of a sudden you find yourself in an area and you get an opportunity to strike a ball at goal. And that's how it happened."

Eddie Gray pictured in action for Leeds

Favourite Leeds United Trophy?

"Probably the 1968/69 championship.

"Our first trophy, when we won the League Cup by beating Arsenal, that was a catalyst for the team to go on and win more trophies and be involved in big competitions.

"But winning the league for the first time and actually winning it at Anfield, I'll never forget. It's a great place to go and win the league, it was hard to play there because the crowd were really behind them.

"As soon as the game finished, we were walking off because you're at Anfield, they're one of your main rivals and you've just won the championship. But, Don says "walk to the Kop, they'll give you a great reception".

"So all the boys were a bit nervous, we started to walk to the Kop and the entrance was at the other end of the pitch. We get over the half way line and all the Kop started chanting "Champions!" And they chanted that all the way down and they gave us a great reception. So that was a great moment."

Eddie Gray pictured holding the 1972 FA Cup

Favourite Leeds United Teammate?

"Peter Lorimer was my room mate and we grew up together. He was a year older than me, but he came from Scotland as well. I was also great friends with Mick Bates. We were a very close unit."

What does Leeds United Mean To You?

"It means everything.

"When I was 14, a scout came up to my mum and dad's house. One night I was just playing with the Glasgow Schoolboys, and he says to my mum and dad, "My name's John Barr, I'm a scout for Leeds United in Scotland and I would like your son to go down for the weekend."

"My dad came to me and he says "There's a scout for a club called Leeds United." And I say, who? I'd never heard of them.

"I was a Celtic supporter and had grew up as a Celtic fan. That was the only team, I wanted to play for. Leeds United had never won anything.

"So I thought to myself, well, what I'll do is, I'll go down for a weekend just for a holiday. There'd been a few of the bigger clubs interested, I was going to Celtic, but I thought I'll go to Leeds just for the weekend.

"So, I got on a train at Glasgow Central and made my way to Leeds. I got a bit of a surprise because I'd been to a few clubs in England, but when I got off, Don Revie was there to meet me.

"He took me to a hotel, picked me up the next day and took me to the training ground. Now all the trialists were in the hut at Fullerton Park and we were all waiting, then Don comes in.

"He pulled me out of the group and he says to me, "You're training with me today, and he took me to train with the first team. It was all snow and ice on the ground, so the first thing I did, I can remember it to this day, I picked the ball up and I went up to a big centre half called Jack Charlton.

"You know what I did? I knocked the ball through his legs. then as I was running around the other side of him, he booted me up in the air and I was lying in the snow. He says, "Don't do that to me again, you little, you know what, like Jack was."