Jermaine Beckford, Leeds United’s League One hero, will be immortalised in club folklore for his actions between 2009 and 2010.
When we think about Leeds United this season, we conjure up images of vibrant, exciting football. A sea of white in the crowd, sheer excitement and jubilation – even nervousness, for the fact that their promotion hopes are now so real. Rewind into the previous decade and things were, shall we say, a little bit different. Premier League relegation was shortly followed by the unthinkable two years later when the Whites dropped into the third tier of English football – a long way from the glory days of old. Nevertheless, the Elland Road faithful stay strong – as they have done for so many years now – and stuck by their team through thick and thin.
They deserved Jermaine Beckford. They really did.
As a Leeds United player, there are certain things you can do to earn yourself a place in history and one of them in score a goal against bitter rivals Manchester United to dump out of the FA Cup. Against Sir Alex Ferguson. At Old Trafford. In front of the home fans. To end 28 years of hurt. And that is exactly what marksman Jermaine Beckford did. Words do not quite do it justice so here we go:
It was not just Manchester United that felt the harsh sting of the London-born forward, though. If he could do against one of the greatest teams in the land, then imagine the state of poor and unsuspecting League One sides once they faced him. Beckford netted a remarkable 72 goals in 116 appearances while plying his trade in the third tier, including a sensational 27 in 34 during the 2008/09 campaign and a further 25 the following year to help hoist Leeds back into the Championship.
Beckford could have done great things with Leeds United, building on an already very, very strong foundation. Instead, he embarked on an ill-fated journey through the footballing league; first to Everton, then Leicester, Huddersfield and Bolton. Preston North End took him on for a while, but he was never able to replicate his earlier form.
At 35-years-of-age Beckford is back in League One playing for Lancashire side Bury. And though he has since expressed his desire to return to Leeds and end his career at Elland Road (as per Leeds Live), we doubt there are many places for nostalgia under Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds United fans, what are some of your standout memories of Jermaine Beckford? Join the discussion by commenting below…