Leeds United vs Manchester United shares one of the most ferocious rivalries in English football.
This sentence might sound a bit ridiculous for a young football fan as Leeds wasn’t even in the Premier League for more than 16 years, and Manchester United has had unmatchable success under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, we might have noticed Elland Road’s fiery atmosphere whenever the Red Devils pay a visit to the home of the Whites.
The reason behind the fierce rivalry will only be remembered by fans of a certain age.
It literally goes back almost more than 60 years ago.
The iconic Sir Matt Busby and Don Revie took charge of Manchester United and Leeds United respectively in 1960.
In 1965, a spat between Denis Law and Jack Charlton in the FA Cup semis saw the Yorkshire Post write, “Both sides behaved like a pack of dogs snapping and snarling at each other over a bone.”
Leeds had the last laugh in the in-FA Cup that year, but Manchester United won the league.
The Denis Law and Jack Charlton face-off started this rivalry, but it was far from over.
Almost 30 years later, in the 1991-92 season, they again fought with grit in the Premiership, the last year before the start of the current day’s Premier League era.
THAT Jermaine Beckford goal against Manchester United
After a close-call rivalry with Manchester United for years, Leeds United was relegated to the Championship in 2004.
The Whites saw their darkest days in English football after that, as they were relegated further to League One.
The rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds almost fully dried up, as the only way they could meet was through the domestic cups.
After a long six years wait in 2010, the 3rd round of the FA Cup saw Leeds United visit the Theatre of Dreams.
Even though the match wasn’t going to win either of the sides any trophy, 9,000 travelling Leeds fans did something insanely memorable at Old Trafford.
When the clock was around the 19th-minute mark midfielder Jonny Howson spotted a run from Leeds number 9 Jermaine Beckford and played an insane pass over Garry Neville’s head.
Beckford received the ball on his left whereas United’s Wes Brown kept him under constant pressure.
The Englishman took the ball a bit wide with his first touch and a rushing Tomasz Kuszczak off his line made the angle impossible for Beckford.
Somehow Beckford put his left through the ball and the ball rolled inside the net slowly to make the scoreline 1-0.
An X-rated chant brought out by the Leeds fans after the match finished with a 1-0 scoreline, left the Theatre of Dream absolutely flabbergasted.
The lyrics of the chant were,
“Jermaine Beckford, Scored a f*****g great goal at the scum sh*t hole, In the scum sh*t hole!
Jermaine Beckford, Scored a f*****g great goal at the scum sh*t hole, In the scum sh*t hole!”
It remains one of the most iconic chants the game has ever seen.
Recently, the official Twitter page of @Copa90 posted a clip with the caption “13 years after he left the club, Jermaine Beckford still has Leeds fans’ hearts.”
The clip shows a group of Leeds fans in their latest match against Fulham in the Premier League, during the half-time break, turning toward the VIP box and chanting that iconic X-rated Jermaine Beckford song.
It’s not hard to guess that, they dedicated the chant to the man himself, who was doing his usual punditry work from that VIP box.
A delighted Jermaine Beckford himself commented under that post, “What a club, what a fan base,” under the post, appreciating the love and affection he still receives From the Whites’ fans.
The comment section of the post clearly shows how much the Leeds fans love him to this day, and they admire Beckford as their cult hero.
Nowadays, Beckford can be seen in various football shows, appearing as a pundit, including the renowned BTSport and BBC.
Jermaine Backford’s role behind Leeds United’s rise
Jermaine Beckford is a perfect example of a journeyman striker in English football.
Although Beckford emerged from the Chelsea academy, he was released by the club as a 20-year-old.
He played for three years for the semi-professional English club Wealdstone, before moving to Leeds United in 2006.
Beckford went on to play a pivotal part in Leeds United’s promotion to the Championship.
He scored a very respectable 85 goals in 152 matches for Leeds.
After helping Leeds gain promotion, Beckford left Leeds as his contract was up at Elland Road to join Everton on a free transfer in the summer of 2010.
Beckford retired from professional football in 2019, after his final spell with Bury FC.
He will remain a cult hero for Leeds fans for his iconic goal at Old Trafford.