On a personal level, this was my fourth full season at Elland Road and remains the most fondly remembered one of all. I dare say I speak for quite a few others too…
(Click on any image to enlarge)
Only one place to start: a summer of big signings, but all eyes were on one man…
The kits and training wear were good all round back in 1989.
WIth the higher profile, the club tried its hand at joining the merchandising super powers. The inflatables were an attempt to cash-in on the craze at the time, led by the bananas carried by Manchester City fans…needless to say, the idea bombed.
The man they called Zico in pre-season.
David Batty in pre-season action against Anderlecht…a 5-1 thumping served warning that the squad needed to time to gel!
Another big name arrival was John Hendrie; a Bradford City folk hero, he joined the Whites following an underwhelming one year spell at Newcastle.
Big name signings, a city buzzing…Leeds travel to St James’ Park on the opening day backed by a frenzied travelling army. A 5-2 humbling was inevitable on reflection.
Vinnie missed the game at Newcastle through injury and had to wait until the visit of Ipswich for his full debut. It didn’t take him long to mark it with a goal…
…and he promptly went about marking it with an iconic celebration.
…and talking of iconic shots.
Hero on the pitch, icon in the camera’s gaze and a God amongst United’s disabled supporters who he took time out on every match day to meet and greet.
As the season progressed, Mervyn Day clocked up his 600th league appearance…
…and Howard Wilkinson slipped back into the routine of collecting monthly awards.
Top men: Baird, Whitlow, Davison, Batty
The biggest pre-Xmas test of promotion credentials was at Upton Park. Leeds won it 1-0, no prizes for guessing the scorer…
Famously in his Radio 2 match report, Stuart Hall was to describe the ‘Vinnie’ hairstyle as “an Alcatraz haircut…with a hedgehog on top!”
Then Boxing Day arrives and with it a top of the table Yorkshire derby. Following Mel Sterland’s 35 yard free-kick, Carl Shutt adds Leeds’ second in a game that ends 2-2.
Chris Fairclough in action.
At Christmas, with finances being tight, it was maybe an opportune time to ease the financial strain by opening a store account.
Very much on the fringes of the squad, the club’s future boss was to only play twice between 1988 and 1992 before moving on to Leicester City.
Another man to depart rather more quickly was Ian Baird. The opener against Bournemouth at Elland Road was one of his last at the club as he made way for…
…this man. A £400,000 January arrival, Lee Chapman was challenged to score the goals to take Leeds up – he didn’t fare badly!
Our new man from Forest was a model pro in so many ways…
Two of his goals came in the return game victory over West Ham.
Archetypal Chapman celebration.
Bobby Davison remained a regular around the first XI despite Chapman’s arrival.
At this time a new face was also starting to make an appearance on the bench…
Once in the first team, Speed was to be had to shift. He quickly went about notching his first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw against Bradford.
If the Boxing Day clash wth Sheffield United was big, the Easter Monday return was monumental. Sgt. Wilko, normally a man with a penchant to waffle, opted for a change of approach.
However, regardless of the result, football was never going to come between close friends Howard and Dave…
It was a good job really as Leeds hammered their closest rivals. Gordon Strachan scored twice…
…before United’s new rising star took centre stage to crown the 4-0 victory.
Following a disastrous midweek home defeat at the hands Barnsley, the monumental Sheffield United clash paled into insignificance in comparison to the final home game of the season…
An astounding day and with a little under 5 minutes remaining it looked as though Gary McAllister’s thunderbolt was going to deny Leeds a critical victory. Then…
…suddenly, Strachan choses THAT moment for the sweetest strike of his career. Pandemonium in the stands as an equally mental Vinnie orchestrates from the bench.
So to Bournemouth; 10,000+ pissed up Leeds fans in a seaside resort, on a Bank Holiday…even with the best of intentions, the good vibes were never gonna overwhelmingly prevail back in those days…
Inside (and above) the stadium, mercifully everyone remained well behaved.
As a matter of fact, some were way to cool to wonder why everyone had got worked up in the first place (courtesy of @tdski_LUFC).
Celebrations in the dressing room were a little livelier
So back to the comforts of Leeds for a celebration…and apology.
Then to Elland Road for a promotion party where Genoa were the visitors.
…and the obligatory lap of honour.
Just look at those floodlights! (Final four images courtesy of @PAD1964)
Any further photos of Bournemouth and the title celebrations of this and the 1992 would be gratefully received.
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