As Leeds United fans, we’re accustomed to wearing our hearts on our sleeves. We like to go even further in honour of our beloved club, wearing our badge proudly over our hearts. Now, thanks to a brainwave from Art of Football, you can actually wear on your chest one of the iconic goals of the last generation. It’s a goal most Leeds fans – even those who were too young to appreciate it at the time, or who weren’t yet around – only have to close their eyes to see. The ball comes out towards Tony Yeboah as Leeds attack late on at the Kop End of Elland Road. The Ghanaian watches as it drops towards him and instantly shapes to hit it on the full – and his effort rockets into the back of the net off the crossbar with Liverpool keeper David James beaten all ends up. Goal of the Season! Check it out here…
What a goal! It was a moment of pace, power and consummate brilliance. A packed Elland Road under floodlights is pure football theatre at any time – but with the red shirts of Liverpool standing between United and victory, with time fast ebbing away and with a striker of Yeboah’s lithe and muscular presence exploding suddenly into action – it was an instant of football history which stood out immediately as one destined for immortality. I was lucky, blessed, to be there that night, right behind the line of the ball as it rocketed into the net. It’s been a treasured memory for me and for thousands of others, ever since.
The t-shirt produced by Art of Football to commemorate this unforgettable strike is in itself a thing of beauty and a worthy tribute to Yeboah’s virtuosity. The one I have is white – I have a thing about white – but they do it in navy and royal blue as well. Whatever the background, Yeboah’s volley is there at the instant of impact between the ball and that amazing, thunderous right foot; a split second later Leeds were ahead and the crowd was thundering its approval. Tony Yeboah, in the first flush of what was a purple patch of spectacular goals for Leeds in the early part of that season, wheeled away exultant, knowing that he’d produced a moment of pure genius. Happily for the fans, there would be more to come.
Tony Yeboah’s time at Leeds United was too short, but unforgettably sweet. He left us memories of just about every type of goal you could imagine – but he definitely favoured the spectacular over the more mundane tap-in. He claimed to be more naturally left-footed, but the goal so evocatively captured here by the Art of Football, together with efforts against West Ham, Wimbledon, Monaco, Sheffield Wednesday and others, confirmed that he was eminently capable with either foot, head – you name it, Yeboah would belt the ball into the back of the net with it.
Yeboah’s was a cameo role in the history of Leeds United, but nonetheless memorable for that – and his goal against Liverpool shines as brightly in the memory now as it did when it emblazoned headlines all over the national press nineteen years ago. If ever a goal deserved to be marked by a quality item of wearable memorabilia, then surely Tony’s was one that stands out as a worthy candidate. The t-shirt has got pride of place in my Whites Wardrobe, and doubtless it’ll solve many a Christmas gift dilemma for those with a Leeds-supporting loved one to buy for.
If YOU fondly remember that masterblast against Liverpool, I’d recommend you treat yourself – or perhaps include it in a note to Santa. It’s not often I’m moved to plug a product, but this quality piece of merchandise, also available as a print, definitely carries the Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything seal of approval.