TONY with Law Magazine
Leeds is a one-club city – United. The turnout at the turnstiles each week during fifteen dogged years in the abyss will testify to that. The club celebrated 100 years of marching on together in 2019, before the messiah – Marco Bielsa – arrived to return Leeds United back where they belong.
From the late super white legends Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter, to the man who personified the clubs never say die attitude – Billy Bremner, the rammed rafters of Elland Road have witnessed some larger than life characters. Growing up, out in the sticks as a southern fan of Leeds United, there’s one player above all others that sticks out in my mind. A player I often tried and mostly failed to emulate, and is as engrained in football folklore as Klinsmann’s infamous diving celebration and Cantona’s cocked and loaded collar. That man’s name is Tony Yeboah.
The Ghanaian-born powerhouse spearheaded the Leeds United attack for just two short years, but two identically unforgettable goals during the 1995/96 season would earn him a rarely gleamed cult-like status that grabbed the hearts of football fans from LS11 and beyond, whilst ensuring his legacy would be remembered long after he had gone. The first strike in question came against Liverpool on 21st August 1995 in front of a packed house at Elland Road, when Yeboah unleashed an unbelievable volley from thirty yards out that flew past the despairing dive of David James and rattled the underside of the crossbar before thudding the ground on its way in.
This was followed on 23rd November in the same year, against Wimbledon, when he took the ball down on his chest, kept it up with his knee, before shaping to shoot, selling the defender and letting fly with another Yeboah thunderbolt that kissed the crossbar in a virtually identical position to his goal against Liverpool, before unfurling into the net. In the space of three months Yeboah made Goal of the Season a two horse race between two of his own spectacular goals and earned the incongruous title of King of the Crossbar by default.
He went on to score 32 goals in 66 appearances for Leeds United and, although his spell at the club was short-lived, his impact cut through allegiances and his name was heralded nationwide. During the mid- to late-90s cast out on the black peat pitches cut from the Fenland fields and at recreation grounds across the country, whenever a suitably leathered wonder strike made the crossbar ping, Yeboah’s name you would hear them sing. As the artist and lifelong Leeds fanatic Jamie Liam Humphrey recalls with a glint in his glacial eyes, “Every football fan around the country was a fan of our Tony, but not everyone can say he’s our Tony”.
Our Tony Yeboah tribute shirt made in collaboration with our friends Lack of Guidance in anticipation of our 10th edition is available now online.
Creative Direction LAW & Lack of Guidance
Production & Casting LAW
Photographer Theo Cottle
Director Will Dohrn
Music ‘Float’ by Zomby
Photography Assistant Tom Martin
Talent Hillary & Beeston Juniors
Special thanks to Tony Yeboah, Zomby,
Phil George & Jamie Liam Humphrey