George Best: Leeds v Man Utd 1969
A memory from Sporting Memories.
“I was there…”
This week, Leeds United fan, Patrick Reynolds:
1969, 6th September. Leeds United 2, Manchester United 2.
My first Leeds game.
I was eight-years-old and instantly hooked on the Whites for life.
There was no fan segregation in that all-standing area near the base of the floodlight; somewhere around the time George Best scored his second goal to put Manchester United 2-1 ahead, I got separated from my dad.
The Manchester fans surged forward, showering the air with their yellow tickets, thrown in celebration. I got swept towards the front of the stand, my dad got pushed backwards. Sometime after Billy Bremner equalized, near the end of the game with a spectacular overhead kick, Dad found me again.
After checking I was okay, he asked me what I thought; had I enjoyed the match. As I was the youngest of three sons, the previous two having no interest in football, he looked happy and relieved when I told him I'd loved it and asked if we could come again. I never realised how easy it was then to be a Leeds fan. Or that I'd just witnessed some of the best players in the world, going head-to-head in one of the greatest games I'd ever see.
My dad, Terry, died this week. He was 85, which isn't a bad age to reach, but I wish he could've gone on for a few more years. He’d seen his beloved Leeds competing in the top flight again. Even in the last week of his life I was chatting to him about Don Revie, born in 1927, same as my dad, married in October 1949, same as my dad; even with his memory as poor as it was, he still remembered the Don.
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