With World Cup hysteria sweeping the… erm… World, Leeds United has taken a bit of a back seat here on TSS, mainly because – like everyone else – I’ve been busy watching the World Cup. There’s also been very little news for us to dig our teeth into, with the papers too busy concentrating on Capello’s tactics to invent rumours for us to debate. As I say, there’s very little of it, but here’s the news from the last couple of days…

Gary Speed MBE

Gary Speed back in the day

We start with the news that former Leeds United midfielder, Gary Speed, has been awarded a MBE for his contribution to the game.

Speed made his début for Leeds United in 1989 and went on to make 312 appearances for the club, scoring 57 goals in the process. He also boasts a record of 85 caps for Wales, the most capped outfield player ever.

Speaking of the advice which guided him through his impressive career, Speed said;

“The best advice I was given was to try your best, and remember you never stop learning. I was still learning about the game when I retired from playing.”

After eight years at Elland Road, Speed left Leeds for Everton before he made further transfers to Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United, eventually retiring at 41 years old after 22 years in the game. Gary Speed’s love for the game remains however, and although he’s now hung up his boots for the final time, he’s decided to stay in Sheffield as a coach.

Speed was one of my favourite players during his time at Leeds United. I always admired his work ethic, skill and determination. He was always on hand to chip in with a few goals here and there too, and it was a sad day when he left for Everton. Congratulations to Gary on his MBE – I think everyone will agree, he fully deserves it!

Grayson gains an influential fan

Speaking about Simon Grayson’s 2009-10 season, Leeds United legend, Norman Hunter was quick to offer praise to the current Leeds United manager saying that;

“We can all manage when things are going well. You turn the team out and make substitutions and they all pay off for you. But you are tested when things start going against you and things did turn badly against us and Simon came of age in a way.

“Simon stuck to his guns and was very positive and I think he handled the Beckford situation brilliantly.

“He left him out because of what Max Gradel did and he, as much as anybody, lifted the spirits with four or five games to go when he was absolutely brilliant for us. It was good management on Simon’s part and fair play to him as there were times when we were struggling a bit.”

Norman Hunter will know how hard things can be when everything seems to be going against you. Whilst it was difficult for us, as fans, to watch Leeds United fall to pieces last season, looking back now, you have to admire the dignity and determination with which Simon Grayson handled the slip in form. As Hunter says, he ‘stuck to his guns’ and kept faith his team and his own ability to select the right squad and tactics.

Whilst many of us were busy being armchair managers last season, picking flaws in what he did with the handy benefit of hindsight, Larry continued working hard and eventually got his just rewards. A lesser manager would have buckled to the pressure coming from the fans, and changed the team to suit their cries. Larry did indeed grow as a manager last season – let’s just hope it’s enough to take on the Championship.

Tommy Spurr anyone?

Tommy Spurr

Finally, we come to the rumour mills latest delivery. This time, it’s 22-year old left-back, Tommy Spurr who currently plays for relegated Sheffield Wednesday.

Born in Leeds, Tommy  grew up a Leeds United fan, and his family remain supporters. Young enough to develop with the club, and I’m told by a Wednesday fan he’s a very capable young defender. The only stumbling block could be that Tommy is under contract at Wednesday, so would command a fee.

29 Responses

  1. Darragh

    I think that interview with the YEP was with Hunter not Lorimer…

    • TSS

      Christ, that’s almost as big a blunder as Green made last night! Corrected. Cheers!

  2. Craig1919

    TSS, yeah I heard this on Waccoe the other day and it seems to be holding water, seems like one of those persistant rumours that won’t go away, thing is this would be our first cash signing of the summer if it comes to fruition.

    Gary Speed, still a legend in my eyes and for his dedication to the game fully deserves the MBE, I know he’s an Everton fan but he has always stated that his hert lies at ER and Leeds was the best time in is career.

    I think that the Lorimer comments above were actually made by Norman Hunter??

    • TSS

      @Craig1919 Already changed the Hunter/Lorimer blunder mate, cheers.

      Not sure how much I believe the Spurr rumour. Wednesday are a club in disarray, so it’s easy for people to invent links between clubs and their players as they’ll be looking to offload. That said, you’d think they’d come up with a bigger name if that was the case, so who knows?

  3. Tim Campbell

    I know there will be the usual raised eyebrows and voices of discord, but I think Tommy Spurr would be a good acquisition to the ranks. He would fill that problem left back spot and can also fill in as a central defender too; hes the right age and whats even better has a strong affinity to the club

  4. Mike

    Ken promised me Hooper and that’s who I expect shortly
    Bet nobody believes me :-)

  5. TSS

    @mikelufc I’m never sure what to believe when people mention Ken these days. The old man seems to spend his days calling fans up and writing letters, so I wouldn’t rule anything out!

  6. Side Before Self

    Is spurr a centerback? I’d heard he was a leftback, either way I’d heard good things about him, until a few days ago when I started to hear a few Wednesday fans slagging him off, bit lazy, ropey on crosses, doesn’t read the game well. I realise this could all be sour grapes by disgruntled Wednesday fans but because I haven’t seen him play. I don’t know what to think. Plus regarding the fee it’s rumoured to be anywhere from 500k up to £1million.

    • TSS

      Right you are SBS. The site I read it on had him as a centre-back, but I’ve just checked and he is indeed a left-back.

      • Craig1919

        He’s good at his job, how many people slagged Beckford off for scoring goals.. he was doing his job too. Personally i’d prefer Stephen Jordan, he’s been released, a former Man City player who’s got Prem experience with Burnley as well… interestingly enough at the bottom of wiki yesterday it stated he’s in talks over a 3 year deal with us.. today it says Sheff United??

      • Side Before Self

        I live in burnley so am surrounded by clarets fans. The only times I’ve heard his name mentioned were when they were slagging him off. Even though they’ve dropped down a division there’s no tears being spilt over his departure. Mceverley of derby has been linked with us but I don’t know if he’s been released due to derby trying to cut their wage bill or they don’t rate him

  7. Bobby H

    Deffo some truth in this one.

    Know his old man and said he MAY be coming in the next couple of weeks

  8. TSS

    @BobbyH He’d definitely be a welcomed addition. God knows we needed a natural left-back all last season.

  9. TheReaper08

    Is he any good as I don’t know too much anout him. When the rumour surfaced I went on the Wednesday Vital football site and they said he wouldn’t be missed from the squad like Grant or Tudgay would be.

    Now Tudgay is garbage so if there saying that I just hope it’s a touch of sour grapes.

    • mark humphreys

      i heard that ken was refurbing the ground n not putting up any transfer funds up for grayson so only free transfers n loan signings this year so dont hold your breath over hooper spurr or any other player who would command a fee

      • richard

        If Ken doesnt give SG any money then it shows his ambitions for the team and fans. I`ll wait and see before i start ranting.

      • TheReaper08

        I agree Richard, I have said all along it’s possible to get out of L1 with no really money spent. When you get to the Championship it’s time to stick your hand in your pocket if you want to amke the Prem.

      • TSS

        Exactly, but there’s no signs of any change yet, is there? The majority feeling seems to be that we need to spend on a striker, such as Hoops, to replace Becks but at £2,5m (est) it seems unlikely, doesn’t it?

  10. TheReaper08

    I have to believe that he will, granted it might not be Hooper but I am expecting some money to be spent.

    Apologies for the poor spelling etc. I am writing whilst watching the Aussies get dicked and looking after my soon (who is enjoying it almost as much as his dad).

  11. TSS

    @thereaper08 Too easy for them, isn’t it? This is why people should never underestimate the Germans – they always come good.

    Best game of the World Cup so far for me.

  12. TheReaper08

    It’s too easy for them, I thought the Aussies might have a bit more about them and make it tough.

    The hardest thing about this game is wanting both team’s to lose !

  13. TheReaper08

    Disgraceful decsion, granted it was a bad challenge but this ref is a prat ! He has totally ruined my number of bookings bet.

  14. TSS

    Is it just me or are they handing red cards out a little bit too easily this World Cup? The ref’s trying to break a record, or what?

    Should have been three there. Germany just coasting it.

  15. TheReaper08

    Oh dear, the Aussies are so far out of there depth they are making Greece look good.

  16. TheReaper08

    4 and counting. I think this was more a case of how poor the Aussies were than Germany’s brlliance.

    Starting with Cahill as a lone striker, what’s that about.

    I got embrolied in a debate a little while ago when that Aussie fella wanted to buy Leeds, saviour of Australian football they said. Aussie football is garbage I said.

    1-0 Reaper.

    • mark humphreys

      fair doos some good stuff played by the germans but gotta wonder if they will be thatgood when a half decent side puts them under pressure the aussies were woeful but still managed to carve out a couple o good chances even after that over zealous ref got his cards mixed up never a red in a million years can they challenge the decision cos they should

  17. tim campbell

    A natural left back like spurr, an impressive striker like Hooper, a sturdy ‘been there done that’ central defender like O’ Brien and a gifted midfielder like Koumas or McArthur and we would be there! Not too much to ask for is it? LOL


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