The fans player of the decade poll

After nominations were cast on the TSS forums, Twitter page and on LUFC>Talk, we’ve whittled down the list of players that fans nominated to our final five.

A brief explanation of why each player was included is below, followed by a poll to decide the fans player of the decade;

Jermaine Beckford (2006-2010)

Love him or loathe him, Jermaine Beckford provided some of the most memorable moments of the past few years for Leeds United fans, with his winning goal against Bristol and “that” Old Trafford goal that knocked Scum out of the FA Cup amongst the best of them.

Speculation surrounding his future often overshadowed the contribution he made to Leeds United, but from 2006-10, he scored an impressive 85 goals in 141 appearances for the Whites – a feat that won’t be easily followed.

Gary Kelly (1991-2007)

Joining Leeds United in 1991, Gary Kelly had a slow start to life at Leeds United making just 3 appearances in his first two seasons. In 1993 however, things changed and Gary Kelly went on to become an ever-present figure in the Leeds United team, becoming the first player since the days of Don Revie to pass the 500 appearances mark.

The sheer longevity of Kells’ career and the commitment he showed throughout make him an obvious contender for the title.

Alan Smith (1998-2004)

Every poll has to have it’s controversial option, and Alan Smith is the obvious one here. When he committed the ultimate sin of moving to Manchester United in 2004, Leeds fans were furious and showed their disgust in shirt-burning ceremonies across the land. Since then however, a lot of people have forgiven the Rothwell born striker and choose to remember his never-say-die attitude, fearless approach and relegation tears. In a decade of ups and downs for Leeds United, Alan Smith is undoubtedly the poster boy.

Lucas Radebe (1994-2005)

“He is my hero” said Nelson Madella, in a line that is echoed by tens of thousands of Leeds United fans across the World. From the slums of Soweto to Premier League superstar, Lucas Radebe was, and remains a great ambassador for the club, his country and the sport.

Lucas spent more than a decade at Elland Road, and to this day, still keeps check on his former club. He was the Mr. Leeds United of his era and remains a firm fans favourite to this day. Few people ever make the kind of impact Lucas did on a football club, and despite his injury plagued career which limited him to just 200 league appearances, the contribution he made to the Whites both on, and off the pitch, will never be forgotten.

Jonny Howson (2006-Present)

It’s a sad reminder of how turbulent the past decade has been for this club, that the only player featured in this poll that still plays for the Whites is Jonny Howson. At just 22 years of age, Jonny already has 162 appearances and 17 goals to his name and could well be the next member of Leeds United’s exclusive 500 club.

Born in Morley, Jonny Howson adds his name to a long list of Leeds-born players that have emerged from the Thorp Arch academy, but unlike James Milner and Aaron Lennon, Jonny stuck with the club he loves and has cemented his place as a firm fans favourite. His spectacular long-range pass to Jermaine Beckford in the third round of the FA Cup, stunning goal against Bristol to help us achieve promotion and two goals in the play-off semi are memories few Leeds fans will ever forget.

The nearly men

In whittling the list of nominees down to five, there are many players that just missed out, such as Mark Viduka, Dominic Matteo, Nigel Martyn and David Batty. The final selection was based on a combination of the most commonly nominated, qualifying appearances for the club (2000-10) and overall impact of their tenure. Whilst I’m sure there are others some fans will feel should be in the poll, the final five nominees are based on the general consensus.

Please vote in the poll below, and feel free to add any comments you may have.

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