5 Leeds United Players Who Became Cult Heroes at Elland Road

This season, Leeds United's oft-bloodied left-back, Gaetano Berardi, spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post and conceded "I know this team probably needs a better player than me, but I just want to play and do my best every Saturday". 


The battle-axe defender known for his never-say-die attitude at Elland Road has become a cult hero since his arrival in 2014, and his bravery and commitment to Leeds United has left fans in love with their Swiss hardman. 


Berardi, who isn't naturally a left-back, has slotted successfully into the position after the departure of Charlie Taylor to Burnley. While not the most talented footballer, Berardi gives his all for the badge on his shirt, which is all United's fans can truly ask for.


Here we analyse five more players who have become cult heroes at Elland Road.

5. Vinnie Jones

Notorious hardman Vinnie Jones joined Leeds in 1989 and was a crucial part of the team that won promotion to the First Division the same season. Jones' stint at Leeds only lasted one and a half seasons, but his fearless attitude on and off the pitch made Vinnie an unlikely hero at Elland Road. 


The Watford man last visited Elland Road in March 2014, where he came out at half-time to address the adoring crowd, and sang a rendition of Marching On Together. 


Jones' no-nonsense style of play, which featured a multitude of hard-hitting tackles, during his time at Leeds made him the icon that United fans still love to this day. 

4. Norman Hunter

One of the key figures of the 1970s Leeds United team that conquered England for years, Norman 'Bite Yer Legs' Hunter was a rock at the back, who, like Vinnie Jones, played with his heart on his sleeve. 


Hunter, a member of England's World Cup winning squad, was renowned for crunching tackles and a 'ball-and-man' approach to defending. Not just a defensive maestro, Hunter also possessed capabilities many midfielders would be proud of, and together with Jack Charlton at centre-half, Leeds had one of the best defences in the country during the famous Don Revie era. 


The famous number six for Leeds, Hunter was one of English football's first ever hardmen, developing a reputation as a fierce battler and arguably, the last person you'd want to be in a 50-50 with.

3. David Batty

One quarter of the masterful midfield that won the last ever First Division in 1992, David Batty was Leeds United's heartbeat. A local lad who gave everything for his boyhood club, England international Batty was a fan favourite during his two spells at Elland Road.


Having made a combined 300 appearances for Leeds United, Batty's aggressive displays in the top flight left adoring fans mesmerised. A crucial part of Leeds' iconic midfield in the 1990s, the centre-midfielder's pinpoint passing and eagle-eyed vision gave Leeds the tools they needed to win the league in 1992. Not only a creative player, Batty was renowned for his aggression in the tackle that echoed the 1970s team branded 'Dirty Leeds' by rival fans.


A boyhood fan coming through the ranks and giving everything he has for the club is exactly what Leeds fans wanted most, and David Batty didn't disappoint. A true cult hero.

2. Billy Bremner

Leeds United's greatest ever player, Billy Bremner epitomised everything that was and still is Leeds. Bremner had everything: tactical nous, a hard tackle, a perfect pass and a strike that would make Tony Yeboah blush. 


Nicknamed 'The Lion' due to his bright red hair and immense aggression, the midfielder was another part of the Leeds side that nearly won everything in the 1970s alongside Norman Hunter. Bremner sadly died in 1997, but has since been immortalised by his own statue outside Elland Road, a fitting tribute to the Whites' best footballer of all time.


The Scottish midfielder once said 'Side before self, every time'. In every game, Bremner gave his all for the Whites. Simply put, Billy Bremner got exactly what it meant to be Leeds.

1. Gary Speed

Six years on from his untimely death, Gary Speed still holds a massive place in the hearts of Leeds fans. A product of the youth system, 'Speedo' burst onto the scene for the Whites in 1988 and spent eight years at the Yorkshire club.


Speed played 41 out of the 42 games in the 1992 season where Leeds were crowned champions of England, and his darting runs down the left flank meant that the Elland Road faithful idolised their Welshman. 


An Elland Road cult hero, Gary Speed is still fondly remembered not only around Leeds, but across the country. A Welsh lad turned Leeds United legend, 'Speedo' was an all-time great.

Cult heroes don't come around that often, but when they do, they leave a legacy lasting decades. These Elland Road favourites all epitomised what it means to be Leeds, and their efforts for the famous badge last long in the memory of all Leeds fans.

TOP ARTICLES