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THERE weren’t many Leeds fans who had heard of Tony Yeboah when he signed from Eintracht Frankfurt for £3.4 million in January 1995.
Twenty-two years on and there isn’t a Leeds fan that doesn’t know his name.
The Ghanaian international bagged 32 goals in 59 games for Leeds in his first two season and quickly established himself as a cult hero at Elland Road, not least because of his gift for spectacular goals.
Now 51, he lives back in his native Ghana…
His volley against Liverpool will live long in the memory…
It’s the early weeks of the 1995/96 Premier League season and Leeds United are hosting Liverpool at Elland Road.
Six minutes into the second half, and with the game poised at 0-0, Rod Wallace heads a Tony Dorigo cross back towards Tony Yeboah, 25 yards from goal and the Ghanaian unleashes all manner of hell on the ball, crashing home a volley off the underside of the crossbar and leaving Reds keeper David James clutching thin air.
“I hate that goal, said James, 20 years later. “I spent quite a few weeks afterwards moaning about the fact that I should have saved it. The commentator said about 30 seconds beforehand ‘all this game needs is a goal’ – and then Tony Yeboah turns up and scores.”
Once he started he couldn’t stop…
Good as that goal was, it didn’t win the Goal of the Season Award.
That went to the goal he scored against Wimbledon soon after. And what a goal.
It had the lot. A lovely chest control, a juggle on his knees to take him past a couple of Dons’ players and then the most violent of half-volleys that almost took the net off.
Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler summed it up best in his match commentary…
“Yeboah… On he goes… OHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Even by his standards that’s breathtakingly brilliant… It doesn’t need any words, just wonderment really.”
But what was the secret of his success?
Well, Yeboah once claimed that it was a local delicacy that had given him added oompf in his shooting. But it wasn’t the case, not really.
“I used to say that it was the Yorkshire puddings that gave me the strength to score goals. It was just fun,” he said. “My feet scored the goals. And my mind.”
Leeds fans took him to heart immediately…
They even came up with a song that elevated him to some pretty lofty heights.
And who cares if it didn’t quite work?
"Who needs Cantona,” they sang, “when we've got Yeboah?"
Source: The Sun