January 3rd 2010, League One Leeds pull off the unthinkable at Old Trafford.
On a day that is now referred to as Jermaine Beckford Day among the Leeds United faithful, Simon Grayson’s Leeds went to Old Trafford and knocked Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United out of the FA Cup Third Round for the first time in the legendary Scotsman’s tenure.
— LEEDS UNITED MEMORIES (@LUFCHistory) June 17, 2022
Thirteen years on, you can’t really compare today’s Leeds United to then. Mid-way through our third season in the third tier of English football and, into our sixth season removed from the top flight, memorable days were hard to come by as a Leeds fan.
Step forward, Jermaine Beckford.
Already beloved at Leeds for his goalscoring abilities, Beckford gave Leeds fans arguably their best footballing day between the 2004 relegation from the Premier League and the 2018 appointment of Marcelo Bielsa – with the exception of his brace of goals to secure promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2009-10 season.
Former skipper Jonathan Howson’s pin-point long ball up to Beckford is still exciting to watch to this day, and the goalscorer’s cleverness and sleek finish still bring goosebumps every time fans see the ball roll over the goal line.
Beckford, now 39, retired at the end of the 2018-19 season. He departed Elland Road in 2010 to join Premier League side Everton. Despite a promising first season at Goodison Park, injuries unfortunately prevented him from the longer-term spell at the very top level of English football that he deserved.
He will forever be remembered as a Leeds legend, netting a remarkable 85 goals in just over 150 appearances. He was the star man in the side that brought Leeds back to the Championship all those years ago, and he continues to represent the club brilliantly with his media efforts.
Leeds fans will be hoping for more great FA Cup memories this season, as the Whites travel to Cardiff City this weekend for their third round game against the Bluebirds.