Awayday preview : Leeds, Saturday 3 May
How to get there
Bank Holiday weekend so get those caravans out. We want to see a snake of the bloody things all the way up the M1. If you’re going by train remember that the ground is a fair hike from the station – the railway line deceptively bends right round it but I seem to remember being rather breathless to make our train after our last visit in 2005.
Elland Road. A bit ramshackle and not my favourite by a long way, but a bit bigger than Priestfield. The one new stand holds nearly double our capacity, though our visit will see the top tier open for the first time in yonks after it was recently re-granted a safety certificate. Packed to the rafters I suspect it’s quite an intimidating venue. We’ll be crammed out of the way in the corner – I seem to remember the acoustics being good but the seats being encrusted in pigeon crap.
Dirty Leeds. Incorrectly thought to originate from their uncompromising playing style during the Revie years, in fact it is much more literal – Leeds fans don’t wash. Ken Bates played along with tradition when he took over the club, vowing never to take a bath until Leeds reclaim their rightful place in the Premier League. It is rumoured that on a warm day you can detect the reek from his arse crack as far away as Harrogate.
Thackray Medical Museum – learn about the history of medicine and the best prescription drugs to get you high, browse the unique medical library and help out the NHS by giving a helping hand in real operations.
Tropical World nature centre – located in Roundhay Park, it’s home to the many weird and wonderful creatures that flourish in Leeds’ sub-tropical climate, including the world famous masturbating peacocks
Where to Drink
We don’t advise going into the Old Peacock pub opposite the ground and singing Glory Glory Man Utd. A couple of decent pubs near the station are The Prince of Wales and the Scarborough Hotel, fab selection of real ale though both are likely to be pretty packed. A quieter bet is The Grove Inn in Back Row, Holbeck, a listed building just a few hundred yards from the station serving up to 8 local brews…
A bit miffed at slumming it at our level they have the typical tendancy to look down on the likes of Gillingham. They got somewhat hot under the collar as their side’s discipline collapsed at Priestfield earlier in the season, and marked the occasion by lobbing metal objects at the referee. Though there have been few reports of trouble involving Leeds fans this season as far as I’m aware, and they’re very loud and proud. Once renowned for a skinhead culture, most now have long hair held in place with Alice bands, and they have the largest average man boobs of any club in the country according to recent surveys. Favourite songs include “We are the Champions – Champions of Europe” (a tribute to the glory years when Leeds were feared across the continent and routinely won the European Cup) and “Marching on together”. Celebrity fans include The Kaiser Chiefs and Chumbawamba, Ken Hom, Jeremy Paxman and Chris Moyles.
Leeds Hate Figures
Given the lack of meetings, there has been plenty of controversy to stress everyone out – Leeds have had four players sent off in the most recent five fixtures against us. Mark Viduka, the fat Aussie bastard, is chief among them – he was wound up by cheeky Andy Hessenthaler to such an extent that the brain-dead moron elbowed Hess right under the nose of the referee. Dennis Wise is a disgrace who should be kicked out of the game and preferably off the planet. Ken Bates smells and is one of the most consistently repulsive figures in football. Of the current players, Dougie Freedman has never really endeared himself to the Gills support.
Peter Ridsdale who, with assistance from a goldfish, brought financial meltdown to the club in the early part of the millennium when he paid way over the odds chasing a dream, his biggest folly being the payment of a billion pounds for Peter Lorimer, not realising he was past his best.
- David Shearer scoring his first ever goal for the Gills in a League Cup tie at Elland Road in 1984. We lost 5-3 on aggregate
- Harry Kewell blazing over the Town End in the 2002 cup tie. Guy Ipoua missed an easier chance in the replay where Leeds fans serenaded Hess with “Short bloke, short bloke, what’s the score?” as they scrambled a 2-1 win
- Terry Venables trying to defend the indefensible after the drawn first game – Viduka might have been wound up and Hess may have made a meal of it, but he still got a clobbering. Fat bloke scored in the replay
- A cameo from Marlon King setting up a late equaliser for the home side which proved oh so costly in 2005 when we went down on goal difference
- Leeds fans hailing Mama Sidibe as an outstanding talent, on the evidence of two admittedly effective games against them in the Championship years
Bournemouth crash at Carlisle and Cheltenham sneak a point off of Donny, but Gillingham yet again pay the price of failing to defend a five goal advantage away from home, an injury time Dougie Freedman penalty reducing the arrears to 5-1 and sending the Gills to oblivion on goal difference.
The Morty Vicker