Even before I knew who Leeds United really were, I knew I was a Leeds fan. I even knew this when I once told the other kids at school I was a Bolton Wanderers fan; the odd jibe about my surname had obviously gotten the better of me that day. It's dog eat dog when you're five years old. I vaguely remember a match between Leeds and our best friends from Salford on TV at my Grandma's sometime in the early 90s, but my first solid memory of watching Leeds was the 1996 League Cup final against Villa. Decked out in a Thistle Hotels shirt, a scarf and clutching a Corinthian figure of Gary Speed, I watched in horror as we went down 3-0,which ultimately led to the resignation of Howard Wilkinson and the end of an era for a Leeds United that had won the last old First Division before the Premier League just four years before - an event that I'd never even heard of.
Before I had the chance to rekindle my love for the Mighty Whites, I was off to Canada for year on a working visa after university. I was still following the results and I even took a Leeds scarf with me which I wore during the bitterly cold Canadian winter in Toronto. I watched cup ties against Liverpool and Spurs in a bar with a few other Leeds fans, but missed the famous Beckford goal at Old Trafford due to being asleep (time difference) and his goal to put us up against Bristol Rovers (due to being on a coach to Montreal).