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Fifty years on from Leeds United’s iconic FA Cup victory, match-winner Allan Clarke and the squad have been immortalised as ‘superheroes’ with 16 plaques at Elland Road. The six surviving members of that cup-winning unit were reunited at their old home on Thursday to see the £10,000 tribute unveiled along the Jack Charlton Stand concourse.

United, Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, Leeds United Supporters Club of Scandinavia and Leeds United Americas all part-funded the plaques. Paul Trevillion, an acclaimed sports artist synonymous with Don Revie’s Leeds after inventing their sock tags, drew the 12 matchday players as well as Terry Cooper (missing through injury), Revie, Les Cocker and a record acknowledging the birth of Marching on Together.

Peter Emmerson, chairman of LUST, told LeedsLive : “I’m absolutely delighted. Each one of them looks like superheroes, Roy of the Rovers reminiscent.

“They are honouring their legendary status in the Leeds community and the images really evoke that.”

Allan Clarke and Paul Trevillion speak at Elland Road on the day Leeds United's 1972 FA Cup winners saw a plaque unveiled (Leeds United)

He added: “It’s fantastic. It’s bittersweet we’ve not got Jack and Norman and Peter and the others here, but to have Paul Reaney, Eddie Gray, Allan Clarke, David Harvey, Johnny Giles and Mick Jones, it’s amazing.

“Allan said to us just earlier, ‘you’ve done us and the lads proud’ and that means the world. On behalf of Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, I’m just delighted we’ve been able to bring it to fans.”

Emmerson said it was Trevillion who approached LUST two years ago and said the players should be recognised on the 50th anniversary of their cup win. He got to work and the parties involved made it happen.

“I waited and I waited 50 years to come back,” Trevillion told LeedsLive . “It’s an anniversary and I thought ‘the boys have got to be honoured’.

Plaques at Elland Road commemorating the 1972 Leeds United FA Cup win unveiled on May 12, 2022 (Leeds United)

“Someone said to me ‘you might do that, but you won’t get more than one or two turn up’. The whole six of them turned up today! When they looked at their plaques, what makes me proud and pleased is, they love them.”

Emmerson calculates around 17,000 supporters will go past those plaques every time they walk up from Lowfields Road to take their seats in the East Stand. That’s the kind of legacy those involved wanted for the 1972 legends at Elland Road.

Gray told LeedsLive : “It’s a great accolade for the boys to be here. Outside the East Stand, on the wall, supporters walking in every day seeing it.

“It just brings back a few memories, not just for the players, but for a lot of the older supporters who watched us play. I was privileged to play with great players in a great team and the supporters that can remember were privileged to watch a great team.

Mick Jones, David Harvey, Allan Clarke and Johnny Giles admire the Elland Road plaques unveiled on May 12, 2022 to commemorate Leeds United's 1972 FA Cup win (Leeds United)

“I can imagine a few grandads walking in and saying to their grandsons ‘hey, so and so played here, he played there’ and that’s great.”

The supporters’ groups have also created a limited-edition 1972 t-shirt, costing £16 with all profits going to Leeds Fans Foodbank. There will be further plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 cup win along with the 30th anniversary of the 1991/92 league title ahead of United’s final home game of the season on Sunday afternoon.

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Dive Deeper:
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