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Leeds Live
Kieran King

The Leeds United starting XI which played in the 1996 League Cup final fiasco

The League Cup hasn't provided Leeds United with the fondest memories in recent years, having reached the fourth round just five times since 2001.

They do, however, have the opportunity to progress into that stage of the competition when they take on Championship high-flyers Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.

It's expected to be a much-rotated Whites side as Marcelo Bielsa looks to juggle an already thin squad, with Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling ruled out due to injury.

The task might be a bit harder but this team will want to try and emulate the last Leeds XI that went all the way to the final back in 1996.

It was a historic run that saw the Whites beat Notts County, Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Reading and Birmingham City on route to facing Aston Villa at Wembley.

This was the last time Leeds got to a final of any major cup but Howard Wilkinson's men were unable to win the game, losing 3-0 courtesy of goals from Savo Milosevic, Ian Taylor and Dwight Yorke. Wilkinson was subsequently jeered by fans after the final whistle as he made his way to the dressing rooms at Wembley.

Leeds Live takes a look back at the XI which took to the field that day.

John Lukic

Having started his career with the Whites, Lukic would go on to become one the club's greatest-ever goalkeepers for his longevity and quality between the sticks.

The Chesterfield-born stopper made his debut in 1979 and went on to play a further 165 times before joining Arsenal, where he won a League Cup and the First Division title.

But Lukic returned to Elland Road and helped secure another top-flight triumph, whilst also playing an important role in the League Cup run in 1996, featuring in every round.

David Wetherall

A no-nonsense defender, Wetherall joined the Whites just as he was completing the final year of his Chemistry degree at the University of Sheffield.

He had chosen to combine his education whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday at the time, but committed to football full-time at Leeds and went on to be a key figure in Wilkinson's side.

Wetherall was also named as the Player of the Season in 1995 and finished his Whites career with 18 goals in 250 appearances, before retiring at Bradford City.

Mark Draper of Aston Villa is put under pressure by Leeds United's David Weatherall in the 1996 League Cup final. (Mark Leech/Getty Images)

John Pemberton

The 56-year-old came through the ranks at Rochdale, but went on to make a name for himself at Crewe Alexandra as he earned a move to Second Division Crystal Palace.

After a further spell at Sheffield United, Pemberton signed for Leeds in 1993 and went on to become a cult figure due to his determination and high work-rate.

He appeared in his second major final for the Whites in that League Cup final defeat, before ending his career at Crewe.

Gary Kelly

A club legend can often be bandied around too often in football nowadays, especially given how fast the modern-day game has progressed since the inception of the Premier League.

However, there's no doubt that Kelly would be seen in that way by Leeds supporters after his 16-year service which started all the way back in 1992.

An Irish international, the right-back only played domestically for the Whites and played 531 matches in total, helping them to multiple top-six Premier League finishes and a League Cup final, of course.

Lucas Radebe

Although he started his career at Kaizer Chiefs, Radebe was another who spent the majority at Leeds and went on to become the club captain ahead of the 1998/99 season.

The South African, who also once featured in goal when Lukic was out, only played once in the League Cup run, which was subsequently the final that they lost.

Despite suffering a number of unfortunate knee injuries towards the end of his time at the Whites, Radebe finished with over 250 appearances and 11 years of service.

Gary Speed

A true Leeds great, Speed came through the youth system in West Yorkshire and first made a senior start as a 19-year-old in a 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic in 1988.

Under Wilkinson, he would go on to play in nine of the 10 outfield positions despite being predominately a left-sided player and proved to be an important member of the team.

Speed marked his final season at Elland Road with a League Cup final run and amassed 312 games, scoring 57 goals before making the switch to Everton.

Carlton Palmer

Now manager of non-league Grantham Town, it's safe to say Palmer had a pretty successful footballing career, spanning over 19 years in the professional game.

He moved to Leeds in 1994 for a £2.6m fee after previously spending half a decade a Sheffield Wednesday, where he made his name in the First Division.

Palmer was a hard-working, determined midfielder and featured over 100 times for the Whites before joining Southampton three years later.

Gary McAllister

McAllister started his career at his local side Motherwell but moved to Leicester City when he was just 21 after catching the eye of Foxes boss Gordon Milne.

After five years at the East Midlands outfit, he arrived at Leeds in July 1990 and helped win the First Division in his second season, whilst also making his debut in the Champions League.

The 56-year-old captained the team at Wembley for the League Cup final but eventually left the Whites that summer having played 294 times, scoring 45 goals.

Andy Gray

A product of the famous Leeds academy, Gray struggled to get regular game time at the club but did heavily feature in the cup competitions.

This included the 1995/96 League Cup adventure and started in a front-three against Villa but only made a further 15 appearances before joining Nottingham Forest.

Gray would go on to have a long career, featuring for the likes of Sheffield United, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic, before retiring in 2014 at Bradford City.

Mark Ford

Another who began his career at United, Ford first broke in the side in 1993 and played a key part in their League Cup final run to the final.

However, he left to join Burnley after just four years in the first-team and dropped down the divisions from there, finishing at non-league Tadcaster Albion.

Tony Yeboah

A prolific marksman, Yeboah only spent two seasons at Leeds but there's no doubt he made an impact in his short time at the club.

The Ghanian, who first made a name for himself at Okwawu United, recorded an incredible scoring ratio at Eintracht Frankfurt before joining the Whites in 1995.

It's safe to say Yeboah was a revelation under Wilkinson, netting one of the Premier League's greatest goals with a volley against Wimbledon and finished at Leeds with 32 goals in 66 appearances.


Tomas Brolin

Brian Deane

Nigel Worthington

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