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Friday, 21 January 2011

Farewell to Hughsey & time to silence the Pompey chimes!

Whilst not surprising Andy Hughes' departure to Scunthorpe today will be tinged with sadness for the vast majority of Leeds fans.  In his time at Leeds he has endeared himself to the Elland Road faithful through his unwavering passion and commitment to the Leeds cause.  He is not a skillful player nor does he possess great tactical vision or score lot's of important goals, in fact I can only remember him scoring one in all his time at Leeds.  So why is he such a fan's favourite?

A clue to his popularity can found in his one and only goal for the mighty whites.  He scored it in the hostile arena of The New Den on the 19th April 2008.  He was substitute that day, a job he took on willingly week after week without complaining and always showed his infectious enthusiasm.  During the half time kick about that day there were a troop of Cheer Leaders, the Millwall Lionesses, performing a rather disjointed dance routine in the centre circle.  Mr Hughes delighted the large away following by mimicking the dance routine whilst smashing balls into an empty net.  This was the -15 points season and we had clawed our way up the table and we were now perched precariously in 6th position having lost the previous week to Udderstoon.  Jesus had just put Leeds ahead on 70 minutes against a stubborn Millwall team when Hughesey got the call to get stripped and replace the ineffective Anthony Elding in order to shore up the creaking midfield.  But the fans hero was like a coiled spring as he was unleashed onto the unsuspecting Bermondsey men and he was soon covering every blade of grass to protect the slender lead.  What happened next will be etched on every one of the travelling Leeds fans memory for a long time to come.  Bradley Johnson finished off a robust move by pinging a low cross into the Millwall box where Andy Hughes popped up to smash the ball into the net.................cue wild celebrations in front of the adoring Leeds fans showing just how much the goal meant to him and the team.  The goal secured a vital win that all but guaranteed a play off place.  "Hughsey, hughesey give us a dance" sang the delirious fans and a cult hero was born.

Fast forward to Saturday 8th May 2010 and that game against Bristol Rovers.  There was nobody in the Leeds squad that day for which promotion meant more than Andy Hughes.  He had been there in the dark times and he had literally given blood, sweat and tears for the team to get the team promoted.  The raw emotion and tears he showed on the pitch after the game confirmed his position as a true fans player.  No he wasn't the best player to wear the famous white shirt by a long chalk but he will always be remembered fondly at the Theatre of Hope for his passion, hard work and that goal at Millwall.  Good luck at Scunny Mr Hughes and thanks for your part in getting Leeds promoted.

Portsmouth away this weekend and a chance for Leeds to silence the Pompey chimes and gain some revenge for throwing away two points aganst the Sailor boys over Xmas. O'Brien and possibly Becchio missing from the line up won't help the cause but we should have enough strength in depth to secure three more points.  The players and the fans have glimpsed what awaits in the promised land after our tussles with the Gooners in the FA Cup and it's safe to say we all want more of it.  If we can solidify our position in the top six over the coming four weeks we should be well set for a realistic promotion push. Transfer activity in the remaining two weeks of the window could have a significant impact on the seasons outcome.  Bradley Johnson is a completely different player of late.  His performances in the middle of midfield are as unbelievable as they are good.............even his shots are now on target.  To lose him in the window would now be a big blow.  Lord Larry has indicated he's looking to bring one maybe two players in to freshen up the squad.  Midfielders possibly? Or a defender maybe? Watch this space.

So up early for the long trek to Pompey.  I suspect another game with plenty of goals is on the agenda.  Is another 3 points too much to hope for? Course not............fasten those seat belts this is the big game of the week. C'mon Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds!
Can't wait.

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