We wanted a new no.9 this summer and we got one. But he’s wearing… no.7. Okay, it would have been a bit much for Joel Piroe to take Pat Bamford’s shirt off his back, but traditionally the ‘other’ striker at Leeds — from Allan Clarke to Rod Wallace — has worn no.8. Seven is Gordon Strachan! What does Piroe think he’s doing!?
Perhaps he asked what our record goalscorer wore, and fancies himself as the new Peter Lorimer. The thing about Lorimer, though, is that he was out there on the wing like Strachan most of the time (and imagine how many he might have scored if he had played through the middle, Jesus). Strikers wearing no.7 are a rare thing at Leeds, so we thought we’d get Moxco to write about five of them.
After 235 games, 44 goals, two titles and a Charity Shield, and a club returned to the top of English football and European competitions, the Leeds United no.7 shirt in the 1990s had become synonymous with Gordon Strachan even before squad numbers were officially introduced. When, with his influence waning on the pitch and Ron Atkinson offering pots of cash, Strachan left Leeds to become player-assistant manager at Coventry, it was the end of an era. Wee Gordon had even seen off Eric Cantona’s claims to the no.7 shirt, most notably when in the final match of 1991/92 Cantona had to start the game wearing 14 so Strachan could wear 7 from the bench. Who was going to be brave enough to put on the tiny shirt being left behind by one of the club’s biggest ever players?
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