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.
With Tommy Wright we’re immediately into hybrid territory. The seven on his back from 1982 to 1986 can be explained by his origins on the wing for the youth team, where he ended up playing again after leaving Elland Road. But for Leeds he was the top scorer of Eddie Gray’s very young team, when the legendary winger took over as player-manager of a very skint club and started rebuilding with youth.
Wright fit the type set by his teammates John Sheridan, Scott Sellars and Denis Irwin — teenagers who looked impossibly soft for the hard knocks world of Division Two, especially when they went out on the town wearing the same pastel coloured jumpers fans were wearing on the terraces. But like those fans their baby faces hid the steely resolve they needed to survive in the 1980s. Obviously it helped when Leeds signed Ian Baird to partner Wright up front, because he was legitimately hard as nails.
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