Leeds United fans have been blessed with a number of memorable goalkeepers over the years. Whether it’s the reliable Nigel Martyn, the calamitous Paul Rachubka or the rotund Paddy Kenny, the Mighty Whites have seen the good, the VERY bad and the ugly when it comes to keepers in recent seasons. But while a lot of Leeds’ number ones have made headlines for their performances – we’re looking at you Paul Rachubka (see below) – there have been a few keepers in recent years who have gone about their business with minimal fuss.
In what is always such a tight league, Leeds’ current number one, Marco Silvestri, has already made a couple of errors this season that have not helped the club in terms of convincing the betting public, and the West Yorkshire side are at the time of writing at 6/1 with betfair to make the play-offs this season. In fact, a good number of the Elland Road faithful would probably rather have one or two of the goalkeepers listed below between the posts rather than the erratic Italian this year.
Their names might not always come up when fans select their favourite Leeds team,or in many of the football quizzes on this site but here are some of those underrated shot-stoppers who have graced Elland Road during the club’s recent and troubled history.
Shane Higgs: After moving to Leeds from Cheltenham in 2009, Higgs battled with Casper Ankergren for the number one jersey during the club’s promotion-winning season from League One. While Higgs was forced to play second fiddle to the Danish shot-stopper for the majority of the season, the frankly dashing veteran played a crucial role in the club getting over the finish line during the final few weeks of the campaign, including that now famous 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers that saw the Whites book a return to the second tier of England football.
Casper Ankergren: The majority of the squad that secured promotion back into the Championship will long be remembered fondly by Leeds fans – Gary McSheffrey aside – and not many gained as much of a cult following as Casper Ankergren. Having arrived at the club from Brondby in 2007, the Dane went on to make over 120 appearances for the club, establishing himself as a fan favourite during his three year stay at the club. Playing in a team that struggled to get out of League One despite spending the majority of their time in the third tier being tipped for promotion to the Championship by most sportsbooks throughout his time in Yorkshire, Ankergran will long be remembered fondly by Leeds fans.
Andy Lonergan: Part of the reason why the former Preston goalkeeper is held in such high regard by Leeds fans, despite spending just a single season at Elland Road, could well be down to the fact that Lonergan’s presence ensured Paul Rachubka only had a few opportunities to produce howlers of such biblical proportions. Lonergan was an extremely solid number one and a player many Leeds fans would have liked to have kept, and it was only Neil Warnock’s obsession with signing Paddy Kenny wherever he went that ended his time at Elland Road. Lonergan was quickly snapped up by Fulham in the summer after leaving Bolton, and the 31-year old looks set to have a big role to play in a team that are priced at around 7/1 to secure a top-six finish with most bookmakers.