Leeds United have been blessed to have many stars past and present, domestic and foreign. If you go back to the 1990s, though, one of the most well-respected Leeds players of the era was none other than Tony Yeboah. Across just two years at the club, the Ghana international hit an impressive 32 goals in 66 games. Others have surpassed that record – so what makes Tony such a legend for Leeds United?
Biography and Statistics
Today, it is so easy to know everything about any player than signs for Leeds. The internet and the globally accessible nature of football means that even punts and projects from afar can be thoroughly researched beforehand. We often know more about a player who signs for our academy today than you would have known of a first team signing from abroad in the 90s!
Anthony Yeboah, though, was different. Very different.
Today, a player who played over 120 games for a club like Eintracht Frankfurt and scored close to 70 Bundesliga goals for the club would be instantly known by the support. Back then? He was a mystery. African football was not as well-understood, and German footballers in England were still a rarity.
Having started off in Ghana with Asante Kotoko, Yeboah impressed with a whopping 35 in 35 goals run for Okawu United, before German club 1. FC Saarbrucken took a chance on the striker. They were rewarded, as he scored 31 goals in 72 games in the 2. Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal, earning the aforementioned move to Frankfurt.
Even today, he is revered by the fans at the Commerzbank Arena. Across five seasons in the topflight, he hit 89 goals across league, cup, and European duty – managing a hugely impressive 12 goals in just 16 games in Europe.
He arrived in Leeds in January of 1995, having been the first African player to captain a Bundesliga club and having been top scorer in the league in 1993 and 1994. A fee of £3.4m was paid, and he quickly became a hero to the fans.
Player of the Year in his second season, it was both the number and the quality of the goals that endeared Yeboah to the club and its fans. After leaving Leeds, he returned to Germany to play for Hamburger SV, having fallen out with then manager George Graham at the Whites.
He finished his career in Saudi Arabia, playing for Middle Eastern powerhouse Al Ittihad. Internationally, he represented Ghana for over a decade, scoring 29 goals in 59 appearances and thus becoming their third all-time top goalscorer as of today.
Tony Yeboah Famous Goals
As mentioned, it was the goals for big Tony that made him so special to the fanbase. The Tony Yeboah wonder goal is a common search for Leeds fans all around the world. For most fans, the first goal they might think of is the incredible goal against Wimbledon FC.
The forward managed to score plenty of good goals, but his effort against Wimbledon remains a famous effort indeed. The ball breaks to him about 30 yards from goal, and a slick keepy-up on the knee sets the ball perfectly. Yeboah pops forward, skins his man, controls the ball on the bounce, and unleashes a ridiculous 25-yader shot into the top corner. Unsavable!
Other notable goals include goals against West Ham United and Sheffield Wednesday.
Another popular goal was his effort against Manchester United. Picking the ball up around the half-way line, the forward saunters forward whilst dropping a few feints along the way, ending up around the right-hand side of the box. As the United keeper rushes out, he coolly lofts it over him with some power. A tremendous finish, and a real mark of the striker and his qualities.
Tony Yeboah’s Wonder Goal vs Liverpool
However, given the opponent and the importance of the goal, it is the wondergoal scored by Tony Yeboah vs Liverpool that lives longest in the memory. Scored in the same season as the Wimbledon howitzer, the play starts wide on the left before a quick chipped ball up-front sees the ball bounce back to Yeboah from a Leeds knockdown. Yeboah lifts his leg, catches the ball perfectly on the volley, and loops it with power beyond a despairing David James.
An incredible finish, and one of the most famous in league history!
Another reason, too, why Anthony Yeboah will always be welcome in the city of Leeds. When he hit a shot, it stayed hit. A mixture of power, technique, and precision, few strikers have managed to give Leeds fans quite so many memories in such a short time.
Tony Yeboah Leeds T-shirts, Sweatshirts or Hoodies
Fancy showing off your remembrance of one of the true cult heroes of Elland Road? Then take a look at our Yeboah ‘Shoot to Kill’ range of products here at Forever Leeds. We’ve got a range of items, from T- shirts to sweatshirts and hoodies. Why not remember one of the finest icons of the last 30 or so years to wear the famous Leeds shirt in style?