When Leeds United were relegated to League One in 2007, it marked the lowest point in the club’s history.
Leeds had never dropped into the third tier until entering administration two days before the final match of the season at Derby effectively secured relegation – the Whites would have required a 10-goal win to overtake fourth-bottom Hull City.
Alas, Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet couldn’t drag the side out of the relegation zone, having arrived in October with the side already cemented in the bottom three, as Derby ran out 2-0 winners at Pride Park. We’ve taken a look back at the Leeds team from that day.
Ankergren was the most regular goalkeeper of Leeds’ season, making 14 appearances.
He went on to become a fan’s favourite at Elland Road and is now a goalkeeping coach at Brondby. He recently took up the role in his native Denmark a role after an 11-year stint as a player and then a coach with Brighton.
Wise chose to go with two centre-backs and two left-backs in his starting line-up, so we don’t really have any idea what order he put them in.
Marques, though, was another who went on to endear himself to Leeds fans, with the Angola international in the midst of a five-year spell at Elland Road.
His final season at Elland Road saw promotion to the Championship in 2010, but he failed to find a club on his release and never played again. He now works for sports marketing and talent management company Wasserman, trying to spot emerging prospects in Portugal.
— Right In The Gary Kellys (@RITGK) December 15, 2015
Hayden Foxe (Tom Elliott, ’46)
Foxe returned to Australia after this match, bringing an end to his less-than-glittering Leeds career. He went on to play for Perth Glory and Sydney FC before going into coaching with Melbourne Heart, Western Sydney Warriors and then becoming Perth Glory’s assistant manager in 2018.
Elliott, then just 16, came on with Leeds 1-0 down at half-time but failed to make the grade in West Yorkshire despite big hopes.
He is currently a free agent after being released by the Class Of ’92-backed Salford City, and memorably once scored a heartbreaking 87th-minute equaliser in a dramatic 4-3 win for sworn enemies Millwall at Elland Road in January 2018.
The former Newcastle left-back’s career was drawing to a close by the time he joined Leeds, and his six-month spell brought about just seven appearances.
We caught up with him in his new home of Portland, Oregon in 2018.
Gray was in the second of his two loan spells at the club, strangely wearing the No.10 shirt despite playing as a left-back.
He now works as a pundit for talkSPORT among others but made the news for the wrong reasons in 2020 after it emerged he had fronted a bid to takeover former club Sunderland despite having been declared bankrupt.
Seb Carole (Jonny Howson, ’53)
Seb Carole, what a fascinating man – from the youth team at AS Monaco to appearing for Burton Leonard Squirrel in the Harrogate and District Sunday League.
He made 41 league appearances for Leeds – the place he now calls home – in two years before his career took a nosedive and he ended up featuring for the likes of Bradford Park Avenue, Tadcaster Albion and Knaresborough Town. His son, Keenan, is now a member of Leeds’ academy.
Howson remained at Leeds until 2012 when he joined Norwich City, spending five seasons in East Anglia before moving to Middlesbrough.
Last season the midfielder helped dump Manchester United out of the FA Cup, not for the first time in his career. He recently signed a one-year contract extension on Teesside and could go up with the Smoggies via the play-offs.
Thompson was – until Fraser Forster in 2013 – the only player to ever earn an England cap while playing for Celtic.
Calling time on his career in 2008, the midfielder moved into coaching but was sacked by Celtic in 2012 after “boozing too often”.
He followed that with a spell following Lee Clark around as his assistant, most recently at Bury until Clark was sacked in 2017.
Academy graduate Bayly made quite the mark on his full debut for Leeds as he saw red in the second half for headbutting Derby’s Craig Fagan.
After his release in 2008, he spent his career marauding around the League of Ireland before being arrested in 2017 with over £200,000 worth of cannabis found in his car. We’ve all been there (legal note: we haven’t).
Blake joined Leeds from Birmingham in 2005, saying: “It’s a step back in terms of divisions, but hopefully I can get back into the Premier League with Leeds.”
Only he and David Healy scored more than five goals as the Whites were relegated to League One. Blake promptly left to return to Burnley and since retiring has coached at Portsmouth and Bognor Regis.
Richard Cresswell (Fabian Delph, ’52)
Cresswell later lined up alongside Carole at Tadcaster, but it’s fair to say his career did not quite spiral like the Frenchman’s.
He quit Elland Road for Stoke following relegation and scored 12 goals to help them to the Premier League in his first season there. He finished his career with Sheffield United and York, where he took on various roles, including caretaker manager and Head of Football Operations.
In 2018, Cresswell returned to Leeds as head of academy coaching but left after a year. His 19-year-old son Charlie is one of the most promising youngsters at the club and already has a handful of Premier League appearances under his belt.
Delph, meanwhile, has also done OK since leaving, peaking with his Premier League titles at Man City, before hanging up his boots at Everton last year.
Johnson made just a handful of appearances during a loan spell at Leeds but went on to make over 100 for MK Dons between 2007 and 2011.
He was playing as recently as 2019, lining up for Fresno FC in the USL Championship in the US.