19 years ago today… a Leeds United Premier League legend is born

Tony Yeboah’s time at Elland Road was short but sweet and though injuries prevented him from doing more he remains a part of Premier League folklore.

The date of September 23rd is a special one in the history of the Premier League.

For Manchester United fans, it marks the date of David Beckham’s Red Devils debut in the English top-flight with the midfielder going on to achieve unparalleled glory at Old Trafford and beyond.

For the rest of us, however, it’s the date Leeds United cult hero Tony Yeboah scored THAT goal against Wimbledon – a strike that set the Premier League alight and made the world sit up and take notice of English football.

We all remember the goal; it’s burned into our memories, like any one of the many sensational goals scored by mercurial talents like Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Bergkamp.

But while that pair arrived in the then-named Premiership with something of a known pedigree for world class football, Yeboah was an altogether different prospect.

Signed from unfashionable Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt for a bargain £3.4 million in January 1995, in the days before transfer windows, the Ghana international seemingly came out of nowhere to be the one player everyone wanted to see come 10:30pm and Match of the Day on a Saturday.

A tally of 24 goals in 40 games played over one-and-a-half seasons endeared him to the Elland Road faithful, but it was the quality of these strikes that made him a much-loved figure among football fans of all persuasions.

The 1995-96 season saw arguably two of his finest goals – another sensational long-range volley against Liverpool, which beat a full-stretch David James in his pomp with ease and, of course, THAT goal against Wimbledon.

He became the first player to win back-to-back Goal of the Month awards from the BBC in September and October, while the Wimbledon strike – scored 19 years ago today – won the Goal of the Season award.

Injuries ultimately curtailed his impact over the subsequent campaign, with Yeboah returning to Germany with Hamburg, enjoying just one prolific campaign in 1998-99, during an otherwise frustrating period dealing with physical issues.

But while his time at Elland Road may have failed to produce silverware, every time you see a player hit a shot in off the underside of the cross-bar, remember: you have seen much, much better.

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