Alan Smith explains reason why he didn't want to re-sign for Leeds

Elland Road pitchside

Alan Smith says he didn't want to return to play for Leeds United.

Ex-Leeds United striker Alan Smith has told Four Four Two magazine that he didn't have the opportunity to rejoin the club in 2011 - but wouldn't have wanted to either.

Smith came up through the youth ranks at Elland Road, becoming the focal point of David O'Leary's side during the glory days at Leeds, with the club flourishing in the Premier League and the Champions League.

As a player passionate about Leeds United, fans associated with Smith - especially after he was seen crying on the pitch after Leeds' relegation to the Championship in 2004.

Yet Smith soon became an Elland Road villain shortly after that relegation, as he left Leeds in order to join bitter rivals Manchester United - something that many Leeds fans still haven't forgiven for, over ten years on.

Now 34, Smith is playing as a midfielder for League One side Notts County, so it's easy to forget that he could have made a return to Leeds in 2011.

Then-manager Simon Grayson admitted to the press, as reported by the Telegraph, that he would be interested in re-signing Smith, who was then playing for Newcastle - but the deal never materialised.

Smith has now revealed all about his career in this month's edition of Four Four Two magazine, and denied that he could have return to play for Leeds - before admitting that he wouldn't even have wanted to re-sign for the club because he felt it wouldn't have been right.

"It was speculation," said Smith. "I heard nothing from Simon [Grayson] or Leeds. I don't think I would have gone back - I don't think I could have done myself justice. I wasn't the player I had been; I was 33 and not 21, though I could have still had a big influence."

"Better for them is to remember a younger me, and for me to maintain my unbelievable memories at Leeds when it was a different club," he added.

Given his relationship with Leeds fans since his move to Manchester United - and Smith's regression as a footballer after his horrific broken leg and fractured ankle in 2006 - it probably is best that Leeds fans can remember Smith during his prime rather than have those memories clouded by a player past his best.

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