This week the striker said he nearly had to retire from the game earlier this season. At Leeds he hit the goal trail big time and here are five of his best.
An ear infection earlier this year had the Bolton striker – currently on loan at Preston North End – bed ridden for weeks and he entertained thoughts that he may never recover sufficiently to play football again. He is back on the goal trail for Simon Grayson’s promotion-hunting Preston now, but we’re looking back at his famous stint at Leeds United and his five best goals.
Beckford was a goal machine for Leeds, but crucially was able to score every type of goal. Whether it was the spectacular, the penalty box poacher or the crucially important, he never failed to deliver.
1. Hartlepool September 8th 2007
The game in which Leeds clawed back the 15 points deducted by the Football League with a fifth straight victory at the start of the season. Beckford sealed a 2-0 win with a late chip from outside the penalty area which deliciously nestled in the back of the net to confirm Leeds United’s unlikely resurrection.
2. Chester (League Cup) August 12th 2008
Another goal that demonstrated the subtle skill that Beckford was capable of. This was the third goal in a devastating hat-trick as Beckford started a season that would end with 33 goals in spectacular style. Spotting the keeper off his line, Beckford received a pass on the run and, fully 35 yards from goal on the right wing, delivered a first-time floated chip that rubber-stamped a 5-2 victory.
3. Millwall February 9th 2009
Leeds were neck and neck with Millwall in the promotion hunt and met in a midweek clash in which Beckford scored both goals in a crucial 2-0 win. This opening goal saw the former Wealdstone man cut in from the right flank and curl a devastating finish into the top corner with his left foot from the angle of the box.
4. Manchester United January 3rd 2010
OK, not the most spectacular goal, but a mighty significant one. Beckford collected a long through ball from Johnny Howson and his heavy touch committed the Manchester United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak. Beckford out-sprinted the flagging Wes Brown and somehow clipped a precise finish between the outstretched defender and keeper that bobbled like an escapee bread roll into the Stretford End net.
5. Bristol Rovers May 8th 2010
Beckford’s final and most important goal for Leeds United. Knowing that he was moving on at the end of the season, Beckford was made captain for the day and earned his place in Leeds United folklore by delivering when it truly mattered. Having equalised from 1-0 down with ten men, Beckford pounced after Bradley Johnson’s shot had been parried by the Rovers keeper, and slotted the loose ball into the net to send Elland Road wild and Leeds United back into the Championship.