Allan “Sniffer” Clarke’s goal in the 1972 FA Cup final is arguably the single most cherished strike in the club’s history.
A goal-poacher supreme, Clarke was renowned as one of the most clinical finishers around. After making his debut for Walsall at 16, Clarke moved to Fulham where he impressed enough to be bought by Leicester City for a British record fee of £150,000 in 1968.
Don Revie brought him to Leeds, for another British record fee of £165,000 just weeks after he won Man Of The Match for the Foxes in the 1969 FA Cup final (although they reached the final, Leicester were relegated that season).
Clarke, sensing opportunities in a flash, soon formed a formidable partnership with Mick Jones and proved deadly when one-on-one with a keeper.
In 1969/70 he top-scored with 26 goals, before scoring on his full England debut against Czechoslovakia during the World Cup finals in Mexico.
After scoring in the Fairs Cup final win against Juventus in 1971 and winning a second Man Of The Match award in the FA Cup final the following year, he won Leeds Player Of The Year in 1972/73.
He finally won a Championship medal 1973/74 — his strike against Ipswich Town clinching the title. Following Revie’s departure, Clarke helped Leeds reach the 1975 European Cup final.
Revie had often kidded the FA his star striker was injured when England squads were named so Clarke won just 19 caps, – but he still scored 10 international goals.
A knee injury signalled the end of his top-flight playing career before he joined Barnsley as player-manager in 1978.
Guiding them to promotion, his 1980 appointment as Leeds manager seemed ideal, but Leeds suffered relegation in 1982, even after breaking the transfer fee record buying Peter Barnes for almost a million pounds to bolster the attack.
Clarke, therefore, is best remembered as top scorer in four seasons and the club’s third highest goal scorer of all time.
Strange but true: Clarke was one of five brothers to play professionally.