Peter Lorimer

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Peter Lorimer
Personal information
Full name Peter Patrick Lorimer
Date of birth (1946-12-14) 14 December 1946 (age 67)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1962–1966 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1979 Leeds United 703 (238)
1971 Cape Town City (loan) 6 (8)
1979 Toronto Blizzard 31 (9)
1979–1980 York City 29 (8)
1980 Toronto Blizzard 18 (2)
1981–1983 Vancouver Whitecaps 87 (23)
1983 UCD (loan) 3 (0)
1984–1985 Leeds United 76 (17)
1985–1986 Whitby Town
1986 Hapoel Haifa
National team
1969–1976 Scotland 21 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Peter Patrick Lorimer (born 14 December 1946 in Dundee, Scotland) is a former footballer who played for Leeds United and Scotland during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was an attacking midfielder, generally regarded as having one of the hardest shots in football. From 1984 to 1985 he was club captain of Leeds and holds the record as the club's youngest ever player and record goal scorer. He has been voted as the #9 greatest Leeds player of all time and voted into the Greatest Leeds United team of all time. He was formerly a director on the board at Leeds, and has provided commentary on BBC Radio Leeds and Yorkshire Radio on occasions. He also writes a column in the Yorkshire Evening Post. Since April 2013 he has held the position of club ambassador.[1]

Boyish debutant[edit]

Lorimer's debut for Leeds came when he was still 15 years of age. He had only signed professional forms in May 1962, but made his professional debut in September 1962. Manchester United scouts offered his parents £5,000 for him to join the club,[2] though he agreed to sign for Leeds United who had shown interest in him first.[3] After his debut, Lorimer didn't feature in the Leeds first team picture again for two years.

A regular at 19[edit]

Lorimer came to regular prominence in the 1966 season, making 34 League Championship appearances and scoring 19 goals, more than any other player at Leeds United managed that season. A skillful and industrious player who operated best in a drifting position either wide on the right (though not as an orthodox winger – he was more likely to cut in and shoot than stay wide and cross) or behind two main strikers (usually Allan Clarke and Mick Jones), Lorimer was a frequent and often spectacular goalscorer, earning himself several nicknames stemming from his powerful shooting – HotShot, Lash and Thunderboots were three of the more prevalent. He became renowned for these strikes, with his shots reaching speeds of up to 90 mph. One penalty kick was recorded at 107 mph.[4]

In the 1966–67 season, Lorimer made his first major headlines when a free kick equaliser against Chelsea in an FA Cup semi final was ruled out for a controversial decision by the referee to make him re-take the free kick as the Chelsea players hadn't retreated the necessary 10 yards. Chelsea held on to win the game.

A player of honours[edit]

Leeds United won the League Cup and Fairs Cup in 1968 – their first major trophies under Revie – and Lorimer scored 30 goals during the season. He featured prominently as they clinched their first League championship in 1969 and just before the end of the decade, won his first cap for Scotland.

In 1970, Lorimer was in the side which chased a "treble" of League championship, FA Cup and European Cup, though Leeds ended the season with nothing. Lorimer ended that season with 19 goals.

Leeds United took the Fairs Cup again in 1971 and then finally won the FA Cup in 1972. Lorimer picked up winner's medals in both, scoring 29 goals in the Cup winning season, including his best seasonal League tally of 23. After being Division 1 runners on five occasions (1964–65, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72), United reclaimed the title in the 1973–74 season, with Lorimer hitting 14 goals in all competitions as Leeds clinched their second First Division crown.

World Cup finals and a European Cup final[edit]

Leeds started the 1973-74 season with a record unbeaten start of 29 League games, winning their second League title under Revie. Lorimer was rewarded with a place in Scotland's squad for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany, and he scored in the group game against Zaire.

Another eventful season with Leeds United followed for Lorimer, as he continued to score goals, managing four as Leeds United progressed to their first European Cup final, including scoring a crucial away goal against Leeds' semi-final opponents Barcelona. In the final held in Paris, they played Bayern Munich and lost 2–0, with Lorimer having a goal disallowed due to a dubious offside decision given against captain Billy Bremner.

That was the last major trophy for which the team built by Revie (who had left the year previously to manage England) would compete, and the ageing team began to break up. Lorimer, who also made his 21st and final Scotland appearance in 1975, was still not 30 and continued to play as an experienced head amidst a new generation of Leeds United players. Lorimer eventually left in 1979, no longer a regular player.

Moving on and moving back[edit]

He played for York City and then tried his luck in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Lorimer played for two clubs: the Toronto Blizzard (1979–1980) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (1981–83).

In January 1983 he signed for University College Dublin A.F.C. [1], before returning to a now-relegated Leeds United, aged 37, for the 1983–84, two seasons after Leeds had fallen into the Football League Second Division.

Amazingly, he played under former team-mate Eddie Gray (more than a year his junior) and broke the club's goalscoring record in the process, ending up with 238 goals from 676 appearances by the time new manager Billy Bremner (another of his former team mates) "retired" him just before his 40th birthday at the end of the 1985–86. However, Leeds were still a Second Division team when Lorimer played his final game for them and it would be another four years before they returned to the First Division.[2]

Lorimer played on for a short time in Israel after a short spell at Whitby Town under former Leeds star David Harvey.

Remaining in Leeds[edit]

Lorimer has remained a dedicated spokesman on the club since retirement – he is always one of the first ex-players broadcasters and journalists turn to when the club is in the news. He has worked as a pundit at games for BBC Radio Leeds and as a columnist for the local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post. He currently writes a column in the club's Match Programme and he acts a summariser on every Leeds away match for Yorkshire Radio. His main source of income since retirement has been from running The Commercial Inn pub in the Holbeck area of the city.

Man of the fans[edit]

In 2004, with the club on its knees financially, Lorimer acted as a go-between who liaised between potential benefactors and supporters as a rescue plan for the club was launched. He is a fans' representative on the board of directors who also deals with the media on club issues. He was the only person to remain on the board after Ken Bates takeover of Leeds United A.F.C. in 2005 as Bates felt his role as fans' representative was important and would help with relations with the Leeds United fans.

Peter Lorimer represented the city of Leeds, as part of the application to be a Host City in England's bid for the 2018 World Cup. The application was successful on 16 December 2009.

After the sale of Jonny Howson Lorimer was heckled by a small group of Leeds fans in the pavilion before their game with Ipswich Town.

Lorimer has received criticism from former Leeds manager Simon Grayson.[5]

Honours[edit]

Leeds United

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Leeds United legend Lorimer appointed club ambassador". Yorkshire Evening Post. 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  3. ^ 22 Feb 2008
  4. ^ Amazon (2002). Peter Lorimer: Leeds United and Scotland Hero amazon.co.uk (accessed 23 September 2006)
  5. ^ "Huddersfield v Leeds: Lorimer comments annoy Grayson". BBC Sport. 30 November 2012. 

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