So who won the Leeds v United dance-off?

Wednesday 08 February 2023 09:00

Gordon Strachan has revealed he held a party at his house before relocating to Yorkshire - and it involved Leeds and Manchester United players!

The former Scotland international was our most recent UTD Podcast guest and told hosts Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and David May about his switch from Old Trafford to Elland Road in 1989.

Strachan would enjoy huge success with Leeds, pipping the Reds to the last Division One title in 1992, but he admits he was not aware of the fierce rivalry between the clubs when agreeing to make the move across the Pennines.

Spend some time hearing Gordon Strachan's stories on his UTD Podcast.

As he prepared to leave Manchester, Strachan held a party and invited team-mates from both his old and new club.

"When I was leaving Manchester United, leaving house, I had a get-together with the Leeds boys and the Manchester United boys," he admitted. "All at my house. We were having a party and there was a dance-off between Vinnie Jones and Clayton Blackmore.

"Who won? Vinnie won. He was better on the dancefloor than he was on the football pitch, that's for sure."

Leeds would also get the better of United in that 1991/92 season, despite the Reds having the upper hand in a trilogy of games in a short space of time, when knocking the Yorkshiremen out of both domestic cup competitions and drawing the away league game at Elland Road.

However, Alex Ferguson's bold swoop for Eric Cantona in the following campaign would change the course of history.

"We never played them [Leeds]," insisted Strachan. "So I didn't know about it all. They grumbled about Man United but I said 'pardon'? I didn't have a clue. It's only grown in the last years with Eric going that way and all sorts happening, things like that. There was nothing and I didn't know anything about it. I'd been at Manchester United five years and never been to Elland Road so I didn't have a second thought.

Vinnie Jones won the dance-off for Leeds at Gordon Strachan's house.

"My most satisfying [time] was at Leeds," he admitted. "Wherever I went before, with my previous clubs, I just signed and then go and see how you get on. It was only one club that ever said you need to sign and, within two years, we need to be promoted. If not, we're in real financial trouble here. The club is in trouble. For people to give you that pressure and stress, to achieve it is wonderful.

"I then became an influence again, which I wasn't at Manchester United. At that point, I just played no.7, did that, did that and got through the game. Here, I had to affect every part of the game going and had to affect players in training. I had to train harder than anybody else which is why I moved home from Manchester. If you're doing it, do it properly.

"Me and Howard Wilkinson were like chalk and cheese as he was dour, but we got on great. He gave me this purpose in life again. Working with all the players, they all wanted to learn some of the things I'd picked up from Alex Ferguson.

Gordon Strachan in action against the Reds during his Leeds days.

"If you look at Eric," he said of Cantona, who made the opposite journey in 1992. "He didn't say much but was a big presence. If you look at his career, everywhere else really is ordinary. He scored some wonderful goals and was causing havoc but Manchester United took everything on board and it was the perfect storm. He couldn't have gone to any other club in the world at that time, it was just perfect for him.

"He was very quiet in the dressing room and didn't say much on the team bus. He'd just be looking out of the window and all that kind of stuff. He just grew on the pitch and that stage was right for him."