What happened to last Leeds squad relegated from Prem – including Man Utd drama

Leeds United face Brentford on Sunday knowing that it is once again all or nothing in the battle for Premier League survival, and Jesse Marsch will be hoping not to repeat the events from 18 years ago after their last relegation.

The club’s loyal fanbase know that they have to better Burnley’s result on to guarantee their Premier League status as they prepare for an away trip to west London. The last time they were in this position, the Yorkshire outfit fell short in disastrous circumstances after a 4-1 thumping away to Bolton condemned them to relegation.

The circumstances were somewhat different due to their alarming financial situation at the time. But many felt the team Leeds had at the time was too good to go down — as proved by their impressive draw against Manchester United — and Daily Star Sport looks at what happened to the team that was relegated back in 2003-04.

Goalkeeper: Paul Robinson

This Leeds side certainly was not lacking in quality as shown by their subsequent sale of Paul Robinson. The academy graduate was voted player of the year in 2002-03 and was their undisputed number one.

But there was no surprise when they were relegated that he decided to remain in the top flight than go down with his hometown club, joining Tottenham in 2004. He went on to stay in north London for four years before heading to Blackburn and finishing his career at Burnley.

The former England international, whose infamous gaffe against Croatia contributed to England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008, is now a TV pundit and club ambassador for Spurs.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Will Leeds United survive relegation on the final day? Comment below.

RB: Gary Kelly

Having made his debut for Leeds back in 1992, the Irishman was the very definition of a true one-club footballer. All of his 531 career appearances came in the Leeds shirt before he retired in 2007.

A club legend who is still lauded by the fans today this day, he once volunteered to take charge of the club during their most desperate times, but was overlooked in favour of Dave Hockaday.

Kelly’s post-playing career has centred around his charitable efforts, launching the Gary Kelly Cancer Charity Centre in his native Ireland back in 2004. He donated the proceeds of his testimonial, around €750,000 (£633,000), to help in the fight against cancer.

CB: Dominic Matteo

Seen as a defensive linchpin for Leeds, it was certainly a surprise to see such a key player moved into midfield. Like Robinson, the chaos at the club and financial situation meant he was unable to stay, leaving for Blackburn the summer of their relegation.

However, his career soon took a turn for the worse and it didn’t improve when he joined Stoke City. His autobiography revealed huge gambling debts, and he was quoted saying he lost around £1m, according to the Daily Mail. He was declared bankrupt in 2015.

Matteo has worked in the media as a TV reporter and pundit, but was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2019. The 48-year-old has since recovered and is back working for Sky Sports.

CB: Michael Duberry

Former Chelsea defender Duberry moved to Elland Road for £4.5m in 1999, but it was only in 2003-04 that he started regularly for the club after Lucas Radebe’s injury issues.

The centre-back was unable to stop the club from sliding into the second tier and headed for the exit with several other players, joining Stoke City the following season and returning to the Premier League with Reading in 2007.

Now 46, Duberry is managing director of his own company which gives training and keynote speeches on leadership and management.

LB: Ian Harte

Renowned as one of the Premier League’s finest free-kick takers, Harte was one of the key protagonists in their Champions League run in the early 2000s. However, Leeds’ relegation was the final season of his eight-year stint in Yorkshire as he jetted off to join Levante on a free transfer.

He returned to England in 2007 with Sunderland before playing for Blackpool, Carlisle, Reading and Bournemouth. After hanging up his boots in 2015, Harte became a football agent for SMI World and looks after the likes of Kemar Roofe and Spurs starlet Jack Clarke.

RM: Jermaine Pennant

Wherever Pennant went in his career, it was never without incident. The former Arsenal trainee hit the big time after his loan spell with Leeds took him to Birmingham, where he further impressed and convinced Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to spend £6.7m on the winger. He even started the 2006-07 Champions League final, which Liverpool lost to AC Milan.

His personal life away from the pitch derailed his professional career and, after spells with Stoke, Pune City, Tampines Rovers and Billericay Town, Pennant brought the curtain down on his career in 2019. He has gone on to make appearances on reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Your Face or Mine in recent years.

CM: Stephen McPhail

Another one of the Leeds players who remembered their Champions League run to the semi-finals, McPhail was another high-profile departure in 2004 after making 78 league appearances for the club, joining fellow Yorkshire outfit Barnsley.

He went on to find a home in Wales with Cardiff, but the midfielder missed a chunk of the season after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2009. He returned to action with the club before leaving in 2013 to return home to Ireland with Shamrock Rovers in 2014.

He decided to announce his retirement from the game two years later and the 42-year-old is now sporting director of the Irish outfit.

CM: Seth Johnsen

One member of England's famous one-cap wonders club, Johnson's injury problems robbed him of a chance of true success with Leeds following his £7m move from Derby in 2001.

The midfielder managed just 59 appearances in his four seasons at the club, with the club's financial situation so desperate they had to prevent him from playing as to not activate clauses in his transfer from Derby, before his release in 2005.

Johnson was sadly forced to retire from the game at the age of just 28 due to a knee injury and keeps a low-profile within the football sphere, although he holds close ties with his boyhood club Crewe Alexandra.

LM: James Milner

A man known by every true football fan, no player has quite the journey around the Premier League like Milner. Having made his debut for Leeds in 2002 as a 16-year-old, the winger is still playing two decades later with Liverpool.

The versatile midfielder, who has also operated as a full-back on either flank, has a tremendous work ethic and his fitness levels are nothing short of astonishing. Like his fellow Leeds stars, he was almost forced to leave in 2004 due to the financial situation at the club and joined Newcastle.

Spells at St James' Park was followed by Aston Villa, Manchester City and Anfield, with Milner winning the Premier League title twice in a wholly impressive career. If Leeds do stay up, one can imagine he will be celebrating with a glass of Ribena, after professing his love for the soft drink in 2018.

ST: Mark Viduka

Having scored 20 goals the season prior, Viduka's return of 11 wasn't quite enough to lift Leeds out of the hole they had dug themselves. He had formed a fine partnership with Robbie Keane and Harry Kewell, but the pair had been sold to raise funds, ultimately affecting his goal totals.

In his final appearance, Viduka's frustrations came to a head as he was sent off in the defeat to Bolton. He was sold to Middlesbrough out of pure necessity and later joined Newcastle, but never quite rediscovered his form and retired in 2009.

He has spent his post-playing days in Croatia, where he played in the late 90s with Dinamo Zagreb, and now runs a coffee shop in the capital. Talk about a change in livelihood.

ST: Alan Smith

Alan Smith was one of the stars of Leeds' golden years after graduating from the club's academy in 1998. He scored the equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United which gave them hope of staying up and dented United’s title hopes. Ironically, Smith would go on to join the Red Devils in 2004.

He was faced with the decision of joining Man United or allowing the club to go into administration and eventually chose the latter, despite previously saying he'd never join them. His spell at Old Trafford did not go to plan after a horrific leg break in 2005 and he was sold to Newcastle for £6m three years later.

Now 41, Smith moved to the U.S to coach youngsters in Florida after ending his career with Notts County in 2018.

Other squad members: Carson, Caldwell, Radebe, Domi, Camara, Richardson, Olembe, Bakke, Lennon, Batty, Sakho.

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