Win the FA Cup on Saturday, lose the league on Monday
Former Leeds United player Eddie Gray says there is no better feeling than winning the FA Cup ahead of his former side’s match against Rotherham on Saturday.
Gray was part of Leeds United’s only FA Cup winning side in 1972 when they beat Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley but the former midfielder, who has been associated with the Yorkshire club since 1965 has mixed memories of that season.
Eddie Gray, who was speaking on behalf of williamhill.com official partner of the Emirates FA Cup, said: “To win in 1972 after the loss in 1970 against Chelsea was a great feeling, walking up the steps, having the winner’s medal around your neck, they’re great memories.
“Looking back we should have won three finals in the early 70s, I think everyone agrees we should have beaten Chelsea in 1970 and were probably favourites in 73.”
Talking about the 72 final, he said: “We were 1-0 up and normally that would mean the game was finished but Arsenal were a strong team, they didn’t fear anyone and were pumped up to win.
“After walking up the steps and collecting our winner’s medal we were straight in the bath and on the team bus up to Wolverhampton for our title decider on the Monday night.
“We didn’t really celebrate the win with our families afterwards, it was a bit of a shame but we had winner’s medals around our necks.”
Gray’s Leeds lost against Wolves 2-1 the following Monday giving Derby County the title and ending their hopes of a double.
“We had one day to prepare but that was just the way things were back then, we didn’t really feel aggrieved at not having extra time. Winning the FA Cup was huge back then, it was the biggest game of the season.”
Leeds host Rotherham at Elland Road on Saturday (3pm) and the former boss is confident they’ll overcome their Yorkshire rivals.
“It’ll be a close game but I think Leeds will just edge it, two good Championship sides battling it out, in that league anyone can beat anyone so it’ll be a test and a great occasion.
“The appetite for football in Yorkshire is huge, it’s a bit disappointing there isn’t a team in the Premier League but these things happen in cycles. It would be nice to see Leeds back there and you never know if they string some results together.”
William Hill, official partner of the Emirates FA Cup, for the latest odds on all FA Cup action go to williamhill.com