Football Express News looks back on one of English football’s most controversial transfer’s which saw Alan Smith ditch Leeds United and join rivals Manchester United.
Alan Smith causes controversy amongst the Leeds faithful by making the dreaded trip across the Pennines from Leeds to Manchester United for £7m.
It came after the well documented financial meltdown of Leeds United which led to their relegation in the 2003-2004 season, 3 years after their 3-0 defeat to Valencia in the Champion League semi-final of 2001.
The darling of the Leeds fans said after his transfer that “Not a lot of people would have been brave enough to make this step. It was a difficult decision because crossing the Pennines always causes a lot of hostility but from a personal point of view Manchester United can offer me everything I want.
“I’m very excited. It’s a massive club with a great history. It’s a new challenge. I’ll be playing with world-class players week in week out and I can only improve.”
Injury blighted his time at United, only making 61 appearances in 3 years there, he scored only 7 league goals.
Now 34, Alan Smith plies his trade at Notts County after spells at Newcastle United and MK Dons.
Paul Gascoigne – 1967 (48 today); Lee Sharp – 1971 (43 today); Johan Elmander – 1981 (34 today); Bobby Convey – 1983 (32 today); Gervinho – 1987 (28 today)