Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Eli: Roger

1982-1985 (Player Details)


Born: Bradford: 11-09-1965

Debut v Wimbledon (h) (substitute): 01-12-1984

5’11” 11st 3lb (1987)

A product of Hansen Upper School, Bradford, Eli represented Bradford Schools, won Yorkshire County honours, had England Schools trials and was an associate schoolboy with Nottingham Forest before joining Leeds in September 1983. He progressed through the Juniors and Reserves and the leggy young midfielder made a couple of outings for the United first team. The first was when he came on as a substitute for Peter Lorimer in a 5-2 win over Wimbledon on 1st December 1984 and almost a year later he started at left–half for the injured Neil Aspin but was replaced by another substitute, Scott Sellars, in the 3-2 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion at Elland Road on 28th December 1985. Sammy Chapman's keen interest in Eli convinced him to move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 1986, even though it meant going to a Second Division club. He played fifteen games as in five positions as the Midlanders were relegated to the Third Division. Brian Little gave him three games in the following season but struggled with injuries and after Graham Turner took over and his injuries became more prolonged he was found to be surplus to requirements. He only made sixteen League starts and two substitute appearances before he moved to Cambridge United for the start of the 1987-88 season, on a non -contract basis and did not play in the first team. He joined Crewe Alexandra as a non-contract player in September 1987 and was released at the end of the season after scoring one goal in twenty League starts and seven appearances as a substitute. He then joined Pontefract Colliery for a few weeks before linking up with York City on a non-contract basis in November 1988 and scoring once in three starts and one game from the bench in the League. The following month he tried his luck with Bury, again as a non-contract player, but had only two substitute League appearances before dropping into the GM Vauxhall Conference with Northwich Victoria. In July 1989 he joined Burnley, making his debut on 19th August 1989 at Rochdale, but was substituted. He was to become a fan cult figure and proved to be a useful all-rounder and able to play in midfield or defence, but in the first few months of his Burnley career you wouldn't have suspected it. He was in the side at the start of the season, in a midfield role, but he also played at centre half and at right back as Burnley made a solid if unspectacular start to the season. He soon proved that he was adaptable and could play in a number of different defensive positions. However he drifted out of the team but was given a chance as a substitute in an F.A. Cup Second Round Replay against Scunthorpe United at Turf Moor in 1989-90. Coming on in place of Peter Mumby, as striker, he gave the Clarets the lead in a game that ended 1-1 after extra time, but he also turned in a performance that suggested he'd played up front all his life. Six days later in the second replay he scored twice more, as Burnley romped home 5-0. There was no going back for Eli and, although he was in and out of the side over the remainder of the season. With Ron Futcher and John Francis forming the regular striker partnership, when he did play, it was as a striker. He didn't score another goal that season but in the two seasons that followed he proved to be a very valuable goalscorer. Despite starting only fifteen League games in the 1990/91 season he netted ten goals as Burnley reached the play-offs, but it was in the following season that he came into his own. He scored another ten League goals as well as adding seven more in the cup competitions, as Burnley won the Fourth Division Championship. Sadly he picked up an injury and missed the last five games of the season as the championship was won and he was never to recover sufficiently to get the chance of playing at the higher level. In the first season after promotion he started just two League games and was substituted in both. In 1993/94 season, as Burnley clinched another promotion via the play-off win at Wembley, he didn't feature at all and at the end of that season was released. He played his final game at Mansfield Town on 23rd January 1993 and was substituted. His record at Burnley was ninety- nine League appearances of which twenty-nine were as a substitute and he scored twenty goals. He scored five F.A. Cup goals in twelve appearances, of which five were from the bench. He made four starts and two substitute appearances without scoring and in play-offs, and in other games he scored six goals in fourteen appearances. After playing in China with Foshan Fosti for one season, he tried to re-establish his career at Scarborough, where he had trials before the start of the 1994-95 season. Scunthorpe United took him on in February 1995, but after two League games as a substitute, two months later he teamed up with Partick Thistle but only played twice before moving to Bradford Park Avenue. He later played with Otley Town in 2004 and became their Manager for the 2005-06 season. He became a successful businessman in Bradford, and often watches games at Turf Moor, where he is still fondly remembered by the fans.

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