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

Simmonds: Robert Lyndon (Lyndon)

1983-1987 (Player Details)


Born: Pontypool, Gwent: 11-11-1966

Debut v Blackburn Rovers (h) (Substitute): 06-04-1985

5’4” 9st 10lb (1986)

A product of Blackwood Comprehensive School Ebbw Vale, Simmonds played for Gwent and South Wales Schools. He had trials with Arsenal and was also briefly on Cardiff City’s books. He played his first game for Leeds as a trialist in the Leeds Reserve team at Sheffield United on 4th May 1983 and three days later he played for the Leeds Juniors at Halifax Town, before joining Leeds as an apprentice, and then turning professional in November 1983. A prolific scorer with United’s Juniors and Reserves, he won five Welsh Youth caps to go with the eleven he had won at Schoolboy level. After being given his first chance as a substitute for George McCluskey in the 0-0 draw with Blackburn as the 1984-85 season was coming to a close, he found instant fame with his full debut for Leeds against Portsmouth on 2nd November 1985, as there were few other games played that day and so he took the headlines with a two goal start as United won 2-1. Simmonds turned up at Elland Road on the Saturday morning to play for the youth team. Manager Billy Bremner had deliberately left it late so the youngster would not become too nervous. Even so Simmonds still fully expected to be named as a substitute, but George McCluskey failed a fitness test and so he was named in the starting line up. Portsmouth were the League-leaders and few expected Leeds to even get a draw. Despite being heavily marked by Noel Blake, who would later play for Leeds, he still made the headlines. The first goal was bundled over the line and the second was a penalty at the Kop end. John Sheridan, the Leeds captain for the day, picked the ball up when the spot kick was awarded and handed it to the young Welshman with the simple instructions to "stick it in the net". It was not the perfect penalty kick but it found the net. It was a day that made him famous, but even so, he was never more than on the fringe of the first team. He made a further seven league appearances that season, two of them coming off the bench. He also added one more goal to his tally on 15th March 1986 at Ayresome Park in a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough. Lyndon’s final appearance that season was on the 12th April, coming off the bench to replace Tommy Wright in a 3-1 win over Millwall at Elland Road. It proved to be his final game in a Leeds shirt. He did not have the best of luck with injuries and had several operations on his knee cartilage. It was after one such injury that he spent time at Swansea trying to regain fitness. It was in October 1986 that he began a two months loan with Swansea City. There he scored just once in seven League starts and one game from the bench, but that goal, at home to Rochdale, was sufficient to win the game for City on 1st November 1986. Ironically in February 1987 he went to Rochdale for the rest of the season when Eddie Gray was in charge. Remarkably, he finished as top scorer with ten goals in twenty-two games and helped prevent relegation to the GM Vauxhall Conference. In the reverse fixture with Swansea City he scored for Rochdale as they won 2-0 at Spotland on 29th April 1987, thereby achieving the unique feat. In May 1987 he joined Rochdale on a permanent basis for £4,000 and partnered another Leeds old boy, Derek Parlane, in attack. He was again their leading goalscorer in the 1987-88 season, but a pelvic injury brought his career at Spotland to a premature end at the age of just twenty-one and he retired in 1988, he had scored twenty two goals in sixty-five League starts. He played a total of seventy-three games for Rochdale. Simmonds told the voice of Spotlands of latter days at Rochdale and his life after football. “I had been to see some specialists in Manchester about my pelvis because it had been causing me a few problems. It wasn’t anything particularly painful, just more like the pain I’d feel in my knees at times after a tough match or a hard training session. In many I was probably used to that type of pain as I’d had several operations on my knee beforehand and suffered the consequences before, but when the results came back that the injury was more serious than envisaged I was devastated. Over the forthcoming months I’d come into the club to do what light work I could, but eventually the doctors told me I would never fully recover and they suggested I stopped playing altogether. They diagnosed the injury as being similar to what rugby players suffered from in that it was caused by severe impact on the pelvis area. Obviously this was very rare in footballers, but in the end the decision was made to call it a day and all of a sudden I was faced with not knowing what to do next. Fortunately the club had been very good to me whilst I tried to recover, but after the bad news and with no ties in the area, my next big decision was made easy for me; I had no choice but to move back home to South Wales to live with my mum and dad again.” History will show that Simmonds only ever pulled on the famous Dale jersey seventy-three times. Despite this limited number of appearances, his level of contribution in these games will never go unnoticed and without him our club would undoubtedly have been relegated to Conference football in 1987. Ten goals in twenty-two appearances that season helped stave off such an indignity and for this we’ll all be eternally grateful. “I’d loved every minute of being at Rochdale, but all of a sudden I now had no career and very few options to choose from. I’d left school early to join my boyhood heroes Leeds United, aged 15, and had never contemplated my football career finishing at twenty-one. After going back home I was actually registered as disabled for the first twelve months because I was on crutches, back and forth from hospital all the time. I couldn’t work because of my condition and in order to receive some form of income I was registered as disabled. It might sound strange having eighteen months earlier enjoyed memorable nights, such as the one we had against Stockport County, but here I was, virtually housebound, very short of money and not exactly with a bright future ahead of me. In those days you didn’t get a big handout from the FA or anything like that, so I had to battle away on my own. When I eventually recovered I got a job at a local factory that mass produced telephone parts. My uncle was high up in the company and got me the job, but I ultimately stayed there for the next ten years. As you’d expect, it was a bit of a culture shock at first, like entering the real world I suppose, but I was years behind everybody else and at the time knew nothing other than football.” Simmonds had left his native Pontypool to join Leeds United and it was his relationship with Eddie Gray that was forged at Elland Road and ultimately the only reason he arrived in the corridors of Spotland. “One day in comprehensive school I got called to the Headmaster’s Office. To be fair this wasn’t really an unusual occurrence at the time, but I remember thinking I hadn’t done anything wrong and wondered what it was all about. "As I entered the room I could see two men sat with the Headmaster, one of whom I recognised to be Eddie Gray. As a boyhood Leeds fan I had idolised Gray and now here he was, sat in my school, having driven three hundred miles to ask me to sign for his club. I had been due to sign for Arsenal having been there for a month, but Gray made such an effort to get me to join Leeds that I couldn’t really say no. He told me he wanted me to go on a trip abroad and become a real part of the club and after going home to consult my dad - who wasn’t best pleased because he was working continental shifts at the time and we had to get him out of bed (before realising Eddie Gray and Jimmy Lumsden were sat in his front room of course) - I agreed to go to Yorkshire. Four years later Gray replaced Vic Halom as Rochdale manager and when the call came it was because of him I signed for the club, no other reason. An immediate strike partnership with Derek Parlane was formed and the duo spearheaded the renewed optimism of the fans as the club sought to stave off relegation. One defeat in the first nine games in which the partnership blossomed only reinforced this self-belief, even if the man himself had other thoughts at the time. I don’t think any of us really believed we’d escape,” he said. “I remember Eddie Gray saying we’d give it a good go, but there wasn’t the real conviction you’d expect after months of hardship and only one win in fourteen, or something like that. Fortunately we just seemed to get on a roll and everything came together and the night we confirmed we’d pulled off the great escape against Stockport County will live with me forever. We’ll forget the fact I missed a penalty for a second; I’d much rather prefer we talked about my goal in the second half and the joyous scenes it brought afterwards. It was like we’d won the FA Cup, not only on the terraces, but in the dressing room as well.” Another season quickly came and went, but the club failed to build on any momentum they had gathered, with the standout results against Leyton Orient (0-8) and Tranmere Rovers (1-6) coming for all the wrong reasons. Despite this, Simmonds was the only player to score more than five goals that season, managing fiften in total, which astonishingly accounted for more than twenty-five per cent of the number scored by the team as a whole. That, however, would be the end of his short, but very impacting professional career. His style of play and sheer will to win attitude had bestowed him in the hearts of Rochdale fans forever and for this he was given the true reception he deserved at the Centenary Dinner back in May. “It was a wonderful occasion and I cannot thank the club enough for inviting me. I have kept in touch with the lads I sat with and will do so for a long time and both myself and my wife Sian had a truly memorable night. I hold such tremendous memories from my time at Rochdale that I’m always delighted to come back north and I’m sure it won’t be the last you’ll see of me.” The football bug appears to have returned to the likeable Welshmen after years away from the game. With his two young daughters growing up fast, he may now have the time take in the odd game local to him, but such was the passion that still burned for The Dale, I wouldn’t rule out seeing him on the terraces at some far flung destination in the not too distant future." In summary, he had a series of operations and then worked for BT in South Wales for ten years before being made redundant. He found employment with a Company in Newport supplying pre-packaged meals to Marks & Spencer and became Operations Manager. He later became a manager at RF Brookes in Blackwood

League 6/33
Full Members’ Cup 1/10