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

Smith: Alan

1998-2004 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Centre Forward

Born: Rothwell: 28-10-1980

Debut v Liverpool (a) (Substitute): 14-11-1998

5’10” 11st 11lb (2003)

#38 in 100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever

Alan Smith progressed through the Leeds junior ranks and signed professional on 26th March 1998. A former F.A. School of Excellence player, Smith represented England at various Youth levels and had made his debut for the England Under-Eighteens on 12th February 1998, playing a full game in a 1-0 win over Israel at Drill Field Northwich. He gained a second cap as an eighty-ninth minute substitute for Leeds teammate Lee Matthews in a 3-0 win over France at Edgeley Park, Stockport, on 26th March 1998. There were three more in quick succcession as England took part in the European championship Finals and he took part in all three games in Group B, in which they failed to qualify on goal difference. On 19th July 1998 he came on as a sixty-fifth minute substitute at Paralimni Municipal Stadium in a 2-1 win over hosts Cyprus. Two days later England defeated the Republic of Ireland at Anagennisi Deryneia in Famagusta, with Smith scoring the only goal of the game in the eighty-fifth minute. Unfortunately England were beaten 0-3 by Croatia at the same venue two days later. His sixth and final cap came on 13th October 1998 when he replaced Darius Vassell in the sixty-eighth minute in a 4-2 win over Italy in Rome. He was elevated to the Leeds United bench at Anfield in November 1998 after an England Under-Eighteen tour of the Middle-East had been postponed. It was soon after his eighteenth birthday that he made the dream debut, scoring at Anfield with virtually his first kick, after coming on as substitute for Clyde Wijnhard in the seventy-ninth minute. That goal helped propel him into the young Leeds team that emerged as a major threat in the 1998-99 season, as he became one-half of the first-choice striker pairing, along with Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink.Smith had continued his rise as the Leeds side grew in stature in Europe and in the EPL. He showed his class in 2001, scoring several fine goals in tandem with Mark Viduka, while helping to lead the Leeds side through the much vaunted ECL. However, his experience ended on a sour note as he was sent off in the Semi-Final and his temperament was called into question. The following season saw Smith switched to the midfield, his versatility being utilised by O'Leary, as the Leeds Manager tried to accommodate new signings. Smith broke into the England squad in 2001 after previously playing for England at Youth and Under-Twenty-one levels. His England Under-Twenty-One career had started with the first goal of the game after nineteen minutes in a 4-1 win over Denmark at Valley Parade, Bradford, on 8th October 1999. It continued as a substitute for Francis Jeffers after just ten minutes in a 1-0 win over Argentina at Craven Cottage on 22nd February 2000, but he was replaced by Jon Harley after eighty-one minutes. Two Group Nine European Qualifiers, the first a 1-1 draw with Germany at Pride Park, Derby, on 6th October 2000 followed by a 2-2 draw with Finland four days later in Valkeakoski took his caps to four and on 27th February 2001 he gained his fifth cap as Spain beat England 0-4 at St Andrew's, Birmingham. He made his senior England debut on 25th May 2001, in a 4-0 win over Mexico at Pride Park, Derby, when he replaced Michael Owen as a half-time substitute. He was a seventy-ninth minute substitute for Robbie Fowler at the Olympic Stadium, Athens, in a 2-0 win over Greece in Group Nine of the World Cup Qualifiers on 6th June 2001 and his third cap was gained in a 0-2 loss to Netherlands, again as a substitute, this time for Andrew Cole in the sixty-ninth minute, at White Hart Lane on 15th August 2001. Although he did not make the final squad for the 2002 World Cup, he accepted a position with the England Under-Twenty-one side and took his caps to ten, with lead up and Group A Finals games that summer. He played a full game at Valley Parade, Bradford in a 1-1 draw with Italy on 26th March 2002 and he started the 0-1 loss to Portugal at the Brittania Stadium, Stoke, on 16th April, before being replaced in the seventieth minute by Bobby Zamora. His final three caps came in the Finals in Switzerland where he played a full game in each fixture. His eighth cap came on 17th May 2002 when England defeated the host nation at Hardturm Stadium, Zurich by 2-1, but that was their only points as three days later they were beaten 1-2 by Italy at St Jakob Park, Basel and despite Smith scoring two minutes before half-time to make the score 1-2, two days later England were beaten 1-3 by Portugal at Hardturm Stadium, Zurich. His senior England career continued with his fourth cap on 7th September 2002 and he gave England the lead five minutes before half-time in a game they eventually drew 1-1 with Portugal at Villa Park, Birmingham. He played two Group Seven UEFA European Championship qualifiers in quick succession the first as a ninety-fourth minute substitute for Emile Heskey in a 2-1 win over Slovakia at Pasienky Stadium in Bratislava. The second, four days later, at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, in a 2-2 draw with FYR Macedonia, but he blotched his copybook as two irrational challenges, the first in the sixty-eighth minute and the second in injury time, saw him yellow carded twice, which resulted in his sending off. He was not recalled until 18th February 2004, when he was a seventy-first minute substitute for Michael Owen at the Stadion Algarve, near Faro in a 1-1 draw with Portugal and gained his eighth cap, his final one with Leeds, on 31st March 2004 as a sixtieth minute substitute for Alan Thompson in a 0-1 defeat by Sweden in Gothenburg. He won the supporters “Player of the Year” award in 2003 and 2004 and was generally popular with the fans for his willingness to play any position and tireless effort, often in midfield rather than his preferred striker’s role and his goal tally suffered accordingly. As the Leeds financial problems deepened players left to “feather their own nests” or to ease the United financial strain. Smith pledged himself to the club. However with relegation in 2004, Smith ended his Leeds career by kissing the badge and crying at his last match. His transfer to bitter rivals Manchester United for £6 million, however, led to controversy and his exit was marred by accusations of treachery, going from hero to villain in the eyes of some Leeds fans in the space of a day. This was despite the fact that club had publicly stated that they could not afford to pay his wages, that they were open to offers for him, and that no other club had registered an interest. Smith chose to waive his personal transfer fee owed to him by the club. However, some Leeds fans held up banners in the following games, which proclaimed Alan Smith as "Judas", to reflect how they felt he had betrayed them. Smith started the second chapter of his career on 8th August 2004 in the Charity Shield clash with Arsenal, scoring with a swerving volley in the fifty-fifth minute. Manchester United went on to lose the game 3-1. Early on in his spell at Manchester United, he developed a reputation for both long-ranged strikes, such as his strikes against Arsenal, and more intelligent, "poacher"-type goals, akin to those crafted by Ruud Van Nistelrooy. An injury hampered his first season, causing him to miss out on several matches including the Carling Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea. He missed out in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal at the Millenium Stadium as Manchester United lost out to penalties in the game. At the end of the season rumours were rife about Smith's future, despite Smith saying he wanted to continue at Manchester for his entire career. He had scored ten goals in his first season at Old Trafford. However, with Wayne Rooney in sparkling form and Ruud van Nistelrooy back in the team after injury, Smith was relegated to the bench. During his first season at Old Trafford, he gained five England caps to take his tally to thirteen. On 18th August 2004 he played the first half of a 3-0 win over Ukraine at St James' Park, Newcastle, before being replaced by Jermain Defoe. This was followed by three Group Six World Cup qualifiers, the first, a 2-2 with Austria on 4th September 2004 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, in which he started but was replaced after seventy-six minutes by Jermain Defoe. This was followed five days later by a 2-0 win over Wales at Old Trafford, Manchester, in which he came on as a seventieth minute substitute for Jermain Defoe and then four days after he was a fifty-fifth minute substitute for the same player at Tofig Bakhramov Stadium, Baku, in a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan. On 17th November at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, he replaced teammate Wayne Rooney after forty-two minutes in a 0-1 defeat by Spain. There were two more in the summer tour to USA, when on 28th May 2005 he played a full game in a 2-1 win over USA at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois and three days later he came on as a seventy-second minute replacement for Peter Crouch in a 3-2 win over Columbia at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. In the next season he brought his tally to sixteen, when he was an eighty-seventh minute substotute for Joe Cole in a 2-1 win over Poland at Old Trafford, Manchester. In the summer of 2005 it had emerged that Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was grooming Smith as a successor to Roy Keane in the Manchester United midfield. Smith got his chance to prove his credentials as a replacement for Keane when the Manchester skipper was injured early on in the 2005-06 season. Smith began a prolonged run in the midfield 'anchor' role, with little effectiveness and it was questioned whether Smith was cut out for the vital midfield role he was being asked to play. These criticisms aimed at Smith and his team-mates reached its nadir with Manchester's embarrassing 4-1 capitulation away to Middlesbrough. It seemed that Smith's performance in the crucial home match against League leaders Chelsea would be meticulously scrutinised as Keane's had questioned the endeavour of several players. Smith responded in determined fashion, giving a much better performance as his side won 1-0. Smith cemented his place in the hearts of Manchester United fans when he turned down the honourable chance of playing for his country, in order to work on his fitness in his new midfield role, in the reserve team. On 18th February 2006, during a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup, Smith broke his leg and dislocated his ankle while attempting to block a free-kick from Liverpool's John Arne Riise, an injury described by Sir Alex Ferguson as "one of the worst I've seen". Despite the rivalry between the two clubs, he was given an ovation by many of the Liverpool fans as he was stretchered off the pitch. On the next day it was confirmed that Smith would miss action for at least twelve months. Although in May, after a successful operation on his ankle, it was reported that he would likely be back in action as soon as mid-September; he had been recovering alongside Wayne Rooney for several weeks, who was also reported to be making a "miraculous" recovery on a broken foot. There was however, a small consolation for Smith and his club when Manchester beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 in the League Cup Final of the same season. After the match Manchester players paid tribute to Smith by wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "For you Smudge" (his nickname), in homage to Smith and his horrific injury. In the build up to the 2006-07 season Sir Alex Ferguson was quoted saying that he planned to replace the departing Ruud Van Nistelrooy by returning Smith to his natural position on centre-forward. On 26th September 2006 Smith made a return to action as a substitute in the eighty-fifth minute of the 1-0 Champions League victory over Benfica in Lisbon, immediately showing the passion he still had for the game by making a couple of crunching tackles in the five minute cameo appearance. On 10th November 2006, Leeds United boss Dennis Wise revealed he was interested in bringing Smith back to Elland Road on loan Ferguson himself voiced his desire to have Smith back at top fitness, stating that he was undergoing special training in order to aid and speed his recovery, and Smith said he wanted to stay and fight for his place. Smith made his comeback for Manchester in an ECL First knockout Round win against Lille. He made his first start at Old Trafford since his injury on 19th March 2007 in an FA Cup Quarter-Final replay win against Middlesbrough. He also made a substitute appearance in the EPL game against Bolton Wanderers and set up the fourth goal in Manchester's 4-1 win. After that he played in Manchester's 7-1 demolition of AS Roma in which he played a vital part, scoring a goal which was his first for eighteen months. Despite falling one game short of the ten appearances needed to qualify for a Premiership winners’ medal, the EPL granted special dispensation for Smith to receive a medal on the last day of the season. This medal was followed a week later with an FA Cup runners-up medal after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley. After a prolonged absence from the international scene Smith was called up for an England "B" match on 26th May against Albania at Turf Moor. He scored the first goal of the game after thirty-four minutes, which ended in a 3-1 win for England B. The next day he was named in the senior England team to face Brazil at Wembley Stadium on 1st June 2007. He made the starting eleven, but was replaced by Kieron Dyer after sixty-two minutes in a game that Brazil pulled off a 1-1 draw in the closing minutes in his eighteenth game and his final one as a Manchester United player. On 2nd August 2007, Newcastle United confirmed they had agreed a fee with Manchester United of around £6m for Smith. The deal was confirmed the following day, with Smith moving on a five-year contract. While with Manchester United Smith had scored seven goals in forty-three starts and eighteen games from the bench in the League and twelve goals in ninety for games, of which thity-two were fronm the bench in all competitions. He scored the winning goal on his debut appearance for the Magpies, in a 1-0 victory in a friendly against Sampdoria. He made his League debut on 11th August 2007 in a 3-1 win at Bolton Wanderers. He played mainly as a striker-cum-midfielder for Newcastle as Obafemi Martins, Michael Owen and Smith's old strike partner at Leeds, Mark Viduka, made it difficult for Smith to get regular playing time in his favoured position. On 16th November he played his nineteenth and final game for England as a seventy-third minute substitute for Peter Crouch in a 1-0 win over Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna. On 27th December 2007, Smith was named as Newcastle's temporary captain but the captain’s role was soon handed to Owen. However, the striker struggled to establish himself at Newcastle in his first season, failing to score a league goal. He also had the most fouls in the Premier League season, which revived thoughts of Smith’s indiscipline. Smith had disciplinary problems throughout his career, and committed numerous fouls. In total he was sent off seven times in the EPL. Newcastle sought to offload him at the end of the 2007-08 season but there were no takers due to his high wage. A stress fracture of the foot side-lined him for much of the season as he did not return until February, but he was a long way down the pecking order, as illustrated in the game which doomed Newcastle to relegation against Aston Villa when Smith was an unused substitute in the match, with Manager Alan Shearer preferring the options of Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins to start the game, and introducing Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi in the second half. He suffered relegation from the EPL for the second time in his career and only made four League starts and two more as a substitute. He was appointed the captain of Newcastle United for the 2009–10 season in the CCCL. During a pre season friendly against his former club Leeds United Smith was heavily booed by the Leeds supporters who once idolized him, this was the first time he had played against his former club since moving from Elland Road. He was vice-captain to Nicky Butt in the 2009-10 season, but was usually played in preference to Butt and therefore was Captain in most games. He picked up a CCCL Championship medal as Newcastle returned to the EPL at the first attempt. 2010-11 again saw him sidelined with an ankle injury which he picked up at the Stadium of Light on 16th January 2011 and it kept him out for much of the rest of the season. No longer assured of a first-team place he was loaned to M.K. Dons on 29th January 2012 for the rest of the season. He made his debut as a fiftieth minute substitute for Adam Chicksen in a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday on 31st January 2012, starting his first game on 4th February 2012 in a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town. It was at the same venue that Smith completed his loan spell, having helped them to the League One play-offs. He scored in the final minute to give M.K. Dons a 2-1 win, but unfortunately they went out 2-3 on aggregate. In that time he scored once in fourteen starts and two games from the bench in the League, added one goal in one start and one game as a substitute in the play-offs. After the loan spell, he joined Milton Keynes Dons, on a free transfer, on 10th July 2012 on a two-year contract. His record at Newcastle was eighty-four appearances in the League of which sixteen were as a substitute, five starts in the F.A. Cup, four starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup. He failed to score a goal while at St James' Park. He stayed at M.K. Dons for two seasons, taking the opportunity to take his coaching certificates and start to think about the next part of his career. He made his debut as a permanent M.K. Dons player in a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham in the League Cup when he replaced Jay O'Shea in the sixty-first minute. His starting debut was another catastrophe, as he was sent off after just nineteen minutes in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on 21st August 2012. He was released by the club at the end of his contract having scored one goal in the League from twenty-three starts and another twenty-eight from the bench and failed to score in five starts and three games from the bench in the F.A. Cup, two starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup and three starts in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He was immediately signed by Notts County as a player-coach on 20th May 2014, on a one year contract. The League One side’s manager, Shaun Derry, said “Alan’s a player that I have admired for some time. When I saw him play here for MK Dons back in March he was by far the best player on the pitch and I knew that he still had plenty to offer, so I’m delighted to be able to bring him on board as a player-coach. It’s not just what he will bring us on the pitch. It’s about the impact that he will have on the training ground and in the dressing room, because he is a strong character and epitomises the kind of player that I want to bring in this summer and he sets standards in everything he does.” By the end of January 2015, he had started twelve League games and come on once as a substitute and started one League Cup and three Johnstone's Paint Trophy games for the Meadow Lane club.

League 148/2438
F.A. Cup 11/44
League Cup 4/20
Europe 28/714