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

Whelan: Noel David (Noel)

1993-1995 (Player Details)


Born: Leeds: 30-12-1974

Debut: Sheffield United (a): 04-05-1993

6’2” 11st 3lb (1995)

The one-time ball-boy at Elland Road was signed by Leeds after leaving school and turned professional in March 1993, quickly showing his skill on the ball. An England Youth International, he was part of the England European Youth championship winning squad of 1993 and the Leeds side which won the FA Youth Cup in the same year and scored one of the goals in the first leg of the Final at Old Trafford. He continued to progress and netted the only goal of the game against the Republic of Ireland on his debut for the England Under-Twenty-one’s at Newcastle. Whelan looked poised for a long run in the EPL, but a throat virus and the arrival of Tony Yeboah pushed him out of the first team picture. When he did get back into the first team goals did not come so readily and it was one of the surprises of the 1995-96 EPL season when the twenty-one year old Whelan was sold to Coventry City for £2 million. There was also a sell-on clause to the contract whereby Leeds would receive fifteen per cent should the Sky Blues transfer Whelan. United, in need of cash, believed they had received an offer they could not refuse for their talented England Under-Twenty-one striker. After signing for Coventry in December 1995 the goals once more started to flow and his cool finishing became his trademark as he formed a regular partnership with Dion Dublin. One of his better goals was captured on BBC’s Match of the Day. It saw Whelan dribble the ball from just inside the Southampton half, and beat several players before shooting past the keeper. Whelan played regularly for "the Sky Blues" throughout the 1996-97 season without providing the spark of the previous season, as the club again struggled to avoid religation. His reputation as the bright young thing was usurped by his new strike partner Darren Huckerby. The Sky Blues form improved markedly in the 1997-98 season as they rose to mid-table respectability in the EPL under manager Gordon Strachan, with Noel Whelan playing a key role in midfield. With Dublin and Huckerby scoring regularly upfront, Whelan played in a wide left midfield role, scoring the opener in a notable home win over Manchester United, and the home draw with Arsenal. Whelan started the 1998-99 season in midfield, but moved back upfront following the departure of Dion Dublin to Aston Villa. Back in an attacking position, Whelan struck up a good partnership with Darren Huckerby, bringing his best goal return in the process, and prompting some Coventry fans to demand his inclusion in the England squad. Coventry fans were expecting a great deal of the Whelan-Huckerby partnership in the 1999-2000 season but were to be disappointed as first Whelan sustained a bad injury in pre-season and then Huckerby was sold to Leeds United. Whelan missed most of the first half of the season as Gordon Strachan built an exciting new team featuring Robbie Keane, and the Moroccan duo Moustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo. Whelan did manage to get back into the team near the end of the season but it was clear he was no longer first choice, with Keane and Cedric Roussel establishing themselves as first choice strikers. In the close season, Whelan was sold to Middlebrough for £2.2 million. At Highfield Road he scored thirty-one goals in one hundred and twenty-seven League starts and six games from the bench and a further eight goals in twenty-one starts and one game from the bench in Cup competitions. The three-year spell with Boro would be the last time Whelan would spend more than one season with any club. He did, however, enjoy a brilliant run of form, possibly the best of his career, which included a goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup in Middlesbrough's 2-0 victory, after which he celebrated by simply giving the "Leeds Salute", because of his love of the West Yorkshire club and their bitter rivalry with his opponents that day. Following a short loan spell with Crystal Palace, where he netted three times in eight appearances, including one from the bench, Whelan left Middlesbrough to join Millwall, where he managed four goals in fifteen League appearances, including seven as a substitute and failed to score in one appearance in the League Cup. While at the Riverside he had enjoyed his best form scoring five times in thirty-three League starts and another twenty-eight games from the bench, while in the cups he had netted five times in nine starts and three substitute appearances. Whelan left Millwall and signed for his fourth club that season and joined Derby County. A goalless spell at Derby from three starts and five games from the bench in the League saw Whelan sign for Scottish club Aberdeen at the start of the 2004-05 season. He scored five times in twenty League appearances, including two from the bench but failed to score in two starts and one substitute appearances in the Cup for the Pittodrie side. His one-year contract passed without renewal and Whelan moved back to England to start the 2005-06 season at League Two club Boston United, where he scored four goals in fifteen games, seven of which were from the bench. He also made one start and one substitute appearance in Cup and other games. Following his admission to the Sporting Chance alcoholism treatment clinic in early January 2006, Whelan left Boston and spent the last two months of the season in the SPL with Livingston, where he couldn't prevent the side from being relegated into the Scottish First Division as he scored once in five starts and three more from the bench in the League. Whelan stayed in the Scottish Premier League, as he signed a one-year contract with Dunfermline in July 2006. Unfortunately, he was injured after just three minutes in his first game. It turned out to be an Achilles tendon problem and after six months out injured Dunfermline terminated their contract with Whelan by mutual consent on 4th January 2007. Since then Whelan has assisted in coaching at Dunfermline, whilst studying for badges, he is said to be interested in a career in management. On 11th December 2008 Whelan joined Harrogate Town. A week later Neil Aspin said Whelan was not fit enough to play football and would need to lose weight and could not be considered for the rest of the season. On 30th May 2009 he applied for a position on the Aberdeen coaching staff and was going to bring Ron Atkinson with him. on 8th October 2009 he was Manager Steve Staunton's first signing for Darlington when he signed on a non-contractual basis. He made his debut for Darlington at Dagenham & Redbridge on 10th October 2009, but he was taken off with a muscle strain injury, after thirty-four minutes. He did not play again for more than three months, until 26th January 2010, when he came on as a seventy-ninth minute substitute against Northampton Town. His comeback lasted only two minutes, before he succumbed to a hamstring injury. He played again, when he started in the home fixture with Barnet on 20th March 2010. He was substituted after fifty-eight minutes. He had made two starts and another appearance from the bench without scoring. Staunton left the club on 20th March 2010 and Whelan has not played since.

League 28/207
F.A. Cup 20
League Cup 3/21
Europe 3 0