1996-1997 - "Packard Bell" goalkeeper shirt - Martyn 1

Champions League

The Shirt

The shirt is the first to have been manufactured by Puma and also features a new sponsor, computer manufacturer Packard Bell.

The shirt is made of thick purple polyester and has a bold Puma pattern across the left shoulder and the bottom right. The name and number style was only used during this season, clubs had different colours to match their shirts – Leeds had light blue with a yellow trim on the home shirts and dark blue with a white trim on the away. Although this shirt was worn at Elland Road, it has the away number applied.

Oddly, Puma used the same neck labels for both the replica and player shirt so the player shirts are often mistaken for replicas. The three factors which separate the players shirts from the replicas are; the puma logo on the neck is machine stitched as opposed to embossed felt, the number is larger and made of heavy felt and the sleeve patches are larger the ones sold in the club shops. This shirt has all of those features.

The Season

The 1996/97 season was a season of change at Elland Road following a disappointing league campaign in the previous season.

Howard Wilkinson looked to reconstruct the side. Title winners John Lukic, Gary Speed and Gary McAllister left the club while Nigel Martyn, Lee Sharpe, Lee Bowyer and Ian Rush were brought in. All four signings were included for the opening game of the season away to Derby County.

On September the 7th Leeds played bitter rivals Manchester United at Elland Road. The game ended in a 4 nil home defeat and manager Howard Wilkinson lost his job on the Monday. Former Arsenal manager, George Graham, was quickly appointed as Wilkinson’s replacement.

Graham’s style of football was very defensive. Leeds finished the season in 11th position having only scored 28 goals in 38 games, 3 less than Nottingham Forest who finished bottom. Graham’s style did not suit some players and Yeboah aired his frustrations by throwing his shirt at the manager having been substituted away at Tottenham Hotspur, sadly his last act in a Leeds shirt.

The Player

This shirt was worn by former Leeds United goalkeeper Nigel Martyn. Martyn signed for Leeds from Crystal Palace for a then record fee for a goalkeeper of £2.25m.

Martyn was Leeds’ first choice for six seasons and was outstanding throughout. Leeds fans recognised this by voting him Leeds’ greatest goalkeeper ahead of Gary Sprake and John Lukic who won trophies with the club. Martyn left Leeds for Everton in 2003 following the arrival of Terry Venables, the financial situation at the club and the immergence of Paul Robinson – he is still fondly remembered by the supporters at Elland Road.

Martyn retired from the game in 2006 and is currently the honorary president of the Leeds United Supporters Trust.

Martyn wore this shirt on the 18th September 1996 against Darlington at Elland Road in the Coca Cola Cup 2nd Round 1st leg. With it being a cup game no names were printed on the shirts. The game ended 2-2 on the night with Rod Wallace scoring twice; Leeds progressed to the next round by winning 2-0 in the 2nd leg 6 days later.

Martyn is number 10 in the 100 Greatest Leeds Players list.

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