1993-1995 - "Thistle Hotels" shirt - McAllister 10

McAllister 10

The Shirt

The "Thistle Hotels" shirt with the blue and yellow hoops is a favourite amongst Leeds fans, and is still seen at Elland Road today. It was worn for two season between 1993 and 1995.

The shirt is made from a reasonably thick, smooth polyester. It has clear signs of match use - the middle of the Thistle Hotels logo is missing (this was common with these shirts, there is a photo of Brian Deane on the right with the same piece missing), it has numberous stains and the material isn't as bright as it would have been originally. In the ealy 90's shirts were worn for as long as they could have been so it will have been used in a fair few games.

There are a number of features which diferentiate the shirt from a replica. The Leeds badge is machine stitched while on the replicas it was felt embossed. It has McAllister's name and number on the back of the shirt, the name is heat pressed felt while the numbers are machine stitched to the shirt and is in a stretchy felt material. The numbers have the asics logo pressed on them in white, although one of them has perished from use and being laundered. The shirt also has the player spec machine stitched Premier League arm patches.

McAllister has also signed the shirt before the club has let it go.

The Seasons

Between 1993 and 1995 Leeds went through a stage of resurgence following the disappointment of the season before. The squad changed with the departure of some of the title winners and the introduction of players like Briane Deane, David White, David Rocastle and future Leeds manager David O'Leary. In 1993/94 Leeds completed the recovery and finished 5th in the table.

In 1994/95 Leeds' squad evolved further with the experienced signings of Paul Beesley and Richard Jobson at the back, South African's Lucas Radebe and Phil Masinga, and Carlton Palmer joining the midfield. The most influencial signing came later in the season when Ghanaian Tony Yeboah joined on loan from German side Eintracht Frankfurt. He became an instant success at Elland Road and achieved cult status with 13 goals in the last 19 games. Once again Leeds finished 5th and earnt a diserved UEFA Cup place.

The Player

The shirt was worn by Leeds captain and future manager Gary McAllister. McAllister joined Leeds in 1990 and went on to make 294 appearances for The Whites before he departed for Coventry City in 1996.

McAllister is remembered as a classy midfielder with a blistering long range shot and trademark freekicks. He was part of one of Leeds' most fondly remembered midfields alongside Gordan Strachan, David Batty and Gary Speed.

In January 2008, with Leeds languishing in League 1, McAllister took aver as Leeds manager. A popular appointment with Leeds fans he managed the club he lead the club to the play-off Final at Wembley - a 1 nil defeat to Doncaster. McAllister was sacked in December 2008 after a run of poor results, the lowest being an FA Cup defeat to Histon. It is fair to say that he will be most fondly remembered as an inspirational midfielder and captain, rather than a manager at Leeds.

McAllister is number 11 in the 100 Greatest Leeds Players list.

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