2011-2012 - "Warnock's First Game" away shirt - Becchio 10

Warnock's First Leeds Game

The Shirt

The shirt is manufactured by macron and is a thick polyester material. It has a unique all black design with “glow in the dark” pinstripe and, quite bravely, a “glow in the dark” Leeds badge. It features a new shirt sponsor introduced in the 2011/12 season, offshore insurance company Enterprise Insurance. The shirt keeps the secondary sponsor, OHS, on the back from the previous seasons.

The shirt was worn by Argentinean striker Lucciano Becchio during Neil Warnock’s first game in charge of Leeds United, an away trip to Portsmouth on the 25th February 2012. The shirt is straight off the player’s back and has also been signed “best wishes” on the reverse.

The Season

Following the club’s successful return to the 2nd tier of English football in the previous campaign, hopes were high for a successful promotion push in the 2011/12 season. The close season saw plenty of movement with the playing squad.

Notable departures included goalkeepers Schmeichel and Higgs, former captain Richard Naylor, midfielders Kilkenny and Johnson and flamboyant Ivory Coast forward Max Gradel all leaving the club. A host of players also joined including goalkeeper Andy Lonergan from Preston North End and Brown, Forssell, Vayrynen, Taylor and Rachubka who were all free agents. Leeds also dabbled in the loan market bringing in O’Dea, Keogh and Pugh at the start of the season.

On the pitch Leeds frustrated in the first half of the season and performances tailed off badly over Christmas. Pressure was mounting on manager Simon Grayson with Ken Bates being very open about his expectation in his programme notes. After a 1-4 home defeat to Birmingham City, Grayson was sacked.

Leeds continued to ship goals under the temporary control of Neil Redfearn. With boycotts planned, pressure mounted on the board to make a strong appointment. On the 18th February the announcement was made that promotion specialist Neil Warnock was the new manager of Leeds United. Warnock watched from the stands as Leeds went 2 nil down to Doncaster Rovers at home, at half time he addressed the players and Leeds went on to win the game 3-2.

The Player

The shirt was worn by Leeds striker Luciano Becchio. The Argentine arrived at Elland Road on trial in July 2008, having started his career at Boca Juniors before moving to Spain playing for various 2nd / 3rd tier sides including Barcelona B.

Becchio, a big favourite with the fans, made an almost instant impact for Leeds scoring just 25 seconds into his league debut against Yeovil Town at Huish Park. He went on to score 19 goals in his first season and 17 goals as Leeds were promoted. In his first season in the Championship he scored 20 goals and finished the season as the clubs top goalscorer.

Becchio wore this shirt in Neil Warnock’s first full game in charge – an away trip to Portsmouth at Fratton Park on the 25th February 2012. Becchio played the full 90 minutes as the game finished nil nil, the first goalless draw of the season. You can see Becchio wearing the shirt in the gallery on the right.

Image Gallery