By way of introduction, the following article was written by my little brother Nadav Winehouse, who is aged 16, and captures a feeling that I assume is shared by others of his generation, for as bad as we have it, those who have never known success surely have it worse. I remember the days when David Healy was his hero, a fate I do not wish on my worst enemy. I read it and felt it had to be published, as he writes with a maturity that belies his age.
January 10th 2004, a date which will have very little significance to the majority of Leeds fans. However, to me, the date signifies the first ever time I entered Elland Road. That day, Leeds United lost to a solitarily Robbie Keane goal. Unfortunately, it was also the first and last ever time that I saw Leeds United play in the Premier League. I am a member of a certain generation; a generation that has never seen a ‘good’ Leeds team, a generation who have had to endure the tales of Leeds under David O’Leary, Howard Wilkinson and Don Revie, a generation who have been lost in the perennial abyss of the Football League.
To me, Leeds United have always been shite. I have never had the luxury of seeing quality football at Elland Road. Rather than seeing Leeds go toe-to-toe with Barcelona and A.C Milan, I’ve seen us fail struggle to survive onslaughts from the footballing minnows of Hull City and Watford. It is not only the footballing side of things that me and my fellow generation have missed out on: we have never had the luxury of wearing quality football apparel, sporting Macron and Diadora rather than Nike and Puma; we have never had the gratification of opening a packet of stickers and finding one of our heroes in a white shirt glaring at us; we have never been able to go onto FIFA and see Leeds listed alongside the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. Our generation have not only missed good football, but we have also, to an extent, missed out on a childhood.
What would the Premier League be like for my generation? Will it be akin to the promotions of Reading and Swansea, entering an unknown land, not knowing what will occur? I imagine that some Swansea and Reading fans do not see their clubs as top division sides – their situation will simply be foreign to them. This is a similar feeling to what some, older Leeds fans will surely feel, the current Leeds United side the antithesis of what they are used to from times gone by. Luckily, one of the perks of being a member of the generation to never know a good Leeds side is the fact that, to quote Marching on Together, we have known the ‘downs’ rather than the ‘ups’, thus being destroyed by Barnsley, or the sale of our best players, is simply the norm.
The Premier League to my generation will feel odd, it will not be Leeds United to us. Unfortunately for me, Leeds will always be a dire lower-league side. It will take years of the therapeutic embrace of Sky Sports’s loving glow to convince me otherwise. Why am I writing this? It is a message to David Haigh, Salem Patel and GFH Capital. It is vital for the club that another generation is not lost – thousands of potential Leeds fans have been attracted to the ‘successful clubs‘ during this current spell in the lower leagues, thousands more will be lost if we progress in the current fashion. A change needs to occur for the club to create a fan base for the future.
Follow Nadav Winehouse on Twitter (@nadavwinehouse1).