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Peter Lorimer
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Personal information
Full name Peter Patrick Lorimer
Date of birth 14 December 1946 (1946-12-14) (age 63)
Place of birth    Dundee, Scotland
Playing position Right Winger
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Leeds United
Toronto Blizzard
York City
Toronto Blizzard
Vancouver Whitecaps
Leeds United
449 (151)
031 00(9)
029 00(8)
018 00(2)
087 0(23)
003 00(0)
076 0(17)   
National team
1969–1976 Scotland 021 00(4)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Peter Patrick Lorimer (born 14 December 1946 in Dundee, Scotland) was a footballer who formed part of the much-admired and feared Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s.

An attacking midfielder renowned for his vicious shooting, (he has been regarded as having the hardest shot in football history) Lorimer was at the more cultured end of a Leeds United side under Don Revie which was built on a platform of out-playing and out-muscling opponents. He is currently a director on the board at Leeds, and also provides commentary on Yorkshire Radio on occasions.


Boyish debutant

Lorimer's debut for Leeds came, astonishingly, when he was still 15 years of age. He had only signed professional forms in May 1962 but was thrown in for his debut in the September. Lorimer had in fact provisionally agreed to join Leeds' arch rivals Manchester United after they paid a bribe of £5,000 to his parents, though the money was returned once he signed for Leeds instead.[1]

He didn't feature in the first team picture again for two years (and again this was one isolated appearance), but a club record was duly set.

A regular at 19

Lorimer came to regular prominence in the 1966 season, making 34 League Championship appearances and scoring 19 goals, more than any other player at Leeds United managed that season. Thereafter his place and No.7 shirt was assured for the next decade and beyond. A skilful and industrious player who operated best in a drifting position either wide on the right (though not as an orthodox winger - he was more likely to cut in and shoot than stay wide and cross) or behind two main strikers (usually Allan Clarke and Mick Jones), Lorimer was a frequent and often spectacular goalscorer and earned himself several nicknames stemming from his powerful shooting - HotShot and Thunderboots were two of the more prevalent. He became renowned for those fearsome strikes, with his shots reaching speeds of up to 90 .He has recorded a 107 mph penalty shot.HASmph[2].

A player of honours

Leeds United won the League Cup and Fairs Cup in 1968 - their first major trophies under Revie - and Lorimer scored 30 goals during the season. He featured again prominently as they clinched their first League championship in 1969 and just before the end of the decade, won his first cap for Scotland.

In 1970, Lorimer was in the side which chased a dream "treble" of League championship, FA Cup and European Cup, though they famously ended the season with nothing. Lorimer ended that season with 19 goals again.

Leeds United took the Fairs Cup again in 1971 and then finally won the FA Cup in 1972. Lorimer picked up winner's medals in both, scoring 29 goals in the Cup winning season, including his best seasonal League tally of 23. A year later, Leeds United were back at Wembley to defend the Cup against Sunderland and Lorimer became part of FA Cup folklore after an incident in the second half.

Words which would haunt

Unwisely, Lorimer had said in an on-pitch interview with the BBC in the hours before the game that he expected an exhibition performance from Leeds United if they could score early. They didn't and as the second half reached its midway point it was Sunderland who led 1-0 and Leeds United seeking to equalise.

Pushing men forward to support the strikers and find the equaliser meant that Lorimer was one of several Leeds United players in Sunderland's area when the ball was laid back to full back Paul Reaney to put a high ball across to the far post. Fellow full back Trevor Cherry, making a late and fast run into the area, met the ball with a meaty diving header which was palmed out brilliantly by Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery. The ball fell to Lorimer, six yards out and the open goal in front of him, and he hit his shot duly towards the target only for Montgomery, somehow, to react and spring back to his feet, extending an arm at the same time and diverting the ball on to the crossbar and away. Up in the commentary box David Coleman screamed, 'And Lorimer makes it one each!', but he and everyone else in the stadium was wrong. Lorimer and Jones had even begun to celebrate the goal before they realised the ball had not crossed the line. Sunderland held on to win 1-0. Leeds United subsequently lost the European Cup Winners Cup final to AC Milan by the same scoreline.

World Cup finals and a European Cup final

In 1974, Lorimer had a fine season in a Leeds United team which proved almost invincible. They started the season with an unbeaten run of 29 League games and coasted to their second title under Revie. Lorimer's season was crowned with a place in Scotland's squad for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, and he scored in the group game against Zaire.

Another eventful season with Leeds United followed for Lorimer, as he continued to score goals, managing four as Leeds United progressed to their first European Cup final. Held in Paris, they played Bayern Munich and lost 2-0, with Lorimer having a goal disallowed due to a dubious offside decision given against captain Billy Bremner.

That was the last major trophy for which the team built by Revie (who had left the year previously to manage England) would compete, and the ageing team began to break up. Lorimer, who also made his 21st and final Scotland appearance in 1975, was still not 30 and continued to play as an experienced head amidst a new generation of Leeds United players. Mediocrity summed up the rest of the 1970s for Leeds United and Lorimer left in 1979, no longer a regular player.

Moving on and moving back

He played for York City and then tried his luck in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Lorimer played for two clubs: the Toronto Blizzard (1979–1980) and the Vancouver Whitecaps(1981-83), before returning to a now-relegated Leeds United, aged 37, in 1983. Amazingly, he played for three seasons under former team-mate Eddie Gray (more than a year his junior) and broke the club's goalscoring record in the process, ending up with 238 goals from 676 appearances by the time new manager Billy Bremner "retired" him just before his 40th birthday. Lorimer played on for a short time in Israel where he reportedly considered converting to Judaism.

Remaining in Leeds

Lorimer has remained a dedicated spokesman on the club since retirement - he is always one of the first ex-players broadcasters and journalists turn to when the club is in the news. He has worked as a pundit at games for BBC Radio Leeds and as a columnist for the local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post. He currently writes a column in the club's Match Programme and he acts a summariser on every Leeds away match for Yorkshire Radio. His main source of income since retirement has been from running The Commercial Inn pub in the Holbeck area of the city.

Man of the fans

In 2004, with the club on its knees financially, Lorimer acted as a go-between who liaised between potential benefactors and supporters as a rescue plan for the club was launched. He is a fans' representative on the board of directors who also deals with the media on club issues. He was the only person to remain on the board after Ken Bates takeover of Leeds United A.F.C. in 2005 as Bates felt his role as fans' representative was important and would help with relations with the Leeds United fans.

Honorary President of Lanyon Whites Leeds United Members Club

Peter Lorimer is the Honorary President of Lanyon Whites Leeds United Members Club, Dublin (Republic of Ireland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland. Lanyon Whites is a cross border club based in the Dublin (Rep. of Ireland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland). The club was established in 2009.Lanyon Whites Leeds United Members Club are an official Regional Members Club affiliated to Leeds United Football Club.

"Lanyon Whites develops a strong community of Leeds United fans, young and old. The club is very family orientated; the juniors in the club are the future of Leeds United. Lanyon Whites are a club that shares and celebrates the one thing we all have in common, a passion for Leeds United Football Club"

"Football has the unique ability to cross any boundary; it includes people of all ages from different communities"

Peter Lorimer presented members with branch certificates at a function after the Tranmere game on the 22nd of August 2009 match. Peter was presented with a plaque and oil painted portrait. You can see the photos in the gallery section [ ]


  1. ^ 22 Feb 2008
  2. ^ Amazon (2002). Peter Lorimer: Leeds United and Scotland Hero (accessed 23rd Sept 2006)

External links

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