Heritage Advent Calendar: Dec 24

Our final Advent Calendar entry comes courtesy of Librarian, Antony Ramm and a notable match played at Elland Road.

While Christmas Day football has a long and venerable history in England, there hasn’t been a top-flight match played on that day of seasonal festivities since Blackpool beat Blackburn Rovers 4-2 in 1965. Those days are now long-gone, it seems – with the lost tradition largely replaced with the fun of the Boxing and New Year’s Day programmes. One notable example, however, stands out in terms of the modern Christmas football calendar – and that’s the visit of Manchester United to Leeds United’s Elland Road on December 24 1995: still, to date, the only time a Premier League football match has been played on Christmas Eve. (And with the usual caveats that football wasn’t invented in 1992 etc).

(c) Yorkshire Evening Post

Happily – or not, depending on your allegiance – Leeds ran out 3-1 winners, in the middle of a mid-90s period of semi-regular home victories over their biggest rivals. This one – half-way through a 1995-96 domestic season that was underwhelming for Leeds and which Manchester United would otherwise dominate – was probably the most impressive: goals from Gary McAllister (penalty – an early birthday present), Tony Yeboah and hometown-hero Brian Deane sealing this festive victory, in front of more than 30,000 cold, but jubilant and, no-doubt, rather merry supporters.

(c) Yorkshire Evening Post

You can see the goals, extended highlights, or even the full match on YouTube. Merry Christmas!

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