Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughGood To See Harte Back - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Good To See Harte Back - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Good To See Harte Back

I like to think every football fan has a soft spot for the youthful Leeds United team of the late 1990s and early 2000s, I certainly do.

The squad included plenty of fresh faced youngsters that went on to become experienced Premier League players, the likes of Alan Smith, Harry Kewell and Paul Robinson breathing new life in to the league and sparking comparisons with the ‘kids’ of Manchester United that Sir Alex Ferguson led to a league and cup double in 1996.

Of all the young talent Leeds possessed at the time a personal favourite of mine was Republic of Ireland international left-back Ian Harte.

Harte played over 200 times for Leeds and with his trademark free kicks, a left footer in the ilk of David Beckham, and penalty taking scored 39 goals in a side that went all the way to the UEFA Cup semi-final in 2000 and, more impressively, to the Champions League semi-final in 2001, the highest high in Leeds United’s recent history.

The meteoric rise of such an impressive young squad quickly ground to a halt when in 2004 the club was brought rapidly back to ground with relegation from the Premier League following off the field issues which inevitably affected issues over the white line.

Harte left Leeds for newly promoted Spanish side Levante, somewhat falling off the map, in La Liga and second division of Spanish football, before a return to English football for single season spells with Sunderland, in the Premier League, and Championship side Blackpool.

Maybe the most surprising move of Harte’s career came after leaving Blackpool and joining League One side Carlisle where the Irishman showed his class scoring 21 goals in 60 games.

Following a few years in the doldrums of reserve team and lower league football it is good to see 35 year-old Harte having one last crack at England’s top flight with Reading.



Sam Jewell