Hometown hero Kalvin Phillips has reflected on his memorable day when he scored the winning goal for Leeds United in front of many of the legends he grew up cheering on.
The boyhood Whites fan netted the only goal of the game against Birmingham City in front of a packed Elland Road crowd that included some 40 legends back to help the celebrations of the club’s 100 years in existence.
The goal may have only just rivalled Phillips’ thrill at getting a picture with one of the heroes of the past, Lucas Radebe, but Phillips was proud to have played his part in an important win.
He said: “I wouldn’t have put any money on scoring, but I got in that position and Jack Harrison saw me in the corner of my eye and laid the ball off to me.
“I just wanted to hit the target and I hit it straight at the goalkeeper so I think it was a little bit lucky to be honest.
“The three points gives all of the boys a little bit of confidence and this club deserves it after this week with the birthday.
“It was a great atmosphere, I’ve never heard anything like it to be fair, with the legends coming on before the game, the fans were like the 12th man out there today and I hope they’ve had a good week.”
Phillips revealed his appearance in the game was a little in doubt when he reported ill during the week.
He explained: “Unluckily I wasn’t there at the night at the meal with the legends (on Thursday).
“I was gutted to be fair. I wanted to be there, I wanted to meet all the players that I had been watching from when I was younger.
“I just wasn’t well. I felt quite under the weather. I came in training on Thursday and the physio said it was probably best for me to go home and just relax and I did that.
“Maybe I should start doing that more often! I might score a few more goals.
“I was at the hotel because I was ill but I was lucky enough to meet Lucas Radebe downstairs and I got a photo.
“I was very happy that I have seen Lucas. I have seen Jermaine Beckford and Becchio as well, they are players that I grew up watching.
“I used to sit in the Kop end watching them score goals and it was kind of surreal really but I am very happy that I got the goal and I am glad that they were cheering me on as well.”
Phillips added: “I think just with the week that has been going on and even the walk out with the fireworks and stuff, it just made it that little bit extra special and with the legends being here and a lot of people watching the game.
“I think it was just written in the stars and I am very happy to be in that position.
“I was back training Friday but I knew on Thursday that I had to get as well as possible because I knew that I wanted to play and I was going to play and I wouldn’t want to miss it.
“The manager just had a word with me and asked if I was feeling good and even if I wasn’t feeling good I would have always said I am feeling all right!”