HE played fewer than 60 games for Leeds United and scored just five goals but for fans of a certain vintage, Vinnie Jones remains a cult hero for the club.
The midfield hardman-turned-Holywood actor enjoyed a welcome fit for a footballing king as he made an emotional return to Elland Road this weekend.
Jones decided against wearing his all-white kit of yesteryear in favour of a three-quarter length woollen coat and natty purple trilby hat but he made sure the fans in the stands knew he was still one of them, proudly sporting a Leeds scarf for an on-pitch interview.
He told the crowd that grit and heart had been the key to the success of his fleeting spell at Leeds – before bringing the house down by leading the Kop in a rendition of United club anthem Marching On Together.
Vinnie’s appearance earned him rave reviews from fans on social media. One supporter, Vic Petit, wrote on Twitter: “I do believe Vinnie Jones has a massive place in #lufc history. I don’t care it was only one season.”
United managing director David Haigh also presented the man of the moment with a Leeds top bearing the name Jones and his old shirt number of four.
Vinnie even visited the Leeds dressing room to deliver some words of encouragement to the present day team – and his presence seemed to have a positive impact, with United running out 2-1 winners.
Saturday’s programme had a Vinnie Jones theme, featuring a photo of a famous Elland Road goal celebration.