Why former England rugby star Danny Care rejected chance to try out for Leeds United

Everyone knows Danny Care once played for Sheffield Wednesday but he has also revealed what still “haunts” him – turning down the chance to join Leeds United.

England's Danny Care, left, turned down a chance to trial for leeds United as a youngster.. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA

The former England scrum-half was in the same Owls junior side as future England striker Jamie Vardy.

Vardy was famously released at the age of 16 but Care asked to leave when a year younger as he had fallen out of love with the sport. Leeds-born Care, 34, recalled: “Clive Baker was in charge of the academy and was an absolute legend; he didn’t care if you were big or small.

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“But a new guy came in in our third year and anyone who was a bit smaller just wasn’t getting played. I said to my dad that I just didn’t enjoy it. I was a kid – all I wanted to do was play football so why was I sat on the bench all the time not playing? We spoke to them and I don’t regret leaving.

Danny Care was in the same Sheffield Wednesday junior side as Jamie Vardy, who was released by the Owls aged 16 before going on to play for England and Leicester City. Picture: Paul Ellis/PA

“The thing that haunts me, though, is I always remember that apparently Leeds wanted to give me a trial and let me go down and play a bit for them to see how I got on. But I remember saying to my dad that I just wanted to go play with my mates again!

“That is one of my regrets. I do think ‘should I have gone on that trial?’”

However, Care is not a Leeds fan. He explained: “I should have been. I supported Leeds when really young but as my brother supported them I thought I’d be different and go Liverpool.

“After Wednesday, I went back to my local club at Adel playing with my mates again and loved it.

“But then my mates from school got me to go down to Otley Rugby Club and that’s when I made the switch when I was 16.”

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