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Stuart Dallas: Premier League return is perfect way to honour Leeds greats Cherry, Hunter and Charlton

 

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Stuart Dallas

Stuart Dallas

PA

Stuart Dallas

Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas says Leeds United's long-awaited return to the Premier League is a fitting tribute to three club greats.

The former Crusaders ace is a key performer in Marcelo Bielsa's side who have just ended the club's 16-year wait for promotion back to the promised land.

But amid all the celebrations, the Yorkshire air is full of sadness after the loss of three Elland Road greats.

In April, Ex-England international defender Trevor Cherry (72) died suddenly.

The defender won a league championship in 1974 and made 486 appearances for the club.

In the same month, United great Norman Hunter died aged 76 after contracting coronavirus.

The tough-tackling centre-back won two league titles during a 14-year first-team career at Elland Road.

And mourners gathered yesterday to say an emotional farewell to former Republic of Ireland boss Jack Charlton, who spent more than 20 seasons at Leeds, making 773 appearances and winning the 1969 league title and 1972 FA Cup.

"We have lost the three guys in recent times and it has been a difficult period for the club with a lot of emotion around," admitted Dallas. "They were big players for the club and it's fitting we have been able to finish the campaign as champions.

"That's for them as well and I'm sure they have been looking down on us and would feel really proud if they were with us today."

Belfast Telegraph