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Premier League Cult Icons: Tony Yeboah

Although he only spent two years at Leeds United, Ghanian striker Tony Yeboah more than made his mark at Elland Road.

Tony Yeboah In Profile

Place of BirthKumasi, Ghana
Premier League club(s)Leeds United
Premier League appearances47
Premier League goals24
Premier League assists3
International caps59
Other notable clubsSaarbrucken, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg

Journey into football

Born in Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti Region in Ghana, Tony Yeboah spent the early years of his football career in his homeland at Asante Kotoko, Cornerstones Kumasi and Okwaku United.

His goalscoring form at Okwaku United eventually alerted the attention of 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Saarbrucken in 1988, with Yeboah making the move to Europe in his early 20s.

Yeboah's arrival in Germany was of historical significance, as he became one of the first professional black players in the country.

After an underwhelming first season at Saarbrucken, Yeboah netted 17 league goals in his second campaign to earn a move to Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.

Style of play

Yeboah was an all-action centre-forward, with the physicality to ruffle defenders at will and the technique to score wonder goals almost every other week.

At 5ft 11ins tall, Yeboah had everything a top striker required - pace, power, tenacity and clinical finishing.

A true livewire at the top end of the pitch, Yeboah's ability to score from distance meant defenders had to always be on their toes when attempting to thwart the Ghanaian.

Best Premier League moment

Becoming renowned as a scorer of great goals during his relatively short stay in the Premier League, there are two strikes in particular which will forever be etched in English football folklore.

The two goals arrived within a month of each other in the autumn of 1995.

The first was netted against Liverpool at Elland Road in August 1995, with Yeboah latching onto a headed knockdown to smash an unstoppable volley in off the underside of the bar to earn the Whites a famous 1-0 win.

He then notched a similarly ferocious effort in a 4-2 away win at Wimbledon at September, dribbling past a couple of defenders before unleashing a rasping half-volley which again crashed in off the crossbar.

These two efforts sent shockwaves throughout the whole of English football, and are still regarded as two of the best goals in Premier League history.

Leeds Legacy

The love affair between Yeboah and Leeds United may have only been brief - spending just two years at Elland Road before moving back to Germany with Hamburg - but the Ghanaian made an impact in Yorkshire which will be remembered forever.

Arriving at Leeds for £3.4m from Eintracht Frankfurt, nobody at Elland Road truly knew what to expect from their latest signing.

Winning the league in the final pre-Premier League campaign in 1991/92, Leeds had struggled to replicate these heights in the following years, and in January 1995 a frugal side was in desperate need of goals and an injection of life at the top end of the pitch.

Yeboah provided exactly this and more, with the striker making a swift impact to hit 12 goals in Leeds' remaining 18 league games. 

The Ghana international became adored by the Leeds support, with a catalogue of wonder goals accompanied by his trademark finger-wagging celebration.

Yeboah scored 17 goals in all competitions in the 1995/96 season, including an outstanding hat-trick against Monaco in the UEFA Cup, and earned the club's Player of the Year award.

The striker's time at Leeds then became curtailed by injuries, and he was eventually sold to Hamburg in September 1997 after disagreements with boss George Graham.

Yeboah in action for Hamburg against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga during the 1999/00 season.

Biggest career achievement

Yeboah didn't win many major honours during his esteemed career - coming close as a runner-up in the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana in 1992 and the League Cup with Leeds in 1996 - but there was still no shortage of impressive feats.

The Ghanaian was able to score 29 goals in 59 appearances for his country - the fourth highest total in the all-time standings - and finish as the Bundesliga's top scorer in two consecutive seasons.

Did you know?

Yeboah's wonder goals against Liverpool and Wimbledon in August and September 1995 saw him become the first player ever to win the BBC Goal of the Month award in two consecutive months.

This achievement was not repeated until the 2013, when Welshman Gareth Bale equalled the feat for Tottenham for his goals against Norwich City and West Ham in January and February respectively.

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