Leeds ponder Charles tribute

Leeds are exploring a number of ways of paying their lasting respects to the late John Charles.

Leeds are exploring a number of ways of paying their lasting respects to the late John Charles.

The Leeds, Juventus and Wales legend, known as "The Gentle Giant", died on Saturday at the age of 72 following a fight against illness.

Charles, who started his career as a centre-back, made his name as a striker by scoring 157 goals in 327 appearances for Leeds, including 42 in the 1953-54 season, a club record which still stands to this day.

Later transferred to Juventus in 1957 for what was then a world record £65,000 (€96,000), Charles helped the Italian club win three championships and the Italian Cup during his five years in Turin, as well as personally being honoured with a Footballer of the Year award.

Most significantly, throughout his entire career, Charles was never booked or sent off, hence his enduring nickname.

Widely regarded as Leeds’ greatest player, the club are now rightfully considering the best way in which to honour Charles.

The possibilities include the renaming of a stand at Elland Road, or a road around the ground, or the erection of a statue similar to that of Billy Bremner.

Leeds City council are open to suggestions, and Mayor Neil Taggart said: “He really helped put Leeds United back in the top rank of clubs back in the 50s and built the foundations for the success that followed in the 1970s.

“The city does need to honour him in some way, the mood is right. We do need to have a lasting memorial in the City of Leeds to John Charles.”

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