Middlesbrough: Ironside, Morris, Phillips, Kernaghan (C), D.Whyte, Peake, Slaven (Pollock 76), Falconer, Wilkinson (Mustoe 46), Wright, Hendrie.


Goals: Wilkinson (2), Wright, Hendrie.


Leeds United: Lukic, Newsome (Strachan 46), Dorigo, Batty (Hodge 75), Fairclough, C.Whyte, Cantona, Wallace, Chapman, McAllister (C), Speed.


Goal: Cantona.

Willie Falconer


Middlesbrough faced Champions and old rivals Leeds United at Ayresome Park on Saturday 22 August 1992, in what was to be a memorable encounter.


A narrow 2-1 opening day defeat at Coventry City, saw Paul Wilkinson score Boro’s first Premier League goal. Then a brace from Bernie Slaven in a 2-0 midweek victory over Manchester City gave Boro their first win of the 1992-93 season.

Howard Wilkinson’s skillful but physical Leeds United side lined up Gary McAllister, Gary Speed and David Batty in midfield, with Eric Cantona, Lee Chapman and Rodney Wallace in Attack.


While Boro started with two Leeds old boys, wingers John Hendrie and £650,000 new signing Tommy Wright, both playing with a point to prove.


One minute later Wright crossed again from the left wing for Wilkinson to score with a diving header at the back post making it 2-0, Boro fans were in dreamland.

The first half finished with Eric Cantona twice going close, first with a low drive from outside the box, followed by a glancing header which hit the target.


Paul Wilkinson limped off at half time with strained ankle ligaments, with Robbie Mustoe coming on to replace the influential Boro number nine.


Scottish international and ex-Manchester United star Gordon Strachan also came off the bench at half time, replacing defender Jon Newsome.


Eric Cantona was to go close again, at the start of the second half, testing goalkeeper Ian Ironside with a shot from inside the area.

Gary Speed and Tommy Wright.


But it was Boro who were to score a third on 47 minutes. When the lively Tommy Wright headed in a Jimmy Phillips corner past goalkeeper John Lukic, who fell to the floor in disbelief.



Boro were 4-0 up against the Champions and cries of “we want five” came from the Holgate end. A good cross by Wallace and some neat control by Cantona, saw him ping one past Ironside just inside the area on 68 minutes, but by this point there was no coming back for Leeds.

Leeds midfielder David Batty was replaced by Steve Hodge on 76 minutes, while Boro Midfielder Jamie Pollack came on for Striker Bernie Slaven on 77 minutes.


Boro played the game out comfortably winning 4-1, with an excellent all round team performance. Tommy Wright finished the game as Man of the match, playing his best game in a Boro shirt.


Lawrence’s Boro side were simply magnificent on the day and outplayed the champions of England in every department, inflicting the Yorkshire side’s first defeat of the season.


Manager Lennie Lawrence described it as ”The most professional performance, I have ever been associated with.”


Middlesbrough ended the season five points from safety in 21st position on 44 points and were relegated.

Man of the Match Tommy Wright


Ayresome Park
Saturday 22nd August 1992
FA Premier League
Att: 18,649

New arrivals Chris Morris and Derek Whyte both from Celtic, started in defence alongside Jimmy Phillips and Captain Alan Kernaghan.


The game started quickly with an early scare for Lennie Lawrence’s men when Rod Wallace got in behind the Boro backline. His shot going narrowly wide of Ian Ironside’s goal, following a neat pass from McAllister.


Boro were soon in front after seven minutes, when Tommy Wright crossed for Paul Wilkinson who got in ahead of Fairclough to poke home from six yards out, in front of an ecstatic Holgate end.

Twelve minutes later a long kick from Ironside to the unplayable Tommy Wright, was played into winger John Hendrie. The Boro number eleven ran at the Leeds defence, shooting and scoring from the edge of the box on 59 minutes, in front of a rapturous East end.