Born: December 14, 1946;

Died: March 20, 2021.

PETER Lorimer, who has died at the age of 74, was a professional footballer who gave sterling service, principally to Leeds United during two spells at the club that established him as the club’s leading goal-scorer.

He was principally an attacking midfielder – a clever, skilful, hardworking and versatile forward who possessed a fearsome shot. Many of his 238 goals for the Yorkshire club were thundering drives that all but took the rigging away. One Lorimer penalty being recorded at a staggering 107 mph.

He also made 21 international appearances for his native Scotland, including all three games in the 1974 World Cup Finals. He scored the crucial first goal in a 2-0 win against Zaire in Dortmund.

Peter Patrick Lorimer was born in Dundee to Peter and Janet Lorimer and was raised in nearby Broughty Ferry, attending the local Eastern Primary School then Stobswell Secondary School in Dundee, where he played for the school football team.

He was a member of the exciting Scottish Schools FA Under-15 International side who annexed the Victory Shield in 1962 with a thrilling defeat of England at Ibrox by the odd goal in seven (the Dundonian netting one goal) following earlier 4-1 and 5-1 wins in Cardiff and Belfast with another future Internationalist – namely Jim McCalliog – as a team-mate.

Peter had already played youth football in Dundee for Stobswell Boys Club and Broughty Ferry YMCA , but the SFA regulations of the time precluded senior Scottish clubs from signing schoolboys until they reached the age of 17, whilst there was nothing to prevent them signing for English clubs when younger. So it was that when Peter Lorimer left school at the age of fifteen in the summer of 1962 he was quickly snapped up by Leeds United.

There were several English clubs interested in him, including Manchester United, but a personal visit by Leeds manager Don Revie to his parents’ home was persuasive.

The Elland Road club were at the time in Division Two of the Football League, and at the age of just 15 years and 289 days the young Lorimer became the youngest player to play for the club when making his debut against Southampton on September 29, 1962.

United were promoted as Second Division Champions in 1964, and quickly established themselves in the top division, losing in the 1965 FA Cup Final to Bill Shankly’s Liverpool.

Lorimer established himself as a regular in the Leeds line-up during the following season, netting 19 goals in 45 competitive appearances.

Season 1967-68 would prove to his most productive in terms of goals with thirty in sixty appearances.

Both the League Championship and FA Cup were secured for the first-time by Leeds United under Revie during the midfielder’s time at Elland Road.

The title in 1969 was followed by three Wembley appearances in four years, including a 1972 cup triumph with a 1-0 defeat of Arsenal. United went into the 1973 final as overwhelming favourites against Sunderland but a goal from Lorimer’s fellow Scot, Ian Porterfield, sent the trophy to Wearside. The game was remembered as much for the stunning save from Jim Montgomery from a close-range Lorimer volley as it was for the winning goal.

In two spells at Elland Road Lorimer netted a total of 238 goals in 705 competitive appearances, winning two League Championship, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and one FA Charity Shield Winners’ Medals.

Those two European medals might have been doubled had fortune favoured Leeds: there was a controversial loss to AC Milan in the 1973 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final; and two years later a Lorimer goal was mysteriously disallowed in the European Champions’ Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich in Paris.

At international level, Lorimer was first selected by then manager Bobby Brown for Scotland on November 5, 1969, in a ‘dead rubber’ World Cup Qualifier against Austria in Vienna. His first goal would arrive in a Home International Championship clash against Northern Ireland at Hampden on May 20, 1972 in a 2-0 win. It was the first of four he would score for his country.

His final appearance in Dark Blue came at Hampden on December 17, 1975 in a 1-1 draw with Romania.

His first spell at Elland Road came to an end in 1979 after 17 distinguished years. Following brief spells with fellow Yorkshire clubs York City and Whitby Town he moved to Canada, playing for both Toronto Blizzard and Vancouver Whitecaps in the North American Soccer League.

He also had brief spells with Hapoel Haifa in Israel and with University College Dublin before returning to his spiritual home at Elland Road at the age of 37 in 1983. By now Leeds United returned to Division Two and Lorimer was appointed captain by his former team-mate and current boss, Eddie Gray, before retiring at the conclusion of season 1985-86 at the age of 39.

In retirement he, like so many former footballers, ran a public house, the Commercial Inn in the Holbeck area of Leeds, near Elland Road. He also worked extensively in the media, as a match commentator and summariser for both Yorkshire Radio and BBC Radio Leeds as well as writing a regular column in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

He was a contributor to the club’s official matchday programme, his final copy appearing for the match against Aston Villa as recently as February 27.

He served on the Leeds United Board of Directors and in April 2013 was appointed as Club Ambassador. His place in the annals of its history was underlined when he was included in the club’s Greatest Ever eleven, voted by the fans.

Following a long illness it was announced on February 26 that Peter Lorimer had been placed in hospice care. He is survived by his wife, Sue, and sons Simon and Jamie.