I joined Leeds United but didn't enjoy it – fans were disrespectful about my dad

Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City acknowledges the fans after their sides victory during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Leeds
-Credit: (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)


Kasper Schmeichel has opened up about his tough time at Leeds and revealed abuse he received from fans was a key reason for his departure.

Despite not being the direct target of scrutiny from some supporters, Kasper couldn't overlook the negative attention stemming from his father Peter's legacy at Manchester United. Considering the fierce rivalry between the Red Devils and Leeds, many fans didn't hold back in giving Kasper a hard time.

Schmeichel, 37, played 40 games during his one season with the Whites, who face Southampton in Sunday's Championship play-off final at Wembley. However, he decided to move on and pack his bags for Leicester City when Sven Goran Eriksson came calling for his services in 2011.

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The Dane reflected on his decision to join the Foxes and told The Rest Is Football podcast (via The Mirror): "As soon as Sven [Goran-Eriksson] called me, I wanted it straight away. I didn't enjoy my time at Leeds, which is a shame because it's an incredible club."

When pressed by host Gary Lineker about what went wrong at Elland Road, Schmeichel said: "I think it was just the timing. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong person. I was probably very immature in my way of being, and I felt at the time some of the things that were said about my dad were very disrespectful."

The taunts might have been expected given his father's status as a Manchester United legend, particularly after the treble win in 1999. However, the younger Schmeichel found the abuse too much to bear.

"When you're calling my dad certain names, it's not gonna endear me," he continued. "They used to sing a chant - I won't repeat the word - that said, 'Your dad's something, but you're alright.' And [now I'm older] I get the banter of it, but still you're calling my dad something that's never gonna sit well with me."

Schmeichel reflected on his "decent" single season at Leeds, which concluded with the team just shy of the play-off places, finishing seventh in the Championship. However, departing in the summer of 2011 turned out to be a pivotal move for Schmeichel as he signed with Leicester and ultimately reached legendary status.

Despite the Leeds stint not panning out as hoped, Schmeichel flourished at the King Power Stadium and earned promotion to the Premier League within three seasons. Just two years later, he emulated his father by lifting the Premier League trophy in the greatest underdog's tale England's top flight has ever witnessed.

Now plying his trade at Anderlecht, the Denmark centurion is looking to end his career on a high note. Yet, Schmeichel can reflect on his football journey with satisfaction, even if his Leeds tenure is one of his more forgettable stops along the way.