Leeds United give Stuart Dallas perfect tribute after announcement as Liam Cooper teary-eyed

Stuart Dallas acknowledges fans
Stuart Dallas acknowledges fans -Credit:Jess Hornby/PA Wire

Stuart Dallas was met with a standing ovation from Leeds United supporters at Elland Road as the club legend conducted a retirement lap of honour at half-time in Saturday’s clash with Blackburn.

The 32-year-old has been forced to quit his playing career due to a persistent knee injury picked up in April 2022, having not been able to feature since. The Northern Irishman clocked up 267 matches across nine years for the Whites, helping them to Premier League promotion in 2020.

Dallas goes down as a cult hero in Leeds and was met with a rousing reception on Saturday, with the Leeds faithful rising to their feet to deliver an emotional send-off to their long-time servant. ‘There’s only one Stuart Dallas’ rang around the stadium as club captain Liam Cooper watched on teary-eyed.

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Announcing his retirement on Wednesday, Dallas said: "Today, with a heavy heart, I announce that I will be retiring from professional football. Over the past two years, the Leeds United medical team, along with the incredible surgeons in London, have worked tirelessly to help me recover from the injury I sustained in the game against Manchester City in 2022.

"As a young boy growing up in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, all I ever wanted was to play professional football and I will be eternally grateful that for me, that dream came true.

"This may not be how fairytales are supposed to end, but I must now deal with the fact that this chapter of my life is drawing to a close."

Taking to social media platform X, Cooper delivered a tribute to his long-time teammate and friend. He wrote: “My best pal! Thank you. What a player but what an even better person.

"Life can be seriously cruel at times. Just know the same fight you had to get back fit is the same fight that will make you successful in whatever is next. We Love ya pal and will always be here for ya. LEGEND!”