Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-13 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games

Francis: Gerald (Gerry)

1957-1961 (Player Details)

Outside Right

Born: Johannesburg, South Africa: 06-12-1933

Debut v Birmingham City (h): 30-11-1957

5’8” 10st 7lb (1959)

Francis, a shoe repairer, came to England from South Africa towards the end of the 1956-57 season, hoping to achieve football fame. Leeds trialled him as an amateur and then signed him as a professional in July 1957. He had paid his own fares and he became United’s first coloured player. He had played for City and Suburban in Johannesburg in the old apartheid system, where only whites could play in the National League. He played at Leeds during a period of considerable change, when United struggled to find a settled side. He served under four different Managers and it was Raich Carter that gave him his debut, but it was to be his only first team appearance under him. Bill Lambton took over for the 1958-59 season and Chris Crowe, Billy Humphries and George Meek were all picked ahead of him as he failed to get a game under charge. The advent of Jack Taylor saw Francis given a chance to show his worth, as crowe moved to Inside Forward, Humphries departed and George Meek took on the left wing duties. He was given his chance in a forgettable 6-0 thrashing by Manchester United at Old Trafford on 9th September 1959. His next chance did not arrive until 10th October 1959, when he scored United's second goal in a 3-3 draw with Everton at Elland Road. This was quickly followed by a superb effort to record his second goal for United in another 3-3 draw, this time at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool. The two-footed George Meek gave United the option of picking him on the left or right wing and three times Francis wore the number eleven shirt as the two players alternated. Towards the end of the season he was eased out of the team as a young Billy Bremner was eased in initially in the right wing berth. However, with three goals in twelve appearances, Francis had made his mark. Taylor decided the time was ripe to give the young Billy Bremner his head as an inside forward and made Francis his regular Outside Right, but twice played him at Inside Right and once on the left wing. He featured in Don Revie's first team as Manager at Portsmouth on 18th March 1961 but then found he was the odd man outas Billy Bremner was given the number seven jersey as the season drew to a close and United narrowly avoided relegation from the Second Division. Howeve, he had been a regular, scoring six goals in thirty-one League appearances, played in United's first-ever League Cup tie at home to Blackpool, on 28th September 1960, going on to play in three of the four games in the tournament and also played in the only F.A. Cup tie that season. It came as somewhat of a surprise when Don Revie bought Derek Mayers from Preston North End in the close season and gave him the number seven shirt. However, Francis featured with his fellow coloured South African, Albert Johanesson, in two consecutive home games against Brighton and Hove Albion, 31st August 1961, and Rotherham United, 2nd September 1961, the first and only times the two wingers played together at Leeds on the flanks. In the previous season Francis had played Inside Right with a young Johanesson on the left flank at Stoke City in April 1961. With Noel Peyton and Billy Bremner also ready to fill in on the right wing and Derek Mayers well established, after just four appearances in the 1961-62 season Francis signed for York City in October 1961 for £4,000. He left Bootham Crescent the following summer for Tonbridge FC, after four goals in sixteen games. He later became a postman. He emigrated to Toronto Canada in 1971.

AppearancesGoals
League 489
F.A. Cup 10
League Cup 30