Peter Lorimer

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Peter Lorimer
Peter Lorimer.jpeg
Lorimer c. 1972
Personal information
Full namePeter Patrick Lorimer
Date of birth(1946-12-14)14 December 1946
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Date of death 20 March 2021(2021-03-20) (aged 74)
Height5 ft 9+12 in (1.77 m) [1]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Senior career*
1962–1979 Leeds United 450 (151)
1971Cape Town City (loan) 6 (8)
1979 Toronto Blizzard 29 (9)
1979–1980 York City 29 (8)
1980 Toronto Blizzard 18 (2)
1981–1983 Vancouver Whitecaps 80 (22)
1983UCD (loan) 3 (0)
1983–1985 Leeds United 76 (17)
1985–1986 Whitby Town
1986 Hapoel Haifa
National team
1963 Scotland Amateur 7 (7)
1969–1976 Scotland 21 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Peter Patrick Lorimer (14 December 1946 – 20 March 2021) was a Scottish professional footballer, best known for his time with Leeds United and Scotland during the late 1960s and early 1970s. An attacking midfielder, he was renowned for his powerful strikes from distance. From 1984 to 1985 he was club captain of Leeds, and holds the club record for highest goal scorer with 238 goals in all competitions and youngest-ever player. He has been voted the ninth-greatest Leeds player of all time and into the Greatest Leeds United team of all time.


After retiring as a player, Lorimer became a member of the Leeds board of directors, provided match commentary on BBC Radio Leeds and Yorkshire Radio, and wrote a regular column in the Yorkshire Evening Post . From April 2013 he held the position of club ambassador. [2]

Early life

Lorimer was born in Dundee [3] to Janet and Peter Lorimer and was brought up in Broughty Ferry on the edge of the city. [4] He attended Eastern Primary School and later Stobswell Secondary School, where he played for the school's football team. [5] [6]

Club career

Leeds United

After playing junior football in Dundee for Stobswell Boys and Broughty YMCA, Lorimer signed for Leeds United in May 1962 after scoring for the Scotland Schoolboys team in a 4–2 win over England. [5] [7] He made his Leeds debut on 29 September 1962 against Southampton, aged 15 years and 289 days, becoming the youngest player to play for the first team. [7] [3]

Lorimer came to regular prominence in the 1965–66 season, making 34 League Championship appearances and scoring 19 goals, more than any other player at Leeds United managed that season. A skilful and industrious player who operated best in a drifting position either wide on the right (though not as an orthodox winger – he was more likely to cut in and shoot than stay wide and cross) or behind two main strikers (usually Allan Clarke and Mick Jones), Lorimer was a frequent and often spectacular goalscorer, earning himself several nicknames stemming from his powerful shooting HotShot and Lash being two of the more prevalent. [8] He became renowned for these strikes, with his shots reaching speeds of up to 90 mph. [9] One penalty kick was recorded at 107 mph. [10]

In the 1966–67 season, Lorimer made his first major headlines when a free-kick equaliser against Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final was controversially ruled out by referee Ken Burns and retaken, for the Chelsea players had not retreated the necessary 10 yards. Chelsea held on to win the game. [11] In the 1975 European Cup Final, Lorimer scored to give Leeds a 1–0 lead, only for the goal to be controversially disallowed by referee Michel Kitabdjian, with Leeds going on to lose the game. [8] In summer 1971, Lorimer had a short spell on loan at Cape Town City in South Africa. [12] Lorimer left the club in 1979, having scored 219 goals in 616 appearances. [13] During this time he had won two League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, a Charity Shield, and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. [12] [14]

Later career

He played for York City and then tried his luck in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Lorimer played for two clubs: the Toronto Blizzard (1979–1980) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (1981–83). In January 1983 he signed for University College Dublin. [15]

Lorimer returned to Leeds United in 1983, aged 37, two seasons after Leeds had fallen into the Football League Second Division. [8] He played under former team-mate Eddie Gray (more than a year his junior) and broke the club's goalscoring record in the process, ending up with 238 goals from 705 appearances until retiring just before his 40th birthday at the end of the 1985–86 season. [8] However, Leeds were still a Second Division team when Lorimer played his final game for them and it would be another four years before they returned to the First Division. [16]

International career

Lorimer made his international debut for Scotland against Austria in November 1969. [11] He won 21 caps for Scotland and scored four goals, having played in all three of their matches at the 1974 FIFA World Cup. [17] [8] His Scotland career was, however, affected by a ban imposed on him in 1971 after he spent a summer playing for Cape Town City in apartheid-era South Africa. [9]

After playing

In his retirement Lorimer ran the Commercial Inn pub in the Holbeck area of the city. [18] Lorimer remained a dedicated spokesman for Leeds United after retirement – he was always one of the first ex-players to whom broadcasters and journalists turned when the club was in the news. [19] He worked as a pundit at games for BBC Radio Leeds and as a columnist for the local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post . [8] He wrote a column in the club's match programme (his final one being the match against Aston Villa on 27 February 2021) and acted as a summariser for Yorkshire Radio on every Leeds away match. [8]

On 26 February 2021, it was announced that Lorimer had been placed under hospice care due to a long-term illness. [20] [21] He died on 20 March 2021, aged 74. [8]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition [22] [23] [24]
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupContinental [lower-alpha 1] Other [lower-alpha 2] [25] [26] Total
Leeds United 1962–63 Second Division 10000010
1963–64 Second Division00001000
1964–65 First Division 10000010
1965–66 First Division34132300934519
1966–67 First Division2996222514214
1967–68 First Division371652641286030
1968–69 First Division2992130734113
1969–70 First Division3914823073105819
1970–71 First Division381242101055319
1971–72 First Division42237342215529
1972–73 First Division41158353926323
1973–74 First Division37125200504714
1974–75 First Division369405384105316
1975–76 First Division291020213311
1976–77 First Division2632000283
1977–78 First Division2860043329
1978–79 First Division30001040
Cape Town City (loan) 1971 National Football League 6868
Toronto Blizzard 1979 North American Soccer League 299299
York City 1979–80 Fourth Division 298298
Toronto Blizzard 1980 North American Soccer League182182
Vancouver Whitecaps 1981 North American Soccer League278278
1982 North American Soccer League28102810
1983 North American Soccer League254254
University College Dublin (loan) 1982–83 League of Ireland 3030
Leeds United 1983–84 Second Division2243000254
1984–85 Second Division40910314410
1985–86 Second Division144002021185
Career total69121759204219743041870287
  1. Includes matches in Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, European Cup, European Cup Winners' Cup, and UEFA Cup competitions.
  2. Includes matches in FA Charity Shield and Full Members' Cup competitions.


Appearances and goals by national team and year [23] [27]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Scotland 196910
Scores and results list Scotland goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Scotland goal.
List of international goals scored by Peter Lorimer [27] [28]
120 May 1972 Hampden Park, Glasgow, ScotlandUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 2–02–0 1971–72 British Home Championship
224 May 1972Hampden Park, Glasgow, ScotlandFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1–01–01971–72 British Home Championship
315 November 1972Hampden Park, Glasgow, ScotlandFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 2–02–0 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification
414 June 1974 Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, GermanyFlag of Zaire (1971-1997).svg  Zaire 1–02–0 1974 FIFA World Cup


Leeds United [8] [14]


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