Right-Back Mel Sterland joined Leeds for £600,000 in July 1989 to link up with his old boss Howard Wilkinson who he was together with at Sheffield Wednesday. Sterland had a reputation as a full back who liked to attack and carried the trademark of scoring thunderous free kicks. He went on to make his debut for Leeds United against Newcastle on 19th August 1989, Sterland won 2 championships at Leeds by winning both thefirst and sceond division. Mel will forever be remembered around Elland Road as “Zico” the nickname that was given to him by the Leeds fans. 

91/92 season.

Sterland played on the right hand side of a strong defence, his attackign prowess and delivery from crosses mounted in numerous assists for Lee Chapman. Sterland was sometimes caught napping by the pace of the the fast wingers but his expereince and physicality made sure that this didn’t happen all to often. Mel scored an impressive 6 goals during the title winning season.  

After Leeds won the title Sterland struggled with injuries and left Leeds in 94 where we then went on to become player manager of Boston United. 

Sterland Leeds stats
League appearances 111 (3 more as a substitute)- 16 Goals
FA Cup 10 – 1 goal
League Cup 13 – 1 goal

Thanks for reading, please leave your memories of the title-winning season and if you have any particular memories of this season then please get in touch as we would be interested to hear them and maybe get you to write about them on our website. Next week we take a look at Tony Dorigo. Thanks again for reading.



  1. I really liked Zico. He gave his all and was very underrated. We didn’t find a replacement until Kelly and Mills.


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