From Rio Ferdinand to Eric Cantona - Meet the players who played for both Manchester United and Leeds United

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Rio Ferdinand and Eric Cantona played for both Manchester United and Leeds
We look at the players who have represented eternal rivals the Red Devils and the Peacocks

One of the most vicious derbies in football, a battle between Yorkshire and Lancashire, Leeds United and Manchester United have been rivals for a long time, and especially in the 1970s.

At one time, both teams were neck and neck at the top of the pile in England before Leeds' downfall in 1982, when they were relegated.

Despite the hostile attitude towards each other, both clubs have seen their share of players who have represented them both at some point in their careers.

GOAL takes a look at the list of stars who wore both clubs' jerseys.

  1. Johnny Giles
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    Johnny Giles

    After coming through Manchester United's youth academy, Johnny Giles made his senior team debut for the Red Devils in 1957.

    Giles was handed his United debut in 1959 after eight of the teammates he used to train with, passed away in the Munich Air Disaster in February 1958.

    He was a regular starter for United and played alongside legends like Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.

    The midfielder won an FA Cup under legendary manager Matt Busby before moving to Leeds United in 1963 in controversial fashion as he said: "I am going to haunt him (Busby)" to the manager's wife.

    Giles would go on to become one of Leeds' greatest players ever, making close to 400 appearances for the club between 1963 and 1975.

  2. Brian Greenhoff
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    Brian Greenhoff

    English centre-back Brian Greenhoff came through the ranks at Manchester United's academy before making his senior team debut in 1970.

    Over the next nine years, Greenhoff went on to make over 200 appearances for the Red Devils as he established himself as a rock in defence.

    He left Old Trafford for Leeds United in 1979 for £350,000, which at the time was a record transfer for anyone leaving Manchester United.

  3. Gordon Strachan
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    Gordon Strachan

    One of those few players who attained legendary status at both Manchester United and Leeds United is none other than Gordon Strachan.

    The legendary midfielder arrived at United from Aberdeen in 1984 and went on to make over 150 appearances for the Red Devils until 1989. He won an FA Cup with United, in 1985.

    For Leeds, Strachan made close to 200 appearances in a six-year spell.

  4. Lee Sharpe

    Lee Sharpe

    One of the greatest wingers in Manchester United history, Lee Sharpe joined the Red Devils from Torquay United in 1988.

    Sharpe made 193 appearances for United until 1996, winning several league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup before moving to Leeds United as their joint record transfer for £4.5 million in August 1996.

    He made a handful of appearances for Leeds in his three-season spell there, which included loan moves to Sampdoria and Bradford City.

  5. Gordon McQueen
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    Gordon McQueen

    After starting at youth level as a goalkeeper, Gordon McQueen quickly realised his strength as a defender when he arrived at St. Mirren in 1970.

    Leeds United scouted him well and signed him in 1972 for £30,000 as a long-term replacement for the retiring Jack Charlton.

    McQueen then led Leeds to the League Championship win which saw a run of 29 games without a defeat from the start of the season with him and Norman Hunter in defence.

    In February 1978, after making 140 appearances for Leeds, McQueen joined Manchester United for £500,000. On signing, he famously said: "99% of players want to play for Manchester United and the rest are liars." This comment came just weeks after he stated in a magazine that he wanted to stay at Leeds for his entire career.

    McQueen went on to win the 1982-83 FA Cup with Manchester United in his seven-year spell spanning over 184 appearances.

  6. Arthur Graham
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    Arthur Graham

    After attaining legendary status at Aberdeen and Leeds United, where he made 200+ appearances for both clubs, Arthur Graham signed for Manchester United in 1983 for a £45,000 fee.

    This move came after Leeds were relegated to the second division in the 1981-82 season and failed to gain promotion in the 1982-83 season.

    Graham spent two seasons at United, scoring seven goals in 52 appearances in all competitions before moving to Bradford City.

  7. Alan Smith

    Alan Smith

    A Leeds boy through and through, Alan Smith rose to prominence while playing for Leeds United during the turn of the millennium.

    Known for his aggressive mentality and high-pressing style of football, Smith was a revolution in English football in his prime.

    The attacking midfielder who could also play as a striker, made 172 appearances for Leeds between 1998 and 2004 before Sir Alex Ferguson signed him in the summer of 2004.

    However, early in his United career, Smith broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in a game against Liverpool. He recovered and returned to the team after which Sir Alex converted him into a holding midfielder, a role he continued in his career after leaving Manchester United for Newcastle in 2007.

  8. Joe Jordan
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    Joe Jordan

    Part of the most successful Leeds United team in the 1970s, Joseph Jordan won the 1973-74 Football League First Division title and also helped Leeds reach the 1973 European Cup Winners' Cup final, 1975 European Cup final and the 1979 FA Cup final.

    The only Scottish player in history to score at three World Cups (1974, 1978 and 1982), Jordan made 170 appearances for Leeds in an eight-year spell before moving to Manchester United in 1978. The striker made 109 appearances for the Red Devils in three seasons.

  9. Rio Ferdinand

    Rio Ferdinand

    A product of West Ham United's youth academy, Rio Ferdinand made 127 appearances for the Hammers' senior team before moving to Leeds United in 2000 for a record-breaking fee of £18 million.

    Ferdinand spent two seasons at Leeds before joining Manchester United for £30 million in July 2002, again for a transfer record fee.

    The English centre-back attained legendary status at Old Trafford, winning six Premier League titles, two League Cups, a Champions League and a Club World Cup with United.

    After over 300 appearances in a 12-year spell at the club, he joined QPR in 2014 for a season before retiring from professional football.

  10. Eric Cantona

    Eric Cantona

    One of the greatest players to ever don the Manchester United jersey, Eric Cantona arrived from Leeds United for a £1 million fee in 1992.

    In his incredible five-season spell at Old Trafford, Cantona achieved legendary status, winning four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

    The French forward made 143 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 64 goals and is to date described as "King Eric" by Manchester United fans around the world.

  11. The rest, from Freddie Goodwin to Liam Miller
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    The rest, from Freddie Goodwin to Liam Miller

    A host of other footballers too moved from Manchester United to Leeds at some point in their careers.

    Freddie Goodwin arrived at United as one of the Busby Babes in 1954 and helped the club win the 1956 and 1957 league championships. He was also a member of the team that made a comeback from the Munich air disaster, reaching the 1958 FA Cup final which United lost. He wasn't on the plane to Munich after not being selected for the game. Goodwin made 107 appearances for United before signing for Leeds in 1960.

    Daniel James signed for Manchester United from Swansea in 2019 and made 50 appearances for the Red Devils until 2021 when Leeds United signed him for a reported £25 million fee.

    Liam Miller arrived at United in 2004 and after just one season of poor performances, he joined Leeds United on a season-long loan in the summer of 2005. In his loan term, Miller made 28 appearances. He never returned to Manchester and joined Sunderland in 2006.

    After becoming a regular name under former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal in the 2015-16 season, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson joined five clubs on loan until 2020, with one of the clubs being Leeds United in the 2017-18 season. He made a single appearance at Elland Road.

    Danny Pugh started his career at youth level at Manchester United and after earning just one senior cap between 2000 and 2004, he moved to Leeds in the summer of 2004 in what was a part-exchange deal for Alan Smith, who arrived at Old Trafford.

    Manchester United's academy graduate Scott Wootton made his senior debut for the Red Devils in Gary Neville's testimonial game in 2011 where he replaced the United legend as a substitute. After several loan moves, the defender signed for Leeds United in the summer of 2013, making 66 appearances over three years at the club.