Tributes have been paid to former Leeds United midfielder Mick Bates, who has died at the age of 73.
Bates made 191 appearances for the Yorkshire club, frequently as an understudy to either John Giles or Billy Bremner in midfield.
He signed senior terms with Leeds in 1964, after completing his apprenticeship at the club, making his debut a year later in a League Cup tie with Hartlepool.
Bates' most vital contribution to the Leeds cause was scoring the vital second away goal in the first leg of the 1971 Fairs Cup final away to Juventus.
"He did us proud" 191 appearances, 9 goals, domestic and European trophies. Rest in Peace, Mick https://t.co/oJQcgK6eLF
— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 12, 2021
An FA Cup winners medal would follow a year later, and Bates was part of the Leeds side that won the League title in 1974. Sadly, his four appearances in the 1968-69 title-winning season saw him miss out on a medal.
"Good player, good ability, could have been better," Giles once said of his understudy.
Giles would frequently ask to see more from Bates on the training pitch, to which the Doncaster native told Giles, "Look John, I know you want to be the best midfield player in the world, but I don’t want to be the best midfield player in the world."
Bates left for Walsall in 1976, and also had spells with Bradford City and his hometown club of Doncaster Rovers.
He was part of the Leeds team given the freedom of the city by Leeds City Council in 2019.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mick’s wife Jill, son Paul and the rest of his family at this difficult time," Leeds said in a statement on Monday.
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