Saturday, 18 December 2010


ALEX BRUCE and Kasper Schmeichel used to cause absolute havoc with their kickabouts in the street.
Now they are recreating history by emulating their famous fathers.
The pair grew up as next-door neighbours in Bramhall, Cheshire, during the glory days of their Manchester United dads Steve Bruce and Peter Schmeichel.
Throughout the halcyon days of the early 1990s at Old Trafford, the youngsters would do battle outside their houses while their parents were busy having their infamous wars of words on the pitch.
Fate threw the families together again in the summer when Leeds - whose promotion credentials will be tested by Championship leaders QPR today - came calling.
Bruce, who arrived at Elland Road from Ipswich in the summer, said: "Every day we'd come home from school, get our kit on and race out into the street.
"Kasper would be in goal while I used our neighbours' garden hedges as defensive walls, trying to bend free-kicks past him.
"He'd be diving around like a mad man on the gravel and the people that lived around us never liked it because there would be bits of trees lying all over the street, plants uprooted and all kinds of carnage.
"That is how we grew up but then we went our separate ways, he got into football his way, I did mine and we've now met up a few years later.
"Playing with Kasper gives a lot of confidence to the defence but we've had a couple of muddles and when he and I do make mistakes it is going to be highlighted.
"That is just part and parcel of the game but sometimes we do get into a bit of a slagging match.
"Our dads were famous for it and I won't be pulling any punches, as I am sure he won't be if a rollicking needs to be handed out.
"It must be in the genes a little bit but Kasper is a good keeper in his own right and he sure as hell is vocal. So whether it's me or anybody else needing a kick up the backside I am sure he'll be the first one to give it."
Bruce, 26, was understandably uncertain of his reception at Leeds upon given his dad's connections with that other United across the Pennines.
But he said: "I considered whether my name would be a bit of a hindrance, whether it would take a while to win over the supporters but I have to say everyone here has been bang on with me.
"And people might find it quite bizarre that even though he played for Manchester United, my dad was as delighted as anybody when Leeds came knocking.
"I was having talks with Sheffield United when I got the call telling me Leeds were going to put a bid in.
"So when I spoke to him for advice he was very much pushing me towards Leeds, he realised what a fantastic chance it was and told me there was only one club to sign for."
Leeds have charged up to fourth after an eight-game unbeaten run and could go second if they can inflict a second straight defeat on Neil Warnock's QPR and Swansea lose at Sheffield United.
Bruce added: "QPR will be tough but we're at Elland Road, with a big crowd, so we will be up for the challenge."


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