Former Hearts defender Marius Zaliukas was in the thoughts of Leeds United prior to the start of their English Premier League season.

The Lithuanian tragically passed away in October 2020. Zaliukas is a hero at Scottish Premiership side Hearts and went on to play for Leeds United after his stint at Tynecastle.

23/08/12 UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY-OFF 1ST LEG.HEARTS v LIVERPOOL.TYNECASTLE - EDINBURGH.Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas (right) gives encouragement to team-mate Andy Webster after his own goal

The former Hearts and Leeds United defender was honoured. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Leeds United traveled to rivals Manchester United for the first game of the Premier League season on Saturday, losing 5-1. Before the game, Zaliukas’ name appeared on the advertising boards at Old Trafford as both teams paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the past year. A minute of silence was observed.

Zaliukas spent the 2013/14 season at Leeds United. He made 214 appearances for Hearts after arriving from Lithuania in 2006. He lifted the Scottish Cup in 2012 in one of Hearts’ finest hours, beating Edinburgh rivals Hibs 5-1 at Hampden Park.

 

The former Hearts captain lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 36. He was adored by former teammates, colleagues and fans alike.

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