LEEDS UNITED

 

Leeds United are a club who have spent a considerable amount of their history trying to emulate others.  When Don Revie took over he changed their predominantly blue kit to all white so that they looked like Real Madrid.  They changed their name during the lean times in their past as they thought Leeds City might be misheard as something else. 

Leeds United arose out of the shameful ashes of the old Leeds City club.  City were disbanded in 1919 because of a decision that found them guilty of illegal payments to players and the sentence was expulsion from the League, where their place was taken by Port Vale.  The first idea the club's staff had was to merge with already successful, but cash-strapped Huddersfield Town, but they were barking up the wrong tree with the Terriers.  So they came back as the United club everyone knows and loves.  There were problems with money in these days and the club could not afford bars of carbolic soap for their players to wash themselves down after games, thus the "Dirty Leeds" nickname was coined.

In 1920, they went into Division 2 and four years later were champions, but then came a long, long period of no success - something that would be familiar to them in the future.  The only bright spot of this era was the emergence of the Jolly Gentle Giant - John Charles, who at centre-forward or centre-half towered over most players in height and ability.  The low point being in 1946-47 when the club suffered 30 defeats and gained only 18 points from 42 games.

The Sixties saw the club become a force in English football under Don "The Don" Revie, starting with a Div. 2 championship in 1964.  Now up with the big boys, they won the League Cup in 1968 and the Fairs Cup for that year, even though the final was carried over to the next season, because the club didn't want to appear too successful by doing a "double" of sorts.  This season saw them play 66 matches (another 600 would have made it an apt figure).

The next season 1968-69 was Revie's men's greatest triumph.  Always being accused of being "nearly men", they finally won the League title, suffering only two defeats along the way, after coming second in 1965,1966 and then again in 1970, 1971 and 1972.  They won the 1972 FA Cup, but were also losers in the finals of 1965, 1970 and 1973.  Their reserves even came runners-up in the Pontins League for five successive seasons.  Their players were running up medals like nobody's business, but they had been pipped at the post for the real Double on a couple of occasions. Consolation came in another Fairs Cup win in 71, although their big challenge on the European Cup faltered in 1970 at Celtic in the semi and in 1975, they disgraced the whole country with their hooligan antics in Paris where they had lost to Bayern Munich in the final of the same competition.  That got them a 3 year ban from Europe.

It was during this period of their history that they gained the reputation for being a thoroughly "professional team, who resorted to cynical and sometimes brutal (thanks to Norman "Bites Yer Legs" Hunter and the nasty midfield duo of Bremner and Giles) tactics to ensure that they won matches.  This tag stuck with them, just like the frilly thngs that kept their socks up.  The niggly shirt-pulls, ankle-taps and late tackles were not quite the order of the day, but Leeds adopted the approach of many continental sides to make them a success.  They (along with their fans) became one of the most despised teams across the country.

Revie had left to manage England to play bingo and golf and the obvious choice for such a big job was Brian Clough.  However, he faced an old guard of players who resented him (mainly because he wasn't Don Revie) and he was out of there in 44 days.  They did win the First Division in 1974, but by 1982 they were in Div. 2 and their old friend money troubles was back to haunt them.  The fans also gained a well-earned reputation for violence and racism, which the club has worked hard to deal with.

Relief came in the shape of Howard Wilkinson, Who took them through Div 2 in 1990 and to the First Division championship in 1992.  Since then, there has been little in the way of silverware, but the team now consists of a lot of younger players who reached the UEFA semi in 2000 and seem set to go on to better things (in Italy, Spain, England, etc).  Unfortunately, some of the players exhibit tendencies of the club's 1970's fans, which might cost them dearly on and off the pitch.

In more recent years, Leeds have suffered at the hands of the money men and have sold off some of their prize assets and have plunged from the heady heights of Champions League semi-finals to the team who denied Arsenal the title.  Hold on, that's not so far to fall !!

But a long way to fall was into League One, which was what happened with a money fuelled problem, that almost saw the club go to the wall.  However, they survived financially, but went into administration that cost them 15 points going into the 2007-08 season.  They fought the deduction on and off the pitch, winning more points back in open play than open court and reached the play-off final, disappointingly losing 0-1 to Doncaster Rovers at Wembley to mean another season in the third flight of English football.  Promotion to the CHampionship did follow soon after, but the struggle to reach the top flight accounted for a number of managers and also Ken Bates, who sold out to a Middle Eastern consortium, with questions over how much money they possessed to make Leeds great again.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : - Gary Sprake, Alex Sabella, John Charles, Eric Cantona, Kevin Bird, Jackie Charlton, Norman Athletic, Paul and Richard Madeley.

FAMOUS FANS : - Malandra Burrows (Actress - "Emmerdale"), Mel B (Singer - the Spice Girls), Chumbawumba (Pop group), Chris Moyles (Radio and TV Presenter), Kelly Jones (Musician - Stereophonics), Jeremy Paxman (TV Presenter - Newsnight, University Challenge), Terrorvision (Pop group), Colin Montgomerie (golfer), Kelly Jones (Singer - Stereophonics)

Club Records 

Formed 1919
Turned Professional 1920
Became a Limited Company 1920
Former names Leeds City   1904-1919 
Previous grounds -
Nickname "The PEACOCKS" or "UNITED"
Club Colours HOME : All white with yellow and royal blue trim

AWAY : All yellow with  royal blue trim

Record Premier League Win 5-0  v  Tottenham Hotspur Home       25.8.1992
5-0  v  Swindon Town
Away        7.5.1994
5-0  v   Derby County
Away        15.3.1998
 
Record Premier League Defeat 2-6  v  Sheffield Wednesday
Away      16.12.1995
 
Record Football League Win 8-0  v  Leicester City
Div. 1       7.4.1934
Record Football League Defeat 1-8  v  Stoke City         Div.1        27.8.1934 
Record Cup Win 10-0  Lyn Oslo
EC R1      17.9.1969
Record Fee Paid 18 million to West Ham United for Rio FERDINAND (November 2000)
Record Fee Received 30 million from Manchester United for Rio FERDINAND (July 2002)
Record Appearances 629 -  Jack CHARLTON  (1953-73)
Record Premier League Appearances 201 -  David WEATHERALL  (1992-99)
Record Premier League goalscorer 42 -  Rod WALLACE (1994-99)
Record goalscorer in a Premier League season 18 - Jimmy-Floyd HASSELBAINK  (1998-99) 
Record goalscorer in a season 42  -  John CHARLES (Division 2  1953-54)
Record all-time goalscorer  168  -  Peter LORIMER (1965-79 and 1983-86)
Most goals in one match 5  -  Gordon HODGSON  v  Leicester City  (Division 1)  1.10.1938
Record Attendance (all-time) 57,829 v  Sunderland
FAC R5r        15.3.1967
Record Premier League Attendance 41,125  v  Liverpool  27.4.1994 
Record match receipts 780,697   v  Tottenham Hotspur  FAC R5  13.2.1999
Record total of goals in a Premier League season 65  -  1993-94,  42 games 
Record Premier League points total 73  -  1994-95,  42 games
Record total of goals in a  League season 98  -  Division 2  1927-28
Record  League points total 3 points for a win : 85  -   Division 2 1989-90

2 points for a win : 67  -   Division 1 1968-69

Most Capped player while at club Billy BREMNER  54  (Scotland)

 

Stadium details

Address : Elland Road, Leeds LS11 0ES

Telephone : 0113 226 6000
0113 226 1000  (Ticket Office)
 0113 271 0710 (Credit Card Bookings)
09068 121180 (Information)
Fax :  0113 266 6050

Capacity :  40,204
Pitch size :  105 yards  x  68 yards

Official website :  www.lufc.co.uk 
Unofficial website : http://www.leedsfans.org.uk 

Fanzines

The Square Ball
Till The World Stops
We Are Leeds
To Ell and Back

 

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