City and the dangerous pursuit of excellence

REMEMBER Leeds United in 1970? They were chasing a treble and ended with nothing. They finished in second place in the league, runners-up in the FA Cup final and lost in the “Battle of Britain” against Celtic over two legs in the European Cup semi-final. They were worn-out, heart-broken and stressed – above all, they were potless. Leeds had a relatively small squad with 12 … Continue reading City and the dangerous pursuit of excellence

Great partnerships: Bremner and Giles – players of their time

  IF YOU’VE watched the film, The Damned United, you don’t necessarily come away with a positive view of Leeds United under Don Revie or the two legends in Leeds’ midfield in the mid-1960s to early 1970s, Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles. Along with Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter, no other players epitomised the stance adopted by Revie and his team in that period. Not … Continue reading Great partnerships: Bremner and Giles – players of their time

72 Classic: Lifting Leeds

AFTER winning the 1969 Football League Championship, Leeds United pursued every trophy possible in the only way they knew how – with intensity, with total focus and with little regard for how the rest of football saw them. They were supremely “professional”, using every trick in the book to gain an advantage over their rivals. Some considered them a “dirty” team, sly in their approach … Continue reading 72 Classic: Lifting Leeds

72 Classic: Clough, Allison, Keegan and co. – why it was special

MALCOLM Allison, one of the pivotal figures of the 1970s, once said that the period between 1967 and 1972 was one of British football’s golden ages. Anyone who lived through that half decade of action will doubtless recall some outstanding players and personalities, memorable teams and the outlandish fashion and hairstyles of the age. This was, after all, a period that desperately clung to the … Continue reading 72 Classic: Clough, Allison, Keegan and co. – why it was special

Football Media Watch: Leeds marching on together with Bielsa

THE new season is underway and there are some very positive vibes coming out of Yorkshire as one-time “super” Leeds make a splendid start under their new manager, Marcelo Bielsa. After beating Derby County (and Frank Lampard) away by 4-1, following a win against Championship title favourites, Stoke, Leeds fans are becoming very excited about the club’s promotion hopes. The Yorkshire Post, admittedly a local … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Leeds marching on together with Bielsa

1968, the year it came together

ENGLISH football was not quick to warm to the prospect of pan-European football and, it had no representation when the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens kicked off in 1955, an early post-austerity attempt at sporting integration and collaboration. The author, James Walvin, in his seminal work, The People’s Game, remarked that “few areas of European social life seemed more obviously amenable and geared towards international … Continue reading 1968, the year it came together

Logos not badges – how club identity is getting muddled

WHAT an own goal Leeds United scored with their new club badge. It’s a less than serious affair, about as convincing and credible as someone using the Comic Sans font for a magazine, but it also appears to have been designed by a group of creatives who have little idea about the game of football. No doubt Leeds have been charged a significant sum of … Continue reading Logos not badges – how club identity is getting muddled

Great Reputations: Leeds United 1969-72 – champions in all but name

LEEDS UNITED won the Football League championship twice under their patriarchal manager, Don Revie, in 1969 and 1974. But in between those title victories, Leeds could easily have been crowned champions three times between 1970 and 1972. They were arguably the best team during that period, perpetual runners-up and victims of their own consistency. If fixture congestion had not got the better of them or … Continue reading Great Reputations: Leeds United 1969-72 – champions in all but name

1971 wasn’t half bad for football, either

DAVID HEPWORTH is a fine journalist and an excellent chronicler of popular culture. His latest book, 1971: Never a Dull Moment, accurately recalls the year as a pivotal 12 months in the history of rock music. He’s absolutely spot-on, although like almost everyone, Hepworth is playing the “better in my day” card. We all become our grandparents at some point in life. But 1971 was … Continue reading 1971 wasn’t half bad for football, either

The lost weekend that lasted five years

IN 1985, the Heysel Stadium disaster brought to an end a period of English dominance in European club football. English clubs, following the unacceptable behaviour of Liverpool fans in Brussels, were banned until the 1990-91 season. European football breathed a sigh of relief. There were two reasons why our neighbours across the Channel might have been pleased. Firstly, English fans had been consistently causing problems … Continue reading The lost weekend that lasted five years

We are the Champions: 1973-74 – Leeds United

From the late 1960s, Leeds United were always in the running for the Football League championship. Between 1964-65 – their first season in the top division after promotion – and 1972-73, Leeds had won five trophies and finished runners-up in 10. While being the epitome of the ultra-professional modern football machine, they had also acquired a reputation for being “nearly men”, often failing at the … Continue reading We are the Champions: 1973-74 – Leeds United