Alternative History

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.

It took a long time (16 years) and a lot of managers to re-install the Peacocks on their Premier League perch, with eccentric and notable Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa the man who took them up as champions of the Championship in Covid-19 hit 2020. 

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

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), Kaiser Chiefs (Pop group)

Club Records 

Formed 1919
Turned Professional 1920
Became a Limited Company 1920
Former names Leeds City   1904-1919 
Previous grounds
Nickname “The PEACOCKS”, “WHITES” or “UNITED”
Club Colours HOME : SHIRTS : – White with royal blue trim on neck and sleeves; three adidas royal blue stripes on shoulders
SHORTS : – White with three adidas royal blue side stripes
SOCKS : – White with three adidas royal blue stripes around turnover

AWAY : SHIRTS : – Legend Ink (jade) and black stripes with black collar and cuffs
SHORTS : – Black with three adidas gold side stripes
SOCKS : – Black with Legend Ink (jade) turnover with three adidas gold stripes around turnover

THIRD : SHIRTS : – Maroon with mottled body with thin gold line around collar and cuffs
SHORTS : – Maroon with three adidas gold side stripes
SOCKS : – Maroon with three adidas gold stripes around turnover

Record Premier League Win 6-1  v  Charlton Athletic    Away      05.04.2003
6-1  v  Bradford City    Home      13.05.2001
5-0  v  Tottenham Hotspur   Home       25.08.1992
5-0  v  Swindon Town    Away        07.05.1994
5-0  v  Derby County    Away        15.03.1998
5-0  v  West Bromwich Albion    Away       29.12.2020
Record Premier League Defeat 1-6  v  Portsmouth     Away      08.11.2003
0-5  v  Liverpool    Away  20.01.1996
0-5  v  Arsenal    Away  16.04.2004
Record Football League Win 8-0  v  Leicester City    Div. 1       07.04.1934
Record Football League Defeat 1-8  v  Stoke City         Div.1        27.08.1934
0-7  v  Arsenal        League Cup R2                 04.09.1979
0-7  v  West Ham United       League Cup R3            04.09.1979
Record Cup Win 10-0  v  Lyn Oslo    EC R1 1L     17.09.1969
Record Fee Paid £26 million to Valencia (Spain) for RODRIGO (29th August 2020)
Record Fee Received £30.8 million from Manchester United for Rio FERDINAND (July 2002)
Record Total Appearances 773 –  Jack CHARLTON  (1953-73)
Record League Appearances 629 –  Jack CHARLTON  (1953-73)
Record Premier League Appearances 325 –  Gary KELLY  (1992-2007)
Record Premier League goal-scorer 59 –  Mark VIDUKA (2000-04)
Record goal-scorer in a Premier League season 18 – Jimmy-Floyd HASSELBAINK  (1998-99) 
Record goal-scorer in a season 43  –  John CHARLES (Division 2  1953-54)
Record all-time goal-scorer  238  –  Peter LORIMER (1965-79 and 1983-86)
Record all-time League goal-scorer  168  –  Peter LORIMER (1965-79 and 1983-86)
Most goals in one match 5  –  Gordon HODGSON  v  Leicester City  (Division 1)  01.10.1938
Record Attendance (all-time) 57,829 v  Sunderland  FAC R5r        15.03.1967
Record Premier League Attendance 41,127  v  Manchester United  27.04.1994 
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 : 93  –   The Championship 2019-20
2 points for a win : 67  –   Division 1 1968-69
Youngest player Peter LORIMER  –  15 years and 289 days   v Southampton  29.09.1962
Oldest Player Eddie BURBANKS  –  41 years and 23 days   v  Hull City  24.04.1954
Most Capped player while at club Lucas RADEBE  58  (South Africa)


Stadium details

Address : Elland Road, Leeds LS11 0ES

Capacity :  37,890
Pitch size :  115 yards  x  74 yards (105m  x  68m)

Official website :


Division One Champions (first tier) 1968-69, 1973-74, 1991-92
Division One Runner-up (first tier) 1964-65, 1965-66, 1969-70, 1970-71, 1971-72
The Championship Champions (first tier) 2019-20
Division Two Champions (second tier) 1923-24, 1963-64, 1989-90
Division Two Runners-up (second tier) 1927-28, 1931-32, 1955-56
FA Cup Winners 1972
FA Cup Finalists 1965, 1970, 1973
League Cup Winners 1968
League Cup Finalists 1996
European Cup Finalists 1975
European Cup Winners Cup Finalists 1973
European Fairs Cup Winners 1968, 1971
European Fairs Cup Finalists 1967
FA Charity Shield Winners 1969, 1992



Dick RAY 1919-1920
Arthur FAIRCLOUGH 1st February 1920 – 1st March 1927
Dick RAY 1st July 1927 – 1st May 1935
Bill HAMPSON 1st July 1935 – 1st May 1947
Willis EDWARDS 1st May 1947 – 30th April 1948
Major Frank BUCKLEY 1st May 1948 – 30th April 1953
Raich CARTER 1st May 1953 – 1st June 1958
Bill LAMBTON 1st December 1958 – 30th April 1959
Jack TAYLOR 1st May 1959- 1st March 1961
Don REVIE 1st March 1961 – 4th July 1974
Brian CLOUGH 4th July 1974 – 13th September 1974
Jimmy ARMFIELD 4th October 1974 – 3rd July 1978
Jock STEIN 21st August 1978 – 4th October 1978
Jimmy ADAMSON 25th October 1978- 1st October 1980
Allan CLARKE 1st October 1980 – 4th July 1982
Eddie GRAY 4th July 1982- 11th October 1985
Billy BREMNER 11th October 1985- 28th September 1988
Howard WILKINSON 10th October 1988 – 10th September 1996
George GRAHAM 10th September 1996 – 1st October 1998
David O’LEARY 1st October 1998 – 27th June 2002
Terry VENABLES 8th July 2002 – 21st March 2003
Peter REID 21st March 2003 – 10th November 2003
Eddie GRAY 10th November 2003 – 31st May 2004
Kevin BLACKWELL 1st June 2004 – 20th September 2006
John CARVER 21st September 2006 – 23rd October 2006
Dennis WISE 24th October 2006 – 28th January 2008
Gary McALLISTER 30th January 2008 – 21 December 2008 
Simon GRAYSON 23 December 2008 – 1st February 2012
Neil REDFEARN (caretaker) 1st February 2012 – 20th February 2012
Neil WARNOCK 20th February 2012 – 1st April 2013
Neil REDFEARN  (caretaker) 1st April 2013 – 12th April 2013
Brian McDERMOTT 12th April 2013 – 30th May 2014
David HOCKADAY 19th June 2014 – 28th August 2014
Darko MILANIC September 2014 – 25th October 2014
Neil REDFEARN 27th October 2014 – 20th May 2015
Uwe ROSLER 20th May 2015 – 19th October 2015
Steve EVANS 19th October 2015 –  2nd June 2016
Garry MONK 2nd June 2016 – 15th June 2017
Thomas CHRISTENSEN 15th June 2017 – 6th February 2018
Paul HECKINGBOTTOM 6th February 2018 – 15th June 2018
Marcelo BIELSA 15th June 2018 – 


League Record 

The Football League structure has historically been as follows …

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004 2004 to date
First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League
Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship
Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two  League One
Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two
Elected to Division Two 1920
Division Two (Second tier) 1920-1924
Division One (First tier) 1924-1927
Division Two (Second tier) 1927-1928
Division One (First tier) 1928-1931
Division Two (Second tier) 1931-1932
Division One (First tier) 1932-1947
Division Two (Second tier) 1947-1956
Division One (First tier) 1956-1960
Division Two (Second tier) 1960-1964
Division One (First tier) 1964-1982
Division Two (Second tier) 1982-1990
Division One (First tier) 1990-1992
Premier League (First tier) 1992-2003
The Championship (Second tier) 2003-2007
League One (Third tier) 2007-2010
The Championship (Second tier) 2010-2020
Premier League (First tier) 2020