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Leeds United legend wins apology from author

FOOTBALL legend Johnny Giles chalked up countless victories as part of the unstoppable Leeds United side of the Sixties and Seventies.

Now he is celebrating again after settling a High Court legal dispute over an acclaimed novel chronicling the late Brian Clough's 44 day reign as Leeds manager.

The Damned Utd's writer, Yorkshire-born David Peace, and its publisher, Faber & Faber, have apologised for the way Giles was portrayed in the book, it was revealed today.

WHAT DO YOU THINK TO THE BOOK AND THE ACTION JOHNNY GILES HAS TAKEN? EMAIL US BY CLICKING HERE. WE'LL PUBLISH THE LOT.

Faber & Faber has in addition agreed that a number of the references which angered the Irishman will be taken out of future editions.

Leeds-based law firm Ford & Warren, which represented Giles in the libel action, said a "substantial" payment had also been made to cover damages and costs.

Giles claimed the book wrongly painted him as a key figure in Clough's sacking by Leeds in 1974.

Speaking today about the settlement of the case, the 67-year-old former midfielder said: "I resented bitterly any suggestion that I played a part in his downfall.

"I am relieved this has now been recognised."

Published in 2006, The Damned Utd's dramatised account of Clough's stay at Leeds was hailed by one reviewer as "probably the best novel ever written about sport".

Work is currently under way on a movie version, with Michael Sheen - who played Tony Blair in The Queen - lined up to fill the role of the man who became known as 'Ol Big 'Ead.

It is thought the legal ructions over the book mean the film will not include a Giles character.

A spokeswoman for Faber & Faber declined to comment on the case.

Clough was a shock choice to take over at United from the great Don Revie, who is believed to have recommended Giles to the club's board as his ideal successor.

He endured disappointing results during his time in charge - but lingering dressing room unhappiness at his appointment is widely assumed to have been the real reason he got the bullet.

Giles played more than 500 games for Leeds between 1963 and 1975. He is now a respected football pundit.

YOUR VIEWS:

I read the book while touring Arizona last year. I found the whole story depressing and chucked the book away at the end of the read. Most of our idolised players were portrayed distastfully including Norman.

Well done JG.

Paul Holman

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I've just read the book for a second time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I took it with a pinch of salt, not knowing how much was fact and how much was fiction. I think that Johnny Giles comes across as quite a canny operator in it. Whatever the truth of the matter is, Brian Clough was the wrong choice to succeed Don Revie.

Robin Constable

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