Leeds United - On this day: Harris’s goal sinks City

Manchester city coach Malcolm Allison waves to the fans at Eland Road, Leeds, in 1979

Manchester city coach Malcolm Allison waves to the fans at Eland Road, Leeds, in 1979

2
Have your say

YOU could have cut the tension with a knife 35 years ago today when two footballing giants of the north who were down on their luck locked horns at Elland Road.

Leeds United took on Manchester City on October 8, 1980, with both sides finding themselves down among the dead men at the bottom of the old Division One after desperate starts to the campaign.

United’s lamentable opening to 1980-81 saw them reside bottom of the table after five games with Jimmy Adamson bowing to the inevitable and resigning eight games in, with his final match being a 4-1 defeat at former club Sunderland - with club legend Allan Clarke arriving from Barnsley to take up the reins.

Across the Pennines at Maine Road, City - and more especially their flamboyant manager Malcolm Allison - were having an even more wretched time of it, with the final days of the Londoner’s tenure at the club chronicled in a Granada TV documentary called CITY!

With City winless in eight games, chairman Peter Swales gave Allison the dreaded vote of confidence ahead of the club’s trip to Leeds that autumnal night of October 8, 1980, with the tense atmosphere in the City dressing room before and after the game - and in the dug-out - captured by the documentary makers.

Leeds won the game 1-0, thanks to a strike from Carl Harris, to record their first home league of the campaign and just their second Division One win of 1980-81.

Allison was axed as City manager the following day with the club second from bottom in the table with just four points - and no wins - from their opening ten matches.

Following their victory, Leeds moved up to 18th spot.

Richard Naylor in action against Millwall in 2009.

Leeds United: Ex-captain warns of ‘lottery of play-offs’