Howard Wilkinson - Fans memories of a Leeds United manager who dared to be different

He was the Leeds United manager who dared to be different, a pioneer for the age.

Saturday, 20th June 2020, 5:00 pm
Howard Wilkinson. PIC: Varley Picture Agency
Howard Wilkinson. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

What Howard Wilkinson achieved with Leeds United during the 1991-92 season was pioneering for the age.

Read More

Read More
23 memories from Leeds United's 1991-92 First Division title winning season

He still remains the last Englishman to win a top-flight trophy, a fact perhaps under-appreciated in today's global Premier League era. Wilko was appointed in October 1988 and was in charge for 400 games - with a win rate of 43.25 per cent - during an eight year stint which also saw the club win promotion from the Second Division in 1989/90.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Howard Wilkinson takes training. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Wilkinson's philosophy of marginal gains was ahead of its time. His visionary approach led to a change in the squad's diet, the introduction of performance analysis and using resting heart rates to devise suitable training schedules.

Your YEP has been asking the Elland Road faithful to share memories of Sgt Wilko time as boss. Here is what they had to say:

Billy Kane - He gave us back our standing in the football world. We always had pride, but we gained respect again.

Jeff Craven - The club was in a sorry state staring relegation to Division 3 in the face. Howard Wilkinson turned the club around winning two league titles in three years, amazing achievement.

Barry Conolly - My best times going to Elland Road. Still had terracing and Elland Road was a fortress in those days.

Jim Spurr - The Bielsa of the 90's for us.

Michael Spencer - Howard Wilkinson. Top Man. Say no more.

Knut Erik Dahlmo - Second only to Revie's era. Did a great job for us with promotion and winning the First Divison title.

Billy Hick - Great leadership great signings and a pleasure to watch Leeds United under Sgt Wilko. Up there next to the Don.

Dave Todd - Great tactical brain. Knew which players to buy and how to use them. Got the players to believe in themselves and each other. Togetherness won the title. Up there with The Don.

Thomas Sheppard - Last English manager to win the league. Upset the big boys by reviving a dying club.

Bernard Mckenna - He put the pride and spirit back into Leeds that we were missing.


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. These are challenging times but the team at the Yorkshire Evening Post need your support more than ever in the weeks ahead.

While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you - wherever possible and providing it is safe for you to do so - to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Inevitably falling advertising revenues will start to have an impact on local newspapers and the way we continue to work during this period of uncertainty. So the support of our readers has never been more important as we try to make sure that we keep you connected with the city you live in during this time. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. We need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Our team of trusted reporters are working incredibly hard behind the scenes - from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms - to look at how we can do this and your continued support to the YEP will help to protect its viability in the days and weeks ahead.

For more details on our subscription offers please visit:, email: [email protected] or call us on 0330 4033004.

Thank you

Laura Collins