Mick Bates - Fans memories of an ultimate unsung hero

He was Leeds United's ultimate unsung hero, a player who embodied 'side before self'.
Mick Bates. PIC: GettyMick Bates. PIC: Getty
Mick Bates. PIC: Getty

Mick Bates will be remembered by a generation of Whites watchers as playing a key part during the club's most glorious era under Don Revie.

The midfielder signed professionally for Leeds United in 1964 after completing his apprenticeship.

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He went on to make his senior debut in September 1965, helping Leeds United defeat Hartlepool United 4-2 at Elland Road in the League Cup.

He played 191 times scoring nine goals during his 12 years with the club.

He famously scored against Juventus in the first leg of the Fairs Cup final in 1971, his away goal, with his first kick of the match as a substitute, vital in helping the Whites to lift the European trophy for the second time.

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During his time with the club they also won the league in 1969 and 1974, the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and the 1969 Charity Shield.

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In March 1976 he played his last game for Leeds in a 1-1 Elland Road draw with West Ham United, before a move to Walsall at the end of the season.

He went on to have spells at Bradford City and his hometown club Doncaster Rovers, before retiring in 1981.

Your YEP asked the Elland Road faithful to share their memories of a player who was awarded Freedom of the city of Leeds by the council, along with his fellow Revie Boys, in 2019 as part of the club's centenary celebrations. He passed away in July 2021, aged 73.

Responses included:

Peter Collins - "If the great Don Revie thought Mick Bates was good enough to play just under 200 games for that magnificent Leeds side, especially when the unparalleled Giles and Bremner‎ played in the same position, then that shows how good a player he was. I also remember Mick scoring the only goal at Maine Road in October 1973 which was a vital result en route to the 29 game unbeaten run ending with the league title!"

Andy Holder - "Great squad player never let us down."

Paul Adcock - "Mick was a brilliant player."

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David Redfern - "Mick was a great team player for The Don's Leeds United. A lovely man. RIP star man."

Philip Humphrey - "Great servant to our club."

Bill Rana - "RIP Mick. Great service to a great club side. Another joins the heaven Leeds eleven of that era."

Mike Burrows - "RIP Mick and thank you for the many memories."

Jennifer Hinton - "Yet another of Revies Babes we lose. RIP Mick. Legend."

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John Singleton - "Another legend of the great Revie era. Versatile and always ready to step in when needed. Would have played many more games at another club but his love for Leeds United kept him there, to which Leeds fans are eternally grateful. Gone to meet his old Leeds buddies."

Andrew Beales - "Very underrated player just unfortunate to be in same team as two other greats in Bremner and Giles. Definitely would of played a lot more games otherwise ,but his love of Leeds United kept him here."

Peter Cook - "Good player and servant to Leeds."

Graham Towler - "He embodied 'side before self'. There when he was needed.

Trevor Cook - "He loved the club and the fans loved him. Loyal through and through."


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