by Geoff Fox
The widow of Leeds United legend Don Revie has died in an Edinburgh hospital.
Elsie Revie, president of the Leeds United Supporters’ Club for the past 16 years, died yesterday at Edinburgh’s New Royal Infirmary where she had undergone pioneering surgery for bowel and liver cancer 10 days ago.
She developed an infection just hours before she was due to be discharged to the Murrayfield convalescence hospital - where her husband died in 1989 from motor neurone disease.
Elsie, 77, met Don after he was signed to Leicester City by her football manager uncle Jocky Duncan in the late 1940s.
Don went on to become one of England’s most successful football managers, taking Leeds United from the brink of relegation to the old third division to league championship winners in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Don, who won manager of the year on three occasions, quit Leeds United in 1974 to take the vacant England manager’s job.
He was later made honorary president of the supporters’ club and, following his death in May 1989, supporters’ club officials invited Elsie to take on his mantle.
Elsie’s children Duncan and Kim, together with her brother and sister, were among those with her when she died.
Duncan said: “It has been devastating. She was an absolutely magnificent woman. She was raised in a footballing family and was imbued in football from day one.
“She was able to talk football with dad as clearly as anyone else.”
He paid tribute to staff at the hospital where she died, before adding: “She was a guiding light in my life and a wonderful mum. She was a great character, hysterically funny and larger than life. We thought she was indestructible.”
He added he was particularly proud of his mum’s continued links with Leeds United.
“It’s the first result we always look for. She developed some great friendships and was still in contact with many of the players from that era. They were the most phenomenal years and mum was very much a part of that.”
Peter Lorimer, former Leeds midfielder and a director at the club, said: “To players like myself who came down in the great Revie era, Don was our boss and Elsie was the mother behind him.
“She was very much involved, so in many ways it’s like losing a member of the family. One of the great things about her was her knowledge of football. She could talk to you about football and know what she was talking about.”
Fellow United hero Paul Madeley said: “I’m very sad to hear the news. Elsie was always a popular figure and was extremely pleasant.”
Ray Fell, supporters’ club chairman, paid tribute to Elsie and her love of Leeds United.
“It is sad news indeed,” said Mr Fell. “She was a personal friend, and her death is a sad loss to us all.”
Elsie’s funeral will take place at Dunfermline Crematorium, Masterton Road, at 10.45am on Friday (April 1). Flowers from close family and friends only, with any other donations to Cancer Research.