Birthday boy Johnny Giles on his best Leeds United memory - a special moment away from Elland Road

Birthday boy Johnny Giles' favourite Leeds United moment took place away from Elland Road.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 2:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 2:14 pm

A two-time First Division winner under Don Revie during the Whites' glorious late 60s and early 70s period, Giles turns 79 today.

He recently returned to the scene of his and the Revie boys' triumphs as guest of honour at the club's centenary celebrations.

Twelve years at Leeds left him with a glut of winners medals, legendary status and a lifetime of memories, the fondest of which came at the end of a record-breaking, title-winning 1968/69 season.

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Giles speaking at the club's centenary dinner alongside ex team-mate Norman Hunter

On 28th April 1969, Leeds travelled to second-placed Liverpool, knowing that a draw would be enough to secure the club's first ever First Division title.

"I think my favourite memory would be Anfield in 1969," said Giles, of the game that ended 0-0.

"We never won anything easily as you know, but we had to get something at Liverpool to clinch it, despite the fact it was the second last match of the season, which we did luckily enough.

"We had a record number of points and we still hadn't clinched it so we never did anything easy.

Leeds United's 1968/69 squad won the First Division title. Johnny Giles, front row second from right, calls the day they won it at Anfield his best Leeds memory

"To go to Liverpool who were our nearest rivals, if we'd have lost on the night there was still a possibility we could lose it."

Leeds were able to celebrate history in front of the away fans, yet manager Revie was keen for them to pay their respect to the home supporters too and instructed captain Billy Bremner and the team to approach the famous Kop end and salute them.

What happened next could be filed somewhere between unlikely and impossible in today's game - the Reds fans conveyed their raucous congratulations to the away team who had just ended Liverpool's title hopes.

"To go there and get it finished was great," said Giles.

"Then to go to the Kop end who responded brilliantly to us - I think that was Don's idea at the end of the match - them obviously being a great football city responded in the right way.

"That would be my best memory of Leeds.

"There were 40 matches at that time, to lose two matches and get a record number of points was what we had to do and we did it."

Fifty years on, the current Leeds United side are hoping to make more history by securing promotion back to the top flight.

Giles is hopeful that Liam Cooper and the modern day Whites will make their own special memory come the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

"I thought they were going to do it last year. It's a very inconsistent league.

"You win a couple of matches and you go top of the league and then you lose a couple.

"Fingers crossed."