John Sheridan on 'brilliant' Leeds United and why he loved listening to Revie boys at centenary celebration
When a trio of Revie boys held court at last week’s centenary ball at Elland Road it wasn’t just the Whites supporters in the room listening in rapt attention.
One of the club’s former players, himself held in high regard by Leeds United fans, was lapping up every word from Eddie Gray, Johnny Giles and Norman Hunter as they talked about the life under Don Revie in the 60s and 70s.
John Sheridan signed for Leeds in 1982 and Gray was his manager.
Earlier this year Sheridan went on record as saying Gray was one of the best managers he played under in his 22-year career as a professional.
Seven years of that career were spent at Elland Road and spawned 230 league games and 47 goals. He was seen as a rare glimmer of light in the club’s dark age outside the top flight in the 1980s.
Sheridan, currently manager of Chesterfield, sat alongside his Spireites assistant manager and fellow Leeds alumnus Glynn Snodin, at last Thursday’s black tie ball and counted himself lucky to be there.
“I had seven really good years [at Leeds]. Unfortunately they were struggling at the time, they were on a bit of a spiral, but luckily they got back up," he said.
“They are a brilliant club and I was very fortunate to get asked to go.”
Sheridan immensely enjoyed the opportunity to hear from the men who won two First Division titles and European trophies.
Hunter was, inevitably, asked about his reputation as a hard man - a tag Giles and Gray both said was a little harsh, given how capable a player the defender was.
But the hard nosed spirit with which the trio went about their business and the demanding nature they had with each other is something Sheridan appreciates, something he feels the game has lost, to its detriment.
“I could listen to people like Eddie Gray, who I have massive respect for, and Johnny Giles and Norman Hunter all day, about how they talk about the old days and how they used to get stuck into each other in training and how they picked people out when they were not doing something. I love all that.
“I am a bit old school like that. That is not in today’s football unfortunately.
“They were top, top players. They knew they had to go out and do some ugly things but they were a very good footballing side.
“There was a lot of very good players there.”