'Real challenge' - how the YEP reported Don Revie's appointment at Leeds United on this day in 1961

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A 33-year-old Don Revie took charge of Leeds United on this day in 1961 and admitted he had a 'real challenge' on his hands.

His appointment at Elland Road made the back page of the YEP on Friday March 17, although it was not given top billing.

The main headline was given to reporter Phil Brown's preview of the next day's FA Cup semi-finals between Spurs and Burnley and Leicester City and Sheffield United, which was to take place at Elland Road.

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Elsewhere on the back page was a story about Jack Charlton playing up top in the following day's game at Portsmouth, with the first paragraph reading: "Jack Clarlton plays centre-forward for Leeds United tomorrow at Portsmouth (do I hear cheering?). McCole is unfit."

A picture of Revie's first dressing room chat accompanied Brown's story about the managerial appointment, which read as follows...

Although continuing as a registered player, which limits his salary to the present £20 a week, Don Revie has been appointed team manager of his club, Leeds United, on a three-year contract.

How long he will go on playing he told me today, he did not know.

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My guess is that he will finish at the end of this season, when his new, and presumably much higher salary as team manager could begin immediately his player registration was cancelled with the Football League.

Don Revie was appointed on this day in 1961 (Pic: Getty)Don Revie was appointed on this day in 1961 (Pic: Getty)
Don Revie was appointed on this day in 1961 (Pic: Getty)

In any event his distinguished playing career must be near its close. He will be 34 in July.


He had a rapid-fire start to his new role today.

At 10 o'clock this morning he was "introduced" to the playing and training staff as the new "boss" on all team and training matters by the chairman, Mr Sam Boulton.

That over he had to pick the team to play at Portsmouth tomorrow and deal with several players' matters.

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Then he had to be at Leeds Central Station to take charge of the side by 12.15 before it left for Portsmouth.

In between these things he found time to tell me: "I am very happy to have a job. I aimed at being a manager when I finished playing, and this is my break through into the managerial side.

"I shall do my best with United's difficult situation. It offers a real challenge, and there is, I know, a tremendous amount of hard work ahead. One and all will have to get down to it at Elland Road.


"I am very pleased with my contract, which gives me full power on selection, transfers in and out, training - all aspects of the work necessary to get a good playing staff."

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United have not taken as many days to appoint a manager as they took weeks the last time, when Jack Taylor was obtained from Queens Park Rangers only after several failures with other managers.

Mr Taylor resigned only last Monday.

Revie played with Leicester City, Hull City, Manchester City and Sunderland, before coming to United, and was involved in deals totalling £83,000 - A British record. He has six England caps.

While with Manchester City, he helped evolve the famous 'Revie plan' of deep-lying centre-forward.

Mr Bolton told me that the choice of Revie for the post had been unanimous among the directors. He said Revie would have charge of all playing matters, with secretary Cyril Williamson in charge of all administrative matters.