When Leeds United took first notable step in bid to emulate Real Madrid under Don Revie

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
LEEDS UNITED were not going anywhere particularly fast when Don Revie became player manager in March 1961.

The 60-61 season ended with the Whites finishing 14th in the old Division Two.

The following campaign was even worse with Leeds surviving relegation to Division Three by just three points in finishing 19th.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Revie, though, had major ambitions, changing the colour of United's kit from blue and gold to the all white of Real Madrid with a wish to copy the Spanish giants' brilliant achievements.

EMERGING FORCE: Leeds United celebrate promotion from the second tier of English football as 1963-64 Division Two champions. Picture by Varleys.EMERGING FORCE: Leeds United celebrate promotion from the second tier of English football as 1963-64 Division Two champions. Picture by Varleys.
EMERGING FORCE: Leeds United celebrate promotion from the second tier of English football as 1963-64 Division Two champions. Picture by Varleys.

At the time - the summer of 1962 - Real had won five of the last seven European Cups.

And here were Leeds, not even in English football's top tier.

Yet after finishing fifth in the 62-63 campaign, Leeds and Revie waved goodbye to Division Two in May 1964 and ultimately laid the foundations for their own European glories in the years to come.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In their first season since changing their kit to Real's iconic all-white, Revie's side only missed out on promotion in the 1962-63 campaign by three points.

United paid the price for a poor start in winning just two of their first six games but this was a side that meant business that had been galvanised by the signing of Bobby Collins from Everton towards the end of the previous campaign.

Airdrie marksman Jim Storrie then proved a shrewd acquisition at the start of the following campaign and with a flurry of talented youngsters breaking through, United looked a side going places as the 62-63 season concluded.

After this time making a strong start, Leeds could not be stopped as a team further bolstered by the signings of Johnny Giles and Alan Peacock stormed to the Division Two title with just three defeats all season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sunderland - who themselves lost just six games - finished two points back in second and themselves five points clear of third-placed Preston North End in the days when only the top two went up.

United finished unbeaten at home and began the season with a 1-0 victory at home to Rotherham United thanks to a Don Weston strike.

Leeds lined up on the opening day of the campaign with Sprake; Reaney, Bell; Bremner, Charlton, Hunter; Weston, Storrie, Lawson, Collins and Johanneson.

With Giles and Peacock added to the mix and 1960 recruit Freddie Goodwin excelling, Leeds proved the division's dominant force as part of a season in which youngsters Jimmy Greenhoff, Terry Cooper and Paul Madeley emerged with Peter Lorimer also featuring in the League Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Preston, Sunderland and sixth-placed Manchester City were the only sides to beat Leeds in that season's league campaign in which Weston and Albert Johanneson finished as joint top scorers with 13 goals each.

South African winger Johanneson had begun to emerge on the scene at the end of the 1960-61 campaign and his goals proved crucial to firing Leeds up three years on.

Johanneson netted five goals in seven games in a particularly productive October and November.

But it was a brace from Alan Peacock that sealed promotion as champions on the final day of the season via a 2-0 win at Charlton Athletic with Peacock himself netting four goals in United's last three.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After four years in English football's second tier, Leeds were going up. Not quite Real Madrid, but a start, and a crucial building block with United then runners-up in both the First Division title race and the FA Cup in the very next year.

Another nine years on, the club had bagged two First Division titles, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, a League Cup, an FA Cup and a Charity Shield and the 1974-75 season should have ended with glory in the European Cup that Real had farmed.

Who would have thought it? Well, Revie did, and his reasonings of changing the kit were so not so fanciful after all.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. These are challenging times but the team at the Yorkshire Evening Post need your support more than ever in the weeks ahead.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you - wherever possible and providing it is safe for you to do so - to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Inevitably falling advertising revenues will start to have an impact on local newspapers and the way we continue to work during this period of uncertainty.

So the support of our readers has never been more important as we try to make sure that we keep you connected with the city you live in during this time.

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. We need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Our team of trusted reporters are working incredibly hard behind the scenes - from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms - to look at how we can do this and your continued support to the YEP will help to protect its viability in the days and weeks ahead.

For more details on our subscription offers please visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk/YEP, email [email protected] or call us on 0330 4033004

Thank you

Laura Collins


READ MORE: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/opinion/were-therewithyou-now-your-yep-needs-your-support-too-laura-collins-yep-editor-2521777