the story of leeds football from 1950 to 1965

Forward leeds, and onto the beginning of something very special to happen to our Super Leeds United. This page looks at the time between the seasons 1950-51 up to 1964-65. John Charles leaves for the Italian giants Juventus, then comes back for a brief spell. More ups and downs in the fifties, which probably made life very difficult for the Leeds fans of the time. The start of a very fruitfull youth development system under Bill Lambton and from the same manager, one very special signing. In the season of 1958-59 Don Revie signed for Leeds United. It was the 17 March 1961 when Don Revie become the player manager of Leeds. And so let it begin. Taking the club from virtual relegation candidates, to one of the so nearly memorable seasons ever for Leeds United. This page takes us to the season end 64-65. The start of something very special.


1950-1965

WAFLL Main | History Index | Period 1919 ~ 1950 | Period 1965 ~ 1974

  1950-51 ~ 1959-60
For the challenge of 1950-51 Leeds never showed any real contention for the title although they did equal the previous seasons position of 5th place. This could also be the season that John Charles proved he was a versatile magician. Charles played up front with the other strikers out injured and he managed to bag three times in as many games. Leeds played decent football in 1951-52 but still could only come in 6th spot. A probable factor for this lower place was that John Charles was out through the first half of the season away on National Service. 1952-53 saw Leeds do no better, Leeds finished the season in 10th spot and Buckley could take no more. He left the club and the board at Leeds took on Raich Carter. Although Leeds that season were never going to win the title there was something still for Leeds fans to smile about. John Charles made a switch from his centre half position to forward wearing the No 9 shirt. He netted 11 goals in just 6 games and finished the season scoring 26. What's more a young Jack Charlton made his debut for Leeds in the last game at the age of 17. In spite of Charles scoring 42 goals in 39 games the Leeds record, Leeds could still only manage 10th spot in 1953-54. Carter was finding it difficult to gel the team that Buckley had left him.

  1950-51 John Charles Proves His Worth As United Finish 5th.
  1951-52 United Miss The Gentle Giant And Finish In 6th.
  1952-53 Major Frank Buckley Leaves With Leeds Finishing In 10th.
  1953-54 Charles Nets 42 Times But Leeds Only Manage 10th.


A turn of fortune for Leeds in 1954-55 saw Leeds finish 4th with a magnificent finish to the season. Charles had gone back to his defensive role for that term but the goals he scored still ran into double figures. If it wasn't for such a bad start Leeds should have got promotion. Promotion finally came in 1955-56, nine seasons of second division football was over and Leeds United were back where they belong. Charles played in both defence and attack that season with a certain Jack Charlton aged 20 making the No 5 sirt his own. Back in the top flight for 1956-57 and Leeds did well finishing in 8th position. Charles that season showed he could do at the top what he had been doing in the second. He netted 38 goals in 40 games, but Charles had asked for a transfer during 1955-56 and the inevitable happened. The board conceded when the Italian giants Juventus put a bid of 65,000 in for him and John Charles left for Italy. Hugh Baird was brought in for Charles and he went on to score 20 goals for Leeds in the season of 1957-58 but Leeds Uniteds overhall form was pretty bad and they finished in 17th place just five points off relegation.

  1954-55 A Great Improvement United Finish In 4th.
  1955-56 Promotion For Leeds After Nine Season's In The Second.
  1956-57 A Decent return For Leeds With United Finishing In 8th.
  1957-58 Leeds Lose Charles And Form As United Slump To 17th.


The board decided to finish Raich Carter as manager and brought in the clubs trainer coach Bill Lambton on an acting basis. Although Leeds weren't doing particularly well in the early stages of 1958-59 the board still made Lambtons position official. They ended up finishing the league in 15th position. Lambton actually resigned his position two months before the end of the season after a player revolt. Leeds finished the term managerless. Although Lambton did not set any fires during his time in charge at Leeds he did institute a youth development programme which would prove fruitfull in the coming years and he did also make one very significant signing. Two weeks before his position was made official he signed Don Revie from Sunderland. The Leeds board eventually appointed Jack Taylor to fill the managers position in time for the coming season. 1959-60 saw a desperate term for Leeds, battling to avoid the drop which they eventually lost. Conceding 92 goals that season, the Leeds defence was dire. A positive highlight being the debut of youngster Billy Bremner who made his premier appearance on the right wing.

  1958-59 Player Revolt Against New Manager Lambton As United Finish 15th.
  1959-60 Leeds Relegated And Concede 92 Goals.



  1960-61 ~ 1964-65
Taylor had made many changes to the squad in the close season but to no avail as in the season of 1960-61 the Leeds team conceded 83 goals. A good finish to the season including a 7.0 thrashing of Lincoln helped Leeds to 14th spot, still only 5 points above relegation. During the turmoil though of Leeds United's hard season back in the second division was to come an immense twist. Taylor resigned after he was tipped off that the board no longer supported him and on 17 March 1961 Don Revie bacame the player manager of Leeds United.

  1960-61 A Decent Finish Helps United To 14th Position.

The early Revie years showed little advance in fortune for Leeds and in 1961-62 Leeds came very close to dropping to the third, somewhere Leeds United have never been. Leeds that season finished 19th. With a point needed at newcastle on the last day of the season Albert Johanneson put in an extraordinary performance scoring one and setting up another in a 3-0 win to keep the club safe. The youth scheme also was producing some very good talent at the time but Revie brought in some older figures to steady the ship while the younger players matured. Including Bobby Collins the Scottish capped player from Everton. The survival that season gave the Leeds board new hope. They backed Revie in bringing John Charles back from Juventus in a club record of 53,000. It didn't work out and after just 11 games Charles returned to Italy. Revie was learning the game and probably breathed a sigh of relief after Leeds received 65,000 for John Charles off Roma.

  1961-62 Don Revie Now Player Manager And Leeds Just Avoid The Drop.

After losing three of the first six games in 1962-63 Revie decided it was time. Growing impatient he took a chance and brought in a bunch of youngsters. It was sooner than Revie wanted but it proved a master stroke. For the game against Swansea Paul Reaney, Rod Johnson who were both just 17 and Norman Hunter who was 18 all made their debuts. Gary Sprake who had played in only one previous also played. Leeds won the game 2.0. Four games later and Peter Lorimer became the youngest player in Leeds United's history at 15 years, 289 days old. It was indeed a master stroke with Leeds that season missing out on promotion by only four points. Revie made another purchase just into the 1963-64 season taking Johnny Giles away from Manchester United. It was quite the signing and no one quite knew why Giles left Manchester United for second division outfit Leeds. Leeds had gained stability and with the new and young team gelling found consistency conceding only 34 goals all season. Leeds had found a formula making them hard to beat and unpleasant to play against, the club made enemies for this approach but it worked. Leeds were unbeaten at home and lost only three away and with the contribution of Alan Peacock's goals who was signed from Middlesborough Leeds lifted the second division championship.

  1962-63 Revie Plays The Youngsters And United Just Miss out On Promotion.
  1963-64 United Go Up As Champion's.


Back in the top division for 1964-65 and so close it came to being one of the most memorable in Leeds United's history. Freshly promoted, reaching the final of the FA Cup and losing the first division championship only on goal difference. The hatred the club was getting only acted as a bonding agent within the Elland Road camp. Leeds enjoyed a run of 13 wins in 15 matches which brought them close to that championship and it was only for two defeats in the last five that let Manchester United win the league on goal difference. Billy Bremner scored a late goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final replay which presented Leeds with their first FA Cup final appearance. It wasn't to be for Leeds though as the young lads froze on the day but Leeds still managed to take Liverpool to extra time eventually losing 1-0 to an Ian St John header scored 9 minutes from the end.

  1964-65 United's First Final And Only Goal Difference Spoils The Title Dream.



WAFLL Main | History Index | Period 1919 ~ 1950 | Period 1965 ~ 1974




The Leeds United Web Ring  est.1996
[ Home | Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >> ]