the story of leeds football from 1965 to 1974

On and on Leeds United. Here we look at the seasons between 1965-66 up to the great championship winning season of 1973-74. Don Revies team are certainly making their mark, appearing in their first European competition in 1965-66 and no more than two years later in 1967-68 lifting their first European honour. That incredible and memorable performance against Southampton in the league during the 1971-72 campaign. Revies side was now established as one of the greatest sides in Europe. No one on their day could live with Leeds United. Making enemies too. The controversial games between West Brom and AC Milan feature on this page and the obvious biased certain referees had against Leeds. 1972 and Leeds appear in their third FA Cup final lifting the cup in its centenary year with that memorable Allan Clarke header.


WAFLL Main | History Index | Period 1950 ~ 1965 | Period 1974 ~ 1990

  1965-66 ~ 1969-70
1965-66 saw another landmark for Leeds United. Leeds were to play for the first time in Europe, qualifying for the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. The impressive Bobby Collins broke his thigh in the second leg against Torino and Don Revie bought Mike O'Grady for £45,000 from Huddersfield as replacement. Leeds did well in the competition going out to Real Zaragoza in the semi final. Leeds also had another great season in the league finishing in second spot, although this time round eventual winners Liverpool were always out in front winning the league by 6 points.

  1965-66 A European Semi And League Runners Up.

Paul Madely showed his true versatility in 1966-67 playing eight different positions, in cover for injured players. Leeds were in contention for several honours that season finishing fourth in the league. It was more in cup football though where Leeds showed their might, fighting their way to the FA Cup semi final to lose 1-0 to Chelsea, where a late equaliser was controversially disallowed. The goal came from a Peter Lorimer free kick but the referee ordered the kick to be re-taken, because he said Chelsea weren't ready! Leeds made it all the way to the final in the Fairs Cup. Thier opponents Dinamo Zagreb brought a two goal advantage to Elland Road in the two legged final but Don Revies side could only manage a cautious 0-0 draw at home and the Leeds team ended up with another runners up medal. Markedly this was also the season that Eddie Gray made his debut appearance for the men in white.

  1966-67 A European Final And 4th In The League.

Revie made another purchase during the season of 1967-68 buying Mick Jones from Sheffield United for £100,000. He managed to net only 8 times during that season, but it was his overhall contribution that backed up this players worth. His fearless, constant running holding the ball up for periods that allowed others into play. Leeds away form that season was not good enough to mount a major title challenge, although they still did finish in a lofty fourth position, only five points behind champions Manchester City. In the FA Cup and Leeds lost 1-0 to Everton in the semi final but the Leeds United season was far from over. The Football League Cup competition was still in its early years when Leeds took on Arsenal in the final. Leeds had only conceded one goal on the road to Wembley and the Leeds defence was solid again when they beat Arsenal to lift their first trophy. A long range effort from Terry Cooper secured the cup for Leeds. Six months later and it was Leeds again lifting the silverware. This time the Fairs Cup would find a rightful place in the Elland Road trophy cabinet as Leeds United beat Ferencvaros. Leeds won the first leg in front of a new kop at Elland Road and took a goal advantage away to the second leg, the masterful Leeds defence kept Ferencvaros at bay and Leeds won the game 1-0 on aggregate..

  1967-68 4th In The League Again But United Lift Two Major Trophies.

At the start of the 1968-69 season it was Don Revie that famously told his players: they were going to win the League Championship and do so without losing a single match. It was like a reversal of trends from the previous season, this time Leeds storming the league. Going out in the fourth round of the League Cup away at Crystal Palace and losing out at the third round stage in the FA Cup to Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds also went out as holders in the fourth round of the Fairs Cup to Ujpest Dozsa. The story of this term though is the magnificent season Leeds United had in the league. Amazingly they went 28 matches undefeated and conceded only 26 goals all season, never losing at home. Leeds United won the championship with a wondrous record of 67 points. The first division championship was finally driven home by a formidable Leeds United outfit.

  1968-69 United Only Beaten Twice In The League Lift The Championship.

Before the start of 1969-70 Don Revie bought Allan Clarke from Leicester for £165,000, well in time for the European challenge that Leeds were about to face. Leeds started the season on the back of a Charity Shield win, beating Manchester City 2-1 with goals from Charlton and Eddie Gray. Leeds again were up for several honours and worked their way to the FA Cup final for only the second time in their history. The game went to a replay after Leeds drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Wembley. Leeds lost the second game at Old Trafford after extra time 2-1, with Mick Jones scoring in both games. Bogey for the season Chelsea, as it was that team that put Leeds out of The League Cup earlier in the season at the 3rd round stage after a replay. In the European Cup and Leeds faced Celtic in a two legged semi final. Leeds lost the first leg 1-0 and second leg 2-1, with Billy Bremner scoring the Leeds goal at Hampden Park, in front of an attendance which is still the British record today. To top this 'oh so close' season for Leeds they finished as runners up again in the first division. A very, nearly season for Leeds United and things could have been oh so different if the fixture list had have been a little kinder to Leeds. At one stage Leeds United found themselves playing 12 hard fought and important games in 31 days.

  1969-70 A Final And The Runners Up Spot Again For The Whites.

That season though topped one of the most outstanding stories in English football. Leeds United a club who a decade previous were just making up the numbers in the second divison and who nearly dropped to the third. Then in comes a current member of the playing staff called Don Revie, taking over the managers position and in less than ten years had turned Leeds United into a club that were feared and held with the utmost esteem throughout the land. There was very few clubs that could live with Leeds United on their day and very few clubs indeed that could boast such a remarkable story.

  1970-71 ~ 1973-74
Leeds United had gone from relative nobodies to one of the countries finest, most respected sides... On April 17th 1971 Don Revie after the league game with West Bromwich Albion said "Tinkler ruined nine months of work". A home win was essential to Leeds United's title hopes, but down to one of the most memorably bad refereeing decisions ever televised, Leeds lost their home game against WBA. It was Jeff Astle who scored the infamous goal, that was so obviously offside, to the thousands that saw it in the ground and the millions who later that evening saw it on the telly. It was referee Ray Tinkler that awarded it. That goal in all probability lost the 1970-71 championship to Arsenal who won it by one point. Leeds had had a solid season, ending the term with 64 points, the highest tally ever for a second place side. It was feet back on the ground for Leeds in the FA Cup as well, when top of the table Leeds went out to fourth division Colchester 3-2 in the 5th round. Goals from Giles and Hunter were not enough for Leeds as the underdogs scored three in front of their home crowd. An early exit in the League Cup 2nd round at the hands of Sheffield United sums up a soul destroying domestic season for Leeds. In Europe however it was more silverware for Leeds. Leeds United lifted the Fairs Cup for the second time. On the way beating Liverpool in the semi final. Bremner scoring the only goal of the two legged affair away at Anfield. On to the final and Leeds beat the Italian giants Juventus. Bates and Madely scored one each in a 2-2 draw in Turin. While Allan Clarke nets at Elland Road in a 1-1 draw which earned Leeds the cup on the away goal rule.

  1970-71 Fairs Cup Winners And Ref Ray Tinkler Denies Leeds The Championship.

Due to crowd trouble, following the WBA farce of the previous season, Leeds were forced to play the opening four games of the 1971-72 campaign on neutral grounds. This didn't affect the Leeds campaign who yet again put in a solid season finishing in second place. It could have been a different story if the FA hadn't been so uncompromising. Leeds had to play Wolves just two days after thier FA Cup final appearance against Arsenal. It was Leeds United's third appearance in the FA Cup final that would at last produce the cup. Allan Clarke headed home from a Mick Jones cross to score, giving Leeds a 1-0 win over Arsenal. With an early departure from Europe and the League Cup it was the centenary FA Cup final that gave Leeds fans cause to celebrate that season. Not to mention one bit of televison history. Barry Davies who on Match Of The Day commentated, on one of the most repeated open play sequences ever seen on the programme. "To say that Leeds are playing with Southampton is the understatement of the season, poor old Sothampton just don't know what day it is. Every man jack of this Leeds side is now turning it on, it's almost cruel". On the 4th of March 1972 Leeds beat Sothampton 7-0 at Elland Road. It wasn't just the score, but the way Leeds achieved this win, that makes it so memorable.

  1971-72 Runners Up Position Again But United Lift The FA Cup.

In 1972-73 Don Revie signed Trevor Cherry from Huddersfield for £100,000. The league campaign that year saw Leeds finish in a worthy third spot on 53 points. Leeds United showed their strength more in the cup competitions. Again though disappointment, bad luck and bad refereeing decisions cost Leeds what would have been another memorable season. In the European Cup Winners Cup Final several unbelievable decisions cost Leeds United dearly. Awarding the Leeds opponents AC Milan a doubtful free kick in the first five minutes, from which they scored, proving to be the decisive goal. Leeds were denied two definite penalty claims by the Greek referee Christos Michas. This referee was suspended by UEFA directly after the game for his appalling performance. Anyone watching that game including the Greek crowd had Leeds United down as the real winners. Despite the suspension of Michas Leeds were never allowed to replay this game, or justifiably play for the cup under the control of a honest referee. In the FA Cup and Leeds reached their fourth final in less than ten years, playing second division Sunderland. No one realistically gave Sunderland a chance but an incredible goalkeeping display from Sunderland keeper Jim Montgomery and an Ian Porterfield goal saw the cup go North East.

  1972-73 3rd In The League Another Domestic Final And Robbed Of European Glory.

1973-74 and Leeds had an early exit from Europe, going out to Portugese outfit Vitória Setúbal. Losing 4-2 on aggregate in the UEFA cup. 47,128 fans at Elland Road unfortunately saw Leeds go out of the 5th round of the FA Cup to Bristol City, in a replay. It was in the first division where Leeds shined that year. Losing only four games all season in the league, saw Leeds lift the championship for the second time. Leeds were unstoppable winning the first seven games on the bounce. In fact it wasn't until february that Leeds lost. Despite goals from Clarke and Bremner Leeds lost their first game of the season away at Stoke 3-2. March proved a tricky month with Leeds losing three times to Liverpool, Burnley and West Ham but this just proved to be a blip as Leeds went on to lift the coveted trophy with 62 points.

  1973-74 Revie's Leeds United Lift Their Second Championship.

WAFLL Main | History Index | Period 1950 ~ 1965 | Period 1974 ~ 1990

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