Monday, February 15, 2021

Why everyone hated Don Revie's Leeds

Embed from Getty Images

I have been reading The Bonnie Prince - the autobiography of my first footballing hero Charlie Cooke. No replica kits in those days: my Mum just sewed a number 7 on to the back of a plain blue football shirt and I was him.

Cooke was a key member of the Chelsea side that beat Leeds United in the 1970 FA Cup final replay. And in his book he explains one reason why there was such an edge to the tie:

We seethed at Leeds's referee intimidation, endless whining and gamesmanship, which they had raised to an art from in the last few years under Don Revie. It would be an exaggeration, but not a big one, to say we definitely felt we had right on our side. 

Bremner and Giles, both small guys, and Hunter in the middle of the field were involved just about every stoppage and argument and hissy fit there was. It was like clockwork. 

The ref would make a decision, it would be disputed, and he would suddenly be surrounded by a bunch of white shirts, almost always including a bleating Bremner, Giles and Hunter, and sometimes, when he thought they needed some assistance, Big Jack Charlton, with his pointy elbows and towering presence, the veins bulging in his long neck. 

It was understandable that referees got worn down by it. They all did, eventually. It's only human.

The photo above shows Peter Osgood scoring Chelsea's equaliser in the Old Trafford replay. His diving header was made after a wonderful chip by Charlie Cooke.


Anonymous said...

Am I petty and small-minded? Probably. Nevertheless, I still want Leeds United to lose every single match they play, entirely as a consequence of the team they were in the early 1970s. They were vile - horrible to watch, graceless and spiteful.

David Evans said...

And why some reasonable Yorkshire people rather disliked Chelsea?

Jonathan Calder said...

I think you meant to link to this video, David.