In 1961, when Don Revie became manager of Leeds United, they were a struggling Second Division club. By 1974 they had won two League Championships, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice, the FA Cup and the League Cup, and players like Jack Charlton and Billy Bremner were household names. Yet this was a team that inspired not admiration, not grudging respect, but a deep and visceral loathing, matched only by the bellicose devotion of their own supporters. The undeniable artistry of players like striker Allan Clarke was overshadowed by a ruthless – and thoroughly modern – professionalism, symbolised by the scything tackles of Norman Hunter. The new Leeds – especially in the intimidating arena of Elland Road – took no prisoners. At the heart of their outlaw status was the eccentric, superstitious personality of Revie himself. Clad in his lucky blue suit, a man for whom team-building meant rounds of carpet bowls, here reigned less a football manager than, in his own estimation, the ‘head of the family’.But whenever his great Leeds United side were let off the leash – the 7-0 humiliation of Southampton is enshrined in Match of the Day mythology – their brilliance was compelling. So compelling it was almost cruel. The Unforgiven is the full story of the most defiantly unconventional team in British football.
About Rob Bagchi
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Published November 1, 2011
by Aurum Press.
Sports & Outdoors, Biographies & Memoirs, History.