This season, in a new series of articles, staff and students from the Centre focus on pioneering and innovative football managers who did much to change the game. Today, Dr Andrew Dawes recalls Don Revie, the ex-Leicester City player who transformed Leeds United.
Revie completely transformed the fortunes of Leeds United between 1961 and 1974. When he became manager, the club was in dire financial trouble and struggling towards the bottom of the old Second Division. However, by September 1962, Revie started to mould a side that would bring him success with youthful players such as Norman Hunter and great signings such as Bobby Collins. Leeds won the second tier title in 1964 and Revie admitted it was due to a ‘defensive, physical style’.
During the next three seasons, Leeds were runners-up in the old First Division in 1965 and 1966, the FA Cup in 1965 and the European Fairs Cup in 1967. Major success was finally achieved in 1968 by winning the League Cup and European Fairs Cup. Over the next six seasons, Leeds won the title in 1969 and 1974 and the FA Cup in 1972, the Fairs Cup again in 1971, and making the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1973.
Future England manager Don Revie - who also played for Leicester City during his career - collects his Football Writers' Player of the Year award.
While Leeds’ achievements were undoubtably built on a defensive and physical style, great skill, as exemplified by Giles and Bremner, were also vital in the success. Also crucial was Revie’s outstanding man-management. He created a close-knit family atmosphere at Leeds and brought the best out of players through his enthusiasm. Players talked of how he was like a father figure to them, which made them feel loyal towards him. Revie was loyal to his players too and established a settled side between 1965 and 1972. Nine players – Sprake, Charlton, Hunter, Cooper, Reaney, Madeley, Bremner, Giles and Lorimer – were mainstays in this period. Revie was also forward-thinking in how he thought about diets, scrutinised the opposition and brought in sponsored kit in 1973. Revie won the Manager of the Year award in 1969, 1970 and 1972.
When the England manager’s job became vacant in 1974, Revie was offered the role without even having to apply formally. He was saddened to be leaving Leeds and likened it to leaving a family. His time as England manager wasn’t a great success due mainly to him being unable to create the close-knit atmosphere with players he’d established at Leeds.
Such was the bond Revie had with Leeds that, when he passed away in 1989, a memorial service was held in the city and his ashes were scattered at Elland Road. A statue and stand named after him at the ground serve as a lasting reminder of the great times he brought to the city.
- Share via Facebook
- Share via Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share via Whatsapp
- Share via Facebook Messenger
คัดลอก URL ลงคลิปบอร์ด
URL copied to clipboard