Saturday, June 24, 2017

Leeds United Greatest All-Time Team

Under Don Revie, Leeds United won two league championship titles
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton, Ipswich
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds United, Leicester City.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Leeds United have won three First Division league titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup. The club has also won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s. Leeds lost the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and reached the semi-finals of the tournament's successor, the Champions League, in 2001.

The club's badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram LUFC. The club's anthem is Marching on Together. Leeds share rivalries with Manchester United, Chelsea and Millwall, as well as with local teams such as Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.

1992 League Champion
GK: Nigel Martyn (England)
Having started his career with Bristol Rovers he moved to Crystal Palace where he became the first £1million goalkeeper in British football and was a member of the Palace side that lost the 1990 Cup Final and won the Full Members Cup in 1991. Subsequently, Martyn spent six seasons at Leeds United. He went on to win 23 England caps. An ankle injury forced him to retire in 2006, following three seasons at Everton.

GK: David Harvey (Scotland)
For Leeds United, Harvey played 63 times in the 1972–73 season, and played in both the FA Cup Final and the European Cup Winners Cup Final – ending up on the losing side both times. Leeds put together a 29-match unbeaten start to the 1973–74 season, winning the League championship.  He also played in NASL for Vancouver Whitecaps.  For Scotland, he was the first choice keeper at the WC Finals in 1974.

GK: John Lukic  (England)
John Lukic played his entire career from 1978 to 2000 for both Leeds United and Arsenal, having two spells with each club, making a total of 668 league appearances and played at the highest level of English football in four separate decades. He was capped by both the England U21 and England B sides in 1990.

RB: Paul Reaney (England)
Reaney started with Leeds United under Don Revie.  He also played for Newcastle. Capped 3 times. Reaney missed the 1970 World Cup in Mexico because of an injury. He was listed as a White" player when he was an active player, but now many people considered him to be Black or mixed race, making him England's first Black international.

CB: Lucas Radebe (South Africa)
Lucas Radebe began playing in South Africa with Kaizer Chiefs, before transferring to Leeds United, where he played 200 matches for the Yorkshire side. During his spells at these clubs, he picked up the nicknames "Rhoo" and "The Chief". He became captain of Leeds United and also of the South African national team, most notably at the World Cup 2002.  He had 70 caps.  In 2000, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Lucas Radebe
CB: Jack Charlton (England)
Jack Charlton played his entire career with Leeds United mainly under Don Revie.  He was known as "Big Jack". He was the FWA Player of the Year in 1967. He is the elder brother of the Manchester United great, Bobby Charlton. They helped England to win the World Cup in 1966 and reached the semi-final of the European Championship in 1968.  He earned 35 caps for England between 1965 and 1970.

CB/ST: John Charles (Wales)
John Charles was the greatest Welsh player.  He was equally adept at centre-forward or centre-back.  He was all-time great with Leeds United, but this best part of career was with Juventus. He was Serie A's top scorer with 28 goals, and was voted player of the season as Juventus won the Scudetto. He played in Turin for five years, scoring 93 goals in 155 matches, winning the scudetto (Italian league championship) three times, and the Italian Cup twice. He was 3rd in the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) in 1959. He was never booked in his entire career.
John Charles
CB/DM: Norman Hunter  (England)
Norman Hunter was known as one of the hardest tackler ever came out of English football. His nickname was "Bites Your Leg" Hunter.  He was one of Don Revie's key players at Leeds United, forming a strong partnership with Jack Charlton. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1974.  He later played Barnsley FC and Bristol City. He won the World Cup in 1966 as an unused player.  He went to the following World Cups in Mexico, but only made a single appearance.

DM/LB: Paul Madeley (England)
Paul Madeley signed for Leeds from non-league Farsley Celtic in May 1962 and became a regular in the team from 1966 onwards. In his Leeds career, he played in every position on the pitch except goalkeeper. He was Capped 24 times.  He declined to be a stand-in player for the 1970 World Cup Finals after Paul Reaney was injured.

LB: Terry Cooper (England)
Terry Cooper was Don Revie's trusted left back at Leeds United. He played for Leeds from 1962 and 1975.  He was known for his partnership with Eddie Grey on the left flank. In 1975, he left Leeds United to join Middlesbrough, which was then managed by his teammate Jack Charlton. He had 20 caps for England between 1969 and 1974. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1970.

CM: Billy Bremner (Scotland)
Bremner was Leeds United's greatest ever player.  He was their captain when they dominated English football.  He was also named as the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1970. He was known for his rough play. He is a member of both the English Football Hall of Fame and Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He spent 1976 to 1978 at Hull City, before being appointed player-manager at Doncaster Rovers in November 1978. He was capped 50 times. He went to the WC finals in 1974.
Billy Bremner
CM: Bobby Collins (Scotland)
Bobby Collins signed with Everton, but ended up joining Celtics in 1949.  He played there for 10 years before moving to Everton.  In 1962, he signed by Don Revie at Leeds United. He helped the club to a promotion in 1964. He skippered the team as he won the FWA Player of the Year in 1965. He was capped 31 times. He attended the 1958 World Cup Finals.

CM: Gary McAllister (Scotland)
McAllister started his career at local side Motherwell before moving to Leicester City. He then went on to play for Leeds United, where he won the English league championship in 1991–92. McAllister later had spells at Coventry City and Liverpool. He won 59 caps and scoring five goals for Scotland. He spent four successful years as Scotland captain in addition to two seasons as Leeds United captain.

RM/CM: Gordon Strachan (Scotland)
Gordon Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City.  He spent 7 seasons with Aberdeen, winning two league titles and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He was capped 50 times, representing Scotland at both World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. He won the SFWA Footballer of the Year in 1979–80. In 1990, he was voted FWA Footballer of the Year, becoming the first player to win the award both in Scotland and in England.[
Gordon Strachan 
CM: David Batty (England)
David Batty is most famous for playing for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.  He won league titles with both Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers, but his role with Blackburn Riovers was limited by an injury.  He was capped for the England national football team, and representing the nation at UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup.

CM/AM: Johnny Giles (Ireland)
Giles started with Manchester United in 1957.  After winning an FA Cup winner's medal under Matt Busby, he moved to Leeds United in 1963 where he played in midfield alongside Billy Bremner under Manager Don Revie. He also played for West Bromwich Albion, where he was the player-manager. He was voted as Ireland's greatest player at the UEFA Jubilee Awards in 2004.  He was capped 59 times.  From 1973 onward, he served as their player-manager.
Johnny Giles

LW:  Harry Kewell (Australia)
In 2012, he was voted the greatest ever Australian player.  At Leeds United, he won the PFA Young Player of the year in 1999-2000.  With Mark Viduka, the team reached the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2000-2001.  At liverpool, he won the Champions League in 2005, where he started the final match.  He became the first Australian-born player to win a Champions' League medal.

LW: Eddie Gray (Scotland)
Gray was one club man with Leeds United. He was an integral member of the legendary Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s, later twice becoming the club's manager. In 2000, Gray was voted as the third Greatest Leeds United player of all time, surpassed only by his club captain, Billy Bremner (No. 1) and John Charles (No. 2).  Gray played in 12 full international games for Scotland between 1969 and 1977. 
Eddie Gray
AM: Tony Currie (England)  
Currie started with Watford in 1967.  He was transferred to Sheffield United in 1968 and went on to score 54 goals in 313 appearances and was also made captain by manager Ken Furphy in March 1974. In September 2014, as part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, he was named Sheffield United's Greatest Ever Player. In 1976,  he moved to Leeds United.  His curling shot against Southampton F.C. in 1978 won ITV's The Big Match Goal of the Season that year.  Capped 17 times.

AM/OR: Peter Lorimer (Scotland)
Peter Lorimer  had two spells with Leeds United.  His first spell was between 1962 and 1979. From 1984 to 1985. he was club captain of Leeds and holds the record as the club's youngest ever player and record goalscorer. He has been voted as the #9 greatest Leeds player of all time and voted into the Greatest Leeds United team of all time. He also played in NASL.  he represented Scotland at the 1974 World Cup Finals.
Peter Lorimer
ST: Anthony Yeboah (Ghana)
Anthony Yeboah enjoyed a successful career in Europe and was one of the best African players in the 1990's.  His most successful period was spent with Eintracht Frankfrut where he was the Bundesliga back-to-back top scorers twice in five seasons. He earned 59 caps, Despite playing with Abedi Pele, Ghana failed to qualify for the WC Finals. He is the third highest goal scoring total in the nation's history behind Abedi Pele and Asamoah Gyan.

ST: Mick Jones (England)
Mick Jones started with Sheffield United in 1963. He made his England debut in 1965 against West Germany at centre forward. In 1967, he joined Leeds United, where he became a part of Don Revie's famous side.  He retired in 1975.  He was capped three times for England between 1965 and 1970.  He was Leeds United Player of the Year: 1973–74.

ST: Lee Chapman (Englnad)
Chapman is best known for spells with Stoke City, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United. He also played for many clubs in England.  As well as this he played in both France and Norway for Chamois Niortais and Strømsgodset IF, and was capped by both the England U21 and England B teams. He also won the Football League Cup with Nottingham Forest and the league title with Leeds United in the 1991-1992 season,
Lee Chapman
ST: Mark Viduka (Australia)
Viduka started with Croatian-based club Melbourne Knights FC.  He went to Europe in 1995, where he was probably the most famous Australian playing in Europe.  He played in Croatia, Scotland and England.  In Scotland, he was the top scoring in the Scottish league and won the SPFA Player of the Season with Celtics. And then, he joined Leeds United, where the club reached the semifinal of the Champions' League.  He also played for Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

ST: Allan Clarke (England)
Earlier in his career, Allan Clarke played Walsall, Fulham and Leicester.  In 1969, he joined Leeds United, where he was a part of Don Revie's great team.  They were the dominating team in England at the time. With Leeds United, Clarke won the Fairs Cup in 1971, scoring in the final against Italy's giant Juventus.  They also reached the Final of the European Cup in 1975.  He was capped 19 times for England.  He made his debut during the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.
Allan Clarke

Honorable Mention
Tony Dorigo (England),Vinnie Jones (Wales), Jonathan Woodgate (England), Joe Jordan (Scotland), Gordon McQueen (Scotland), Lee Bowyer (England), Eric Cantona (France), Olivier Dacourt (France), Dominic Matteo (Scotland), Mel Sterland (England), Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink (Netherlands), Alan Smith (England), John Sheridan (Ireland), Gary Speed (Wales), Rio Ferdinand (England), Gary Kelly (Ireland), Tom Jennings (Scotland), Trevor Cherry (England), Albert Johanneson (South Africa), Paul Robinson (England), Gary Sprake (Wales), Mervyn Day (England), Wilf Copping (England), Lee Bowyer (England)

Squad Explanation
-- Billy Bremner, Lucas Radebe, Peter Lorimer, Johnny Giles, Eddie Grey and John Charles are undisputed selections.  They are probably Leeds United's greatest players. 
-- Leeds United's greatest period was under Don Revie. He managed the club from 1961 to 1974. Twelve players played under him are included into my team.  They are Allan Clarke, Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles, Eddie Grey, Mick Jones, Paul Madeley, Terry Cooper, Bobby Collins, Paul Reaney, Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton and David Harvey.  Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles formed a great midfield.
-- The book and the following movie "Damned United" was unfair portrayal of Don Revie and Brian Clough at Leeds United.  Revie was a great manager at Leeds United.  They were sued by various footballers at the club for historical inaccuracy.
-- Gary McAllister, David Batty, Lee Chapman and Gordon Strachan was on the historical side that won the league in 1992.  Strachan was their captain.  Eric Cantona also played in their championship-winning season and was a star of the team, but he only played a short time here.  He was mainly a star at Manchester United. So he is only on my honourable mention.  Gary Speed also missed out.
-- Under manager David O'Leary, Leeds United reached the semifinal of both UEFA Cup and the Champions' League.  Mark Viduka, Mark Kewell, Nigel Martyn and Lucas Radebe are from that generation.
-- Bobby Collins, Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner and Gordon Strachan won the FWA Player of the Year award while playing for Leeds United. Norman Hunter was the only player ever to win the PFA Player of the Year while playing for the club. Harry Kewell was the Young Player of the Year. 
-- Nigel Martyn is also the greatest Leeds United's goalkeeper ever, followed by David Harvey. David harvey had a 29 undefeated run as Leeds United won the League title in 1974.  John Lukic beat David Seaman who was homegrown to become Leeds United starting goalkeeper.  Seaman moved to went to Division 4 club Peterborough United without ever playing for the senior team. I cannot put Seaman anywhere on this team.
-- Norman Hunter, Lucas Radebe and Jack Charlton are probably Leeds' greatest defenders.  Then, I put John Charles as a defender.  So my 4 centerbacks were easily set.
-- Norman Hunter spent 15 years with the club and was named the PFA Player of the Year.  Lucas Radebe played in many positions, including as a goalkeeper here.  He also did take a paycut to remain with the club.  Many sources ranked him as one of the top five players ever played for Leeds United. John Charles needed no introduction.  I put him on defence so that I could select Lee Chapman or Mick Jones as my forwards.  Jack Charlton made 733 appearances over 21 years and scoring 96 goals for Leeds United.  He was one club man with this team.
-- The rise of Jack Charlton as a central defender led John Charles to switch to the forward position.
Jack Charlton
-- Leeds United paid  £18m for Rio Ferdinand, which was a record transfer fees for a defender.  Manchester United then paid Leeds United £29.3million for him, which also was a world record for a defender.  However, I only put him on honorable mention.  The players I selected all spent long time with the club and built a legendary status.
-- The four of them kept Wilf Copping, Vinnie Jones, Jonathan Woodgate, Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen and Rio Ferdinand off the team.  They only made honourable mentions.  
-- I took Terry Cooper over Trevor Cherry.  Cooper was more decorated while with Leeds United.  He probably had more exposure outside of England due to playing in the 1970 World Cup Finals.  England did not qualify for the World Cup Finals during Cherry's prime.  He played a single match at the Euro 1980.  So he was not rated outside of the United Kingdom.
-- Tony Dorigo was left off because of Terry Cooper and Paul Madeley. He was highly rated by Leeds United. He was Australian by birth.  My team included two other Aussies, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell.  Viduka and Kewell were teammates for club and country, but the pair was known to have a feud while at Elland Road.
-- Bobby Collins skippered Leeds to the Second Division title in 1964 and the following season, he won the FWA Player of the Year. 
-- Gordon Strachan also led the team to win the Second Division title in 1990.  A year later, Leeds United won the league title while Strachan was named FWA Player of the Year.
-- Lee Bowyer was a record signing for a teenager when he joined Leeds United, but his off-field incidents kept him from fulfilling his promises.  I put him on honorable mention.
--  Alan Smith transferred to Manchester United in 2004, whereupon manager Sir Alex Ferguson successfully converted him to a holding midfielder.  Over here, he was an attacker.  He scored over 50 goals for Leeds United.  I might have taken him as an utility player, but he did not become one until after he left. He made honorable mention.
-- Gary Speed and Albert Johanneson were kept out by Harry Kewell and Eddie Gray on the left wing. How could I not select Gary Speed? He was known to be among the greatest ever player on this team, but I felt Kewell and Gray have done more.  Kewell was Leeds' top players as they made the greatest runs in Europe.  Grey needed no introduction.  He was considered one of Leeds' greatest ever team. Albert Johanneson was frequently injured here.
Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell
-- Eric Cantona joined Leeds United in January, 1992.  He only played half of the season as they won the league title.  His second season was frustrating for him and the club.  Thus, I decided not to select him.  Instead, I took his teammate Lee Chapman.  Peter Lorimer was their all-time leading scorer.
-- Tony Yeboah only spent two seasons with Leeds United, but he scored many spectacular goals in Leeds.  He actually showed in the top 10 on many list of greatest players here, but I still felt that he was my last player selected.
-- Mick Jones and Allan Clarke formed a great partnership up front under manager Don Revie.  It was also Leeds' greatest era.  I could not select one without the other.  Of course, both would have make it on their own merits.
-- I don't really know much about Tom Jennings.  His name seldom mentioned. 



  1. I knew Don Revie personally. He was a tremendous leader of men and his team were an outstanding in their day. I still have a photograph of he and I in my living room which always creates attention when we have visitors. We had many happy times in the Leeds United Boardroom with his family and, of course, Elsie. Truly a great football man!

  2. Great Leeds Teams of 1965-75. Awesome, I recall seeing them lose to Celtic twice in the European Cup semi final, great matches. One crowd was 136,000, largest ever for a European tie. Celtic were recent European Cup winners themselves and were just too good for them. Leeds were chasing three trophies that year and won none. Celtic won two of the 4 they were chasing, great memories.

  3. Great Leeds Teams of 1965-75. Awesome, I recall seeing them lose to Celtic twice in the European Cup semi final, great matches. One crowd was 136,000, largest ever for a European tie. Celtic were recent European Cup winners themselves and were just too good for them. Leeds were chasing three trophies that year and won none. Celtic won two of the 4 they were chasing, great memories.

  4. Martyn
    Kelly Charlton Hunter Cooper
    Lorimer Bremner Giles Gray

    Strachan, Collins and Ferdinand played less time than their competition.