Tuesday, March 17, 2015

17 March 1961 - The Don Of Elland Road

On 17 March 1961, 33-year Don Revie took over Leeds United as player-manager. He would go on to become the club's most successful manager with two league titles, an FA Cup, and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups.

A center forward, Revie joined Leeds United in November 1958 from Sunderland (for a transfer fee of £12,000 that, combined with the fees paid to his previous clubs over the years, made him the most expensive footballer in English history at the time). In 1960, they finished second from the bottom in Division One and were relegated to Division Two, which is where they were when Revie took over.

He quickly put his own personal mark on the club, in part by changing their strip from yellow and blue to an all-white kit in the style of Real Madrid. He retired from playing in 1962 to concentrate on management and led Leeds back to the top flight for the 1964-65 season. They immediately challenged for honors upon their return, finishing second in the league and advancing to the FA Cup Final in 1965.

After finishing as league runners-up again in 1966, they won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1968 over Ferencváros, then won their first Division One title in 1969 after topping the table for the last 14 weeks of the season. Three more second-place league finishes followed in 1970, 1971, and 1972 before they won their next league title in 1974. Along the way, they also won the 1971 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 1972 FA Cup.

In 1974, Revie left Elland Road to become manager of England, but could not reproduce his success from Leeds. He resigned in 1977, then retired in 1985 after spells in charge of the United Arab Emirates, Al-Nassr, and Al-Ahly.

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