Rejoice! The Disgustingly Bigoted Daily Mail HATES Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

Daily Heil - leaders of the gutter brigade

Daily Heil – leaders of the gutter brigade

Everybody knows that Leeds United aren’t exactly the toast of Fleet Street, or Wapping, or whatever geographical location you can choose these days as a symbol of the home and hearth of the English national press.  Actually, Fleet Street remains the single most appropriate spiritual location for the gutter end of our national newspaper industry – as the River Fleet was famously one of old London Town’s most noxious and disgusting open sewers.  Some things never really change.

Prominent among the Leeds-hating mainstream press is the scurrilous and disgusting Daily Mail – known as the “Daily Heil” by those of a discriminating nature who are all too well aware of this rag’s antecedents. The hacks at the Heil can always be relied upon to jump on the bandwagon of hating the Damned United in print and, these days, online too.  But it’s a fact that some publications are just so bloody awful that you wouldn’t actually want them printing a positive word about your beloved club.  It’d be a bit like getting a publicity break from Max Clifford.

The latest in a long line of articles with a distinct and rank anti-Leeds flavour appeared today under the byline of journalistic nonentity Patrick Collins, for whom you will search Wikipedia in vain – a damning indictment of the status and esteem of any “national” journalist.  This particular Patrick is not to be confused with Patrick Barclay, who is a distinguished and erudite sports writer. But the Lesser Patrick’s lazy piece, published by HeilOnline, was typical of the anti-Leeds genre – take a handy quote, put a conveniently negative spin on it, burble on a bit and then submit it, to an uncritical and tasteless editor.  Another day’s work done, another small addition to the Heil‘s record of shame.

One phrase ostensibly describing Don Revie’s Leeds United – and you can imagine the Lesser Patrick toiling over this until he thought he’d got it just right – went as follows: “Those of a certain age will recall a team of extravagant talent, irredeemably tainted by a taste for cynical brutality.”  Now there is rich irony here, albeit of the unconscious kind, something that will have sailed right over the empty head of your average Heil hack.  Because the fact is that, whenever such a wretched scribbler uses the words “irredeemably tainted”, readers everywhere will smile knowingly and think of the history of the Daily Heil. It’s not a story of which anybody but a moron such as Paul Dacre, or some of his allegedly noble and undeniably moronic predecessors, such as Lord Rothermere, could possibly be proud. The record of the Mail is littered with headlines which expose an editorial attitude that belongs in a Berlin bunker.  It is a history of abject shame and an utter poverty of proper journalistic and editorial standards.  If this is not true, then let them sue me.

Just to take the odd example from the past; in the 1930s, this “newspaper’s” proprietor, Lord Rothermere was vociferous in his support for various friends overseas, notably Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.  The Heil’s editorial stance towards these “heroes” of Fascism was therefore somewhat sympathetic, to say the very least. In January 1934, Rothermere himself penned an article headed “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” – and the paper provided details including an address to write to, in the earnest hope that “…young men may join the British Union of Fascists…” The Spectator commented at the time “…the Blackshirts, like the Daily Mail, appeal to people unaccustomed to thinking. The average Daily Mail reader is a potential Blackshirt ready made. When Lord Rothermere tells his clientèle to go and join the Fascists some of them pretty certainly will.”

More recently, the Heil has further immersed itself in disgrace and infamy with a series of headlines attacking minorities – usually conveniently vulnerable minorities – with absolutely no scruples as to whether or not their content contained any truth at all.  One example of this was the trumpeting of the alleged discovery of a “gay gene” which, the rag hoped, might lead to abortions of those pregnancies which could supposedly be identified as leading to the birth of what they would presumably refer to as “gay babies”.  The mind boggles painfully at that – but it’s pretty standard fare, sadly, for the Heil. Columnists in modern times have tended to include those who might be relied upon to continue the not-so-grand Heil tradition of bigotry and ignorance in print as well as online; the prejudiced, ridiculous and brainless Richard Littlejohn is an apt example of this policy.

For all of the reasons referred to above, I’m never all that bothered when another clueless and talent-free Daily Mail hack has a go at my beloved Leeds United. It’s an irritant, nothing more.  And the good bit is that it gives me the kind of excuse I’m always craving to have a go, in my small and humble way, at such a very despicable and diseased organ.

So keep it coming, you modern representatives of Rothermere’s shameful legacy. I’d hate to be identified in any positive way with such a very tawdry publication, fit as it is for nothing better than wiping rear ends; it follows that I’m almost always glad to see the football club I love attacked so regularly by the likes of the Heil.

After all, just as we are defined by the quality and decency of our friends and allies, so too can we be judged in the best possible light by the bigotry and stupidity of our critics and enemies. ‘Twas ever thus – and long may it continue to be true.

38 responses to “Rejoice! The Disgustingly Bigoted Daily Mail HATES Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob, Ed Warren quoted….” Diabolical forces are formidable,these forces are eternal and they exist today,the devil exists and God exists, we as as people can choose which one to follow” the Devil in disguise is the author of that most unfair article, Mr Collins is a lazy imbecilic journalist, a hack of the worst kind, a hack who just regurgitates the same claptrap he has used for years, ignore him mate he is a fool, but worse than being foolish, he is ignorant.


  2. I’m surprised you’ve only just figured out that trash tabloid paper hates us, I kinda figured it out a while back with it bs lies and rumour mongering, infact I have said many a time I would believe the stories in the daily sport over any story I heard from the daily mail, over the past 5yrs just about every article I’ve read from the daily mail is are trash, lies rumours or ancient new


  3. Everyone knows that the paper that really hates Leeds United is the Daily Mirror, think Don Revie think collapsed trial etc etc etc etc and think everything in-between.


  4. You are absolutely right Rob, the Daily Mail is an excellent rag to wipe your are on – they have got you there!


  5. The Mirror & The Guardian hate us too, but The Mail is the lowest of the low, they don’t even investigate & research their articles prior to publishing, they’re a joke and so are their ignorant readers.


  6. Rob , hate to say I told you so but last week I tipped , arsenal , Cambridge and rotherham for a treble… Mystic Mr o strikes again !!


  7. Rob, Excellent as usual. You are probably too young to know when all this started and was not just the Daily Heil. It all started when Revie got the team back into the old First Division but in particular the game at Highbury in 1964/65. It was a very hard game which Leeds won 2-1 but during which the darling of the Clock end and Fleet Street George Eastham got nailed by our Norman bites your legs. The headlines on Sunday morning where ridiculous in the extreme “Eastham out for 6 months”, “Leeds end Easthams career” are just two prime examples. Guess what one week later Arsenal played Fulham at Highbury and who was that we spied running out like he had never had an injury in his life. No prizes for guessing. As we all know it has never stopped from that day. There never has and never will be any apology we will just have to treat these imposters all the same.


    • I’ve never heard that story – the focus has usually been on the Battle of Goodison where the ref took both teams off for a spell to cool down. Everton were actually ahead in the foul count – but as you might guess, the game formed a big part of the shaky basis for the “Dirty Leeds” myth. The truth is that ALL top teams were absolutely filthy back then – the difference being that Leeds could play too.

      Thanks for the kind words, mate.


      • Peter RN

        You are correct but as I recall Fleet Street really did take off after the Highbury Game which was nowhere near as rough as Goodison. I have always felt It was the George Eastham thing that finally got the whole thing going. There where some tough players around at that time and Leeds where by no means top of the Foul count.


    • I often think it’s quite a back-handed compliment really, that 40 years after Revie left Leeds United they are still obsessed by us. Funniest thing about it is, the same journalists in the same papers will the next day talk about Tommy ‘two caps’ Smith, Nobby ‘couldn’t see so he just kicked anything that moved’ Stiles, Ron ‘clueless’ Harris, etc etc etc. as noble characters from a golden age when men were men.
      And who shouted it the loudest? Oh year that darling of the gutter press Brian Clough, yes him, football purity encapsulated. Who was it who signed Dave Macay, Alan Hinton, Willie Carling, Larry Lloyd, Kenny Burns, Archie Gemmil, Stuard ‘Psycho’ Pearce, Roy Keane ………


  8. Basically they write patronizing and cliche’d articles about Leeds because it scores points with the rest of their readership….. Leeds are an easy target

    A Portsmouth fan I was chatting to the other day said that he honestly didn’t understand why people had an issue with Leeds….. The truth is Revies side were no more cynical than any other side….they were just better at everything than anyone else and that included pressure play and closing people down…… If you honestly sat people down and asked them to state exactly why Leeds should be hated they would struggle to come up with anything logical or substantive……. Many of the younger generation simply “hate Leeds” because they are supposed to…. because they read it in rags like Patric Collins Daily fail…….

    We’ve had our fair share of idiot fans but so have many other clubs….it just seems to be highlighted more when its Leeds fans doing it….. even by our supposed rags like the YEP, who are quick to highlight anything that can cast a shadow over Leeds or its fans……..

    This sort of attitude makes it even more important that Leeds recover and are successful just to show the birdie to the rest of the world who want to see us fail….

    That in itself is why I hate how previous owners because they cant see this truth, they cant see why its so important for Leeds to be a success…..

    Cellino is however used to being a target and I hope that his mentality will blend with ours seemlessly


  9. Well looking recent years sales figures for all these rags, they won’t be around for too much longer. These individuals will have to start blogging to vent their spleen on the Great Leeds United.

    HammersFan may be the first.


  10. The Daily Heil should sign that idiot up… he’d fit right in with their irredeemably talentless hacks.


  11. Good read as usual mate, sh#t paper any way


  12. It’s interesting isn’t it, how people who have nothing to say and very little contribution to make regarding the game of football, yet have inches of columns to fill, will fall back on misguided notions that they are in fact we’ll informed and knowledgeable when in fact, had they done a modicum of earnest research, would realise the gulf of ignorance that exists between what is known and what is just perceived.
    The term air head comes to mind. And so it will ever be I’m afraid.


  13. The Heil’s headlines are, it gives you cancer, it prevents cancer, it affects your pension /house price, immigration, Diana conspiracy. The Heil isn’t even fit to be toilet paper and everyone who wastes money on it deserves to be condemned as fully as those who contribute to it


    • And the only adjective DM hacks ever use starts with a £ – “–‘s £1m house, –‘s £0000 car, –‘s £000 dress, “–‘s £m divorce” blah blah


  14. The last time I bought a newspaper was the day after the funeral of Diana. They are poison, bigoted and would sell their souls just to make a pennny. You only have to walk past the newspaper section in the supermarket to see just what utter garbage they pedal. Can’t believe people buy them.


    • Last time I bought a newspaper was 1984, the miners strike opened my eyes to the simple fact they are all propaganda machines churning out lies to the weak minded public who not only swallow anything written in print but line the pockets of the media for the privilege.


  15. We really are not famous anymore – the only reason these pointless human beings continue to write about our beloved mid-table Championship club is because they can’t ignore us and know anything with the words ‘Leeds Utd’ is ‘news’. Whatever his faults Massimo is seriously going to get under the skin of the anti-Leeds brigade – something I’m very much looking forward to. Forza Leeds.


  16. Peter McGonzie

    Patrick Collins talks a load of rubbish anyway and always have. I’ve heard him many times on the radio and his predictions on sport aren’t that great.

    The only reason why he slags Leeds off is because he’s haunted himself with envy to the great Revie side who probably gave him a hard time as a journalist.

    The man is stuck in the past like all the other crooked journalists. What he failed to realised is when Howard Wilkinson took over at Leeds, all that he alleged Leeds to have done under Revie, changed.

    They were one the first teams to kick the ball out of play when a opposition player gets injured, Gordon Strachan comes to mind. My message to you Mr. Collins is get a life, your tabloid is a stench to all Leeds and other football loving fans.


  17. There is one rare example of a journalist to whom we should be grateful: David Conn of the Guardian. He has for a few years now been at the forefront of serious investigation into clubs’ often sordid workings and, in particular, those at Leeds United. Good man. Feather in his cap that thanks to his good work being too close to the bone he was banned by the inestimable Mr Bates.


  18. Rob this is a great
    piece and generated some great debate. Well done. However we must be careful not to let the rest of the football world believe we have a massive chip on our shoulder.


  19. Think Jeff Powell of The Mail was a very fair and unbiased reporter in his comments towards Leeds and of course broke the story of Don leaving England job and going to Middle East this is what got the other nationals backs up and their continuing hatred towards our Great Club!


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