Is It Really “Tinpot” to Celebrate Anniversary of Leeds’ FA Cup win at Man U? – by Rob Atkinson


That goal at the Beckford End

January 3rd, remember the date…

…so the song goes, and enough Leeds United fans still sing it loud and proud, even six years on, to make you realise that most of us see the famous FA Cup win at the Theatre of Hollow Myths as an occasion well worth commemorating. Which, of course, is just as it should be. We went to the home of the champions as a third tier team, unwisely dismissed by Man U’s own official website as “minnows”, with the general opinion among the gloryhunters from all across the south of England being that here was a good chance to play a few kids, enjoy the day and still give Leeds United a damned good thrashing. And we won. 1-0 it was courtesy of Jermaine, but it could so easily have been three; Beckford again and Snodgrass going agonisingly close in the second half. The Pride of Devon were beaten fair and square in one of the biggest shocks for years. It remains one of Leeds United’s comparatively few genuine giant-killings, with us having more usually been the giants.

It seems natural that such an achievement, against such despised foes who had been so confident of brushing us aside, should be celebrated as a beacon in our history – and especially so in such a very murky and depressing part of that history. We’d come through administration, points deductions and the experience of having the whole of the game trying to kick us while we were down (this sounds very familiar over half a decade later). We’d recovered, somewhat, from the very brink of extinction. We were at a low ebb, but still in there and fighting. These are experiences that no Man U fan has ever had, or ever will, the kind of episodes in your club’s existence that makes you realise what it truly is to be a fan. Of course we were right to celebrate such an iconic victory and of course we are right to mark its anniversary. It goes without saying – or so you’d have thought.

Incredibly, though, there is a small but vociferous minority who appear to cringe away from any reference to the whole January 3rd thing. They don’t like it, and they can be seen in small pockets everywhere across social media, yapping unhappily that it’s “tinpot” to mark the occasion. These are the people, of course, who feel that they know what’s right and what’s wrong and never hesitate to tell others what to do and think. When they see anyone taking pride in a past achievement, it rubs them up the wrong way – and then their instinct for being killjoys and trying to suppress this celebration really kicks in. They crop up on Facebook and in the various Leeds United forums. They are evident on Twitter, trying to pack their desire to control how others act into 140 characters. They are everywhere, and they are quite vocal – because they hate the thought that people out there are getting any pleasure out of remembering a great day. It really does get their backs up.

Well, good. I’m delighted every year to see January 3rd marked with pride and joy. It gives me a buzz when people post the text of the commentary to Jermaine’s goal at the Beckford End, or if they put up the video to enjoy all over again. It’s a feel-good thing, and something to relish when Christmas and the New Year are done and dusted. And it’s all the more enjoyable if it offends the killjoys – that certainly eggs me on to make sure I get full value out of the anniversary of the day we became the Ultimate Scum-busters. Don’t forget, because of the “Biggest in the Universe” accolade they award themselves, the gloryhunters will never experience the fierce pride and joy of going into a match as such rank underdogs – and emerging victorious. It’s a pleasure they have denied themselves, and the very best of hard cheese to them. And, believe me, they hate it when their noses are rubbed in this humbling defeat every 3rd of January. They absolutely loathe it.

So tell me, what better reason than that for making sure that we really go overboard about it? A famous General once advised that, if in doubt, do what you know your enemy doesn’t want you to do. In this case, the inescapable conclusion is that January the 3rd should be shoved down the throat of the scum fan in your life, mercilessly and as often as possible. There’s no comeback for them from that. A League Cup victory at Elland Road a couple of years back isn’t even in the same ballpark, and they know it. The giant-killing honours and bragging rights are ours for as long as we want them, so those of us who wish to should continue to celebrate as we see fit. It won’t please the “Tinpotters”, of course. But, really – who gives a toss?

34 responses to “Is It Really “Tinpot” to Celebrate Anniversary of Leeds’ FA Cup win at Man U? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I think the 3rd of January should be declared a public holiday , not in Leeds as you would expect , but rather in devon … It would give all the glory hunters down there time to sit down and contemplate the error of thier wicked ways


  2. Totally agree with everything you wrote. I posted something on twitter celebrating the day, and on reading the killjoys moan about it, i could only think ‘get a life’ you grouch’s. Lets make it special every year – it was one of my best ever Leeds Utd moments, and the soundtrack of it always brings a little tear to my eye.


  3. Spongenose

    Totally agree Roberto and I have put something on my facebook page to celebrate. I love it! MOT.


  4. I don’t know why you keep seeking validation from Man.U. fans for something that happened 4 years ago, and why do you constantly refer to a fellow football team as “scum”. Their team didn’t get barred from Europe for four years. Who is the real scum I ask?


    • I’m certainly not “seeking validation”, or indeed anything, from man u fans. What a disgusting idea. As for your final question, I take it you’re being rhetorical – but if you need a clue, just take the initials of “Man U Supporters Club” – and solve the simple anagram.


  5. I am 33yrs old and have been a Leeds fan since I was 11yrs old and the day we beat them in their own back yard was pretty amazing knowing it was the first time under Fergie that they had gone out in the 3rd round and it was to us. Despite all the lows points within our club over the last decade the 3rd Janaury 2010 was a day to be a proud Leeds United fan and for me it was quite emotional. I recall asking a then fellow work colleague who is a Man-Ure fan as to what it felt like knowing his team were going out of the FA Cup, he laughed at me in an almost arrogant and pompous manner. Little did I know that my humour would turn out to be true and we would actually beat them! 25/1 for the win that day too!



  6. I had seen a few comments on twitter and facebook by Leeds fans calling it ‘tin pot’. I have the same thoughts as you and I was thinking of doing my own article on a similar line to your’s (I won’t bother now, you have summed it up nicely).

    I think these people calling it tinpot need to take it in the context I think most of it is meant when a Leeds fan posts it on a social network. It is nice to get that little dig in. They forget, we were League One going to the Champions of English football, somewhere we hadn’t won for over 30-years. Personally, I think we more than deserved the win, it was no fluke and we could have quite easily have had a few more.

    If it had been any other club other than Leeds, it would have sent shockwaves around the world because it was a League One side winning there.
    Until we get to play them twice a season ago, let us enjoy our moment. We certainly haven’t had many of them this century.


  7. Me: “Remember four years ago today when Leeds beat Manchester United in the FA Cup”
    Boyfriend: “Oh, I didn’t realise you were a Liverpool fan.”
    Me: “What do you mean?”
    Boyfriend: “Because Liverpool fans live in the past.”

    You go you Leeds!


    • We badly need to know the boyfriend’s affiliation here. He’s NOT a you-know-who fan …. is he?? 😉


      • sniffershorts

        dunno butt (sic theres more) in one picture of this said journo, she has her boyfriends bum under her chin …… strange !!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. Great article. I didn’t “celebrate” the day yesterday but remember it with great pride & satisfaction. My now 18 year-old Leeds supporting daughter watched the game with me and was once able to lord it around school (in Devon) for once, smiling in the faces of the same armchair Manc fans that had looked down their arrogant little noses at her before that day. Same with me and all the business acquaintances and mates who told me before the game to “enjoy the day” and “hope we’ll play you again soon”. I didn’t celebrate yesterday but good luck to those that remember it with fondness as it maybe their only memory of Leeds winning in the Theatre of Wet Dreams.

    That is their choice. Their right.

    What aggravates me is the way some Leeds fans think they can dictate what you can and can’t remember as pivotal times supporting our club. I have many great memories – QPR in the cup in 1987, Newcastle at home and Bournemouth away in 1990, Chapman’s sofa in 1992, beating Stuttgart 4-1 same year, beating Birmingham to make Wembley in 1996, being in Madrid in 2000 – I could go on. I don’t celebrate any of them as ana nnual event but remember the highs to deafen the many (too many) lows we have had to encounter supporting our wonderful club.

    Well done for standing up for those that may have been made to feel small because some scrooge type miser thinks looking on good times is tinpot. Maybe we should celebrate January 16th when we lost to Exeter City away (my lowest point supporting Leeds) or whatever date Hereford whooped us, the games home to Preston & Forest when we conceded 6 & 7 or when the mighty Barnsley slapped us for 5 prompting record sales for commemorative t-shirt sales all over south Yorkshire?

    Of course not. Remember the good, to hell with the bad.

    But Rob, please, please, please stop calling the red Mancs “pride of Devon” – more people down here hate them that support them – and we have a massive Leeds fan base down here. I could take you to pubs near here where it is all Leeds. I suggest there are more Manc fans in West Yorkshire than Devon mate!


    • Excellent comment, Steve. Obviously, I agree with every word that you put – and I must say it’s been reassuring to hear from people who aren’t madly eager to be all “different” and cynical.

      I’m sorry not to be able to help in terms of my habitual nickname for those loveable scum fans. I could have picked from a few different options – it just so happened to be Devon as I’d heard of matchday coaches setting off in convoy for the Theatre of Hollow Myths at 4am of a Saturday or Sunday morning. So I went for that, and I can’t change now as it’s a well-established part of the blog’s leitmotif, if I may be so pretentious, and besides, it does appeal to me and I actually like using it.

      I wrote an article a while ago, something like “Don’t Tar Out of Town Leeds Fans With the Gloryhunters Brush” which I hope makes it clear that I see a definite distinction between the loyal fans who follow Leeds form and a distance, sharing our common pain – and the gloryhunting, Freudianly-insecure rabble who attach themselves to the scum for deeply disturbing reasons not unconnected with being weaned too young. I just hope that helps – but otherwise I can only reiterate that I have the utmost respect for anyone who follows the One True United from such a distance. MOT mate.


  9. Rob, anyone who does not relish what occurred that day – well…. to me they do not sound Leeds to me – all the Leeds lads I know, and there’s a fair few – just love it – 4 years on or not


    • I do think that some of these “Tinpotters” are just trying to emphasise how they’re not of the common herd – trying to be different. There’s a touch of the Emperor’s New Clothes here, or some snob obscurantism if you wish. Whatever, they don’t fancy being associated with anything so populist, but I do feel their identifying word “tinpot” will rebound on them. And I also feel that, deep down, they’re Leeds like the rest of us, and that they still glory in that day 4 years ago – they just feel they’re far too cool to show it 😉


  10. sniffershorts

    well it pissed Scum Scholes off big time and so say all of us, for hes a jolly good fellow, for hes a …………… and Im a parrot but alright now Im a parrot but alright now im a parrot but alright now ….. feck em aint far to Yeovil from Devon is it, wont be many from manc land going to far on a cold day pussies


  11. Its 41 (Forty one) years since 1973 when Sunderland beat Leeds and every paper, every television pundit, and every Sunderland fan hasn’t shut up about it since. We had a team of home grown players that were on a par with anyone in Europe that day. When we beat Manchester United they were in a similar position, only tree of their players (Ferdinand, Rooney & Berbatov) cost them thirty million each, then look what Ronaldo cost Madrid. When we beat them we were a division lower than Sunderland were in 1973 and deep in financial trouble. Of course it’s ‘tinpot’, but whoo cares, it hurts them and makes us laugh, and we have had precious little to laugh about this last 14 years


  12. As a scum fan myself, I can only agree with the points you raise. In fact, now I’ve read this article, I’ll probably support my local team (although Plymouth ARE dire). Still, at least I’ll be able to look myself in the eye.

    PS – anyone wanna buy an armchair? Bought new in 1993, slight staining from around 1999.


  13. Bitesyerlegs74

    Ask a Colchester fan from 1971 and Sunderland fan from 1973 to forget about their exploits against the best Leeds team ever and see what they say not to mention Histon. I would celebrate if one of the floodlight bulbs popped at that shithole in Salford.


  14. Yep. Surprised there isn’t a players reunion and dinner as well


  15. I can see it from both sides Rob- on one hand they are hated rivals of a bygone era so to get one over them will be especially satisfying for fans of a certain vintage. I appreciate they are still big rivals but although the hatred is on both sides it may be for different reasons now- Leeds fans because it is a traditional hatred which they have grown up and see it almost as a birthright and for Man yoo as an intense dislike of the fans not through any genuine fear of being deposed in football terms. Whilst Man yoo have gone on to be most fans second most disliked team they have through tradition remained Leeds favourite team to beat but a lot of that could be down to any real threat from a local rival. It also keep s Leeds’fans in touch with something which has been unfairly taken away from you over the years and I think that’s something that allows Leeds to feel rightly superior over their Yorkshire counterparts and is probably something Leeds fans can revel in- knowing that jealousy exists. I can understand why as a Leeds fan it feels important to keep this rivalry going and yes Man yoo do seem to reciprocate this but I think for entirely different reasons. That’s an outsiders view on it all so it could all be totally misunderstood.


  16. P.S i hope you are going to turn the Makems over today- If they ask you to play with an Orange ball politely decline as we all know what happened last time!!!


  17. Rob, Thanks for letting me post on here. I’ve sold the armchair and bought an Argyle season ticket. I’m hoping that from now on I can contribute on merit instead of merely being your fine blog’s “token scummer”!!


  18. Having watched the so called top 50 FA Cup Moments its obvious the BBC don’t want us to remember 03/01.10 either. The Game wasn’t even in the top 50 yet some crap song by Chas & Dave made it to about 8th on the list (even beating our loss to Sunderland in 1973 which came 10th) but took great pride in ramming Ryan (Spotty Virgin) Giggs over rated Goal in 1999 as number 1. A goal which the scum (and media) never shut up about by the way. So no its not tin pot to celebrate that game after all they never shut up about that treble they fluked in 1999 as the single greatest achievement the Universe has ever seen do they.


  19. No gloat where iits due. We normally in headlines when other way round , feck all of em lol


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