High Time Sheffield Wednesday Fans Accept Leeds United as Yorkshire’s Top Club – by Rob Atkinson


The Wednesday victorious in the century before last

The Wednesday, victorious in the century before last

After the Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough this weekend – and in the light of Leeds United‘s comfortable 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday – there is one issue that needs to be put to bed once and for all, for the sake of all right-minded Leeds fans, deluded Wendies – and Yorkshire people everywhere.

If you hang around long enough as a football fan, it can’t escape your notice that self-delusion is extremely high on the list of characteristics defining your average club supporter. It’s quite probably a defence mechanism of sorts, helping hapless fanatics deal with the many disappointments their heroes will visit upon them as they faithfully follow their club’s fortunes through thin and, most likely, thinner.

Whatever the cause, this tendency to delude oneself is powerful indeed, and rare is the football fan who hasn’t, at some time or another, managed to fool themselves completely. Bobble hats and scarves have become slightly passé as part of the fan’s wardrobe essentials – but it seems that, for most, a massive pair of blinkers is still de rigueur, whoever you support.

Two of the very biggest pairs of blinkers undoubtedly belong to the supporters of a couple of clubs in the north of England, one on the wrong side of the Pennines, and one on the wrong side of the West/South Yorkshire civilisation threshold. Man U have long been famous for the eagerness with which their notoriously insecure and needy body of support will lap up obvious myths like “Biggest Club in the World” and so on. Even to this day, new signings must chant the mantra upon entering in the portals at the Theatre of Hollow Myths – “I’ve signed for the Biggest Club in the World” they intone, dutifully, and the Man U faithful smile happily in their Devon armchairs, whilst the denizens of Madrid and Barcelona, not to mention Milan and Munich, howl helplessly with laughter. Nobody is fooled and this, more than any other, is the reason why Man U fans, despite their club’s impressive honours roll, are routinely laughed at and dismissed as clueless glory-hunters.

Back in the rightly famed Broad Acres, there exists a lesser but still highly risible Band of the Deluded, bringing me to the real point of this article. These people live, move and have their being in Sheffield, an industrial graveyard of ruined splendour and very little current appeal. They wear blue and white, they have local rivals who wear red and white – and yet they measure their every success or failure in terms of the history and achievements of Leeds United, a club 35 miles to the north, which is known around the world as the Pride of Yorkshire. But the fans of Sheffield Wednesday, known semi-affectionately as “Wendies” to amused Leeds fans, will hotly deny accusations of obsession. That, in itself, is funny – given the Leeds-centric nature of the online output from virtual Owls. But more hilarious yet is the earnest and curiously innocent belief of the average Wendy in the street that he or she follows “Yorkshire’s Most Successful Club“.

The rationale, if such it can be called, behind such a bizarre belief is based upon a crude count-up of trophies won since the dawn of time. Sheffield Wednesday is among the oldest clubs in the professional game – Leeds United, at just under a hundred years old, is a comparatively youthful spring chicken. That being the case, it will be of no surprise that the Wednesday honours list goes back rather further than the Leeds one. And it is the sheer, epochal size of that time difference that really matters here.

Leeds United had endured a depressingly uneventful existence until the arrival and masterly stewardship of a certain Don Revie. Since that time, coinciding uncannily with my own date of birth, Leeds have been the club in Yorkshire, beyond any dispute or fanciful wishful thinking from the south of that county. From a position of never having won so much as an egg cup beyond one solitary second division title in the twenties, Leeds suddenly started to dominate the English game, accruing honours in the modern era to a degree and after a fashion hitherto unknown elsewhere.

The period after Revie has been comparatively barren – and yet the Whites have still been far more successful in those forty years than any Yorkshire “rival”. The fact of the matter is that, in the post-war period from 1946 onwards, and allowing for a 15 year wait for Revie to turn up, it’s been Leeds first and the rest nowhere, all the way, barring one solitary League Cup success for the Wendies – the goal sweetly scored against man u, almost inevitably, by a Leeds United product in John Sheridan.

For Sheffield Wednesday’s tangible rewards, apart from that single League Cup, you have to go way, way back. Not since 1935 has the FA Cup come to Sheffield. The two triumphs before that were in the pre-Wembley era, when the likes of Bury were winning FA Cups (and when Leeds United didn’t even exist). In those days, Sheffield Wednesday were simply “The Wednesday“, and they were a power back in the 20th century’s “Noughties”. They won two league titles, and added two more at the end of the 1920s. Their last honour before the ’91 League Cup was that mid-thirties FA Cup win against West Bromwich Albion. And then – nothing, until Shez popped up with the winner at modern-day Wembley against man u – the year before Leeds United became the Football League’s Last Champions.

Comparisons between eras are rarely helpful and often invidious – they’re mainly useful for disproving old-wives’ tales or, come to that, young Wendies’ tales. There can be no doubt at all that, in the years and decades since the bulk of the Sheffield honours were won, Football as a whole moved on massively; it became far more competitive and professional, broadened its scope to include European competition as standard and widened its appeal as the number one sport in the entire world. It goes without saying that Sheffield Wednesday have never won a European honour – but, significantly they’ve won only one trophy since the advent of colour TV, and their next most recent success came when George the Fifth was on the throne and a certain Herr Hitler was flexing his muscles for his own forthcoming European campaigns. Leeds prospered and dominated in a ruthless era that would see the strolling performers of the early 20th century melt like wax figures in a furnace.

For the question of who the world regards as Yorkshire’s number one – well, that isn’t even a question, really. In the eyes of the world, Yorkshire football is Leeds United first and foremost, plus sundry other outfits who tend to blur anonymously into each other. It’s certainly true to say that Wednesday would be the only even halfway meaningful rivals – Huddersfield Town have done nothing outside of the 1920s, and the rest are an embarrassment, a motley collection of failure and woe.

But even Wednesday, with their comparatively honour-laden (if ancient) history, cannot possibly hold a candle to Leeds United. Wendies rail angrily against this self-evident fact; they will produce any old trophy they can dig up in support of their hopeless position – The Late Victorian Garland for Services to Hacking and Scrimmaging, perhaps – or the Pathé News Cockerel Award for Monochrome Achievements of the Thirties. But the modern supremacy of Leeds United eclipses any or all of that, together with anything more genuine, with effortless ease.

The brutal fact of the matter is that anyone who can now remember Wednesday as Champions is currently looking down the barrel of their 100th birthday and a telegram from the Queen. The Owls have simply not been successful enough in the modern era to be compared favourably with a club in Leeds who have not only won the lot, but won it within the lifetime of one of its foremost fans (that’s me, folks). Wednesday have a proud history, and their fans rightly take pride in the very venerability of that history. But more recent arid failure denies them the right to be held as successful, or even that big. Big clubs win League Titles, and the Wendies haven’t done that since Ena Sharples was a lass.

Delusions aren’t necessarily bad things. They can comfort the insecure and bolster those who need to be bolstered. But they’re there to be shot down too, especially when the deluded are crowing that bit too busily over their false pretensions to size, success and status in England’s finest county. Those honours rightfully belong to Leeds United, as is widely and correctly acknowledged around the world – and this piece is simply here to set that record straight.

So, as emphasised by the final score at Hillsborough on Saturday, there is no doubt at all that Leeds United rule Yorkshire football still, as they have done now for well over half a century. It’s a bitter and unwelcome truth for the Wendies – but they really do need to suck it up.

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57 responses to “High Time Sheffield Wednesday Fans Accept Leeds United as Yorkshire’s Top Club – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Hi Rob,
    The only thing you’ll get ‘The Wendies’ to concede is goals! 😉

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  2. lol,,,thanks for all the history lessons and the reminders ..yeah,Leeds are much greater than the Wednesday blues lol

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  3. So you weren’t as big, then you had a bit of success were bigger for a while and most recently you’ve been worse than wednesday. In fact the last 5 years you have been much worse. From a deluded Wendy

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    • Mightyleeds

      Why are you looking in on a Leeds United blog if your not obsessed with your bigger neighbour? You count finishing lower mid table as being more successful than us, bless! Shows how desperate to be “bigger” than us you wendies are!😃

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    • RoystonLUFC

      I think that Simon says it all: “the last 5 years you have been much worse.” So that’s the best defence a Wendy has? I rest my case. 5 years is a short time in football. Look back a little further and you’ll see Leeds hustling with the likes of Madrid and Milan; playing Euro semis against Valencia, etc.

      So using the last 5 years is slightly disingenuous (ok, woefully disingenuous), especially given the fact that – even through Leeds’ fallow years – it’s still arguable who was the poorer side. And if you were a gambling man, seriously, who would you put money on to come out on top this season? Be honest.

      Winning trophies is easy when the oppo comprises the likes of Accrington Stanley and Tewkesbury Town, but when Leeds are catapulted on the scene, the old pig bladder-kickers are suddenly held to account. And there’s no mercy in football: you can cling to your 19th century honours like Jane Avril clung to her undergarments, but sooner or later you know they’re going to be exposed for what they are:flimsy vessels with nothing much inside.

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    • Yes you are deluded. I’ve been living in Australia for a number of years now, and have never seen anyone wearing a Wendies shirt. Obviously seen all the prem glamour clubs being worn, but also plenty of Leeds, a few Notts Forrest, the odd Shef Utd, Brum shitty, non-glamour prem clubs and once even a Peterborough Utd shirt. But never, ever a Wendy. Sorry mate but the average Aussie doesn’t even know who you are. Maybe next century hey 🙂

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  4. Sorry Wednesday, but your club is just plain boring. Boring ground, boring kit, boring history. Not particularly succesful, not particularly unsuccesful, not particularly anything. That’s the problem. About as interesting as a Vauxhall Vectra. Not famous for anything in particular, but quite adequate in some ways, mediocre in most. That band however, get right on my tits.
    Sheff United are a more interesting prospect. I have always enjoyed my visits to their ground and the games against them are generally more stimulating. Somehow they are just more interesting than boring, boring Wednesday. The Blades would be a Ford Capri, basically rubbish but more exciting than a regular saloon, just. And more popular in the past than they are today. I see Leeds as an Alfa Romeo, interesting, exciting but ultimately you will be let down, and it’ll hurt, but foolishly you keep going back to the dealers.

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  5. My grandad died at the age of 87 in 1982 and he played for Sheffield Wednesday in his younger days but the only team he loved and supported were the mighty whites.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Onegordonwatson

    I like the car analogy ( for you L**ds fans this means the processs by which the use of words follows precedents set by other words without going through all the stages that produced those precedents), so a car wash is clearly required for L**ds…….we are happy with being a 2CV…don’t take ourselves too seriously, but still a joy!

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  7. Johnboy owl

    Why do you have to post that Leeds are bigger than Wednesday do you need to let people know, how strange. We don’t need to let people know we are bigger than Leeds they already know my disillusioned friend, you will be posting next that you are bigger than Huddersfield lol, keep the laughs coming they are so funny.

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    • Here’s a Wendy who’s not bovvered at all, honest. Does he sound bovvered? Does his little Wendy face look bovvered? I ask you 😉

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    • Well it kept you up until 4am so it’s obviously the highlight of your sad existence, trolling through another clubs’ website……….. Great to hear such things amuse you though, let me guess, you also find Dawn French hilarious?

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    • Asim Siddiq

      I love it, these wendies fans are so funny, they are keep on dreaming about being a big club lol, well I think we should allow them to dream, as long as they keep this as a fantasy they’ll be ok. It really is embarrassing though that these wendies think in this way, let them carry on making a laughing stock of themselves. Johnny have a think how many trophies have both clubs won in the last 50 years and how many times have we been in europe and then give your reply. You are sad man.

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  8. I want Leeds up to Premier League first and foremost but this side ot The Pennines needs 2 or 3 clubs up there to compete with the likes of Crystal Palace, Stoke, Leicester, West Ham, Southampton and the other sub-standard 4 representatives from the wrong side of The Pennines. Agree with all you write, keep it up.

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  9. Did you know that Man utd are still Leeds closest rivals?

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  10. wetherby white

    You ought to send this article to the home of Sheffield Wednesday Rob – the YEP. I think there is some ancient law in football that says certain clubs like Wednesday, Newcastle, Stoke etc will never win anything because its sort of the law..if you see what I mean. We may have been in the doldrums for way to long now but are finally showing signs of recovery. One thing you can rest assured of is that we will be back winning trophies one day..wednesday, no sorry it’ll never happen-its the law!

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  11. Asim Siddiq

    Sheffield Wednesday ?!?!?!?!? even the name makes me laugh. They are a joke of a club, Sheffield United are a much bigger club than Wednesday and always have been, never mind us. They have no history, have been in europe maybe a couple of times whereas we have been in europe for well over 30 years in out time in the top flight. The two of us cannot be compared, it’s like comparing Accrington with Barcelona. Wednesday will always be the small club, smaller than Leeds and smaller than Sheff utd.

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  12. Johnny Foreigner

    I live on ze other side of the world and everybody here knows of ze famous Leeds United.

    Sheffield Wednesday is it rugby team?

    I hear of Sheffield, where there is no work and the men have to do full monty to survive and the women are very easily pleased with very little.

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  13. Leeds are poo

    Looks like my earlier post didn’t make it to the website. Far too many home truths? And you all wonder why everyone hates you.

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    • It was the lack of home truths and the emphasis on childish abuse that got you binned. Look at the juvenile poster name, the trademark of the immature coward. And you wonder why your rubbish gets rejected? Silly Wendy.

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  14. Looks my independent review didn’t either, shame on you!

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  15. Pingback: Even Sheffield Wednesday Fans Must Concede That Leeds United Are Yorkshire’s Top Club – by Rob Atkinson - sportsdroid

  16. Hunsletwhite

    Really no need to put this up rob,swfc fans know leeds utd have been biggest in Yorkshire since revie yrs and don’t need reminding,I disagree with sufc being bigger as I have always regarded swfc as 2nd biggest behind leeds in Yorkshire ,they won some titles before most fans were born but still should be proud of them

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  17. Rob, this is another excellent put-down piece. What prompted it? Was it the 04 September anniversary of the founding of Sheffield Wednesday? Or have you been reading some of the wind-up posts on the YEP Leeds United site from Wendy fans like ‘Foxhill’ and ‘Pastor Kidneys’ (an anagram of ‘donkey rapists’) who claim SW is “massive”?

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  18. Feel a bit sorry for the Wednesday ( quite tricky to spell that when you are at primary school ) fans – the only time they had a decent side was unfortunately in the early 90s when Leeds were of course the best team in England. May be its a curse or something?

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  19. I’m a Wednesday fan & love my football & yes Leeds Utd history especially the Revie era stuff of legends . One thing I think we all can agree on we hate Man Utd lol .I grew up starting supporting Wednesday when Jack Charlton ex Leeds was manager took us up got to semi final fa cup. Then Howard Wilkinson Wednesday through & through then that day came when he left to manage Leeds Utd & its well known he was let go to become your manager as he couldn’t turn down to opportunity to join a big club . I for one would love to see both teams battling out in premiership & be top dogs its what its all about rivalries . We love the teams we love no matter what plus if we can get the upper hand we let our rivals know lol . Past glories & history will always dictate like Man Utd & Liverpool & now Chelsea & Man City. To be honest I hate Sheffield Utd more than I ever will Leed s Utd but that’s football for your & having the best bragging rights & teasing you mate when they’ve lost ..good luck to both Yorkshire teams .

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  20. Mark NEVILLE

    Why don’t you show abit of respect to my club and leave out all this ‘Wendies’ bullshit. You starting to sound like Sheffield’s little club. I have the utmost respect for your football club even if I don’t exactly like you. But Wendies?? What the F**K! We must be doing sumat right because we’re obviously getting under skins abit. Like Wednesday, you are a big club, but your no Man U and you never will be. I think deep down you no we’ve overtaken you and it’s hit a nerve. SWFC YORKSHIRE’S NUMBER 1

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    • Live by the sword, die by the sword. Plenty of your lot delight in calling us “Weeds”, and whilst our Wendies jibe is better and certainly less childish (and it’s funny, which is a bonus) that still makes it six and two threes. So stop your whinging, Wendy.

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  21. YAWN!!!

    Dont lower ya self to SUFCs standards, yes big club with big history, fact of the day is Leeds are a shadow of former glorys, Wednesday are on the up, after years of struggle! Get a grip bro!

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  22. Brian Chuff

    Leeds is the biggest city in the world to only have one professional football club, thus giving it considerable advantage over its competitors in terms of potential, immediately available fanbase, turnover and resources. However, due to the people of West Yorkshire preferring other sports such as homoerotic egg chasing in mud and violent misogyny, the Whites have been unable to capitalize on this fully, save for when they played hoofball and bullied referees into not booking/sending off their fouling thugs during the cited Don Revie Era.

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  23. Philip of Spain.

    Fouling Thugs of Don Revie. Not that old chestnut falling from the boring tree. Still better than players taking bungs in the early sixties.

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  24. When Sheffield born Howard wilkinson left Sheffield Wednesday saying he had taken them as far as he could , he dropped down a division to take over Leeds United who were second bottom of the second division . He brought with him Mick Hennigan ex Wednesday coach and a raft of Wednesday and ex Wednesday players who all eagerly jumped their current ships to join yorkshires finest . These included Mel sterland , Lee chapman , Carl shutt , David wether all , Jon newsome , Imri varadi , among others .
    In the next four years Wilkinsons actions were justified as Leeds were promoted as champions , going on to win the ultimate accolade , champions of England . Incidentally when Wilko signed Strachan Wednesday also wanted him .
    Let me tell you this Wendies – had it happened the other way round , I would be walking around Yorkshire with my cap over my eyes and my collar up for all time . Losers .

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  25. milano whites

    Happy New Year to all the LUFC cyber lads. Great stuff our Rob, these pony botherers need the occasional history lesson…MOT/YRA

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  26. I say more. Leeds isn’t regarded outside UK as the biggest club in Yorkshire. It is in fact the only known club from Yorkshire. I can assure you that no one ever heard about Sheffield Wednesday in Poland, I didn’t even know at first what this name “Wednesdey” means LOL. Sheffield Sunday would be better…

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  27. True fans don’t walk out en mass, take their bat home, cry like babies into their tear sudden pillows. No other club has had to put up with so much scandalous, blatant misery and downright criminal mis management than Leeds and yet we stick together, fly the flag and stay to the bitter end. Wendies wouldn’t know true loyalty if it smacked them in the face.

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  28. Make sure you don’t mention any football team east of York when you talk about Yorkshires Top Club.

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    • I made it quite clear I think that I would only consider even in passing other Yorkshire clubs that had actually won things, albeit many, many years ago. I guess that neatly rules out any easterly pretenders.

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  29. When l ws a short trousered kid, l actually liked Manchester United, they were actually quite a good club, had a good manager, and like Leeds produced some great young players. Then had the unfortunate air crash. For a short period afterwards, l still looked upon them as as a team l admired. Thats when it all sterted, the Manchester based newspapers started their sympathy campaign persistently referring to the crash, and ramming down our throats how good a club they were. To this day it is thus. This is how most of their worldwide following was achieved, Sympathy. Much of their successes have been obtained by having greater financial clout than their competitors Also greatly helped by Leeds United, gifting their greatest recent asset Eric Cantona. It is still my overwhelming evidence that Howard Wilkinson was suffering mental abhorations at the time to transfer him, especially for the pittance of a fee we received. When other clubs aquire similar financial clout, they lost their position. This year, they have spent over £180 million in an attempt to buy back success.
    Competing with such financial clout was the major cause of Leeds United fall from grace. Through our idiot chairman we gambled by borrowing huge sums, to fund transfers we didn’t need, when he failed to fulfil his dream, the rest is history.
    In the Championship, amongst the teams not benefitting from parachute payments, Wendies have been amongst the divisions big spenders, ok they gave us that drubbing when we didn’t turn up, but generallyy we can expect points in our bag when we meet.
    I was surprised and astounded when Michael Vaughan referred to us as , “that little club at the end of th M1” l always thought of him as one of our most intelligent leaders, but, like Howard Wilkinson, it must be something in the Sheffield water to cause such errors in judgement.
    l look forward to the other 3 points we will gather when we next meet, to go towards our promotion tally.

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  30. I hate to admit it, but yes – Leeds United are far bigger and better than us Wendies. There, I’ve said it. I’m going to sit in a corner, rocking back and forth and going WAWAW WAWAW now. It passes the time.

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  31. Great to see the 2 living legends at the bottom of this page there yesterday watching the pride of Yorkshire

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  32. patrick hogan

    Though it wouldn’t do much for their credibility by giving an honest answer I would love to know the true feelings of the likes of Sterland, Newsome, Palmer, Wetherall, Chapman, et al…and even Lees: as to how it feels to pull on one shirt or the other.

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  33. Good win on Saturday rob , renewed my faith in my bet for a top six finish. .. and the best thing about Wednesday is that it’s not Monday…

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  34. Quality. I do admire them, they have a loyal support to say they’ve won 1 trophy in 80 odd years. They are a traditional old English club with a proud history. I wouldn’t argue that before the Revie revolution they were and rightly so yorkshires number 1. But Revie turned us into a world famous club far more respected abroad than they ever were in England. Leeds united carrying the white rose since 1967.

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