Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhere the Revie Legacy Began - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Where the Revie Legacy Began - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Where the Revie Legacy Began

“HE WAS A strong minded person, who cared for the players and had good man management skills.” Says Peter Lorimer about the late great Don Revie who started his managerial career at Leeds United in March 1961 after the resignation of Jack Taylor.

Starting his managerial career at Elland Road at the tender age of 34 Revie was a managerial novice although he had a wide knowledge of the game after making 474 career league appearances and representing England six times. With Revie set to apply for the vacant Bournemouth managerial position it could have been a whole different story, if it wasn’t for a local journalist persuading Revie to apply for the Leeds United job.

Family Club

After being given the job in March Revie decided to reshape the club, to do this he went to the then manager of Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby. Busby advised Revie to keep a consistent pattern and allow players to come to him no matter who they were. One of the changes Revie made following this piece of advise was to introduce a family ethos around the club, from players to staff. This meant the club would become closer and hopefully work better as a team rather than individuals.

“He looked after us like a parent”

Revie kept to his word when constructing the family ethos around the club as Peter Lorimer recalls, “He didn’t go out socially drinking with the players, but he had a lot to do with us. He made sure we had the correct and nice lodgings, made sure we abided by the rules, went home at a certain time, if one of the players met a girl then he would make sure they were right for us. So he looked after us like a parent as we were quite young.”

Making the club a big family wasn’t the only change Revie made when taking over though. He changed Leeds’ traditional blue and yellow strip and instead decided to follow in Real Madrid’s footsteps by having an all white kit.

“Credentials to become a successful manager”

From the beginning of Revie’s career people already could see him becoming a successful manager.

“He had all the credentials to become a successful manager, and had ideas which were ahead of his time in football.”

Belief and confidence is what was needed in the Yorkshire man because the start he had got off to was less than promising. Revie took charge of Leeds who were lying nineteenth in the English Second Division with nine games remaining.

Revie’s first game in charge was an away game at Portsmouth who were 21st in the division, one you would assume Leeds would win. This, however, was not the case Leeds lost 3-1 and dropped two places in the league, not the start any manager would want.

After an unsuccessful start Revie was looking for Leeds to pick back up with his first home game in charge, this was against second placed Sheffield United, not an easy task by any means. Unfortunately for Revie, Leeds lost 2-1, two games in charge and two losses for Revie, pressure would’ve already been mounting on the 34 year old.

Performance’s Needed

With Revie in charge of a team which lacked beauty when playing there were only a few players in which he could hope for magic. An 18 year old the name of Billy Bremner was a great talent on the right side of the pitch, someone who would become to be a formidable talent in the Leeds side. At the back was Jack Charlton, showing the odd flash of talent although showing more disrespect both on and off the field.

At the top of the pitch was John McCole, a reliable finder of the back of the net. Although in 1961 you needed a mix of skilful players and hard player.

“The game was a lot different back then and it was a physical game. You had physical players but also skilful players and it was about blending and mixing those players together.” Said Lorimer, a player who would become a key player in the Leeds team from the 63 season.

Overall, the team Revie was managing was not the most able side and lacked the final touch, something he would have to change and from the board financially wise would be needed. The only problem with this was that the club was burdened by financial troubles, Chairman Sam Bolton had admitted that himself along with four directors had all made interest free loans of around £3,500 to keep the club running.

Their plan was to hope that attendances would improve, something which was a huge risk, the club needed to achieve attendances of 30,000 to break even and during the 1959-60 season they had an average at a low 13,500.

The only way attendances would improve would be through results; the third game into Revie’s career was away to Luton Town. Luton were 12th and Leeds were 14th, the game ended in a 1-1 draw, Revie’s first point as a Leeds manager. The results for Revie didn’t get much better though, the next game Leeds lost 3-2 away at Scunthorpe United. The following two games Leeds drew, the first was against Swansea Town at home it ended 2-1; the other draw was away against Stoke City a stalemate 0-0.

It wasn’t until Revie’s seventh game in charge that Leeds recorded a win. It was on the 22 April at home against bottom of the league Lincoln City. Leeds thrashed them an impressive 7-0, this left Leeds in 13th position with two games remaining.

Revie’s last home game of the season came three days later against Scunthorpe United, a team that Leeds had played only 22 days ago. Leeds drew 2-2, already an improvement from when they had previously met. The major downside to the fixture was the attendance, there was a crowd of a dismal 6,975, and this was the lowest crowd Elland Road had witnessed since the war.

The last of the season was away at Charlton who were 10th in the league. A bad end to the season for Revie and Leeds as they lost 2-0 and finished the season in 14th place, 21 points off of top of the table Ipswich Town.

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