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The Last Champions: Leeds United and the Year that Football Changed Forever [Paperback]

Dave Simpson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

20 Jun 2013

When the Leeds United players celebrated winning the championship in April 1992, they had no idea how momentous the occasion was. Manchester United, losers at Liverpool that Sunday afternoon, had now gone 25 years without winning the league. Howard Wilkinson's side, promoted just two seasons ago, could bring back the glory days to Leeds. But Wilkinson would prove to be the last English manager to win the league. In 1992, football changed beyond all recognition.

The Last Champions explores the roots of that success and the amazing cast of characters who came together to fashion the triumph. As in his acclaimed book The Fallen, Dave Simpson's quest to catch up with the protagonists of the era, from the visionary Sergeant Wilko, top scorer Lee Chapman and unsung heroes like Mike Whitlow and Carl Shutt (not forgetting Eric Cantona), sees him unearth some extraordinary untold stories.

And he finds that The Last Champions were also the last ordinary people to win the league, before the Premier League saw skyrocketing wages, billionaire foreign owners and the dictates of television taking the game away from the fans. It is the brilliantly told story of the end of an era.

Frequently Bought Together

The Last Champions: Leeds United and the Year that Football Changed Forever + No Glossing Over It: How Football Cheated Leeds United + The Unforgiven: The Story of Don Revie's Leeds United
Price For All Three: 18.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (20 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857501011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857501011
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"In just three and a half seasons, following almost a decade in the wilderness, Wilkinson transformed a relegation-threatened second-level side into League winners. The sheer size of the achievement has finally been given the recognition it deserves in The Last Champions. To put it into context, imagine Southampton winning the Premier League title in 2013-14. That is what Wilkinson and his players achieved and it is what makes this story so special and worthy of Simpson's insightful homage." (Simon Creasey When Saturday Comes)

"I really enjoyed the book... it's a great read" (Lee "Chappy" Chapman, Leeds United centre forward, League Championship winner, 1991-92)

"Unbearably poignant. Simpson neatly captures football's key appeal, the way it can restore the simple certainties of childhood. These men are now postmen, pensioners, disabled, successful, travel agents and the seemingly lost. But they talk with equal wonder about their greatest season" (The Last Word)

"A welcome reclamation of Wilkinson's success... breaks the mould in exploring team-building. As Simpson so wistfully explains, we shall probably never see their like again... Clearly written by a fan." (Juliet Jacques New Statesman)

"Excellent book" (Yorkshire Post)

Book Description

The triumph and tragedy of the Leeds team that won the First Division championship in 1992 - and a very different era in football history

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sporting story 8 Jun 2012
By Tim
Dave Simpson has met his heroes from the Howard Wilkinson teams of the late 80s and early 90s, and gathered their individual stories to make a fascinating and moving narrative. Every Leeds fan will know it well, but find some surprises; other sports fans could well find it has universal appeal. The story is set at the tail end of the age when a local businessman could fund a top division football team, as a city was emerging from grim times into better times, and an unlikely combination of young talent, non-league discoveries and experienced leaders was turned by our country's most under-rated manager into a team of winners. The book busts a few myths - the idea that the 1992 title was lost by Manchester United rather than won by Leeds, the perception that Vinnie Jones was an enforcer who couldn't actually play, or that we needed managers from overseas to bring in good food and fitness... - and is passionate about Leeds without being one-eyed. You can hear the voices of the players as you read about the author's meetings with them, and there are personal stories within the grander story that are by turn hilarious, tragic, revealing and thought-provoking. Fantastic book, which serves too as a fitting tribute to Gary Speed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
as a man utd fan

a book about Leeds Utd would not appeal I was wrong

every football fan should get the book about Leeds's 91-92 title win

it gives you the background before the big win, when it happened and the aftermath

It showed mostly how most of the squad interviewed are really down to earth nice blokes

players whose stories that touched this reader was the chapters on Gary Speed, Mel Sterland and Carl Shutt

I hope Leeds Utd gives more credit to their 91-92 title heroes

They are champions on and off the pitch
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book about football 3 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully written quest to track down the players who won the last ever First Division title. It's funny and illuminating, full of human stories. Who knew David Batty had such hidden depths? I'm not a Leeds fan, but this is an exceptional book about a period of football that has been virtually erased from history. Post-Hillsborough, pre-Sky? Who knew there was such a thing?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Sut
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book tells how an unlikely bunch of men rescued a sleeping giant football club. That they did it on a shoestring budget is all the more remarkable and quite impossible today, with the huge fees and wages brought in by the Premier league - today only clubs with giant incomes or billionaire owners can win the league. I loved the book, but then Leeds were always my club and this was the start of an all too short second golden age for us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Champions 3 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a brilliant review of the winning side from division 2 through to the last champions of the old 1st Division. very interesting interviews with many players of that side and an intriguing over view of how Howard led the teams over that period of time.
I would highly recommend this not only to LEEDS fans but supporters generally.
Jason Fletcher
South West Whites
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real champions 7 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the book like any books to do.with Leeds.just a shame couldn't get interview with David batty mike Whitlow brilliant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read 13 Oct 2012
As a Leeds fan you may think I have a biased view but The Last Champions is one of the best sports books i've ever read. Full of anecdotes from the players, management and directors of the club at that time, the sort of stories you never get to hear about apart from on the after dinner speaking events. It wouldn't have mattered if I was a Leeds fan or not this was just highly entertaining from start to finish and oh how football has changed now in the days of huge salaries and big money transfers, these were the days when football was mainly played because they loved the game.The Last Champions
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5.0 out of 5 stars United we stand. 30 Sep 2013
By ejw.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought for a birthday present for a very long suffering leeds fan.
Enjoying the book so far.
It`s got some very good black and white photographs of the
players at that time.
Marching on together.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Football fan
A very useful and informative read for any Leeds United supporter.
Been a supporter for many, many years but still learned some facts.
Published 8 months ago by R. Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas
My husband loved this as a birthday present as he is a massive Leeds fan. He plans to read this book in sunny Spain.
Published 8 months ago by Vicky
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Champions.
At last a book on the best season in my lifetime. Dave Simpson is a fan and it shows He travelled to Los Angeles to chat to Vinnie and all the chapters revolve around characters... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect memories
Any Leeds fan old enough to remember the early '90s should cherish this book. Football at its finest, before it went mad.
Published 9 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars great behind the scenes
really good read as season ticket holder that season what was going on behind the scenes including him adding mikes to the cop roof to amplify the sound is legend
Published 10 months ago by andy f
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
I have been a Leeds United fan since I was at grammar school (almost 50years ago). I can't get to see live games too often these days but the season that they were The Last... Read more
Published 13 months ago by WOODY
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account
I'm only a casual football fan, with no great affiliation to any team, but having lived and worked in Leeds during the early 1990s I'm only too aware of the great affection that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by James Masterton
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