This is a good book on the history of Leeds when they were power to behold in the late 60's and 70's. Full of details of how Don Revie got his team up and running. There are also interesting bits on the teams they played, the players attitudes and on how the Board viewed things at Leeds.
For anyone who has an interest in Leeds and wants to take a trip down memory lane, this is a book to have. There are some nice photographs also and generally I found the pace of the book to be just right.
Definitely one for any Leeds Fan to have in their collection
on 2 December 2002
Although the book owes a debt of acknowledgement to the fabulous Leeds United-The Glory Years video and makes two errors (find out for yourselves...oh, o.k then, the blessed Don Revie died on May 26th 1989, not March), the book is a wonderful mouthwatering read, written with just enough reverence to satsify even the most boneheaded Leeds fans but at the same time acknowledging that some of the Elland Road 'black arts' need addressing.
A book of this sort has been overdue for some time and those of us fortunate to grow up with the team in the 1960's and 1970's will remember that the Leeds United team of the time were a thing of beauty, a fact which has now been belatedly acknowledged (at least Elsie Revie can be comforted by that fact).
I think that now the authors should sit down and address themselves to what went wrong in the immediate post Don Revie period, through to 1983 or so.
For those of you who need further evidence, get a copy of the Glory Years video, a worthy companion to The Unforgiven.
on 23 May 2011
Excellent account of the creation of one of football's great sides. Leeds may be, as the title suggests, 'unforgiven' for their style of play but this book reminds people just what a potent side they were. Fascinating details about Revie, Giles, Bremner and Charlton - all in all, a rewarding read for all true football fans. Mind you, I would have liked a little more detail about the era of their decline.
on 19 August 2011
One of the best books on football I have ever read. Detailed, informative, and most important, ... continuously interesting and entertaining. Not just for those affiliated to Leeds Utd, this is a fascinating insight into how Don Revie turned around a hitherto second rate football club into one of the most feared, hated, powerful, successful and yet flawed clubs in Europe for 10 years. As one who grew up a Liverpool fan, watching Leeds battle it out for honours relentlessly during Revie`s managership, this insightful book throws up a host of revealing reasons especially, on how it was the club failed on so many occasions to get over the winning line.
Mainly disliked by many opposing fans through sheer jealousy (though the "dirty Leeds" tag was frequently justified), Leeds were also disliked intensely by those who held the reins of power in Lancaster Gate. Hence the ludicrous amount of occasions when the F A refused to assist the club in the face of horrendous fixture congestion. The congestion arising, ironically because the club fought its way through to so many finals, domestically and in Europe. Instead of permitting a few days grace to allow the players to recharge themselves during relentless campaigns, it even got to the ridiculous situation whereby the club was required to fulfill 6 games over one 12 day period. In additon it has to be said the club was also on the end of some absolutely awful refereeing decisions during crucial games, most notably against Bayern Munich in a European cup final (tho admittedly Revie had left the club some 10 months earlier).
Fascinating also was the revelation of Revie`s almost manic and illogical superstitious nature. The book is mainly written in praise and admiration and defence of Revie as a manager, but also hints at his lack of forsight in tactical awareness and a failure to bring in additional players to bolster a severely (at times) depleted squad. Also of interest was the revelation that Revie was concerned overly at how he was perceived amongst his peers, the media, and the F A.
One major criticism was that the book could have contained more detailed reference to how Revie tactically prepared for some major games, what he said to his players before, during, at half time and in the dressing room after the games. And did he ever deliberately try to fire up his players to act, at times, brutally in hard fought games? Although not exactly pertinent to his days at Leeds, it would also have been welcomed if the authors had spent more time informing us readers of Revie`s managing of the England team.
Overall i was thoroughly rivetted to this book, but was left feeling at the end this is a sad account of a man who succeeded spectacularly, yet was the victim of so many internal self doubts and external interferences which led ultimately to him failing to be revered perhaps in the same category as clough, Stein, Paisley, Shankly, Busby and Nicholson. Also shameful, very very shameful, was the failure of the F A to represent itself at this man`s funeral, ---- shameful and unforgiveable!
on 9 August 2010
although not a Leeds fan i have always felt that the 11 men consisting of Harvey, Madeley, Reaney, Charlton,Lorimer, Bremner, Giles, E Gray, Jones and Clarke was the best 11 ive ever seen in English football. and Revies team certainly from around 69-72 were runners up more than winners simply because the squad probably wasnt quite good enough when replacements came in
a great book with an honest appraisal of Revies Leeds, and as someone else commented the next few years say from 75-82 when the club was finally relegated could have been tagged on as the replacements for the aging stars although not in the same class were more than adequate first division players (Cherry, Yorath, Mcqueen,Jordan, Flynn, Hankin, F Gray Hawley Hart etc,
to read about the decline of Leeds would in itself have been fascinating
on 4 August 2010
I started at Leeds in 1979, so I missed all this.
In addition, I have had an aversion to certain players of the Revie era, to be honest. All I ever heard was them criticising the Leeds teams I watched on Radio Leeds. Fair enough, the teams I watched (containing my favourites, including Ian Baird and Kevin Hird) weren't a patch on the Revie era, but all the same...
So my knowledge of this era has been from scraps of conversations in pubs like The Precinct and The White Swan (Leeds 1980s).
Anyway, this book filled me in. It is a great read. I found out a lot.
on 11 May 2009
As a thirtysomething football fan I have long held a fascination with Revie's Leeds. This book is a worthwhile effort. It is informative and sheds much needed light on phenomenon that has truly been overshadowed by the Manchester Utds,Forest and Liverpools of this world. It is written by two Leeds fans and the tone of the book is a defence of the team explaining basically that the team never had a chance because of the inherent unpopularity of the team by the media and other clubs. Indeed it is hard to argue that Leeds were not hard done by by disgraceful refereeing decisions and fixture congestion.But they were dirty (Giles first broke a players leg in 1964) Leeds were undeniably done out of at least two major trophies. However, the book fails to get inside Revie and the players. There are no juicy anecdotes and far to little input from many of the main protagonists. Revie himself remains too much of a mystery and by the end of the book we are no nearer to understanding the man than we were at the beginning.
on 9 October 2009
i read this book years ago and found it intriguing, well written, informative and entertaining, even though I couldn't agree with all the points raised by the authors. I think there were a couple of tiny errors too but nonetheless, it's a great read.
This is one of the best Leeds-related books I've ever read - I'd recommend it even though it's not always the 'prettiest' reading for Leeds fans!