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Leeds United

Leeds United FC has been a recognised team for more than 80 years and has a huge following in its hometown, as well as support locally and internationally.
 
The story of its history begins in 1904 with the establishment of Leeds City Football Club, who played their first match at the famous Elland Road in the same year and lost to Hull City 2-0.
 
From an unimpressive start Leeds were elected to the second division and a new stand was built The Scratching Shed to kick off their league career with a match against Bradford City. Again, Leeds lost 0-1.
 
Undeterred Leeds began to notch up the victories and during the First World War they were crowned unofficial league champions, but this era also heralded the first signs of trouble in this club's often-hindered history. An FA enquiry accused Leeds of overpaying its own players and thus, Leeds City were banned from league matches.
 
In 1919 the great and good gathered to debate the future of football in the city and formed Leeds United.
 
The new club began in the Midlands League but was soon elected to the second division of the Football League and things were going well, but like many clubs World War II halted activity and many of the club's best footballers were called up to serve their country.
 
Following the war, Leeds couldn't seem to get back into the game, but by 1955 with the signing of top player John Charles, victory was within its sights.
 
However, in 1956 John Charles was transferred to Juventus and even with a young centre-half called Jack Charlton, Leeds' future looked uncertain with many matches lost.
 
Leeds needed a manager who could pull them out of the slump and when one of its own players with little management experience came forward to lead the team there was little optimism from the press and public.
 
Luckily Don Revie knew what he was doing and this era in Leeds history is often referred to as "The Revie Revival". Revie made the most of Jack Charlton, establishing him as centre-back, and introduced Albert Johanneson, a 21-year-old black winger from South Africa. This was the beginning of something special and these prosperous years saw the introduction of new team colours: the old blue and gold strip was replaced by the all-white of Real Madrid.
 
By the 1960s Leeds United were in Division One, and Revie's team played in Europe for the first time in 1965 in the Inter-City Fairs Cup. Some impressive players passed through Elland Road [map] during this era including Eddie Gray, Paul Madeley and Mick Jones.
 
Fans say that Leeds' best season was 1973/74 which ended with the Championship trophy at Elland Road for a second time. The campaign started with seven straight wins, and although they went out of the League Cup early, and went down in the third round of the UEFA Cup, it wasn't until February that they were defeated in the league, losing 2-3 at Stoke. Leeds' final game of the season was a 1-0 victory at QPR - it was to mark the end of an era.
 
When Don Revie moved on to manage the England team, Brian Clough was brought in as manager, but this didn't last long, and 44 days later management had swapped hands yet again and Jimmy Armfield was called in. The 1970s saw the famous Billy Bremner play his last game and the entertaining antics of Tony Currie hit the headlines.
 
In the 1980s Leeds saw more defeats than victory and by the end of the decade there was serious concern that relegation wasn't far away. But of course, a turn around for Leeds is never far away and United were soon back on form with league wins in the 1990s and before 2000 they were back in Europe.
 
Leeds United has had many ups and downs during its history, but its supporters continue to come out in droves and head to Elland Road to back their team.
 
Going into the next millennium and Leeds were on top form with David O'Leary in charge, but this run couldn't last and soon Leeds' fortunes had yet again taken a turn for the worst with a series of defeats. The future for Leeds in the 2000s looked decidedly shaky and in the 03/04 season Leeds were relegated from the Premiership to the Coca-Cola Championship, but with its rollercoaster history, who knows what will happen to United in the future?

To watch this exciting team in action at their Elland Road home ground, you can buy tickets online from the offical Leeds United website.

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