Leeds United books to bury your head in during lockdown

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Leeds United books to bury your head in during lockdown

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The prospect of any live football is still a few weeks a way at least, Boris has closed the pubs and you’re not allowed to go near your mates. So what is there to do whilst sat at home to pass the time? This season marked 100 years of Leeds United, a centenary of our magnificent football club with its ups and downs, highs and lows. And to celebrate many fans have put pen to paper to document our clubs history and tell some of its greatest stories. Whether it’s the tale of the rising of Leeds United from the ashes of Leeds City, our financial mismanagement over the past 15 years, histories and autobiographies of the club or the inside stories from some of our greatest games there is a book for you. These are some of our favourites released this season to help pass your time in lockfown.

Ups & Downs By James Willoughby

Ups And Downs: The Inside Stories From Leeds United's Biggest Matchesp goes behind the scenes at one of England's most famous football clubs, where nothing is ever normal.

Featuring more than 70 exclusive interviews with former Leeds United players and coaches, the likes of Norman Hunter, Eddie Gray, Johnny Giles, Allan Clarke, John Sheridan, Howard Wilkinson, Gary McAllister, Lucas Radebe, Mark Viduka, Olivier Dacourt, Dominic Matteo, Simon Grayson and Jermaine Beckford talk readers through the matches supporters will never forget with a host of rarely told stories.

It was Guy Fawkes Night [and] my wife was by herself at home with the dog … the dog kept barking all night and she was scared … she rings me up at three o’clock … and I go, ‘She will be alright’. At five o’clock in the morning, again, she rings me up and she goes, ‘Tara is barking, I’m scared’. And I go, ‘You know what? If I have a shocker tomorrow!’
- Mark Viduka

Jam-packed with insight, anecdotes and first-hand accounts on everything from changing room drama and tales of celebration to transfer sagas and disciplinary procedures, Ups And Downs is a revealing nostalgia trip through Leeds United's proud, rich history.

Buy from Amazon | Free Sample Chapter

100 Years of Leeds United by Daniel Chapman

100 Years of Leeds United tells the story of a one-club city and its unique relationship with its football team. Author Daniel Chapman, more commonly known as Moscow White to many Leeds United fans, delves deep into the archives to discover the lesser-known episodes, providing fresh context to the folkloric tales that have shaped the club we know today, painting the definitive picture of the West Yorkshire giants.

For those of you familiar with Moscow White’s writing in the Square Ball fanzine and Yorkshire Evening Post or his regular appearances on the Square Ball podcast you will know how witty and erudite he is and how much his passion for Leeds United shines through. From the roots of football in the West Riding of Yorkshire 100 Years of Leeds United tells the story tells the story of how Leeds City were founded amongst ‘stubborn indifference’ to the game and how Leeds United emerged from their ashes.

From the early struggles to the glory years under that ‘one man in a thousand’ Don Revie, to the European dreams of the millennium and the exile in the wilderness between and since relive the story of our great football club in its centenary year. Histories of Leeds United have been written before but none so well researched and none have been so thoughtful about those little moments that really hit you as a fan as 100 Years of Leeds United.

Buy from Amazon

Leeds, Money and Misery Me by Dave Tomlinson

Leeds, Money and Misery Me: Twenty Years of Hurt, 23 Mistakes and the Tale of TOMA, tells the tale of the last two decades, the hopes and dreams of one of the most committed sets of fans in Europe, the men who let them down and abused their trust, the financial albatross that dogged the club, the controversies, legal disputes, faux white knights and false dawns.

For the die-hard followers of Leeds United, the last 20 years have brought far too few reasons to be cheerful. There was the legendary Champions’ League campaign; 2010, when the club enjoyed the Twin Peaks of promotion from League One and putting one over the despised ‘other’ United at the Theatre of Dreams; a seemingly endless conveyor belt of precocious young talent streaming out of Thorp Arch; and the Genius that is Bielsa; but that was about all there was to celebrate.

The lot of the United fan is not a happy one, but still they come, week in and week out, with their fervent chants of ‘Marching on Together’ and ‘Champions of Europe’, hoping that this will finally be the year, but recognising in their objective moments the improbability of that dream.

Mistakes were made along the way, there always are, but the ones that were made at Leeds United were more crucial than most and did far more lasting damage. Dave has picked out the most telling of these, the 23 Mistakes and what might have happened if they’d been avoided. This could so easily have been a very different tale if a wiser course had been followed. But that would have been far, far too simple for the many-headed beast that is Leeds United Football Club!

Buy from Amazon

Every Cloud by Gary Edwards

A true story of intrigue, mystery, blackmail and skulduggery, Every Cloud tells how one man was able to bring down an English Football League club. In 1919, Leeds City player Charlie Copeland returned from active service and made a request for a pay rise, which the club steadfastly refused. During the war, guest players for League clubs were supposed to have gone unpaid for their services, though in general this FA law was overlooked as a nod to the war effort.

Copeland, however, issued the club with an ultimatum: either meet his wage demand or answer to the FA for making illegal payments. When Copeland carried out his threat and City proved reluctant to produce their books for FA inspection, a complex web of deceit and hypocrisy ensued. Subsequently, Leeds City were disbanded and expelled from the Football League, the only club before or since to receive such harsh punishment. However, out of the ashes of this fallen institution emerged another, brand new club - Leeds United.

Gary Edwards is the author of Paint it White, The Second Coat, No Glossing Over It, Fanatical and 50 Shades of White. He has been a columnist for the official Leeds United matchday programme since 2007. Gary's dedication was recognised in 2018 when the club unveiled a plaque in his honour for attending every Leeds United game - home and away, anywhere in the world - for 50 consecutive years.

Buy from Amazon

The Biography of Leeds United by Rob Bagchi

In The Biography of Leeds United, Telegraph journalist and lifelong fan Rob Bagchi writes the story of this famous club and chronicles a century of history that will educate, entertain and inform both old and new supporters. Packed with fresh stories about and from former players, managers and the money men, as well as the fans, the book is an affectionate and insightful portrait of a football club like no other.

Leeds United were founded in 1919 to revive professional football in Yorkshire's biggest city following the expulsion of their fragile and bungling predecessors, Leeds City. A century on from their formation, a club that makes a virtue out of its many ups and downs in its own anthem, has endured a turbulent existence of crushing disappointment and conflict tempered by extraordinary, often mercurial, success.

This centenary, vivid recollections of Leeds United’s greatest days, the three league championships, FA Cup, League Cup and floodlit memories of nights of European glory were celebrated throughout the vast fanbase. Elland Road icons John Charles, Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter, Eddie Gray, Tony Currie, John Sheridan, Gordon Strachan, David Batty, Eric Cantona, Gary Speed and Lucas Radebe played for teams that were both revered and reviled, contributing to the club's fame throughout the world. Don Revie's team of the Sixties and Seventies propelled the club and city to unprecedented heights. But when they reached the top, they failed to plan and there was nowhere to go but down.

The theme of the past five decades has been the struggle to get back, a story of great adventures, fleeting splendour, relegation and defiant, hard battles against authority, owners and self-sabotage.

Buy from Amazon
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