The New Era of Leeds United

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Well the launch of the new badge has well and truly hijacked Blog number 3 of 2018. Bizarrely enough however, the same themes are running through, if not parallel to my original War and Peace essay. So here’s Blog number 3, take 2.

Loyalty – there’s a thing. Traditions and respect for your history and your humble beginnings – there’s another.

We lost a great friend and mentor in Eric, and as most of you will know, I personally was absolutely outraged (that’s putting it mildly) that the Club and it’s fans did not do more to show their appreciation of this great man. Although there was some outcry at the time on facebook, there was a noticeable quiet from other fan groups. Apart from BBC Radio Leeds, I did not see anything on mainstream media. I can’t recollect anything on Look North nor Calendar despite the extraordinary long service and dedication of this one man to promote Leeds United all over the world.

This led me to think that the “New Era of Leeds United fans” were just not really that bothered about the “Old Guard”. It made me think that the old supporters groups might just be outdated now, with the “new and improved” Bi-Millenials taking centre stage. Thinking about all those “The League is more important than the Cup” comments, the cynic in me says that times have changed. The way we watch football has changed, the way we appreciate football has changed, the way we talk and react to football has changed.  In short, football has changed, and I haven’t… and frankly, I’m not going to.

In the old days, unless your dad / relative / mate’s dad / relative / friend took you to watch a game, you basically were on your own. You may have been in a group at school who went together, but if you weren’t that lucky, and if you loved the team, you just went in head first, because the long and short of it was, you just wanted to watch Leeds United. These were the days when you could walk up to the turnstile and pay on the gate or climb over the walls for the more daring older members. Later on, tearing off your little paper slip from your season ticket book became the norm once terracing areas got their own season tickets. But it didn’t matter then, because you knew that everyone else on that terrace was just there to watch Leeds United as well. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from or what you did, we were all equals – apart from the ones who had always been there. That was their spot and everyone knew it. If you went and stood in their spot, you would know about it. Terrace etiquette.

Away games were a different kettle of fish. Firstly, if you had never been to a ground before, you had to find it. This was no mean feat, as, if you remember, most grounds were in the middle of town, not these new out of town souless stadia like we have now. Walking round rows of terraced houses looking for Maine Road or Goodison Park, desperately hoping you didn’t bump into a crowd of home fans, was your first hurdle. This was of course, provided you got off at the right train station in the first place, and given that trains weren’t all that good in the old days, this was a recipe for disaster. Those paper timetables with the texture of school toilet paper were terrible if they got wet, difficult to read at the best of times. Trains though cost money, and in the 60s those who couldn’t afford it, well they just hitch-hiked, not as dangerous as it seems in those days (unless you didn’t know where Stoke was). None of this uber and googlemaps rubbish. Having said that, I think I saw something on facebook about some guy that got into a taxi to go to Stamford Bridge and the satnav took him to York. So , ho hum for technological advances.

So this is where the Supporters Clubs were a godsend. Not only did the coach pick you up, but they saved you the hassle of standing at the ticket office, hoping to God that no one could see your colours (after a few times, you stopped wearing your colours) to try and get a ticket anywhere you could. Then they would take you home, or at least to the pub on the way home, if it was open. Because all you wanted to do was to go watch Leeds United. That’s what it was all about then, watching your team. If you didn’t go and watch your team , then you never saw any football unless you caught World of Sport or Grandstand if you had a telly. None of this 600+ channels and sport on demand, every day of every week all year round, that you have nowadays. Saturday was special because Saturday meant football.

The loyalest fans went everywhere. No matter how much it cost in time and money, somehow you just did. Missing a game was unimaginable. These loyal fans weren’t celebrity fans, they didn’t tell everyone how much of a fan they were, they just went to the games and watched the 11 men on the pitch, and everyone knew it. They didn’t have famous friends, and if anything the players themselves recognised the ones that travelled everywhere, and they were proud of them. The players were proud of the fans – who’d have thought?

Nowadays, if you don’t post on social media, no one knows who you are. The loudest voices of the “fans” are those who are adept at using social media to their own ends. The ones the media take note of are the ones with all the means and the  money who organise plane fly pasts and inflated overhead projections. The ones who are famous for tweeting and retweeting and commenting on whatever late breaking news SkyTVis f**kings**t-all-one-word are peddling on their “transfer window exclusives”. Are these people the real fans, or are the real fans just those who want to go watch Leeds United? And I do mean the ones that want to watch the football, not these that want to go and do anything but watch the game. Why spend your time and money going to a game if you are just going to look at your phone for 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break and then go back on your phone for another 45 minutes? May as well just stop at home and sit on the toilet and do that. At least you won’t have to get up and go for a piss. Yes, jump up and down to celebrate when we score, but bringing in smoke bombs, having beer fights and spending the game whingeing about needing a new striker and arguing with your own fans, not funny, not clever and not Leeds. Not the Leeds of old, and as it should be, not the New Era of Leeds United.

How ironic then that Leeds United bring out a new badge that they say they have consulted with 10,000 fans on and within half an hour there are 10,000 people going on moaning that they haven’t been consulted. Although, if you remember Ridsdale said that 38,000 fans voted to move away from Elland Road to Swillington, so at least 10k isn’t that bad. How ironic that some complainents may be some of the same people who think that the Club need to move forward, away from the old days and embrace the next 100 years because the New Era of Leeds United is about bringing in new blood.  How ironic is it that some of these same people believe that the loyal fans of the last 10+ years of decline, don’t really matter (especially when it comes to getting away tickets!), because it’s about the “new” generation of fans. How ironic is it that the simple act of recognising a proper Leeds United legend goes by without a murmur, brushed under the carpet because it’s part of the “old fashioned supporters club” era and this is the New Improved Modern Era of Leeds United. How ironic is it that remembering your history, being proud of your history and honouring the traditions of the oldest footballing tournament in the world isn’t that important, but when it comes to a new badge, all of a sudden, the words tradition and history are being used like they are going out of date ( pardon the pun).

Me, The new badge is growing on me. I never liked the shield, yes, it took us to the Champions League semi final, but it is tarred. Tarred with the horrors in Turkey, tarred with the Bowyer-Woodgate mess, tarred with Ridsdale and his gold plated fish tanks, tarred with O Leary and his book and last but by all means not least, tarred by Bates and Shaun Harvey.

Good riddance.

All hail the New Era of Leeds United. On On On.

ps thanks to Fear and Loathing in LS11 for the picture ( I have tried to tag you in it but this version of wordpress isn’t having it)



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Both sides now

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

I’ve looked at this from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow – no,  I still can’t see it.

It isn’t just the football club with it’s lackadaisical attitude to the FA Cup, it’s the fans as well. The ones who think the league is more important than the Cup. They might as well just take off with the team on some money spinning Asia/Australasia/America tour on the FA Cup weekends. They might enjoy themselves more doing that, seeing as The FA Cup just isn’t relevant to them anymore. After all, it was only Don Revie who said that winning the FA Cup was the best day of his life.

It is just too easy to forget the days of the whole country grinding to a halt on Cup Final day and everyone crowding around the one telly in the street to see the game. The days when you only got 3 live games on the telly a year, the FA Cup Final, England v Scotland and occassionally the European Cup Final if an English team was in it.

Following on from my letter to the Club, here is the letter to the fans (in the loosest possible terms of my understanding of the word “fans”).

Dear Football fan

The time is drawing near for you to plan your football watching season in 2019.

If you are one of those who think the league is far more important that the FA Cup, can I please request that you book your holidays for the Cup weekends, thereby sparing the rest of us from your negative defeatist attitudes. As the FA Cup weekends are generally in winter, warmer climes are appropriate and you will reduce the demand on school holiday time for the rest of us.

In the extremely unlikely event of the Club taking the competition seriously and progressing into the later stages of the FA Cup, please can you spare us from the whingeing about not being able to get a ticket to that “glory tie”.  If your mantra is “The Cup doesn’t really matter”, this smacks of total, utter, complete hypocrisy and someone needs to slap you in the face with a cold wet fish. I wonder how many of you were clamouring for one of the 8000+ £48 tickets for Old Trafford a few seasons ago? More importantly, how many of you would admit to it?

I would also like to point out that joining in with the “January 3rd, remember the date” is also seen as hypocrisy of the highest order, please desist with immediate effect.

Losing any game is not to be taken lightly. Losing to lower league opposition, is particularly damaging to team spirit and the knock on effect of a defeat by minnows will invariably affect the performance in the subsequent games. As a fan, your objectives should always be to celebrate a win.

Yours truly

A football fan from days gone by


Shame on you for forgetting your history. Shame on you for forgetting the great Revie era. Shame on you for forgetting Side before Self. Shame on you for forgetting that it is all about for playing for the team and the pride of the shirt. Every game matters, week in, week out. That is just how it is.

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Eric Carlile RIP

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in News and Events | 0 comments

This is possibly one of the hardest things I will ever have to write, but it is impossible for the branch not to pay tribute to this fine gentleman. I hope these few words will do him justice. There have already been many tributes to this true Leeds United legend, with many more undoubtedly to come in the next few days. I thought the radio interview with Adam Pope on Radio Leeds with LUSC Co Chair Phil Beeton and friend Dave Gaertner was brilliant. It just shows the high regard that BBC Radio Leeds held for Eric, and acknowledges how important Eric was to Leeds United. Thank you Adam Pope. The photo below is the last one I took of him at the LUSC Annual Dinner last year, where he was more popular than most of the guests that had been invited, such was the respect that he commanded.

Eric Carlile was the loyalest Leeds United fan I have ever met in my entire life.

It was a honour to meet him and a priviledge to call him my friend.

He was one of the most unassuming, friendly, amenable, affable and down to earth people you could ever meet. He worked relentlessly on behalf of his fellow Leeds United fans, to make sure that we could follow our beloved club, at least until the world stops going round.

He would literally bend over backwards for any fellow Leeds fan who wanted to see a game. He was happy to have a constant stream of people at his flat picking up away tickets in the good old days when the Club respected the efforts of the LUSC. In the days of landline phones attached to the wall and relying on Royal Mail, if you desperately wanted a Leeds United ticket, Eric was The Man Who Can. He managed to maintain contacts with our famous world wide fan base (mostly by hand written letters), and was instrumental in helping Leeds United fans truly unite in all four corners of the globe.

Even when he gave up his post as LUSC Secretary, he was still a veritable feast of knowledge and would happily spend time reminiscing about the old days and commenting on the new. He was a sharp as tack and could remember virtually every game he saw and every manager, Chairman and branch secretary that he had ever met. He never had a bad word to say about anybody, even when I tried to draw him over our old Ex Owner Ken, and that takes some doing. I also had some fine conversations with him about Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

He will probably be up there now, with The Don and Billy, propping up the bar with a crafty cig and a pint in one hand and dropping his walking stick on the floor with the other, wondering what the fuss is all about.

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A January to forget

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Like the Pilot song, January – sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me. This has definitively been a January to forget. I had written a very upbeat blog just after Birmingham, but completely forget to click that publish button. Thank God I didn’t, as reading it back now, after those terrible decisions TC made yesterday, I would have looked a complete Monk, sorry fool.

This has unfortunately all stemmed from the mistake of fielding a weaker side against Newport County. You would have thought that after the buzz phrase of the decade “lessons have been learned”, has been hammered round from successive Government failures/NHS and banking crises/police f**k-ups over the last 15 years, someone would have taken a bit of notice.

Sadly not. So this is my letter. A letter that I would send if I thought the Club had any sense of humour, dignity,decorum, faith, honour in traditions etc.etc.etc . However, I think that our Club, along with the rest of the 72 other football league clubs have about as much respect for our footballing history and  traditions, as they have for the fans that pay their hard earned cash, and give up their time to travel to watch their team around the country.

Please see the section from FA Cup website ( I will attempt to attach the PDF of this just in case anyone wants to read the full rules). I had no idea that a football club has to actually apply to compete (in the loosest possible terms of my understanding of “compete”) in the FA Cup.

A Club wishing to participate in the Competition must complete the application and payment
process on or before 1 April in the season previous to the season in which such Club
proposes to compete in the Competition. A Club that is either a Full or Associate Member
of The Association who fail to pay The Association’s Membership subscriptions by 1 August
may be subject to removal from the Competition.


Dear (insert as appropriate) Football Club

The closing date for your application to play in next season’s FA Cup is looming.

Please can I request that if you are  not intending to FULLY participate in the competition, please do not bother to send in your application form.

If you have little or no respect for the history and the traditions of the oldest football tournament in the world, please do not waste your time.

If you intend on making 10 changes from your league side,  fielding your 2nd/3rd and/or youth team players, entering this competition would be a pointless exercise.

If you cannot see the value of using the Cup ties as an opportunity to develop your squad players, practice new playing systems and configurations, and see these games as a distraction from the more important league games, please desist.

If you cannot see the benefits of beating a lower league side comprehensively, both in the confidence boost from scoring and winning, and increasing the goal tally for the season, you are best to avoid the Cup.

If you choose to ignore the fact that there may be a boost to the Club revenue from full house cup ties from ticket sales and the subsequent merchandise/ retail outlets /catering streams income, that is your choice.

If you cannot acknowledge the importance of the fan experience at both home and away games, and realise that the fans that travel round the country are just as, if not more valuable, than the ones that watch on which ever random television channel decides it wants to inconvenience the travelling fans with, that is your perogative.

If this is your approach, we look forward to not receiving your application.

However, if you were simply concerned that you were going to miss the Royal wedding and had already applied for your street party licence, I fully understand. After all , moving the kick off til 5.30pm, just simply isn’t enough time to enjoy the full day of celebrations with Harry and Megan.

Yours truly

A football fan from days gone by

Smiles on the faces of Leeds manager Don Revie and club captain Billy Bremner as they hold the FA Cup which the club won in 1972 when they beat Arsenal

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Update January 2018

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 in News and Events | 0 comments

Words fail me!

After what could have been the greatest come back of the new millenium, TC thought it fit to sit back with 10 men playing against 11 thugs. After that rousing team talk at half time, we must have been playing so well, that he must have thought we still had 11 men on the pitch! Pre game everyone was whining about Lassogga and Roofe being rubbish, and even after the game people were still whining, despite three goals between them and, as I said, being down to 10 men.

The long and short of it was that TC made the wrong decisions. When Cooper got sent off, we should have instantly replaced him with another defender, we may only have gone in one goal down. But leaving Pontus, Beradi and the new guy on their own ( given the new guy, De Bock hadn’t played properly in the first team yet) was like going to a gun fight with a water pistol. Only ever going to end in tears. Apparently Millwall had said they were going to kick us out of the game. No change there then for the EFL Family Club of The Year. So just what TC was expecting was anyone’s guess.

After losing Cooper, who if I say it once, I will say it a million times, is just NOT Captain material ( bring back Bartley) for that rash challenge, it looked like game over. He was having an absolute nightmare before he went off anyway, and frankly we actually played better without him. The Secretary informs me that this will be a four match ban as this is his second red of the season, unless Leeds United try to overturn the decision, of course. It has been pointed out that if we appeal and it still stands, the ban may increase to 5 games, lucky us!

For Lassogga and Roofe to do what they did, was pretty darned good! They answered their critics, and I may be wrong, but had the crowd not been on their backs from the off, Lassogga may have had a couple more. When we hit back at Millwall they were rubbish. All we had to do was keep running at them, their defence wasn’t up to much. All our midfield had to do was hold the ball up to give time for Lassogga, Roofe and a.n other to get into space. As it transpired, all they succeeded in doing was hacking the ball out or giving it away whilst trying to pass it back to Felix. Credit where credit is due, Felix had a good game too. He pulled off some brilliant saves and he couldn’t be blamed for Millwall’s last deflected goal.

So 10th it is, bring on the cod heads!

According to the internet, seeing as the team don’t have an FA Cup game next week ( hmmmm), they are going for some warm weather training. Great preparation for coming back to a league game on Tuesday night in Hull in January! Who thinks these things up? They would be better off going to Greenland to gear themselves up for a trip to the East Coast. Since when was it ever warm in Hull? This City of Culture gubbings is clearly completely misleading some people. Off to sunny Spain, fantastic to get rewarded for losing to lower league opposition and three red cards in a month. I wonder where they would have gone if we had won? Oh wait, if we had won, it would have been a money spinning tie at home to Spurs instead and FA Cup glory. Easy choice then.

Branch Meeting

Meeting was held on Sunday January 14th. There was a minutes silence in honour of our friend and the most loyalest Leeds United fan I have ever met in my entire life, Mr Eric Carlile.

Away Games

We are currently taking bookings for Hull on Tuesday Jan 30th 7.45pm kick off and T’Blades on Saturday 10th February 12.30pm kick off.


The Membership Secretary was last seen in The Blues Bar with ex Secretary Rowson and Mr Reaveley.


The raffle draw was (finally) done for the Eddie Gray signed memorabilia. The branch have also been given a framed Leeds United shield autographed by Eddie Gray.


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