Always Leeds Always Loyal: Part 2

Posted by on Oct 24, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Always Leeds Always Loyal: Part 2

Preston was a bit of a dampener then. Chances missed, hit on the break, equalising goal from a header from a guy whose total height was the sum of height difference between their defence and ours, and clear penalty not awarded to us??? Luck isn’t going our way right now, but it isn’t where we are now that matters, it’s where we are at the end of April. The injuries to Cooper and Shackleton have demonstrated our frailties in defence and midfield, but we go again, we keep the faith. Always Leeds Always Loyal.

In honesty, this is where the “Always Loyal” Part 2 bit comes in.  We do keep the faith, we do go again. We are loyal. Originally this article was meant to be half homage to Eric and his dedication to Leeds and half sarcastic snowflake sledging, but I fear the irony may well be lost on them. However, I hate wasting opportunities to cast aspersions on the less tolerant, so am just going to barrel on anyway.

Family or friends? In a Chris Tarrant type way, yes, there are people who I have met at football who I could call to ask a £1million question of, should the situation ever arise. There are one or two who win the LUSC Annual quiz, year in year out, who could probably tell me how many eggs were on Clarke’s fried breakfast the day he scored the winner at Wembley.  But you know that’s not what I mean.

Family – you can pick your friends, you can’t choose your family. In a way, my Leeds United family (and not in a My Leeds United Peter Ridsdale crap book type way) is something that I am lucky enough to have chosen. Leeds United fans are an eclectic group and I count myself very fortunate to have forged friendships, made mortal enemies of, sealed grudges (for life- not just for Christmas) and just generally had my 15 minutes of banter with the fellow faithful. Such is the way with the Leeds United International fan base over the years, regardless of language barriers, I have had the pleasure of travelling the world,  doing what I love doing, drinking and watching Leeds United.

I have been in some of the dingiest s**tholes and some downright palatial mansions in my time. Ok, possibly only a very small number of slighty more discerning establishments and loads of questionable, at best, drinking dives. That could be Dreamscape 3 – the places you’ll never forget! But, all with Leeds fans and all of this was done WAY before the advent of social media. We were brought together because of the Supporters Club. This was down to Eric.

Eric Carlile was instrumental in bringing Leeds fans together. Eric was on the board of Leeds United and until Bates decided he knew better, the Supporters Club was the best place to find the right travelling companions for even the  most discerning Leeds United fan. He matched people with branches and when he ran out of options for that, he started a postal LUSC branch. Eric spent hours hand writing – yes writing – by hand – on paper – letters replying to Leeds United fans all over the world. Eric Carlile connected people. He did what the  Zedbergs and Gaggles of this New World Order are doing, without secretly harvesting all your personal info and selling it on to the highest bidder for advertising and marketing services(alledgedly). Eric didn’t need noseybook or the titteratti to unite Leeds United fans. He united us.

Family. Like all families there are the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The Leeds United family is no exception. There will always be differences in opinion, unhealable rifts even, but everyone will always be accepted as what they are, whatever they are and you just get on with it, because they are family, we are Leeds United. There’s the clever ones who got a degree and therefore know everything and are right all the time about everything. There’s the thicker ones who may be short on brain power but more often than not make up for it in common sense and/or brawn. There are the airheads who haven’t got the foggiest what day it is and there are the sensible ones who can tell you what minute of the day it is by looking at the sun. The organised and the organisers, and the hapless and the helpless who at times genuinely make you wonder how they make it through the day.

The daft thing is that each one of them can have totally different opinions about Leeds United. The hi tech electronic device devotees who know it’s the truth because it says it on their phone and the low jack luddites who wouldn’t use the paper it was written on to wipe their own backsides. The “It’s my way or the wrong way and that’s that” dependable’s and the constantly shifting sand and stance ones, dependent only on what SkyTVisf**ings**t say. The ones who know a guy, who knows a guy and then those couldn’t care less, they’ll just turn up anyway.

The doom and gloom mongers and the permanently pessimistic aren’t necessarily any more well read than the eternally optimistic – there’s always next season –  ones. The annoyingly frank and indefinitely in-denial-ists may well be cut from exactly the same cloth. And, surprisingly enough, even  the steadfastly loyal to a heartbeat and the bandwagon jumpers have may have no particular intelligence or discriminating tendencies or mannerisms. Plus depending on how much Leeds United have been jerking people’s respective chains, they all may well be interchangeable at any given point or just plain completely indifferent. One of the longer suffering fans in the pub is still sore after they made him pay £50 up front one season to go in the old “Panini Stand” with his lad in the days of the old Lowfields. He completely fell out with them for at least two seasons, but then returned to the fold.

All different but all loyal. At the last game of the season as everyone is walking past each other, it is always “See you next season then, have a good summer”, no questions asked. It is how it is.

This is what has irked me about Centenary Week.

Leeds United is 100 years old. What makes Leeds United? Not the chairmen, not the owners, not the managers, not the players. They are mere fleeting whispers on the wind for however long they decide to stay with us or how long they last before they get sold off. What makes Leeds United? The supporters make Leeds United. Because ultimately had it not been for the supporters, there would be NO Leeds United. The Supporters Club gave rise to Leeds United from the flames of the fire sale that was Leeds City at the very start. The Supporters Club have always been here, against all odds at times, but we are still here and will be here long after this lot have cleared off.

I know there will be people reading this who think the Supporters Club is a thing of the past and times need to change. I disagree. It is the one constant. My brief history supporting Leeds has seen us go from gates of 39,000 when we were basking in European glory in the 90s, to plummeting down to under 20,000 as we fell deeper into the mire of relegation under Ken’s regime. Then as we hit Division 3, you couldn’t give your ticket away, home or away at times. But even before that, Leeds fans were fickle. In the 73/74 season the official capacity was 48,000 but, for various reasons, it was (according to the trusty Rothmans Football Yearbook) rare for a game to be completely sold out. In the early 80s, home attendances fell right down, dipping occasionally to under 10,000 but then rose back when we started winning. After promotion at the start of the 90s, support again rose, but fell like a sack of spuds the second we got relegated from the top flight, with 10,000 people vanishing in the summer of 2004, and a further 8,000 mysteriously disappeared 3 years later. Who knows where they all went. And now they’re all back. As a simple example Leeds v Millwall on 2/3/2013 attracted 19,002 hardy souls. Leeds v Millwall 30/3/2019 was 34,910. Suddenly the missing 16,000 people have decided they were interested again. How very odd.

I have seen my fair share of consortium after consortium, administrations, winding up notices, CVAs threats, liquidations, amazing share selling deals and then shares being rendered worthless, Premier cards and then 6 max per fax for away tickets (apart from the 750 tickets at Brighton , which were by written invitation only!), Bates In, Bates Out, skint sheikhs, Cellino In, Cellino Out, takeover bids, failed take over bids, RMCs, other fans groups etc.etc.etc (as the great Yul Brynner famously said). The one constant has been the LUSC.

I am disappointed that the Supporters club wasn’t more involved in the Centenary celebrations but I’m more disappointed that it became more and more a split between those who have and those who have not.

The Centenary Dinner at £200 per head. I agree, it was an ensemble of the great and the good of Leeds United, but £200 per ticket? For dinner!

The Centenary shirt, limited edition of 1919 and a snip at just short of £200. Only for them to be snapped up by the anti-fans on T’Internet in order for them to skank the “proper” supporters who just want to stick it in a frame on their wall for 300% face value. By the way, the Yorkshire Rose stands up on it’s own two feet. Get it right.

Only 10,000 Centenary programmes on the day for a sell out 35,000 crowd. The game was always going to sell out. Which of the 22,000 season ticket holders and the 10,000  gold members in their right minds, would NOT have bought a Centenary programme that day?

Matchday celebrations started at 10.30am, brilliant for the locals and people who could afford to stay overnight. Not so good for the people for whom every match is a 12 hour awayday and then had a mile trek because car parking was limited.

That new light blue shirt? Our away strip is YELLOW. Bad enough that the other one is grey and pink. Where’s the hark back to heritage in Centenary year? Probably the one and only time that you would be true to tradition and stick to your original colours would be IN THE CENTENARY YEAR.

But no. Let’s pander to the New World Order, where you’re not allowed be sacred to your roots. Where being tied to your traditions and honouring your history is a bad thing. Where you are being forced to “fit in” with globalisation and shamed for not being all available and inclusive to everyman and his dog. “Football has to change with the changing times”. Why? Football was born out of the need to find something to do in between the factory closing and the pub opening. It’s a game of the masses. The common people. Stop trying to change it. It’s bad enough that we are having Saturday afternoons taken away from us because people want everything at their own convenience. Which equates to the more money you have the more convenience you are entitled to and the less inconvenience you have to put up – kerching! Given that it was a very expensive pre season in Australia as well, how much spare money do the die hard fans have? In the immortal words of Paul Daniels – Not a lot!

But, through it all together, we remain…. Always Leeds Always Loyal



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Always Leeds Always Loyal: Part 1

Posted by on Oct 22, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

After the steady stream trickle of tempting snippets from Leeds United about what the Centenary would look like and ultimately this last weeks’ worth of actual Centenary events, I am going to add my tuppence ha’penny to the pot.

Unfortunately, having tried to write this since Sunday, there is too much material for one article. So, in true tradition of Hollywood blockbuster film franchises,  like the Tolkien Trilogy and the last two Harry Potter books, I’ll have to split it up and hope that you remember enough from the first, for the second one to make sense. Hopefully, unlike that God awful attempt at “Fantastic Beasts”, you won’t be looking at Part 2, thinking “What fantastic beasts?”. I’d rather you were standing back, saying the equivalent of “yeah, that’s how a King returns” (weird tubby dwarf and pointy eared blond barbie look-a-like notwithstanding) . I was going to use the Matrix analogy, but that just got a bit silly frankly, but the one liners and the CGI was excellent. Anyway……

Always Leeds Always Loyal: Part 1

What a great motto. Almost as good as Side Before Self Every Time. The phrase that epitomised the great Don Revie side and King Billy.

It has been a brilliant end to the Centenary Week celebrations. Starting with the unveiling of the commemorative plaque next to the Blue Plaque at Salem Chapel.

Salem Chapel, Leeds, the birthplace of the LUSC and just like Adam giving his spare rib to make Eve (look it up if you never did Christianity in RE), the birthplace of Leeds United. Then, the Centenary Dinner at Elland Road with a host of Leeds royalty, ex players and managers, a mere snip at £200 plus VAT. And then, the matchday events from 10.30am on Saturday, cumulating in a Kalvin Phillips goal,  steering us to 3 points and 2nd in the table.

Kalvin Phillips, the LUSC Sponsored Player for many managers now (since 2015 season I think and yes, we used to use managers as a measure of time). Homegrown talent who has made his way up the ranks and, fittingly enough, was presented pitchside pre Birmingham kick off (in more respects than one!) with his 2018-19 LUSC Player Of The Season Award by Honourary LUSC President, Ray Fell. Kalvin scored the winner, in front of the Kop. It’s fairytale magic, the stuff legends are made of. Minstrels will write songs and sing loudly of this glorious day and it will rest in the annals of history. The only way this could have been made any better, would have been if my old friend, and friend to just about every Leeds fan I know, Eric Carlile had been alive to see it. This win on Centenary Day is probably one of the best tributes that could be made to Eric, and to his lifelong dedication to Leeds United. The only way to top this off, would be to seal promotion to Division One in this, our Centenary Year.


Mind you, had got promoted last season and we were playing in the Premiership now, think of the bursting banks of the revenue streams and how much money we could be making in programmes and memorabilia every game against the “Big” clubs in the Premier League. We could be churning out another replica shirt for each “memorable” game against each opponent all season. Although who would buy a ripped shirt for Bournemouth? It would be Christmas Kerching every game, especially for those on T’Internet who are just buying multiple souvenirs to rip off Leeds fans who collect that sort of stuff. Plus, we’d get at least 5 minutes every weekend on Look North to go through our history against these “big” clubs. The Chairman would talk to Tanya more often than his all of his Inner Circle put together. In fact, she could be in his Inner Circle (unlikely though!). Thank Heavens for small mercies as they say, we aren’t in the same division as Port Vale to replay our first league game in Centenary Year! Well, Ken did say that he would get us out of the division, and he did, he got us relegated!


Along with the other LUSC motto “Getting Fans To Games Since 1919” , Always Leeds Always Loyal is what Leeds means to me. If anyone asks me what Always Leeds Always Loyal signifies (apart from poor orthography and lack of punctuation), it means to me, in my relatively short time as a Leeds fan, I would say friendship and family.

Over the last decades, because of the Supporters Club I have made a great many friends, and more than my fair share of enemies. Friendships forged in fire (quite literally –  incidents of fire) and bonds made in blood. Blood spilled and blood shed? Affirmative to both, my own and other peoples.

The Chairman once famously said, getting fans to riots since 1919, and in essence that is true. If the Supporters Club did an alternative dreamscape, can you imagine what would be in it? Bournemouth, Bradford, Birmingham, Chelsea in 84 (source of Ken’s bitter pill), West Brom ’82 and on a lighter note the mob of Elvises running down the hill at that end of season trip to Derby. The aforementionned were the all out wars mind, there were a few minor skirmishes, but these would make my dreamscape – and many of the oppositions Nightmarescapes.

Branch specific ones? Maybe that little knock on the door of the Aston Hotel and that pub near Liverpool Street which got really quiet all of a sudden. I am also reminded of the Defence Of Shaw and the Sandbach Standoff. Not to mention multiple traffic management incidents, Luton’s shopping precinct, a random City Centre vehicular adjustment manouvre, and of course, Mr Barraclough being extremely helpful that day at QPR after we crashed that wedding. There’s also been putting up the Christmas decorations at The Whip that year, and taking them down accidentally in Otley one Christmas Eve.

In all, many memories and in all, as they say – Happy days.

Through it all, the people who have shared it with me, have been Always Leeds and I guess, mostly Always Loyal. I’ve never given up supporting The Club, sometimes there’s been occasions when I have fallen out with Leeds United. Mainly because of the behaviour of the some of the right idiots who have been running The Club, but like the Supporters Club, I’m still here. Marching On Together.

The words to that song sum it all up, up and downs at least until the world stops going round.

Proud to say that like the LUSC, there then, here now and will still be here, whatever happens

Always Leeds Always Loyal

Part 2 will say 100 – honest



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October 2019

Posted by on Oct 11, 2019 in News and Events | 0 comments

Apologies for missing Septembers update. October 2019 will have to just be a hotchpotch.

Monthly Branch Meeting

There have been no formal meetings since August 2019. The September and October ones have been hijacked by other pressing events, so there are no minutes available for either of these mini meetings. Our next branch meeting will be Sunday November 3rd. The day after QPR at home and the day before Mischief Night. As we are British, we won’t be subscribing to the whole Americanisation of celebrating Halloween as a “special” day, but if anyone has any chocolate (as long as it isn’t that Ferrero Rocher!) left over, you are most welcome to bring it along. That “Trick or Treat” lark is just an excuse to hike the prices up of sweets and chocolate for two weeks before October 31st. It’s just another ruse to waste your money and another opportunity to get your kids addicted to more crap sugar, although given all the laws we are going to be subject to from the fun police, it probably won’t be proper sugar and chocolate anyway. It’ll be some vegan, chemical sugar substitute that in decades to come, some scientist will tell us that it induced hyperactivity in kids and given a whole generation long term health problems.

No, there won’t be any high jinks that evening unless someone decides to knock on the door and runs away before The Chairman opens it. I have to say that “Ring” device or them video door cameras are just sucking the joy right out of Mischief Night.


Mysteriously, we are still getting requests for people wanting to join. I honestly don’t know why as everyone knows by now that the Supporters Club’s can’t get tickets like we used to. I think The Chairman’s popularity on social media must be having an impact. Either that or people are desperate to see what we post on the closed facebook group – which frankly isn’t very much apart  from departure times. Either way, it is good that more people are wanting to join the branch, as it means that we can put more money towards Ryan’s sponsorship package bill and of course any extra funds will go towards the Annual Harrogate Branch End Of Season BBQ. Everyone will get a very smart free LUSC Centenary branch wallet for their membership cards (maybe that’s why people are joining up) provided you send The Membership Secretary a stamped addressed envelope. Anyone who hasn’t had their membership card yet, please be patient as their has been a bit of a backlog.

Away Games

There have been away games and we have struggled with tickets – The End

Seriously, thanks to everyone who has been trying for their own tickets on ticket selling day. It has been a bit of a nightmare this season, probably worse than last and this interest in away games has been unprecedented in my lifetime, frankly. We are told that it is because Leeds as a city is getting bigger and because of that and the “Northern Powerhouse” the profile of Leeds United is increasing. Because of all of this, the media profile is getting bigger and so more people are turning into fans of Leeds United. And that, ladies and gentlebeans, is why away tickets are getting harder and harder to come by.

Of course Leeds United have never had such a big fan base before this season right?

The biggest attendance at Elland Road is??? 15th March 1967, FA Cup 5th Round Replay 57,892.  I’ll spell it out, fifty seven thousand, eight hundred and ninety two people in the year nineteen sixty seven. Yes, it was the FA Cup – yes, that’s right a CUP game. And it was only the 5th round, not even the quarter final or semi. And to top it all off – it was a REPLAY. That’s right, a replay, this is something that used to happen when there was a draw at the end of the 90 minutes of normal play. Games used to be replayed until you got a result. I think the record goes to Alverchurch v Oxford City (gonna check with The Chairman) – they did 6 ties in 1971. This was in the “old days” where there was a bit of pride in the game, before the FA decide to get rid of replays to “ease fixture congestion”. “Fixture congestion” to “rest” players that were worn out from all these European games that they all played, seeing as the squads were so small that they had to field the “top” players all the time and no “big” club would ever field a weakened team in the League or FA Cup, ever. Plus NONE of the “big” clubs ever went to the Far East, Middle East, USA or Australasia to play in money spinning  “friendlies”, did they?

I’ve gone off on a complete tangent, apologies. Anyway. Everyone knows what I am getting at. We all know the reason why people have started wanting to go Leeds United away games again. The branch will run travel for as long as we can dependant on whether we get tickets or not. Please try order your own. Departure details will be published on the closed facebook group.

Website and social media

As soon as I get time, the gallery will be updated with photos etc. Eric Ware was in the Derby programme on the LUSC page, if anyone else has an interesting article, please get it to us as soon as. By the way Eric was in that 57,892 crowd at Elland Road that day.

The closed facebook group has had the first cull. Anyone else in the group who hasn’t filled a form in will be removed shortly. It’s pretty simple, join the branch, join the closed group. The public page will remain public and facebook will do whatever it does to get some sort of revenue into it’s funds by suggesting adverts or links to clickbait. I think it has asked me to try get more likes to the page or something. I’m not really bothered, so I’m not going to. If anyone posts anything on there I don’t like, I’ll delete it anyway.


Ryan Edmondson

Ryan continues to be our sponsored player. He had gone from U23 top goal scorer at Leeds United to having the Number 9 shirt for England Under 19 team. To time of writing, Ryan has got 3 England caps and scored a goal. Whilst he still hasn’t got his 1st team call up, hopefully Bielsa has a plan and realises than whilst Eddie has got some skills, Ryan might be a better sub or even partner up front with Patrick Bamford. Two up front at home, come on Marcelo.

Centenary Merchandise

It’s flying off the shelves and hopefully it will all be sold by Christmas. All items are just one offs and even though there has been interest, there will be no more merchandise once it all gets sold. Sorry.


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