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Leeds United in the 1980s and 1990s : From Wilderness Years to Wilko

Leeds United in the 1980s and 1990s : From Wilderness Years to Wilko

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For Leeds United fans of a certain age, the 1980s are the dark ages, the wilderness years between the collapse of the team that Don Revie built and the rebirth brought to Elland Road by Howard Wilkinson in the 1990s. That was when Leeds United were, for a time, once again the best team in the country. It was before Wilkinson sold Eric Cantona to the hated Manchester United and then lost his way and his job.

Success came too early and too quickly for Wilkinson's own good. When the Caspian Group bought out the club in 1996 they had eyes only for George Graham and gave him the chance to redeem himself from his 'bung' controversy. When Graham high-tailed it off back to London, David O'Leary succeeded him and built a brand-new and very exciting team around his 'Babies'.

The 1980s were grim and grey days when Margaret Thatcher held sway. Leeds United imploded before Wilkinson came to lead the club back to the Promised Land and a completely unexpected league championship triumph in 1992. And how we partied when Wilko delivered the Holy Grail.

This is the tale of how Don Revie's paradise was lost, how Leeds collapsed into the Second Division, almost made it to the FA Cup final and promotion in 1987 before Billy Bremner was sacked and chairman Leslie Silver recruited Howard Wilkinson from Sheffield Wednesday to develop a new legacy. These are the years when the First Division gave way to the Premier League, when money and television changed everything and football became a business rather than the people's game. This book covers the period from 1980 to 2000 when Leeds United crashed and burned and rose from the ashes to become the last English First Division champions.
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