YOU WOULDN’T FANCY PLA YING THIS LOT

FourFourTwo - - HARD MEN -

In the 1960s, Don Re­vie wasn’t the only man­ager to as­sume ref­er­ees would over­look a blood­cur­dling foul early on that tested an op­po­nent’s ‘milk­i­ness’. Yet his team seemed to be in­volved most reg­u­larly, and in some no­to­ri­ous en­coun­ters – the 1963 clash against Sun­der­land that in­spired the nick­name ‘Dirty Leeds’; the 1964 bat­tle with Ever­ton which prompted ref­eree Ken Stokes to leave the pitch in dis­gust; the 1970 FA Cup Fi­nal re­play when Billy Brem­ner was kung-fu kicked by Chelsea’s Ed­die Mccreadie – they were as much sinned against as sin­ning. As Johnny Giles once said: “It was a dif­fer­ent game; much more phys­i­cal than to­day – vi­cious, even – and you ei­ther took it or re­sponded to it.”

Yet even at the time, Leeds’ cyn­i­cal bru­tal­ity seemed ex­cep­tional. In 1964, the FA called Leeds the “dirt­i­est side in the coun­try”. Though out­raged, Re­vie had him­self to blame. He built his first Leeds side around mid­fielder Bobby Collins, of whom team-mate Jack Charl­ton said: “He’d kill his mother for a re­sult”. Nor­man Hunter, skip­per Brem­ner (the sign above his dress­ing room peg read “Keep fight­ing”) and Giles, whose chest-high chal­lenge on left-back Sandy Brown ig­nited the car­nage at Good­i­son Park in 1964, were ev­ery bit as com­bat­ive.

Hunter in­sists Re­vie never told him to hurt any­one but, like many dic­ta­tors, the Leeds boss cre­ated a mi­lieu in which or­ders didn’t have to be given to be ex­e­cuted. You had to be tough to sur­vive amid the fly­ing fists and studs. The leg­end of ‘Dirty Leeds’ in­spired many op­po­nents to re­tal­i­ate early and of­ten. Paul Reaney, Terry Cooper and Hunter all had

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