Leeds United team photograph, 22nd July 1968
Name: Leeds United team photograph, 22nd July 1968
Description: Leeds United team photograph, 22nd July 1968
Collection: Photopress
Location: WYAS Leeds
Reference: WYL5000/WYAS45
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service
This page documents the colourful history of The Whites from 1904 to the present day.

The origins of Leeds United Football Club lie in the Leeds City team (set up in 1904) that disbanded in 1909. Leeds United were accepted into the Football League in 1920 and began playing in the Second Division. Manager Arthur Fairclough, formerly at Barnsley, took the team up to the First Division by 1922 but the pressure proved too much for the young club and relegation followed three seasons later.

The interwar years after Leeds United's debut decade in the Football League saw the club drop in and out of the top two divisions. Leeds legend John Charles was signed in the late 1950s, which paved the way for manager Don Revie and his team of stars in the 1960s including Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Norman Hunter.

The 'Revie' team began to build a reputation as a bunch of tough, yet highly skilled players. Achievements during Don Revie's time as Leeds' most successful manager (1961-1974) include two First Division Championships, the Second Division title, an FA Cup victory, a League Cup Final win, a Charity Shield win and several European trophy successes. In 1969, Leeds United won the League Championship by a record 67 points.

The team's return to Division Two came in 1982 and they were not return to the top flight for another eight years under the wing of Howard Wilkinson. A new golden era was to emerge with First Division Championship and a League Cup final achieved within the following six years. The appointment of David O'Leary in 1998 brought through a new generation of exciting players including Alan Smith, Jonanthan Woodgate, Ian Harte and Stephen McPhail, and also a new generation of strength in the Premiership and in Europe.

However, financial problems brought heartbreak to the United fans in 2007 when the club went into administration. Many valuable players were sold, and the club was penalised further by a ten point deduction and relegation. Having ridden a stormy period over the past four years, current manager Simon Grayson took the team to the Championship at the end of the 2009/10 season. In their first season after relegation, Leeds narrowly missed out on the play-offs to the Premier League, giving hope to the players and their fanbase. It is not known what the future holds for Leeds United but its supporters will be waiting with baited breath to see whether their team will make it back to the top flight, where they believe they belong.

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