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Don Revie was the football man about whom few were neutral. The Leeds United team he created was possibly the finest in the history of English league football, one of legendary endurance, it characters strong and unyeilding. Yet is remained unpopular, for many felt its voracious pursuit of honours was hallmarked by cynicism and ruthlessness.
This fascinating study of Revie, one of English football's most complex and controversial figures, examines the factors and influences that moulded him. In interviews with team-mates, the footballers he managed and others who worked alongside him, Andrew Mourant reflects on the many seemingly paradoxical aspects of Revie's nature.
After depicting Revie's childhood living on the breadline in Middlesbrough, from which the game was his great escape, Mourant traces his development through playing days with five league clubs to management of Leeds United, England and beyond. He also considers the legacy Revie left Leeds: a craving for a return to the days of glory and triumph he engineered.
It is a turbulent story of success and failure. The tragic nature of Revie's untimely death in 1989 through motor neurone disease served only to sharpen memories of his achievements. He continues to cast a shadow over Elland Road and remains the yardstick against whom all successors are judged. Amid the triumphs, near misses and traumas, his reign brought Leeds United an era of unparalleled prosperity and stability.
The story of Revie's career is one of intense dedication, willpower and pursuit of the near impossible. For some it was an inspiration; while for others its darker elements tainted the success he brought to Elland Road and all he strove to achieve for England.