Definitive History of Leeds United - The website, the books and the history 29/12/21
With Super Leeds: The Second Title - Stokoe, Clough and a Paradise Lost published on Christmas Eve, it's a good time to look back on the development of the mightyleeds.co.uk website and the books that it has spawned over the last six years.
mightyleeds.co.uk is the life's work of Dave Tomlinson and is intended to provide the definitive history of the club and capture all the stories, scandal and gossip of the last 120 years.
Over the last five decades, Dave has developed an encyclopaedic knowledge about the club and its history. He has written five books about Leeds United and contributed to a sixth, with more on the way.
Favourite Player? 'Norman Hunter.'
Most memorable game? '2019 Play-off against Derby at Elland Road - the atmosphere was electric.'
Best moments? 'The FA Cup final in 1972 - Clarke One-Nil! The championships in 1974 and 1992. Getting back to the Premier League.'
What excites you about Leeds United? 'It's the passion, the raw emotion, the spirit, the all in it together, us against the world mentality which grabs you and never lets you go ... there's no other club in the world like ours.'Dave Tomlinson is a lifelong supporter of Leeds United, despite hailing from the Midlands. He grew up at a time when Leeds were seen as either Beautiful Losers or Dirty Leeds, depending on your inclination.
He remembers to the day when he caught the Leeds bug: 18 March 1970, when they faced Standard Liege at Elland Road in the old European Cup. Dave watched the game on his parents' little black and white television and was struck by how unlucky Leeds were, pounding away at the Belgian defence but having to be content with a single goal from a Johnny Giles penalty.
The course of the next month sealed it for Dave as Leeds stumbled through their infamous Treble heartbreak experience.
He established his mightyleeds.co.uk website in 1999, with the aspiration of it being, in his words, 'the definitive history of the club'. It's certainly an in-depth piece of work, revealing an amazing level of research and capitalising on Dave's encyclopaedic knowledge of the club and its doings.
In 2014, Amberley Publishing approached Dave with the idea of a book about the history of the club and a year later out came Leeds United: A History covering the period from the emergence and fall of Leeds City right up to the start of the 2015/16 season and the appointment of Uwe Rosler (remember him).
That same year, Dave also contributed the words for The Pinnace Collection - Leeds United by Paul Days, a pictorial record of United in the 1920s.
In 2016, Dave worked on another title for Amberley with Billy Bremner: 50 Defining Fixtures, a loving recollection of the games that defined Bremner.
In 2019, he published his most ambitious book thus far - Leeds, Money, and Misery Me: Twenty Years of Hurt, 23 Mistakes and the Tale of TOMA. This book tells the tale of the last two decades, the hopes and dreams of one of the most committed sets of fans in Europe, the men who let them down and abused their trust, the financial albatross that dogged the club, the controversies, legal disputes, faux white knights and false dawns.
In 2020, he went back to the 1950s and 1960s to tell the tale of Dirty Leeds: The First Title: Don Revie, Harry Reynolds and the Team of the Sixties. Out of the filth and hopelessness of post-war West Yorkshire came Don Revie and Harry Reynolds who drove their handcrafted football club from the depths of the Second Division to the become the biggest club in the country, winning the league title in 1969. NOW AVAILABLE IN HARDBACK.
In February 2021 Dave published his fifth book about Leeds United, Bielsa's Leeds: Redemption - Chasing the Dream. It covers the period from 2012 to 2021 and how Leeds United finally found stability under the ownership of Andrea Radrizzani and returned to the Premier League under the inspiring leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, one of the most revered coaches in the world. NOW AVAILABLE IN HARDBACK.
September 2021 brought the sixth book, Leeds United in the 21st Century published via Amberley Publishing. It tells the tale of how Leeds moved from Champions' League glory in 2001 and being Everybody's Favourite Other Team through financial collapse, relegation, liquidation, disastrous changes of ownership and on to the recovery, inspired by Radrizzani and Bielsa and how we took the Premier League by storm. Viva El Loco!
In December 2021, Dave published his seventh book, Super Leeds: The Second Title - Stokoe, Clough and Paradise Lost. Picking up the story from Dirty Leeds: The First Title in 1969, the story covers 1969/70, that Treble-chasing heartbreak, moving through the transformation from Dirty Leeds to Super Leeds in 1972, on to the glorious second championship in 1974 and then into the post-Revie collapse. Told through the eyes of United fans, Revie and the United directors, this mythical tale runs through to the denouement with relegation in 1982.
Dave has also made a number of YouTube videos about Leeds United which you can find on his Leeds, Money and Misery Me channel.