Contact Me - What's New on the site - Newsline

Home Page for The Mighty Mighty WhitesRead about the history of football in LeedsRead season by season reviews of the fortunes of Leeds United and CityRead about some of the most memorable games in the history of Leeds United and CityRead about the men who have managed Leeds United and CityRead about some of the great players who have turned out for Leeds United and CityCheck out some of the books which have been written about Leeds United and City
Matches
10 January 1970 - Chelsea 2 Leeds United 5
First Division - Stamford Bridge - 57,221
Scorers: Clarke, Cooper, Giles pen, Lorimer, Jones
Chelsea: Hughes, Webb, McCreadie, Hollins, Dempsey, Harris, Cooke Hudson, Osgood, Hutchinson, Houseman
Leeds United: Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Clarke (Bates), Jones, Giles, Madeley

printer friendly version The Yorkshire Evening Post of 10 January 1970 features United's 5-2 victory at Stamford Bridge

During the late Sixties, Leeds United developed bitter rivalries with a number of the major teams of the day: Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United were involved in some hard fought battles, but it was the confrontations with the so-called Southern softies that really brought out the worst in the Yorkshiremen.

Leeds played out a number of spiteful clashes with Arsenal, but matches against Chelsea were something else, generally guaranteed to be among the most fiercely contested in the English game. There was a terrible enmity between the two sides but that was as nothing next to the ill feeling between followers of the two clubs.

Chelsea supporters harboured a pathological hatred of United, despising them for the win at all costs attitude that had become their trademark. Don Revie had espoused a new attacking philosophy during the autumn of 1969, but it would take far more than that for Southern crowds to allow bygones to be bygones.

Rick Glanvill in Chelsea FC - The Official Biography: "It always rears its ugly head, even when we're nowhere near them. As predictably as the late plod of Corporal Jones' foot, when Leeds fans gather in any stand, they will sing their song about their Cockney rivals. 'Fetch your father's gun and shoot the Chelsea scum'. Chelsea fans still sometimes reciprocate with an elegy to the hatred of Leeds over the tune of 'The Dambusters March'. We know that the 1970 FA Cup final was dirtier than Paris Hilton's home video collection, but the unmitigated mutual hatred between Leeds and Chelsea started before that.

"Perhaps we should blame the M1. The extension from Aston to Leeds was completed in July 1967 and it was almost as if the new infrastructure made loathing, as well as other goods, easier to transport. Three months before that was the match that may have ignited the whole thing. But by then there had already been several bouts in the classic Yorkshire grit versus flash Cockney encounter.

"There was a fifth round Cup epic in 1952, settled at Villa Park with a Monday afternoon kick off at 2.30 pm. Boisterous youth product Bobby Smith was 'a lively spearhead' and gave celebrated Welsh centre-half John Charles a nightmare game. Charles twice slipped up for Smith, wearing borrowed boots, to capitalise. It ended 5-1 but the ferocious tackling of the first replay at Stamford Bridge had forced Chelsea into seven changes for the subsequent League game. Nearly 150,000 fans watched the three games - and winced.

back to top

"Early in World Cup year, 1966, the fourth round draw brought the two foes together again. The Times enthused, 'Chelsea and Leeds are two of the most fancied teams for Wembley. Heaven help those who live in the Fulham area who own a motorcar; heaven help those who wish for a ticket on 12 February. It should be a taut match. The winner should reach Wembley, and the winner may well be Chelsea.'

"The winner definitely wasn't going to be football.

"There were chaotic scenes outside Stamford Bridge before the game with a 57,000 crowd there to see the previous year's beaten finalists lose 1 -0 to a Tambling strike. The police dealt with it harshly. 'One will hope,' said The Times, 'that the expression cross swords will prove groundless in the sense of bared sheaths.'

"At times Chelsea were left 'spinning like a top' by Leeds' fluid formation, Madeley acting as a deep-lying centre-forward to cover Osgood - who 'drifts about as silently and elusively as a smoke ring'. Boyle and Bremner Chelsea keeper Peter Bonetti retrieves the ball after referee Ken Burns disallows peter Lorimer's goal in the FA Cup semi final in 1967 - United players mob Burns in protestwere booked. Bonetti made three or four world class saves. The template was established.

"The following year, the humour of the FA Cup draw became vindictive. Leeds and Chelsea met in the 1967 semi final at Villa Park with 62,378 in attendance. With major semi final wins proving elusive, the game was billed as manager Docherty's 'triumph of mind over matter, of willpower over the perpetual inertia that once reigned at Stamford Bridge'. On the day he sacrificed brilliance for a backbone and changed the forward line, exploiting the absence of broken toe victim Jackie Charlton. Now came the compellingly disappointing Hateley's greatest triumph: his headed winner from Cooke's run and cross.

"There were other little skirmishes. McCreadie snapped at Giles' heels. 'The tackling throughout was frighteningly ruthless,' thought one reporter, 'and too often retaliation was penalised while provocation escaped unseen. Shirts, elbows and studs were used and abused; to be caught in possession was like standing in the path of a stampede.'

"Then came a controversy … As Chelsea tired, Leeds laid siege to Bonetti's goal and twice put the ball over the line in melees. The first was undoubtedly offside, but it came as a great relief to Chelsea when the second, a thunderbolt from the hammer boot of Lorimer, did not stand. The referee ordered a retake, because he had been directing Chelsea's wall back the full ten yards when it was taken, to the fury of Leeds' players. The Blues then held out and, at the end, Docherty danced a provocative jig of joy."

The ill feeling was stoked up again during United's 2-0 win in the League at Elland Road in September 1969, as reported by Phil Brown for the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I do not want to see another game like Saturday's. These are two good sides at their best ... but the calibre of such teams is largely wasted when they set their teeth and play as venomously as that. Late and early tackles, too vehement charging, abounded. I could admire the physical effort and stamina of both, and the pluck, and I will defend a heavy fair charge to the death. It is as much part of football as anything else, like Charlton standing on opponents' goal lines. But United and Chelsea both overshot in zeal, and the football of which both are capable came only briefly into sight."

Charlton and Clarke for Leeds, and Webb, Harris, Houseman and Birchenall of Chelsea all sustained injuries in the game and were out for several games.

While Chelsea generally had the Indian sign over United in the Cups (Leeds have never beaten the Stamford Bridge side in a knock out competition), it was the Whites who had dominated recent League encounters, winning five and drawing three of the previous eight. That run included a 7-0 slaughter at Elland Road in October 1967.

The First Division clash at Stamford Bridge in January 1970 took place with Leeds second and Chelsea third in the table, both chasing pace setters Everton.

United went into the game in fine form. They had lost only once since their League Cup exit against Chelsea in October, and had won seven of their previous eight games; their starting eleven was unchanged for the fifth successive fixture. The Whites' defence had lost the impregnability of their championship season, but they had nevertheless conceded just 26 goals in 36 games since the start of the campaign.

back to top

Chelsea were also in a good spell, scoring 14 goals in winning the previous four matches and home advantage was fancied to give them the upper hand. Their only real concern was the absence of goalkeeper Peter Bonetti with a sore throat - Bonetti had given a series of match winning displays against Leeds over recent seasons and would be a hard act to follow for Scotland Under-23 keeper Tommy Hughes. There had been speculation that Chelsea would have to call up the teenager Davey, but in the end Hughes was adjudged fit enough to start; he must have regretted that decision.

The Blues were also able to field two exciting young forwards: Ian Hutchinson and Alan Hudson.

21-year-old Hutchinson was a physical centre-forward who had been signed from Cambridge United in July 1968 for £5,000. He had earned a brief run in the side in 1968/69 and in the current season was on his way to 22 goals from 35 starts. He was to die an untimely death aged just 54 in 2002, when the Independent paid him this tribute: "Brave almost beyond belief and ferociously aggressive, he paid a daunting penalty for his courage, being invalided out of the game following a grisly catalogue of injuries when he should have been in his prime. When the rangy six-footer was rampaging through top quality defences like a human battering ram, he had seemed indestructible. But, of course, he wasn't.

"Though he was never fêted as an outright star in the manner of fellow Blues Peter Osgood, Charlie Cooke and Alan Hudson, Hutchinson was hailed as a talisman by those illustrious comrades. Such was his willingness to scrap for every ball, he offered the ultimate get out for team mates under pressure. Hudson, for example, described Hutchinson as a midfielder's dream, a selfless performer who could turn bad passes into good ones, though arguablyAlan Hudson, the fashion-conscious 70s idol with his collection of kipper ties it was Osgood who benefited most from his close friend's abrasive style. Hutchinson was the first of Osgood's co-strikers to take on the role of target man, thus creating space and time for his infinitely more artistic partner to prosper.

"Yet for all his oxlike strength and his evident relish in crashing through tackles which would floor most men, it would be unjust to dismiss Hutchinson as a mere clodhopper. Though he could look ungainly, even clumsy, there were moments when he would reveal a delightfully delicate touch on the ball. In addition he offered formidable pace, he was majestic in the air - like all outstanding headers, such was the precision of his timing that he created the optical illusion of seeming to hang in space while waiting for a pass to arrive - and he packed a savage shot in either foot. Then there was the Hutchinson speciality, a prodigiously long throw, which was once measured at some 112 feet and which, due to its power and remarkable variety of trajectory, was as valuable an attacking weapon as any corner kick."

Even more well regarded was 18-year-old midfield playmaker Alan Hudson. CFC.net: "Alan Hudson is a true football icon. Revered by old school Blues supporters and the schoolboy generation to which I belonged at the time he graced the hallowed Stamford Bridge turf, the very mention of his name conjures up memories of the kings of the Kings Road era Chelsea side that brought panache, verve and flair to the English game during the glamorous years that followed the national side's World Cup triumph of 1966."

The January 1970 clash at Stamford Bridge saw United facing the usual hostile environment. Terry Brindle wrote in the Yorkshire Post of the day's passionate atmosphere, "Leeds United, who still smart under a lingering reputation which denies their skill and emphasises their toughness south of the Wash, were as keen to win friends as they were to influence their championship claims at Chelsea. ... Chelsea's supporters ... booed when Leeds went into the field, jeered when Clarke and Jones went down injured, hissed Hunter and Charlton long and loud when inflammatory fouls had ceased to have any bearing on the match. Leeds were as tough and uncompromising as only they can be, but dirty? Not by any yardstick acceptable in the North. Chelsea were no saints. Clarke hobbled off with a gashed shin ... and is out of the reckoning for England's match on Wednesday. Giles had a bruised calf, treatment of which could, like Clarke's injury, be 'a long job' according to the Leeds trainer, Mr Les Cocker."

Rain fell incessantly in the hours leading up to kick off, leaving the playing surface heavy with rain. It had stopped about half an hour before the start, but there were standing pools of water in parts of the pitch and the conditions meant that mistakes were inevitable, making for some exhilarating football.

back to top

Billy Bremner won the toss and his team were immediately onto the offensive. Chelsea fought back, however, and went close. A long throw in from Ian Hutchinson offered a chance and Gary Sprake was forced into a save. Another Hutchinson throw brought Peter Houseman the opportunity to shoot through a ruck of defenders, but it was United who took a 15th-minute lead.

Bremner played a smart through ball for Mick Jones to chase. The burly centre-forward got to it and put in a shot which was blocked by Hughes, flying out wide of the right hand post. It was only a temporary reprieve - the master goal poacher, Allan Clarke, was lurking on the right spot to hook the loose ball home with an assured finish. Allan Clarke volleys home from an acute angle to give United the lead at Stamford BridgeHe finished on the ground behind the net as he saluted the opening goal.

Shortly afterwards Hughes snatched a Lorimer centre off Clarke's head and set the Blues away. Chelsea could have equalised when Reaney miscued a clearance across his own area, but David Webb drove the opportunity well wide with a real defender's effort.

The opening goal had raised the temperature and there was an unpleasant clash between Hutchinson and Norman Hunter with the Leeds man receiving a stern lecture from referee Bill Gow.

Again the home men fluffed an opening when Charlie Cooke fired wide from a lay back by Peter Osgood, but it was United who almost snatched the second goal around the 35 minute mark. Clarke hammered home a shot from the penalty spot, but the referee had already stopped the game for a foul by Jones on Hughes. Leeds paid a high price for, as he was in the act of shooting, Clarke fell victim to a desperate late tackle and had to limp off.

Before Mick Bates could come off the subs' bench to replace Clarke, the sides were on level terms. John Hollins burst from midfield and stormed through the heart of the United defence with the ball; from 15 yards, he fired in off the crossbar, raising a tumultuous cheer all round Stamford Bridge.

Four minutes before the interval Chelsea took the lead. Hutchinson had the opportunity for another of his whirlwind long throws and it allowed Osgood to swivel into an unstoppable volley from an acute angle.

It was a real shock to the United system and for a while they were in some disarray. Hunter received another reprimand as the game threatened to boil over. If not for "the fine positioning of Sprake and the snaking legs of Charlton" (Brindle) the visitors might have been even further behind when Don Revie gave his half time team talk. TheHarris, Hughes and Dempsey are helpless as this shot from Allan Clarke (at the very bottom) enters the Chelsea net to give United the lead manager used the opportunity to shake things up, relying on the tactical switch that he had used so often in the past when United were up against it: he threw captain Bremner up front and sent his men out into all out attack.

The move reaped an almost immediate harvest, but not before Sprake had to make a point blank stop from Hutchinson to turn the ball round the post. That was merely the prelude to a United revival and seconds later, Bremner set them away, feeding Cooper on the edge of the area. The left-back volleyed home a fine equaliser, though Hughes should have done better with his attempted save.

The tide had turned in stunning fashion, and United soon restored their lead. After 57 minutes, with Leeds exerting heavy pressure, Blues centre-back John Dempsey was panicked into handling the ball in his area and referee Gow awarded Leeds a penalty. Johnny Giles gave Hughes no chance with a cool spot kick.

There was no holding the Yorkshiremen now and within a couple of minutes the advantage was 4-2. Lorimer thundered into a low shot which beat the dive of Hughes. It entered the net with the onrushing Bremner not even needing to apply the finishing touch.

Three more minutes and United had a fifth, with Jones scoring from close range after a Bremner header. Hughes again looked at fault, standing aghast afterwards as Jones gleefully recovered the ball from the back of the net.

The Londoners' cause was not helped by defender Webb's insistence on making his way ambitiously into the Leeds half at every opportunity. His absence gave the razor sharp United forwards acres of space and they ruthlessly exploited every opportunity that came their way.

back to top

Leeds' storming start to the second half left the home men shell shocked. Chelsea had no answer for the urgent thrusts of the visitors. It was the perfect example of what Don Revie had aspired to when he promised to let his men off the leash at the start of the season.

The performance had the football writers drooling with admiration. The BBC's cameras were on hand to catch the game for Saturday night's Match of the Day audience and recorded Leeds United at their clinical best. In one spell of 17 minutes, the Whites earned more plaudits from the neutrals than they had done in the preceding five years. They were unstoppable, effortlessly dissecting Chelsea. Goalkeeper Hughes was roundly panned for a series of errors, but he was given scant protection and it would have mattered little who was in the Chelsea goal that day - few would have been able to deny United their day of glory.

The former Clydebank keeper only made 11 League appearances in his six years at Stamford Bridge and the disaster against United effectively ended his Chelsea career - he signed for Aston Villa in May 1971, later spending time at Brighton and Hereford.

United had enjoyed higher scores earlier in the season, 10-0 and 6-0 against Lyn Oslo in the European Cup, 6-1 against Nottingham Forest, but those victories were achieved against weak opponents - the win at Stamford Bridge was something else, achieved against championship rivals who boasted some of the finest players in the country, a team that had been outplaying United. Yet in the finalMick Jones recovers the ball after scoring United's fifth past a disgusted Tommy Hughes analysis they could do nothing to deny Don Revie's men on a day when everything clicked into place.

Brindle: "The crest of noise on which Chelsea had ridden died away as suddenly as the team's challenge. Leeds went about their plunder of two points in an atmosphere reminiscent of soccer's version of rififi - each man uncannily aware of his own role and the role of his colleagues. Giles guided passes through the flimsy Chelsea defence from 30, 40, 50 yards - you could almost hear his brain tacking out new ploys to frustrate the opposition - Bremner became almost arrogant in his ability to create space up front. That pair did as much with the side of their feet and a flick of the hips as many of Chelsea's players did with much hustle and bustle all afternoon."

Geoffrey Green in the Times: "lf anyone was inclined to question that Leeds United are the most efficient and consistent side in the League, their doubts must have been dispelled and their eyes opened at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Chelsea, unbeaten at home all season and challenging for the title, were given a sharp rap over the knuckles and a lecture into the bargain. Leeds as a side are as hard as teak, and tongued and grooved through and through. It is difficult to drive a nail into them.

"Completely professional in all they do, they now revealed what they have picked up in hard European competition over recent seasons - the ability to play possession football when necessary, or to use the full length and breadth of the pitch, and especially a heavy, muddy one as was Stamford Bridge on this occasion. In addition, they continue to have the gift of snatching goals out of thin air almost from nothing, like a conjurer, and the knack of punishing the tiniest mistake to the full.

"In 17 remarkable minutes after the restart they turned the game upside down and tore the Chelsea defence to shreds ... Leeds rubbed it in ruthlessly and shut Cooke and Osgood out of the game while those two mighty atoms, Giles and Bremner pulled all the strings for a brilliant victory."

Andrew Mourant: "On 10 January a television audience of millions saw one of the most prodigious performances that Leeds United had ever given. The opponents were Chelsea and Leeds' show was played out before a largely hostile audience of 57,221, at Stamford Bridge. The Londoners were a good side, in form and in third place; and sufficiently inspired by the occasion to take a 2-1 lead by half time. No-one could have envisaged what was in store for them in the 45 minutes that followed. Leeds marshalled their forces and dictated the game in a manner that had many, including television commentators, groping for words, as they played with a power, assurance and authority that the English game had rarely seen. The 2-1 deficit had turned into a 5-2 victory by full time. Chelsea had not disintegrated; they had simply run into a force which, that afternoon, neither they nor probably any other team could have survived."

back to top