Few teams characterize a decade like Don Revie's Leeds United side of the 1970s. Revie took a side in danger of dropping into the third tier of English football and made them Champions. Love them or hate them, you couldn't ignore Leeds; under Revie they were a force of nature.
Revie assembled a squad who would become legends in West Yorkshire. He paired skill with aggression and determination and forged a team no-one wanted to play against. To this day the names of that side are revered – Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton, Eddie Gray, the list goes on and on… More than just a team, Revie's players were more like a family. They functioned perfectly as a unit and each player would do anything for a team-mate. They didn't care what other people thought of them. This was mistaken for arrogance but in truth it was more like solidarity between team-mates.
Leeds won two first division titles under Revie and that famous all-white strip could often be seen at Wembley on FA Cup final day. Critics nick-named them "dirty Leeds" but you don't become one of the best teams in the country with simple bully-boy tactics. Leeds had skill in abundance to go along with their tough approach. Few have ever hit a ball as hard and true as Peter Lorimer, the elusive Eddie Gray tormented defences from the wing and even Billy Bremner, so often thought of as just a midfield enforcer, was a gifted passer with an eye for goal.
After the Revie era, Leeds' fortunes took a downturn and the club spent most of the 1980s in the Second Division. Things turned around with the appointment of Howard Wilkinson in 1988. Wilkinson set about building a new team of legends at Elland Road, signing players like Gordon Strachan, Lee Chapman and Mel Sterland and winning promotion in 1990. In their first season back in the top flight Wilkinson's men finished fourth and after strengthening the squad further he took them all the way to the title in 1992. Gary McAllister, David Batty and Gary Speed are just three of the players who rose to prominence under Wilkinson.
Under David O'Leary Leeds enjoyed another period of success. With a young side full of energy and promise United became a fixture in the top-five and in 2001 made it to the semi-final of the Champions League, where they lost out to Valencia. In the aftermath of that defeat the club were dogged by financial troubles and again dropped down the leagues. But with such a dedicated following and rich history few doubt that Leeds' time will come again.