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Donald George 'Don' Revie, OBE, (10 July 1927 – 26 May 1989), was an English footballer who played for Leicester City, Hull City, Sunderland, Manchester City and Leeds United as a deep-lying centre forward. After managing Leeds United (1961-1974) with great success, his reign becoming known as Leeds' "Glory Years", he managed England from 1974 until 1977.

Playing career

Revie was born in Middlesbroughmarker on 10 July 1927. He lived in Bell street in Middlesbrough until he signed as a footballer for Leicester City in 1944. From there he went on to play for Hull City in 1949 (transfer fee £20,000), Manchester City in 1951 (£25,000), Sunderland in 1956 (£22,000) and Leeds United in 1958 (£12,000). The combined transfer fees paid over his career were at the time (i.e. in 1958) a record in English football.

He won six caps for England, was Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year in 1955 and won an FA Cup winners medal with Manchester City in 1956. At Manchester City the playing tactic of using a deep-lying centre forward (Revie's position, evolved from the more traditional inside right), and based on the style of the successful Hungarian national team, and in particular Nándor Hidegkuti, who invented the role, became known as the "Revie Plan".

This tactic was of enormous significance in the development of football, moving permanently from the old 2-3-5 and WM tactics to 3-3-4, then 4-2-4 and 4-3-3 tactics.

Management career

Leeds United

Revie was made player-manager in March 1961 at Leeds United. Although his tenure didn't get off to a flying start, he won the Football League Second Division within 3 years as manager and once promoted took them to second in the league and the FA Cup final in their first season in the top division. He developed the team that would by the early 1970s be the major force in English football. He was named English Manager of the Year in 1969, 1970, and 1972, and was awarded the OBE in 1970.

All in all Revie guided Leeds to two Football League First Division titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup titles, one Football League Second Division title and one Charity Shield. He also guided them to three more FA Cup Finals, one more Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final and one Cup Winners' Cup Final.

He was occasionally linked with other clubs during his tenure, most notably Manchester United in 1971 and Everton in 1973, but his loyalty to Leeds United was unwavering.


In July 1974 Revie was offered the job of England national football manager ahead of such luminaries as future Leeds boss Jimmy Armfield, but was unable to reproduce the success he had enjoyed at Leeds. England failed to qualify for Euro 1976 under his reign, and he was vilified for lying about his whereabouts during qualification for the subsequent World Cup. He also came under considerable criticism for his personal role in the sale of the England team shirt manufacturing contract to a new company, Admiral, with which he had business links. The manufacturer's trade mark logo and decorative stripes appeared for the first time on the England shirt under Revie, a change that was deeply unpopular with fans.

Middle East

In 1977 he controversially quit the role to become coach to the United Arab Emirates. The FA suspended Revie from football for 10 years on a charge of bringing the game into disrepute, which Revie successfully overturned in court. After leaving the UAE coaching role in 1980 he took over management of Al-Nasr, followed in 1984 by the Egyptianmarker club Al-Ahly of Cairo. He left within a year because his wife was ill at the time.

After football

In 1987 he revealed that he was suffering from motor neurone disease, and he died in Edinburghmarker on May 26, 1989, aged 61. Revie was cremated four days later at Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh. Even the once acerbic media slammed the FA for not sending any officials to the funeral. Those who attended were his former Leeds players, such as Allan Clarke, Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles, as well as Kevin Keegan and Lawrie McMenemy.

A controversial figure in his time, his team was criticised for its violent play and gamesmanship, most notably by Brian Clough (who like Revie hailed from Middlesbrough). Revie's reputation suffered following his retirement due to the U.A.E. scandal and also because of highly controversial allegations that Revie had attempted to bribe opposition players and managers during his career - these allegations have been made by several senior players and coaches, such as Bob Stokoe, Jim Barron, Revie's own goalkeeper Gary Sprake and more recently Frank McLintock, who also said that on the whole his memories of Revie are good ones.

Revie continues to be worshipped by the Leeds supporters and beloved by his former team. The kop at Leeds United's ground, Elland Roadmarker, is named after him. Revie was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in recognition of his impact as a manager on the English league.


In 2009, Revie was portrayed by Colm Meaney in the film The Damned United, which was themed on Brian Clough's ill-fated 44-day reign as manager of the club in 1974 following Revie's departure for the England job.


As a player

Manchester City

FA Cup

He missed the 1949 FA Cup Final for Leicester City due to a nose bleed

As a manager

Leeds United
Honour Winner Runners-up Semi-finalists
European Cup 1970
European Cup Winners' Cup 1973
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1968, 1971 1967 1966
Football League First Division 1969, 1974 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1972
Football League Second Division 1964
FA Cup 1972 1965, 1970, 1973 1967, 1968
Football League Cup 1968
FA Charity Shield 1969
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Trophy Play-Off 1971

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Leeds United March 1961 July 1974 699 365 144 190 52.2
England July 1974 11 July 1977 29 14 7 8 48.3
United Arab Emirates 1977 1980
Al-Nasr 1980 1984
Al-Ahly 1984 1985


  1. Rick Broadbent [1] 'Sprake Stands By Informed Opinion', The Times, 6 March 2006. Retrieved on 26 November 2007.
  2. James Corbett [2] 'King of the Damned', Observer Sport Monthly, 25 November 2007. Retrieved on 26 November 2007.
  3. (Decided who kept the trophy when the competition was replaced by the UEFA Cup)

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