Looking for Kitabdjian – Part 2

The Beaten GenerationThe Beaten Generation

Like many cardboard boxes under many beds in many back bedrooms, mine contains a pile of old football magazines. Some are from the 1970s. Some are French. Two reveal a secret about one of the most talked about referees in Leeds United’s history. A lot’s said about Michel Kitabdjian – that he was bribed, that he never officiated again – but one thing’s for sure: Leeds v Bayern wasn’t the only game he let spiral out of hand.

Looking for Kitabdjian – Part 1

The Beaten GenerationThe Beaten Generation

Exactly 30 years after the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich in Paris, I issued 75 limited edition T-shirts to mark the most notorious night in Leeds United’s history. The design featured an image of the referee flanked by French riot police – his whistle on pursed lips, baton beginning to bow under downward pressure. I’d never seen a photograph of referee Michel Kitabdjian’s face so I made it up. It bore a title – The Beaten Generation – that I nicked from a track by the band The The which seemed to sum up much about the night the Revie era ended for real.

It’s a Wonderful Life at Elland Road

The Beaten GenerationThe Beaten Generation

If you haven’t already, pick up the new issue of The Square Ball this Christmas and have your cockles warmed by this festive retelling of Simon Grayson’s tumultuous reign which began against Leicester City two Boxing Days ago.