According to this handy pullout guide in the current issue of The Square Ball magazine, Aston Villa’s Barry Bannan became the 54th player to join Leeds United on loan since relegation in 2004. Actually, he’s the 55th, as shortly after finishing the layout I was reminded that cover star Neil Kilkenny made one start on emergency loan prior to signing from Birmingham City.
IN THE centre pages of the brand new The Square Ball featuring an exclusive interview with Howard Wilkinson, we roll back the years to a time when a football man set the Leeds United agenda and we fans reaped the rewards.
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.
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.
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.