The Square Ball: Season 29, Issue 07

The seventh issue of The Square Ball’s 29th season is available to buy now online, or from one of our friendly sellers outside Elland Road before home games, after first going on sale before we play Swansea with/without Daniel James.

£1.50 for the digital version or £2 (plus postage) for a paper copy gets you 72 full-colour pages of brilliant Leeds United related words and pictures, from some amazing writers, artists and photographers.

If you want to try before you buy, this article by Dave Guile, about Aapo Halme disguised as a tree, is free to read.

TSB is a proper magazine, for Leeds fans, that was shortlisted for the eighth year in a row for The Football Supporters’ Federation Fanzine of The Year Award. We’ve won twice but didn’t win again this year (congratulations to Doncaster’s Popular Stand), but we’re the only fanzine to have been shortlisted every year of the award, so it’s got to be worth two quid, right?

For one pound a month digital subscribers get a pdf version of the mag, all new articles online, and access to more than 80 back issues, going back to 2009.

Subscribers can read all the new articles on our website, handy on the phone on the bus to the match or when you’re skiving at work.

Just log in and go to Subscriber Articles from the menu, or follow the links below.

Don’t forget we have loads of quality merch for sale, from hoodies and sweaters to t-shirts and mugs with ¡LEEDS CARAJO! on them. Get all that here.

Thanks as always for supporting The Square Ball — we hope you enjoy reading the mag. ◉

(cover artwork by Lee Shackleton)

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Issue 07: Editor’s Note

It’s very easy to criticise Shaun Harvey.
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Issue 07: Heroes & Villains

This wasn't difficult.
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Issue 07: Propaganda

How long have you got?
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Friday 10th February, 1950

Lucas The Kop Cat gave us one of the few highlights of the Norwich game by spying on their warm up; an older generation remembers the arguments about Ellie The Elephant’s reboot, as controversial as a new Doctor Who. But somewhere in Stanningley the oldest mascot of all might be drawing her pension and watching on.

The city of Leeds went football crazy in 1949/50. Major Frank Buckley was asserting himself as manager, and in an icy FA Cup replay at Burnden Park, Leeds beat First Division Bolton in extra-time, Buckley calling it the greatest FA Cup display he’d ever seen; then Cardiff were dispatched in the fifth round to set up a glamour trip to Arsenal.

Not everyone was happy. Angry letters to the papers denounced the obsession with soccer when a general election was imminent. But that was nothing compared to the flood of letters answering a request to name United’s new mascot.

For several weeks Mrs Burnett and her daughter Annie, of The Fleece Hotel in Stanningley, headquarters of the local supporters’ club, had been dressing up a doll in Leeds colours and handing her to goalkeeper Harold Searson, who placed it in his goal. The one game they didn’t do it, Leeds lost. This lucky mascot needed a name.

Atomic Annie, suggested someone; this was the 1950s. Also: Lena The Loiner, Luwyn — ‘Leeds United Win’; Laura — standing for ‘Luck Aids United’s Rise Again’; Lucy — ‘Leeds United’s Cup Year’; Scora Lott Nelson; Major Barbara; Gorgeous Gussie; Juno and the Paycocks; Goldie Blue; Goalie-Locks; or Olga, an anagram of goal.

The winner, chosen by Searson and United’s captain Tommy Burnden, was another play on Leeds United’s initials: Lulu. 300 fans had suggested it; five of them won a guinea each, including a Mrs Leeson, who wrote a ‘victory tune’ for Searson and Lulu:

‘Lulu always has to be in the net behind o’me / She’ll be there with me, by gum / When we get to Wembley Stadium / You can bring Gert and we’ll put on a spurt / But I’ll bring Lulu.’

Sadly, Lulu’s luck ran out in the sixth round at Arsenal. 150 coaches took 4,000 Leeds fans to Highbury — presumably including Lulu — but the First Division side won 1-0. ◉

(artwork by Grady Tidy)

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