Leeds United @ Elland Road


Leeds United @ Elland Road with thanks to Above All Images/Ian Hay

The following text is taken from the book, Football Grounds, and was written by Cassandra Wells.

The club started life in 1904 as Leeds City FC.  Their ground at Elland Road was originally a grass field, known as the Old Peacock ground, owned by Holbeck Rugby Club.  In 1905 Leeds City built the West Stand and that year more than 22,000 fans saw Leeds City play local rivals Bradford City.  During the First World War the army used Elland Road for drill and shooting practice.  Leeds United re-formed in 1920 from the remnants of Leeds City, which was disbanded after the club was accused of making illegal payments to players.  During the 1920s the development of the ground continued with the erection of the so-called Scratching Shed and the Spion Kop.  The most impressive transformations came during the late 1960s, however, in the Don Revie era when support reached record levels.  In March 1967 Elland Road saw its highest ever crowd of 57,892 as United battled with Sunderland in the FA Cup.  The money the team brought in funded the building of the new Kop in 1968, the season Leeds first became First Division champions.  The Scratching Shed was replaced by the South Stand in 1974.  Leeds United’s performances began to falter.  Revie believed the ground held bad omens and in 1971 brought in a gypsy to lift the curse.  Revie’s theory apparently worked and Leeds won the FA Cup the following year (1972) and became Division I champions in 1973-74.  Hooliganism blighted the club in the 1970s and 1980s and Elland Road became the first club in the country to install a police compound to hold troublemakers.  The East Stand was the last to be completed in 1992-93, the year after Leeds once again won the First Division championship.  Now Elland Road boasts the biggest cantilever stand in the world.

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