16 Jul 19
The Scottish Sun
IT might just appear to be a pre-season friendly, but these two famous clubs are anything but cordial.
Man United and Leeds go head-to-head in Perth on Wednesday at noon UK time, and you can bet there will be some tough tackles flying in from both sets of players, not to mention the stick fans will likely be giving each other.
Man United and Leeds United have always had a bitter footballing rivalry
That’s because the clubs come from the counties involved in the ‘Roses rivalry’, that’s steeped in history dating as far back as the 15th century and the bloody Wars of the Roses.
And it didn’t end there. As soon as the industrial revolution came along in the 18th and 19th century, Yorkshire and Lancashire were at it again in direct competition for economic growth.
Football didn’t help matters either, when the Sir Matt Busby and Don Revie era brought their two famous clubs together for some epic battles in the 60s and 70s.
But to work out the origins of where their rivalry began, you have to go back to the days of Tudor Kings.
In the 15th century, a series of civil wars were fought between the rival Plantagenet royal houses of York and Lancaster, who were battling for the throne of England.
The conflict lasted with sporadic battles between 1455 and 1487, until eventually the wars eliminated the male lines of both families and the House of Lancaster triumphed.
Interestingly, Leeds play in a white kit, which resembles the Yorkshire rose, while Man United play in red in relation to the Lancashire rose.
Later, during the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th century, cities likes Manchester and Leeds flourished.
Leeds’ economy had grown at an astonishing rate thanks to the wool industry, while in Manchester cotton was flourishing, with factories fuelled by the transportation of cheap coal down the Bridgewater Canal.
In the 20th century, the battle would be on the pitch.
King Richard III’s Yorkist troops fight Lancastrians in the Battle of Bosworth Field, during the Wars of the Roses,on 22nd August 1485
FOOTBALL WAS BORN
Man United were the first side to emerge as Newton Heath L&YR in 1878, although they were established by employees of Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway to cover both counties.
In 1902, they became Manchester United, while Leeds – traditionally a rugby league city – launched Leeds City two years later.
The two teams played for the first time in 1906 in the Second Division at Man United’s Bank Street stadium in front of just 6,000 fans.
Leeds City ran out 3-0 winners, but United won the return game at Elland Road 2–1 later that season.
Man United were the first side to emerge as Newton Heath L&YR in 1878
BUSBY VS REVIE
It wasn’t till after the Second World War that Man United became a footballing power, winning three titles in the 1950s.
But in the 1960s, Leeds emerged as their rivals thanks to the uncompromising Don Revie.
While Sir Matt Busby promoted the beautiful game with free-flowing football and the likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, Revie’s team featured tough-tacklers Billy Bremner and Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’ Hunter snarling at opposition players.
The 1965 FA Cup semi-final showed the contrasting styles best, in a match which saw a punch-up between Law and Jack Charlton.
“Both sides behaved like a pack of dogs snapping and snarling at each other over a bone,” the Yorkshire Post commented at the time.
The ill-tempered affair ended 0-0, but Leeds won the replay 1-0 thanks to an 89th-minute winner.
However, that same season United pipped Leeds to the title by virtue of a better goal average.
Man United became a footballing power in the 1950s thanks to Sir Matt Busby
However, in the 1960s Don Revie’s Leeds side became a big rival to the Red Devils
Battles between United and Leeds during that period always got physical
The Charlton brothers Bobby and Jack often played against each other during the intense clashes
FANS AT WAR
In the 1970s, we moved from battles on the pitch to fights on the terraces.
The emergence of football hooliganism in Britain saw firms like the Leeds United Service Crew and Man United’s Red Army embroiled in violent scraps.
Fortunately, the clashes between both sets of fans dispersed when hooliganism began to decline and Leeds’ fortunes meant the sides rarely met.
A RARE SIGHT
Unbelievably, Wednesday’s friendly will be only the third time the two clubs have met since Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2004.
After a six-year wait, the Yorkshire giants faced off against their bitter rivals in a FA Cup third round tie at Old Trafford in 2010.
Leeds sneaked a 1-0 win that day, but a year later were thrashed 3-0 at Elland Road in the League Cup.
Similarly, when Leeds were relegated in 1982 from the old First Division they had to wait eight years until they could play their rivals in the top flight again.
In recent years, Man United and Leeds have rarely faced off against each other
However, in 2010 Leeds caused an upset in a FA Cup third round tie beating the Red Devils 1-0 at Old Trafford
When it comes to their players crossing the Pennines, Leeds have had to endure some of their favourite sons signing for their hated rivals.
In 1978, two of their best players at the time, Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen, were sold to Man U, which caused an uproar.
McQueen was jeered and had objects thrown at him the next time he appeared at Elland Road, but he had the last laugh scoring with a header.
Eric Cantona was another fans’ favourite who was inexplicably allowed to join Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford by Howard Wilkinson.
His arrival at Manchester United sparked Fergie’s Fledglings into life, and they soon became the country’s most dominant side.
Alan Smith, a local Leeds boy, was also brave enough to jump ship when the Whites were relegated from the Premier League.
He was dubbed “Judas” by Leeds fans after insisting he wouldn’t leave the club, even if they were relegated and years before in an interview on Soccer AM said he’d never join Man United.
Joe Jordan left Leeds to play for Man United in 1978
Scottish legend Gordon McQueen also made the move to Old Trafford with Joe Jordan
Eric Cantona kick-started Man Uniteds success when he was sold by Howard Wilkinson
Alan Smith once vowed hed never sign for Man United until Leeds were relegated in 2004
AND EVEN DONALD TRUMP GETS IT
When the now US President was just a big businessman, he appeared on TV show Saint and Greavsie in 1991 to help with the draw for the fifth round of the League Cup.
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After pulling out the likes of Norwich City, Nottingham Forest (or Southampton), and Middlesbrough from the bag he unwittingly paired Leeds and Man United together.
Cue gasps and laughter in the studio, as Jimmy Greaves points out: “You don’t realise what you’ve done there.”
Trump didn’t, but the rest of the country knows how much these two teams despise one another.
Back in 1991 Donaldo Trump paired Man United and Leeds in the League Cup
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