Who else remembers Arsenal playing Leeds in an FA Cup Final?

As an oldie, Arsenal v Leeds has always been a feisty fixture in my head because when I was a lad ‘Dirty Leeds’ were one of the biggest teams around, with the little terrier Billy Bremner as their captain, who led his team by example and tried to kick their opponents off the pitch if they dared to play fancy football. He had Jack Charlton and Norman ‘Bite Your Legs’ Hunter behind him to stop anyone getting near their goal.

It is incredible that it is now 48 years since Don Revie’s side stopped Arsenal from defending the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Wembley with the winning goal coming from Allan Clarke, and also incredible that was the Yorkshire side’s one and only FA Cup Final victory despite being a formidable force in English Football.

Their demise has been well documented and they have now been down in the second tier (or lower, once) for 15 years, although their supporters have still not deserted them and still follow them all over the country. There are expected to be around 8,000 at the Emirates tomorrow and they are sure to be very vocal like all good Yorkshireman and they are definitely Leeds Twelfth Man.

Arsenal may be hot favourites to progress tomorrow, but this tie is full of history and Marcelo Bielsa’s side is not coming just to make up the numbers. They will give their all and are a very fit and physical team like their predecessors, and Mikel Arteta is well aware that any Bielsa team is hard to beat.

When asked if he expected Leeds to be in the EPL next season, Arteta said on Arsenal.com: “I do, yes. The way they play, the manner they behave, I follow their coach for a long time and I know how tough it will be to play against them.

“Just what he gets out of his team, how he makes them fight and challenge and run and compete, and never give up in any game or any circumstances. He generates that belief in the players, those demands and that is why, in my opinion, he is one of the most successful managers.”

So, Arsenal can have no room for complacency tomorrow. Leeds fans have long memories (like me!) and with the history between the two sides I am expecting a hard fought battle just like the old days. I just hope Arsenal can get through and not end up with too many injuries….

Admin Pat


  1. Sue says:

    Wow, 15 years in the championship!! I used to love watching them back in the day – Yeboah, Kewell, Viduka, Smith, Harte, Speed, Woodgate, Batty, Bowyer etc…
    Tomorrow will be huge! Lee Dixon hopes we get the job done, as Elland Road is the loudest place he’s ever played a football game! Rotation for both teams, no doubt. Come on Arsenal, I don’t want another Forest result!! 😬

    Sorry, Pat, that fa cup final was before my time 😉

    1. jon fox says:

      Why be “sorry” Sue that you are too young to have seen it! Wish I could say the same but I was there and to this day I cannot stand Leeds. They were the very dirtiest side for some considerable time under Revie. I am also old enough to remember the dirty Birmingham sides of the 60’s who always clogged us and guess what, I cannot stand them either, Along with racist Millwall(as many of their fans, though not players, really are) I long for all these teams never to get promotion. Old “hatreds” of horrible clubs run deep.

      My own “horrible clubs” comprise many others besides purely local rivals. Most of all though I detest Chelsea, even above Spurs! I dislike all clubs owned by tyrants and though I cannot stand Kroenke, I cannot call him a tyrant. Though I accept that is arguable! Other pejorative adjectives though are freely available upon request!

      1. Sue says:

        I always thought Batty was a dirty sod!
        Well, Jon, as far as Chelsea go, that is 2 things we have in common!! 👍

        1. ozziegunner says:

          I’ll never forget that FA Cup final against Leeds United. I had a big night out and got home too late to watch the game live, which started after midnight on the east coast of Australia. I intended to watch the replay, which was always shown on the ABC the next morning, without knowing the score. I was utterly devestated when my mother woke me up the next morning and told me Leeds had won 1-0!

  2. Ken George says:

    Remember numerous occasions of this dirty team in the 60,s and 70,s . Kicking George Eastham out of a league game at Highbury and fouling Jim Furnell in the league cup final at Wembley to name just two . At least Revie was finally shown up for what he was .

  3. Phil says:

    I was there and it’s a pity the team decided not to show up on the day.But we played the hardest, dirtiest side of all time in that final.Cynical is too nice a word to describe them.We had some tough boys in our team,who knew how to look after themselves and their teammates.But with that Leeds team, it was a battle to survive.
    For anyone who cares to see what they were like, google the FA Cup Final REPLAY of 1970 of Chelsea v Leeds. The game was replayed at Old Trafford and would be certified as 18 for viewing today. Dirty Filthy Leeds managed by a Manager who encouraged these players to kick the living shit out of anyone and everyone

  4. Le Coq Monster says:

    I went to both the FA and League Cup final 1-0 defeats to Leeds……….so hate the f##kers!
    Apart from the DNA hate of everything Spud, Leeds were the first other team I hated, then came Bindippers and Red Mancs! The current updated addition of Chavs and Mansour City is because of them buying trophies on an unfair level we cannot match whilst owned by my second biggest hate after Spuds…………Kroenke!

  5. Declan says:

    I was there and they were not known as Dirty Leeds for nothing……

  6. Tony says:

    It is because of The Arsenal v Leeds cup final in 1972 that I am an Arsenal fan. I was 10 sitting on the sofa watching the game with my older brother who supported Leeds. At the end of the game I just said I’m going to support The Arsenal and our relationship was set.
    I fell in love and 48 years later I’m still a season ticket holder and get to many of the away games too. Despite Leeds being a very dirty side then I loved the passion of their players and I can’t wait to see them back in the premiership.
    Happy Days!!

    1. Sue says:

      Nice one, Tony 👍

  7. ken1945 says:

    There are clubs one loves and clubs one loves to hate…Leeds are one of the latter without question.
    One of my fondest memories was pipping them for the title, when they got that awful decision against us at Elland Road.

    Along with Stoke City and Birmingham I would love to see them stay where they are and go down even further if possible.

    I can imagine revie and mourinho being the best of friends, along with pullis and allardyce – the four horsemen of the apocalypse!!!!

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