Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Third Round, First Leg.
Referee: Leo Horn (
United knew that they were up against stern opposition in the form of top Spanish club Valencia, a club with a long and successful history and renowned Inter-Cities Fairs Cup fighters.
United were without Alan Peacock with twisted knee ligaments and Revie had little option but to give the nineteen-year-old Rod Belfitt his European debut. He could not have asked for a more gruelling start to his European career and it was a credit to him that he did not retaliate to the physical battering the Spanish defence gave to him. It was not all one way traffic in the fouls department as Norman Hunter got the game off to a bruising start as he brought down Valencian inside-left Jose-Maria Sanchez-Lage in the first minute and that set the tone for the Spaniards to take retribution with a stream of fouls, shirt-pulling and any kind of niggles. Unfortunately most of this went unchecked by ace referee Leo Horn who was too lenient to both sides.
In between the skirmishes both sides had shown they could
play good football. Chances
came and went for
With just fifteen minutes left the game erupted. United had been employing their usual tactic of Jack Charlton standing on the goal-line for corner kicks, which were usually delivered as inswingers and this was obviously not to the liking of the Valencia keeper and pushing and shoving occurred. There was a corner at the Scratching Shed end and the usual jostling took place and then, according to Peter Lorimer, the keeper spat at Charlton and then took off in the general direction of the corner flag, or maybe he thought he had spied the exit, with big Jack in hot pursuit. On seeing there was no exit the unfortunate keeper had two choices, either jump into the crowd and face their wrath no doubt with Charlton joining in, or face the incandescent Charlton. He chose the latter and was promptly given a couple of hefty haymakers for his troubles. Other players joined in and the police were called on to restore order.
Pandemonium reigned and revered referee Leo Horn of
So it was a Peter Lorimer trade-mark thunderous shot, a feat that he was to repeat many times in the years ahead, that drew the game for United, but at the other end Gary Sprake had to dive full length to save the game for Leeds in the dying minutes to stop the Spaniard’s taking the lead.
Police break-up the free-for-all and restrain Jack Charlton
Peter Lorimer scored for Leeds