Date: Saturday, 17th April 1968.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: First Division.

Score: Leeds United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Scorers: Leeds United: Lorimer (pen). Tottenham Hotspur: Nil.

Attendance: 36,409.


Leeds United: Sprake; Reaney, Cooper; Bremner, Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer, Madeley, Jones, Giles (Greenhoff), E. Gray.

Tottenham Hotspur: Jennings; Beal, Knowles; Mullery, England, McKay; Gilzean, Greaves, Chivers, Venables, Jones. (Per Programme).

Referee: Mr P. Baldwin (Middlesbrough).

Over the years United have had some real battles with Londoners and games against Spurs, like Chelsea and Arsenal, traditionally have an extra edge. When Don Revie's marathon men faced Spurs in an Easter meeting between the sides in 1968, it was their fifty-eighth game of the campaign and they were still chasing glory on all fronts. United had already won the League Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0, and were through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and the FA Cup. In addition, victory against Tottenham would lift them to within one point of leaders Manchester United with a game in hand and Revie knew his side were capable of a clean sweep.

The Londoners had many fine players at their disposal with Ireland’s legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings as the last line of defence, while at full back they could call on the young Joe Kinnear and England International Cyril Knowles. They also had a few of journeymen who could plug the gaps in midfield or play utility like Dennis Bond, Eddie Clayton and Phil Beal. But the midfield was well stocked with English Internationals such as Alan Mullery and Terry Venables, while Scottish international firebrand Dave McKay was coming to the end of an illustrious career.

Welsh International Mike England was the lynch-pin in central defence and on the wings there were more internationals, Scotland’s Jimmy Robertson and the Welsh flyer Cliff Jones, who like McKay was getting to the veteran stage. Scottish international striker Alan Gilzean alternated between central striker and winger, but the prince of goal-scorers, world-class English international Jimmy Greaves, could be relied on to score in nearly every game. As if that was not enough, Spurs had invested heavily in buying England International Martin Chivers from Southampton for a then record fee of £125,000.

Spurs boasted the reputation as one of London's glamour sides and had a fine pedigree for "playing football the right way". But that reputation was seriously tarnished at Elland Road as an intense rivalry was born. Tottenham gave away an incredible 19 free-kicks and saw Scottish international Alan Gilzean sent-off for aiming a kick at Terry Cooper with the ball some 40 yards away.

The YEP's Phil Brown wrote: "It was sad to see a side with the gallant reputation Spurs have maintained so unscrupulous in stopping opponents. Playing for a draw is one thing, and is a big thing in modern football, if to the latter's detriment as a spectacle, but playing it like Spurs did is not forgivable."

Unsurprisingly, the game was decided by a penalty, with Peter Lorimer's 65th minute strike proving the difference between the sides. It was awarded after Pat Jennings appeared to flatten Mick Jones in the area. But the decision didn't go down well with Spurs and Brown commented: "To a man, Spurs players claimed Mick Jones had fouled Jennings, who certainly took a blow in the mouth but who equally certainly flattened Jones afterwards. Spurs skipper Dave Mackay made the penalty episode uglier by kicking the ball off the spot into the net in disgust before Lorimer could take it."

Gilzean's dismissal aside, Tottenham did apply themselves more in the closing period but were unable to find a way though and United held firm. The 1-0 win increased United's hopes of a league title success, but they only won one of their last five games and finished fourth behind champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. The FA Cup dream also ended against Everton with a 1-0 defeat, but the silver lining came in the shape of the UEFA Cup. Leeds beat Dundee 2-1 in the semi-final before overcoming Ferencvaros in the final.


The Star-studded Spurs:

Pat Jennings

Joe Kinnear

Cyril Knowles

Alan Mullery/p>

Mike England

Dave McKay

Jimmy Robertson

Jimmy Greaves

Alan Gilzean

Terry Venables

Cliff Jones

Phil Beal

Martin Chivers

Dennis Bond

Eddie Clayton

The Leeds team was the classic formation that was to be the basis of “Super Leeds”, all it took was Allan Clarke to replace Jimmy Greenhoff:

Gary Sprake

Paul Reaney

Terry Cooper

Billy Bremner

Jack Charlton

Norman Hunter

Paul Madeley

Peter Lorimer

Mick Jones

Johnny Giles

Eddie Gray

Jimmy Greenhoff