Competition: Second Division.
United had had an indifferent season being very strong at
home and very weak away from
However, the players
responded brilliantly, beating Plymouth at home and then won a rare away
victory at Fulham, but a loss away to Nottingham
Forest the following day seemed to have again shattered their chances.
Amazingly United stormed through their final fixtures with six successive wins
to finish runners-up to
Excitement had reached
fever-pitch when promotion rivals Bristol Rovers visited
Bristol Rovers, managed by Bert Tann, were a fine side and been up with the leaders the entire season. Their usual team was Howard Radford; Harry Bamford, Jim Anderson; Jack Pitt, Ray Warren, Ken Edwards; George Petherbridge, Dai Ward/Paddy Hale, Geoff Bradford, Bill Roost, Peter Hooper. Not many star names, as individuals, but a well balanced team. The fans came to see the showdown and the ground was so full that children were allowed to sit in front of the walls surrounding the pitch as a safety precaution.
In front of a 49,274 crowd,
Rovers arrived with a two point advantage, but United had a game in hand. Dai
Ward stunned the home crowd by giving the visitors the lead after only three
minutes, but a classic John Charles header restored parity after 17 minutes.
Ten minutes later the rampant Charles supplied
John Charles heads Leeds first goal past Bristol Rovers keeper Howard Radford
John Charles challenges
on the Monday of the following week. Where two unanswered goals from Albert
Nightingale all but sealed promotion
(Above two photos courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Back Row: Jack Pitt (4), Harry Bamford (2), Howard Radford (1), Ray Warren (5),
Les Edwards (3), Jim Anderson (6).
Front Row: George Petherbridge (7), Paddy Hale (9), Geoff Bradford (10),
Bill Roost (8), Peter Hooper (11).