Date: Wednesday, 26th January 1924.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: Second Division.

Score: Leeds United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0.

Scorers: Leeds United: Swan. Sheffield Wednesday: Nil.

Attendance: 15,000.



Leeds United: Down; Duffield, Menzies; Sherwin, Hart, Baker; Noble, Whipp, Powell, Swan, Harris.

Sheffield Wednesday: Unknown.

Referee: Unknown.


Leeds United’s start to life was quite remarkable, as they joined the Midland League nearly three months into the 1919-20 season and despite finishing twelfth place they were invited to join the Second Division of the Football League the following season.


As a League club they had an inauspicious start, finishing fourteenth, eighth and seventh in their first three seasons. The 1923-24 season was little different, as they won just one of their first six games. Former Huddersfield Town manager Arthur Fairclough had been in charge ever since joining the League and up to the start of the season he had used fifty-two players. A further eight were to be added to the list during the course of their promotion campaign but this time they completed the jigsaw that Fairclough had been slowly putting together.


After those first six games United then went on a run that saw them win nine and draw two of their next eleven and though they slipped in December with three successive defeats, twenty-one year old Scot Bill Menzies came into the side at left-back to steady the defence. There were remarkably few changes in the side that season and, with the exception of Sam Powell, every one of the side that faced Sheffield Wednesday on that January day was to play regularly throughout the final run in.


Wednesday were to finish the season in eighth place although they too were on the up and, with the recent capture of Hull City defender Ernie Blenkinsopp, they had a future England international in their ranks. Another well known personality in the Wednesday side was their diminutive keeper John Davison, reputed to have been the shortest goalkeeper ever to play for England, and he was to prove a hard man to beat. The previous week the two sides had drawn 0-0 at Hillsborough in front of 18,000 fans and 15,000 turned up at Elland Road to see the derby.


The goal-less draw had, in fact, been the fifth meeting between the two sides in the Football League and left United still searching for their first victory Wednesday, but they would not have long to wait to break that run. Fairclough’s men went into this game with only one win in eight games behind them and if they were to continue their push for promotion they could not afford to settle for anything less than victory.


It was hard work but in the end a lone goal from Jack Swan was enough to settle it and that victory proved a crucial turning point in a season which was to see Leeds United carry off their first ever football league title when they finished Second Division champions three points ahead of Bury and Derby County.


Jack Swan had enjoyed a successful start to his League career with neighbouring Huddersfield Town where he helped them to win promotion from Division Two and reach the FA Cup Final in 1920 and hit thirty goals in sixty-seven games before moving to Elland Road in November 1923. He managed another fourteen in thirty- eight games for United in his first two seasons but in the 1923-24 season that winning goal against Wednesday was one of eighteen scored in the league as he topped the club’s scoring list and made a tremendous contribution to their championship success.




Leeds United: 1923-24 Second Division Championship Team.

Back Row: Harry Sherwin, Arthur Fairclough (Manager), Bert Duffield, Dick Murrell (Trainer),

Billy Down, John Armand, Bill Menzies, Bill Norman (Assistant Manager).

Front Row: Walter Coates, Percy Whipp, Joe Richmond, Jim Baker, Jack Swan, Joe Harris, Ernie Hart.






Teddy Davison               Ernie Blenkinsop              Jack Swan

Sheffield Wednesday     Sheffield Wednesday        Leeds United