|Leeds United F.C. History|
The History of
Association football was a late starter in the Leeds area and Rugby was the dominant winter sport in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Indeed the cities of Leeds and Bradford failed to embrace the round ball game and instead they became the centre of the oval ball code. By the turn of the century, even Towns such as Glossop and Burton had their established football clubs, while Leeds and Bradford had none.
Even after the establishment of Leeds City, Leeds was the largest city in the British Isles not to have at least two football teams. Further south in Sheffield and South Yorkshire the game became a hotbed and it was from that city that the first encouragement came. They brought two teams and all the things necessary to stage a football match in an exhibition game on Holbeck Moor on Boxing Day 1877. Sam Gilbert, who was a professional cricketer with Hunslet, formed the Hunslet Association Football Club in 1877 and it survived for five seasons, but struggled to find sufficient fixtures to survive. There were other local teams such as Rothwell, Hunslet Wesleyans, Oulton and Meanwood, but Hunslet folded in 1883.
Leeds FC who played at the Star and Garter Ground at Kirkstall was established in 1885 but was disbanded in 1888 the year the Football League was formed. This prompted new clubs to emerge and the West Riding Association Football League was formed in 1894/95. Three years later the Yorkshire League was formed and featured local teams and sides from South Yorkshire, including the Reserve teams of Sheffield Wednesday (then known as 'The Wednesday' and Sheffield United. By the turn of the century Hunslet had been revived but disbanding again in 1902, after losing the lease on its home in Nelson Street, Hunslet, but still harboured ideas of rising above its lack of funds and no ground. Hunslet had promises of backing and the commitment of several players eager to play.
Since 1897, Holbeck Rugby Club, who had the use of the Elland Road ground, had ideas of becoming a force in the Rugby world, but their world collapsed when they failed to win entry into the Northern Union in 1904. This was the catalyst that Hunslet needed. They and other interested parties met at the Griffin hotel in Boar Lane in August 1904 and it was resolved that Leeds City be formed and that the Holbeck ground be rented for the season and an option to purchase be taken out for £5,000.
It was the birth of Leeds City. A team was assembled and they joined the newly-formed West Yorkshire League. City had played in the F.A. Cup, but to no success. On 17th September 1904 they undertook a First Preliminary Round F.A. Cup game at Rockingham Colliery, from the Barnsley District.
The teams took to the pitch as follows:
Rockingham Colliery: Vaines; A Foster, Dransfield; T. Robinson, Hulley, Mann; Whitney, L. Foster, Meir, Todd, Robinson.
Leeds City: W.H. Mallinson; Skelton, H. Dixon; R.Morris, J. Morris, T. Tennant; P. Heffron, Page, Musgrave, Cummings, Simpson.
Most of the Leeds players had been drawn from local clubs and hardly any of them were with City when they eventually joined the Football League the following season. However, Goalkeeper Mallinson had been at 'The Wednesday', Inside-Right Page had been with Liverpool Reserves and Inside-Left Cummings with Nottingham Forest Reserves.
The kick-off was delayed for thirty minutes as the Leeds team was late arriving. They rarely got a look in against the Colliery team, who were members of the Barnsley Minor Cup Competition. Meirs and Hulley both scored in goalmouth scrambles in the first- half as the home team kicked up the slope. Meirs got a second in the second half but it would have been a landslide had it not been for the fine form of Goalkeeper Mallinson and his acrobatics severely restricted the scoring, as he pulled off a string of fine saves.The City Centre-Forward Musgrave got a consolation goal late in the game as City fell at the first hurdle.
In the League the club initially played many of their games away from home but two home games were played at the Wellington Ground in Low Road, Hunslet. City finally moved in at Elland Road in October 1904. In addition to their West Yorkshire League commitments, City also undertook Friendly fixtures against Football League opposition such as Sheffield United, Preston North End and Derby County. Often these would clash with League games and City would field weaker teams in their League matches.
City's first game at Elland Road was played on 15th October 1904 against Hull City, in one such friendly, with a crowd of 3,000 in attendance. The visitors triumphed 2-0 and City struggled all season to finish eleventh, winning just seven of their twenty-four games and gaining twenty-one points. However, several 'star players' including English Internationals Tom Morren of Sheffield United and Fred Spiksley of 'The Wednesday' turned out for City in an attempt to promote the game and the club.
Leeds was the biggest city in England without a top-flight football club but the City officials were confident that they would gain admission to the Football League as their officials were anxious to extend their sphere of influence. In April 1905 Leeds City was floated with a share capital of 10,000 £1 shares. Three men took the majority of the shares. They were clothier Norris Hepworth, who became the first Chairman, Old Peacock licensee Ralph Younger and sports journalist A.W. Pullin.
On 5th June 1905 the club was officially formed as a limited liability company. Fifteen Directors were appointed and included the Vice-Chairman Oliver Tordoff, Joseph Henry, a local iron-founder, R.S. Kirk, D. Whitaker, John Furness, Frank Jarvis, W. Robinson, F.G. Dimery, W. Preston, W.G. Child, John Oliver, and R.M. Dow, a former Treasurer of Woolwich Arsenal.
Gilbert Gillies was brought from Chesterfield to become the first Secretary- Manager in March 1905 on a three year contract of £156 per annum and he was helped to build up the side by George Swift, who was appointed Trainer. As expected the Football League extended its Second Division to twenty clubs and Leeds City were the top of the poll, with twenty-five votes, to gain election along with Chelsea, Hull City, Clapton Orient and Stockport County.
Leeds City kicked off their Football League career on 2nd September 1905 at Valley Parade in a 'local derby' with Bradford City, which was unfortunately lost by the only goal, scored by Wallace Smith, in front of a crowd of 15,000. This was enough to provide the encouragement that Association Football was not a lost cause in the West Riding.
Leeds City's team was all new recruits bought by Gilbert Gillies and the lined-ups were:
Leeds City:Harry Bromage (ex-Burton United); Jock McDonald (Blackburn Rovers), Dick Ray (Chesterfield); Charles Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur), Harry Stringfellow (Swindon Town}, Jimmy Henderson (Bradford City); Fred Parnell (Derby County), Bob Watson (Woolwich Arsenal), Fred Hargraves (Burton United), Dickie Morris (Liverpool), Harry Singleton (Queens Park Rangers).
Bradford City:James Garvey; Andrew Easton, John Halliday; George Robinson, Peter O'Rourke, James Millar; William Clarke, Andrew McGeachan, Wallace Smith, John McMillan, James Conlin.
City entertained West Bromwich Albion in the first Football League fixture at Elland Road, which drew a crowd of 6,802. City replaced Fred Hargraves with Tom Drain, who had been bought from Bradford City, at Centre-Forward in an otherwise unchanged team for their second game. Again City failed to score while the visitors found the net twice, with a brace from Freddie Haycock, as City again failed to take a point and languished at the bottom of the League ladder.
A second home match just two days later saw City gain their first point as two goals from Tom Drain enabled City to get a 2-2 draw against Lincoln City at Elland Road in front of a disappointing 3,000 crowd. It did move them from bottom place, but only on goal average as they moved above Gainsborough Trinity and had the same points as Chesterfield.
Things then took a turn for the better. Fred Hargraves regained the Centre-Forward spot from Tom Drain, and a Harry Singleton goal was enough to give City both points at Filbert Street, home of Leicester Fosse, for their first League win and away from home. It took them clear of the bottom clubs and into fifteenth spot. There was an attendance of 5,000 to see the landmark game in which City gained their First Football League victory. The teams lined-up:
Leicester Fosse:Walter Smith; Harry Ashby, Bill Oakes; Billy Morgan, Billy Bannister, Bob Pollock; Jimmy Durrant, Herbert Moody, Bill Cox, Willie Gould, Bert Hodgkinson.
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Harry Stringfellow, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
The Yorkshire Post commented, "They have progressed by stages and fully justified their right to be in the Second Division. In a fine open game, Leeds showed perhaps greater skill than they had in previous matches. Morris, Hargraves and Watson were a dashing triplet inside. In general smartness, they showed themselves to be the home team's superiors." The winning goal came after thirty- five minutes and, in truth, it was a fluke. Leicester Fosse had been put under pressure by City and the ball fell to Outside-Left Harry Singleton. His shot was not hit with full force and it deceived the Fosse keeper, Walter Smith. As he advanced expecting a strong shot, his reflexes had not anticipated a mishit shot, and the ball rolled past him and into the net. The Leeds Mercury described it, "The ball either had a lot of twist on it or the ground was uneven." In the second half Leicester Fosse tried to make good the leeway and applied pressure for most of the half. City had Harry Bromage to thank for holding Fosse scoreless, as he made several fine saves. The Mercury described the win, "By an exceedingly fine display all round, the spell of ill-luck and disappointment has been broken."
Another unchanged team attracted a crowd of 13,654 to Elland Road for the visit of Hull City. There were two goals from Dickie Morris and another from Fred Hargraves, while David Wilson, soon to join City, replied for the visitors. It saw City triumph 3-1 and the win pushed Leeds into seventh position but still five points behind runaway leaders Manchester United.
There was a debut for Fred Walker, who had joined City from Barrow. He came in for Harry Stringfellow at Centre-Half as City made it three wins on the trot at Sincil Bank. They gained revenge at Lincoln City, where a Fred Parnell penalty and a second goal of the season from Fred Hargraves was enough for City to return home with a 2-1 win. City remained in seventh position still five points behind the leaders, Manchester United
After being knocked out of their initial assault on the F.A.Cup in the First Preliminary Round 3-1 at the inauspicious Rockingham Colliery from the Barnsley district, City were hoping to fare much better at the second attempt. They were not disappointed when there was an 11-0 romp at Elland Road against Morley in a First Preliminary Round F.A. Cup tie, as Fred Hargraves and Dickie Morris both scored four while Bob Watson bagged a brace and Fred Parnell got the other.
Despite being members of the Football League, City had still been obliged go through the Preliminary Round qualification for that season. The two teams took the pitch as follows:
Leeds City:Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Fred Walker, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
Morley: H. Wortley; J. Milnes, H. Dixon; T. Appleyard, R.S. Rhodes, E. Teale; J. Bentley, Ernest Clegg, Clifford Chaffer, Cardwell, Parker.
A crowd of 3,000 were on hand to see City take on the West Yorkshire League side. Morley's Goalkeeper Wortley and Inside-Right Ernest Clegg were both professionals and their Left-Back H. Dixon had played for City in their only F.A. Cup match the previous season and had joined Morley after spending some time with Beeston Hill. Their Centre-Forward Clifford Chaffer was a Cambridge University under-graduate and had a reputation of possessing a hard shot. Morley had had special training and were hoping to give City a run for their money, but it proved to be an embarrassingly one-sided affair. City were simply too strong and possessed too much speed and skill for the local side.
It took City just ten minutes to open the scoring as Dickie Morris headed in a cross from Jock McDonald. After that City scored more or less at will as they ran out easy winners.
City were unchanged for a third successive game as they visited the Athletic Ground home of Burslem Port Vale but lost by 2-0 in front of a poor crowd of 1,500. The result saw City drop down to fourteenth place, seven points behind the new leaders Bristol City, albeit with a game in hand.
Harry Singleton returned to the team but with Fred Walker in the centre-half spot, he took the place of Jimmy Henderson at Left-Half. Goals from Dickie Morris and Fred Hargraves, and an own goal from Stacey, saw United come out on top. They won by 3-2, in front of a crowd of 12,000 at Elland Road in another ‘local derby’, this time with Barnsley, to jump to eleventh in the table.
There was an F.A. Cup 2nd Preliminary Round tie with Mexborough at Elland Round and Bob Watson dropped back to Left-Half, as Tom Drain took his place at Inside-Right, but United could only draw 1-1 with a goal from Fred Hargraves.
The Leeds City £4-per-week professionals were expecting to sweep away the amateurs from Mexborough with the greatest of ease. They were newcomers to the Midland League and were only a couple of places above the City Reserve team in the competition. For the Leeds supporters it was not a question of if they would win but more how of how big the win would be. 4,000 turned up to see the slaughter of the innocents and the teams were:
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Fred Walker, Bob Watson; Fred Parnell, Tom Drain, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
Mexborough Town: Charlie Tayles; A. Streets, Sid Longworth; R. McNeil, C.R. Marr, T. Gosling; H. Holbein, Tommy Hakin, Billy Biggs, W. Lumb, W. Hibberd.
The visitors showed that were not to be taken lightly and their Wingers, H. Holbein and W. Hibberd, in particular, gave the City Full-Backs Jock McDonald and Dick Ray a torrid time. It was Holbein that caught City out with his speed in the seventy-second minute. A desperate tackle from Bob Watson resulted in a trip in the penalty area and Tommy Hakin, who was later to play for Grimsby Town, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth, made no mistake from the spot.
Time was running out fast for City as they tried to breakdown the resolute Mexborough defence and with hundreds of disappointed fans streaming out of the ground, Fred Hargraves scored from a corner with just three minutes left on the clock to earn Leeds a replay.
The Replay took place the following Wednesday with Jimmy Henderson returning at Left-Half for City at the expense of Tom Drain, who gave way to allow Bob Watson to return to his accustomed Inside-Right spot. Mexborough showed several changes, mostly positional, and the teams lined-up:
Mexborough Town: Charlie Tayles; A Streets, Sid Longworth; R. McNeil, Billy Biggs, T. Gosling; H.Holbein, A. Rodgers, Tommy Hakin, W. Lumb, W. Hibberd.
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Fred Walker, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
Having survived the first game by the skin of their teeth, City were expected to make no mistake in the Replay. The Mexborough ground left a lot to be desired, with a slope and very lopsided, it had long muddy puddles in the centre and the top end was almost devoid of turf. 3,000 spectators were on hand as Dick Ray won the toss and elected to play with the slope. To everyone's great surprise Harry Bromage was picking the ball out of the back of his net seconds later as Lumb shot the home team into the lead from a Holbein pass. City refused to be rattled and after just ten minutes Fred Parnell scored the equaliser with a left-foot drive off the underside of the bar.
City did most of the pressing after that point, despite an early injury to Dick Ray, and were unlucky as Dickie Morris cracked a shot against a post. City's skills were nullified by Mexborough's tenacious tackling and neither side could break the deadlock. Darkness was fast falling as the two teams started extra-time and in the growing dimness Mexborough were given the chance to win the game just before the end of extra-time. Fred Walker fouled the slippery Holbein in the penalty area. First game hero Tommy Hakin could not repeat his heroics and blasted the ball way over the bar and out of the ground into the surrounding allotments. Minutes later the referee blew for time with the two sides still locked at 1-1.
It was back to League action the following week and Fred Walker dropped out, in favour of Harry Stringfellow, as United entertained Burnley at Elland Road. However, after fifty-three minutes with the scores locked at 1-1, Dickie Morris's goal counted for nothing as the game was abandoned due to fog. City were now thirteenth, but had as many as four games in hand of most of the teams above them.
The following Monday saw the second replay with Mexborough at Elland Road and although City were without Left-Back Dick Ray, William Clay, who had joined Leeds from Belfast Celtic and never played a League game for City, deputised and United ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Bob Watson, Dickie Morris and Fred Hargraves.
There had been plans to hold the Second Replay at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane but Mexborough agreed to the game being staged at Elland Road after being guaranteed a minimum of £50 from the gate receipts. The attendance was 5,000, who paid £124 13/-.
City were without the injured Dick Ray and Harry Bromage took over the captaincy as the teams lined-up:
Mexborough Town:Charlie Tayles; A. Streets, Sid Longworth; R. McNeil, Billy Biggs, T. Gosling; H.Holbein, A. Rodgers, Tommy Hakin, W. Lumb, W. Hibberd.
The stand-in Captain let his side down after fifteen minutes and it gave Mexborough the lead as he hesitated over a Hibberd cross and left Holbein with a simple task to score the opening goal. City were level within a minute as Bob Watson leapt high to head Harry Singleton's inch-perfect cross into the net. Four minutes later City took the lead for the first time in the tie as Charles Morgan dispossessed Sid Longsworth and crossed for Dickie Morris to head home.
City's skills were now allowing them to dominate the tie for the first time and they should have increased their lead when they were awarded a penalty after Billy Biggs held back Fred Hargraves. However, Mexborough Goalkeeper Charlie Tayles fisted out Fred Parnell's spot kick. Mexborough made the most of the miss and fought back to equalize after fifty-five minutes as a Billy Biggs free-kick went in off a post.
City's supporters were beginning to despair and with good reason as Harry Stringfellow failed to take advantage of another present from the spot. As extra-time seemed certain Fred Hargrave finally gave relief to the City supporters when he scored from a Fred Parnell cross with just five minutes left to put City through to a clash with Hull City in the next round.
City made it five wins out of six in the League as, with Dick Ray back at left back; they beat Grimsby Town 3-0 in front of a 7,000 crowd at Elland Road with a brace from Fred Hargraves and the other from Harry Stringfellow. City were twelfth in the League, eleven points behind the leaders, Bristol City, with three games in hand.
Burton United, like City, had been on a winning run having been bottom of the table at one point. They were now one point ahead of City, but Leeds had four games in hand. However, they dropped a point in a 1-1 draw at Peel Croft on the following Monday with Fred Parnell scoring. It was enough to take City up to tenth with games in hand.
City travelled to Anlaby Road to play Hull City with the same settled team for the 3rd Preliminary Round F.A. Cup tie and neither team had scored before the fog descended and the game was abandoned after fifty minutes.
When the game was finally played the teams lined-up:
Hull City: Martin Spendiff; Ambrose Langley, Tom Jones; George Browell, William Robinson, Davy Gordon; Jack Manning, David Wilson, George Rushton, Jackie Smith, Andrew Raisbeck.
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Harry Stringfellow, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
Again unchanged, United held on for a 1-1 draw thanks to a Fred Hargraves goal, as the game this time went the full ninety minutes. Controversy surrounded a disallowed goal which changed the whole outcome of the hard-fought tie which was played out at the Circle, Anlaby Road. The incident came when Leeds, who were already leading 1-0 from a Fred Hargrave goal, were denied another by a poor refereeing decision.
Dickie Morris unleashed a tremendous shot which Martin Spendiff, who was on his goal-line, found too hot to handle and let slip over the line. The City forwards immediately appealed to the referee for a goal but he just shook his head and waved play on.
Hull went straight up the other end, catching Leeds with a quick counterattack, with Jackie Smith and Andrew Raisbeck leading the charge downfield. With several of the Leeds defenders still stranded upfield after appealing for a goal, Raisbeck was the one to put the ball past the unprotected Harry Bromage and into the net for the equalizer.
After that both sides found it hard going on a strength-sapping muddy surface which had been made treacherous by a rapid thaw and neither side were able to create chances.Leeds could have clinched it with just a few minutes to go but Bob Watson was not able to score with only Martin Spendiff to beat after a sweeping Leeds move created a clear cut chance for him. For Hull David Wilson, who was soon to join Leeds, hit a post and Andrew Raisbeck was denied by a last ditch tackle from John McDonald, in the only chances that came their way.
There was a huge crowd of 20,000, City's biggest to date, for the visit of the high-flying Chelsea, nicely tucked in behind the leaders in third spot, and another unchanged team fought out a 0-0 draw, as City and the Pensioners both kept up their challenge on the top.
Once more unchanged, United were back at Elland Road for the replay with Hull City but 7,185 people saw City go down 2-1 with Fred Parnell getting the goal. There was a change of referee for the replay but there was no change of luck for Leeds. Once again Leeds were denied by a fraction of an inch, but this time general opinion was that the referee had got it right.
Behind by 2-1, Leeds Full-Back Jock McDonald had made one last desperate effort to save the game when, in the very last minute, he had unleash a thunderous shot that cannoned into the underside of the bar and bounced down on the line. The referee ruled that it had not crossed the line and Hull survived to meet Oldham Athletic in the next Round.
The two teams had lined-up:
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Harry Stringfellow, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dickie Morris, Harry Singleton.
Hull City: Martin Spendiff; Tom Jones, Harry Davies; George Browell, William Robinson, Andrew Raisbeck; Jack Manning, George Spence, George Rushton, Davy Gordon, Joe 'Stanley' Smith.
On the balance of play Hull deserved their slice of luck. They had started the game without their Player-Manager Ambrose Langley and David Wilson and lost Centre-Forward George Rushton with an hand injury. Leeds still could not make their numerical superiority count.
When Rushton returned to the fray he immediately opened the scoring from a Jack Manning cross. It quickly became 2-0 as within minutes Harry Bromage beat out another Jack Manning shot which struck 'Stanley' Smith and cannoned into the net for a fluke goal.
There was a quick response from Leeds as Fred Parnell scored with a crisp low drive from the restart. After that Leeds battled hard for an equalizer but were to find that the line between success and failure was a very thin one.
A trip to lowly Gainsborough Trinity, who were just goal average away from being the bottom club, saw the again unchanged City go down to a surprising 4-1 loss despite a goal from Bob Watson. While City were in eleventh spot with games in hand they were starting to lose touch with the leaders.
Another big crowd of 12,000 greeted another leading team in the form of top- of-the table Bristol City. David Murray, who had just been signed from Liverpool for £150, replaced Jock McDonald at Right-Back in the only City change. A goal from Charles Morgan was enough to give City a share of the spoils and hold another high-flyer to a single point. It did, however leave City fifteen points behind and three games in hand.
City were without Harry Stringfellow and Fred Parnell, with Fred Walker and Gordon Howard, who had joined City from Hoyland Town, deputizing, as City played host to another of the leading teams, this time Manchester United, with 16,000 on hand. City were behind 0-1 when the game was abandoned after seventy-three minutes due to fog.
A home fixture with Glossop got City back into winning ways as they gave a debut to David Wilson, who had recently been bought from Hull City for £100, and Gordon Howard played his only full game for City as they lined up with a much- changed team of Harry Bromage; David Murray, Dick Ray; Charles Morgan, Fred Walker, Jimmy Henderson; Bob Watson, Gordon Howard, Fred Hargraves, David Wilson, Harry Singleton. A single goal from Fred Hargraves was enough to send the 9,000 crowd home happy. City had been on a good run, but they were still eleventh, but had four games in hand on most of the teams above them.
Jock McDonald returned at Right-Back but the absence of Dick Ray meant David Murray was switched to Left-Back, and Bob Wilson dropped back to Right-Half as Fred Walker was replaced by Charles Morgan at Centre-Half. Dickie Morris returned at Inside-Left with David Wilson switching to Inside-Right at the expense of Gordon Howard. However, there was no Christmas cheer for City as they visited Stockport County on Boxing Day and despite a goal from Harry Singleton, two goals from the home team saw City go down 2-1.
The last game in 1905 saw City allow their near-neighbours Bradford City to complete the double at their expense as Bradford triumphed 2-0 at Elland Road in front of the biggest crowd that City would play in front of that season, 22,000 spectators, as Dick Ray was back for Jock McDonald at Right-Back and Harry Stringfellow returned at Centre-Half. This allowed Charles Morgan and Bob Wilson to return to their normal positions of Right-Half and Inside-Right respectively with David Wilson dropping out. City finished the year in thirteenth place but had several games in hand on most of the teams that they trailed.
A visit to Bloomfield Road opened the New Year, as City rang the changes in response to their defeat in the ‘local derby’. Jock McDonald was in for Dick Ray at Right-Back, there was a debut for local boy John Morris in place of Harry Stringfellow at Centre-Half, Tom Drain replaced Bob Watson at Inside-Right and David Wilson got the nod at Centre-Forward in place of Fred Hargraves. The sea breezes must have agreed with the revamped City and there were goals from Dickie Morris, David Wilson and Harry Singleton as City ran out easy winners by 3-0 to get City back into winning ways after two losses.
A trip to the Hawthorns proved to be fruitless as West Bromwich Albion became the second club to complete the double over City with a 1-2 loss. David Wilson found the net for the second consecutive fixture and Dick Ray and Bob Watson returned at Right-Back and Inside-Right respectively in place of Jock McDonald and Tom Drain.
The team had lost its settled look and had dropped too many points to be serious challengers for promotion but were still a threat to any team. Their unchanged eleven went to Old Trafford and put second placed Manchester United to the sword to emphasis the threat they posed. A goal from Bob Watson, a third consecutive goal from David Wilson and another from Harry Singleton made it three without reply in the battle of the roses, as City rose to ninth place. However, even if they won the three games they had in hand they would only have improved by one place.
City were without Dickie Morris and David Wilson, but with Tom Drain and Fred Hargraves replacing them City were far too good for fifth placed Leicester Fosse, as City completed their first League double. They had a 4-1 victory, with David Murray scoring from the spot and Tom Drain, Bob Watson and Fred Hargraves completing the scoresheet. City moved into eighth spot and, with games in hand, they could even reach fifth, if they were all won.
A second visit to Anlaby Road failed to give City any revenge for their F.A. Cup at the hands of fifth-placed Hull City as a crowd of 10,000 saw the teams play out a scoreless draw. David Wilson replaced Tom Drain but United were still without the influential Dickie Morris. City maintained their eighth spot and the Tigers their fifth place.
Dickie Morris was back in place of Fred Hargraves for the visit of Burnley for the finalisation of the previously abandoned fixture. Bob Watson's goal gave City a share of the points in a 1-1 draw, but they were still eighth.
Jock McDonald stood in for David Murray at Left-Back as goals from Dickie Morris and Harry Singleton gave City both points in the Saltergate encounter with Chesterfield. It was enough to push City into seventh spot and take their run to five League games unbeaten.
Fred Hargraves was Bob Watson's replacement at Inside-Right and he was a scorer, along with David Wilson and Fred Parnell, as City disposed of Burslem Port Vale 3-1 at Elland Road in front of a crowd of 9,000 for a second successive victory, as they maintained seventh place.
A visit to Oakwell saw the return of Bob Watson, but, unfortunately, City were again without the services of Welsh International Dickie Morris, and this was a contributing factor as the home side triumphed 3-0 to gain revenge for their 3-2 loss at Elland Road in their ‘local derby’
The defeat saw the end of John Morris' run at Centre-Half and Fred Walker was reinstalled at the heart of the defence. There was a return, also, for David Murray at Left-Back, as Jock McDonald switched to Right-Back to replace Dick Ray. David Wilson netted twice and the returning David Murray also scored from the spot, as City completed their second double, as they easily beat Chesterfield 3-0 at Elland Road in front of only 2,000 fans.
An unchanged team and a four goal haul from David Wilson, to make it six goals in two games, saw City thrash Clapton Orient, with Fred Hargraves and Fred Parnell completing the scorers as they were emphatic victors, by 6-1, in front of an improved crowd of 8,000 at Elland Road. They were now in sixth place, having lost only one game in their last nine fixtures, and were the form team of the competition.
Unfortunately, once back on the road, unchanged for the third successive game, their visit to Turf Moor saw a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Burnley. David Wilson maintained his rich vein of form with two more goals, to make it eight goals in the last three games, while Harry Singleton got the other. However, it was a hard fought game and City finished with several players carrying injuries and Bob Watson was sidelined for the next game. City maintained their sixth place on the ladder but there was a large gap to the promotion places.
Dickie Morris and Dick Ray were back in harness at Inside-Left and Left-Back, in place of Bob Watson and Jock McDonald, as David Murray switched to Right-Back and Fred Hargraves to Inside-Right to accommodate them, and a David Murray goal saw City share the points in a 1-1 draw at Blundell Park, Cleethorpes against Grimsby Town. After the tough match at Turf Moor, the visit to Cleethorpes was no rest cure and David Wilson had to go off after suffering a torn ligament in the first minute, leaving City with ten men for almost the entire game. Things did not improve, and before the end of the game City were reduced to five fit men as Goalkeeper Harry Bromage, Fred Hargraves, Dick Ray, Charles Morgan and Dickie Morris all finished the match hobbling and therefore they were very lucky to escape with a point.
Dickie Morris was out again for the home game with Burton United, but Bob Watson returned and City were not helped by the prolonged loss of David Wilson, although Tom Drain was able to fill in for him in this game, while Dick Ray and David Murray switched positions at Full-Back. City made heavy work of a 2-1 home win against one of the bottom teams but Bob Watson and Harry Singleton scored the necessary goals. City were still in sixth spot.
John Lavery, who had just been signed from Denaby United, was given his chance at Inside-Left, as Fred Hargraves moved to Inside-Right to replace Bob Watson. However, the visit to bottom club Clapton Orient failed to reproduce the goals of their earlier Elland Road encounter and City only gained a point from the goalless draw, as the injuries to key players began to take its toll.
United were now in an injury crisis, lacking the services of Dickie Morris, Charles Morgan, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, the long-term David Wilson, Jock McDonald and others. It was so critical that Trainer George Swift, in his late thirties, was pressed into service on the left wing, even though he had played at full-back during his football career.
United fielded this patched up eleven against the second-placed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge: Harry Bromage; Dick Ray, David Murray; Harry Stringfellow, Fred Walker, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Tom Drain, Harry Singleton, John Lavery, George Swift.
George Swift was soon pressed into service at left-back as Dick Ray was left limping and, despite his brave effort, inevitably City were soundly beaten by Chelsea by 4-0 in front of a crowd of 15,000, with goals from Bob McRoberts, Frank Pearson, Jimmy Windridge and Tom McDermott. Ultimately, the Pensioners went on to finish third in the League.
There was a crowd of 12,000 on hand as Dickie Morris returned at Inside-Right and Fred Hargraves at Centre-Forward and there was a debut at Centre-Half for John George, recently signed from Tottenham Hotspur. Jock McDonald returned at Right-Back with Fred Walker moving to Right-Half and Harry Singleton back to his accustomed Outside-Left position, while Dick Ray, Tom Drain, Harry Stringfellow and George Swift all dropped out as City took on next-to-the-bottom Gainsborough Trinity at Elland Road. A lone goal from Fred Hargraves was sufficient to give City both points in a 1-0 win.
Good Friday saw a visit from Stockport County and a first goal for John Lavery. Goalkeeper Jack Whitley, who had just signed from Stoke, was between the posts for Harry Bromage and kept a clean sheet. City also welcomed back Charles Morgan at Right-Half as Fred Walker made way, and City got both points in a 1-0 win in front of a 10,000 crowd.
Easter Saturday saw a long haul to table-topping Bristol City without the services of Charles Morgan. John George moved to Right-Half and Fred Walker came in at Centre-Half, while Harry Bromage was back between the posts for Jack Whitley. The long trek saw no reward as Bristol City took advantage to secure a 2-0 victory in front of 12,000 fans at Ashton Gate. Bristol were six points ahead at the top with just three games to play and were virtually the Champions, while Leeds were seventh and not much to play for, as it was mathematically impossible for them to get in the top four.
Easter Monday saw third-from-bottom Blackpool visit Elland Road as, for City, Jack Whitley replaced Harry Bromage in goal and the two Full-Backs, Jock McDonald and David Murray, switched positions. Charles Morgan and Bob Watson returned with Fred Walker dropping out and John George reverting to Centre-Half, but City were without Dickie Morris and Harry Singleton as Tom Drain filled in at Outside-Left. United completed their third double of the season as two goals from Fred Hargraves and one from Bob Watson saw City easy winners by 3-0 in front of another good crowd of 10,000. City were seventh and, with a game in hand, they could reclaim the sixth position.
There was another 10,000 crowd at Elland Road for the re-arranged abandoned game against Manchester United, who were already assured of promotion, in second place. With nothing much at stake for the penultimate game of the season and the final game at Elland Road, City gave a debut to a recent signing from Tottenham Hotspur, Jimmy Freeborough, at Left-Half, although he was normally a Full-Back. An under-strength City lined-up: Jack Whitley; Fred Walker, David Murray; Charles Morgan, John George, Jimmy Freeborough; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Tom Drain, John Lavery, Harry Singleton. There was a second goal of the season for John Lavery as City went down 3-1 to Manchester, who finished runners-up to Bristol City and were promoted to the First Division.
While City had been building up a sound following with nine gates topping the 10,000 mark, including each of the last final four, there was a few of them starting to get unruly. In the final game several took exception to some of Referee T. P. Campbell of Blackburn's decisions in a rough and tumble game, in which John George dislocated an elbow to reduce City to ten men. He had awarded Manchester a controversial penalty, which they missed, and at games' end a missile hit him on the nose as he ran the gauntlet of the angry fans.
In a similar incident at Valley Parade, only weeks before, he had refereed the game between Bradford City and Manchester United in which there were ugly crowd scenes resulting in several Bradford spectators facing criminal charges and Valley Parade being closed for a fortnight, fortunately no such dire results came from his appearance at Elland Road. City were in seventh place but with a game in hand they could take the sixth spot if they won.
The final game of City's first season in the Football League was at Glossop and City lined-up with Harry Bromage; Jock McDonald, David Murray; Charles Morgan, Jimmy Freeborough, Fred Walker; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, David Wilson, John Lavery, Harry Singleton. Fred Parnell and the returning David Wilson got City's goals as they completed a fourth double at the expense of sixteenth place Glossop. City finished a creditable sixth in a twenty-team League.
Their record was Played thirty-eight with eleven home wins, five home draws and just three home defeats, with a goal count of thirty-eight for and nineteen against, while away from home, City managed six wins, four draws and nine defeats with twenty-one goals for and twenty-eight against as they secured forty-three points, nineteen less than promoted Manchester United, who trailed Champions Bristol City by two points while Chelsea with fifty-three points, West Bromwich Albion with fifty-two points and Hull City with forty-four finished higher than City.
There were no ever-presents for City, but Wingers Fred Parnell and Harry Singleton missed just one League game each, while Goalkeeper Harry Bromage and Wing-Halves Charles Morgan and Jimmy Henderson all amassed thirty-five appearances, with Bob Watson the only other player to feature in thirty games.
David Wilson led the goal-scorers with thirteen League goals from just fifteen games, closely followed by Fred Hargraves with twelve, but as Fred Hargraves scored a healthy seven goals in the F.A Cup he was the club's top scorer in all competitions with nineteen goals.
Before the new season started, Dickie Morris and Jock McDonald left for Grimsby Town, Harry Stringfellow joined Preston North End, Irishman William Clay went back to Ireland with Derry City, while Gordon Howard bowed out of League football and George Swift was happy to hang up his boots.
The City playing staff was also boosted as Left-Back Andy Clark came in from Plymouth Argyle, Wing-Halves Jimmy Kennedy and Stan Cubberley were recruited from Brighton and Hove Albion and Cheshunt, respectively, while Outside Left Willie Murray and Centre-Forward George Page were other acquisitions from Tottenham Hotspur, Centre-Forward Alf Harwood came from Fulham and Winger Stan Jefferson arrived from Bradford City.
Expectations were running high as City's first game of the season again saw a 'local derby' clash with Bradford City, but this time the venue was Elland Road. They managed to avoid a third consecutive defeat to their closest neighbour as a John Lavery goal allowed City to share the points. City had several new faces in their line-up, with Andy Clark and Jimmy Kennedy making their debuts, as 20,000 saw City line-up: Harry Bromage; David Murray, Andy Clark; John Morris, John George, Jimmy Kennedy; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, David Wilson, John Lavery, Harry Singleton.
The second fixture involved a trip to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion who were one of the favourites for promotion, after finishing fourth in the previous season. City omitted local boy John Morris, whose game against Bradford City proved to be his last for City, and Fred Walker came in at Centre-Half with John George moving to Right-Half. There were debuts for Stan Cubberley, in the unaccustomed role of Inside-Left, and Willie Murray, at Outside-Left, in place of the injured John Lavery and Harry Singleton. The Baggies fully justified their favouritism with a 5-0 drubbing of a very frail looking City. It left City in eighteenth place in the early standings.
There was no improvement in the games that followed as City struggled to find a winning combination. After their poor start only 5,000 spectators turned up for the second home game against lowly Lincoln City as Jack Whitley replaced Harry Bromage in goal, Fred Hargraves found a new niche at Right-Half in place of John George, while Jimmy Freeborough got his chance at Centre-Half in place of Fred Walker. The injured Centre-Forward, David Wilson, was replaced by the returning John Lavery, who took up his customary Inside-Left position, with Bob Watson moving to Centre-Forward, as Stan Cubberley went to Inside Right. The new formation was not a success but a Stan Cubberley goal saved a point for City.
Another home game, in front of a surprisingly good crowd of 11,000, this time against Leicester Fosse, saw a debut for Stan Jefferson, in the unaccustomed role of Centre-Forward, as replacement for the injured Stan Cubberley, while Bob Watson reverted to his usual position of Inside-Right and Harry Bromage returned in goal for Jack Whitley. City were clearly missing their injured players and a Stan Jefferson goal on debut could only gain a 1-1 draw, as their search for their first win continued. They were thirteenth in the League but had played one game more than almost all of the teams below them.
Nottingham Forest had been relegated from the First Division along with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of the previous season and the visit to the City Ground was never going to be an easy game. Jack Whitley deputised for Harry Bromage as the City injury list mounted, with Harry Singleton's absence allowing Willie Murray to have his second game at Outside-Left, while Charles Morgan made a return to first team duty at Centre-Half in place of Jimmy Freeborough.
Forest won in a canter by 3-0 as the dismay of the City supporters increased. It was Forest's first win of the season and they jumped above City who fell to seventeenth spot and the three teams below them had a game in hand and were just one point behind.
Again injuries forced City to shuffle their pack even more as John Lavery missed the trip to Sincil Bank for the return game with Lincoln City. Although City had Harry Bromage back between the posts in place of Jack Whiting it was further up-field that City were missing their better players.
The continuing absence of the lively David Wilson left City toothless in attack and City again tried Bob Watson at Centre-Forward with Stan Jefferson moving to Inside-Right. Fred Hargraves moved up to Inside-Left, to replace the injured John Lavery, with Charles Morgan switching to his old position of Right- Half, as the ever-reliable Fred Walker filled in once more at Centre-Half.
A Stan Jefferson goal managed to gain a point as City were left still looking for their first win after six games and in sixteenth position, but had played one game more than the four teams below them.
A crowd of 3,000 was there to watch as City took on eighteenth club Burton United at Peel Croft in City's seventh game of the season, still searching for their first win. City had David Wilson back at Centre-Forward and John Lavery returned at Inside-left, as they recovered from injury, therefore Bob Watson was able to revert to his favoured Inside-Right spot and Fred Hargraves went back to the Right-Half spot with Stan Jefferson and Charles Morgan dropping out of the team.
Goals from John Lavery and Bob Watson saw City gain their first win of the season, by 2-0, much to the relief of everyone concerned with the club, as they climbed to fifteenth, having played one more game than two of the teams below them.
United returned to Elland Road for the clash with Grimsby Town and were unchanged as another 10,000 crowd turned up. They were rewarded by another win this time by a narrow 4-3 margin as Bob Watson scored twice, David Murray got a penalty, and John Lavery rounded off the scorers. The win saw City rise to twelfth on the ladder but significantly had the same number of points as the sixth club.
There was a third consecutive win at Burslem Port Vale, where Dick Ray played his first game of the season, in place of Andy Clark at Left-Back, as City ran out 2-1 winners with goals from John Lavery, with his third in three games, and Fred Parnell. It moved City up to eighth place just three points behind joint leaders West Bromwich Albion and Leicester Fosse, but Hull City, who had a game in hand, were just one point behind the joint leaders.
For the home game with sixth-placed Burnley a crowd of 14,000 was on hand to cheer on their team as Andy Clark returned in place of Dick Ray at Left-Back while the previous year's regular Left-Half, Jimmy Henderson, had his first game of the season as he replaced Jimmy Kennedy. The 0-1 loss was of little consequence as a tragedy unfolded which resulted in the death of one of City's potentially best players in David 'Soldier' Wilson. It was a tragedy that left the City personnel and their supporters numb with disbelief.
After about an hour of the tough physical encounter against the Claret and Blues when, as in the previous year's fixture at Turf Moor, the field more resembled a battlefield rather than a football pitch, the twenty-three year-old left the field complaining of chest pains. He was examined by a Doctor who advised against his return to the pitch.
On hearing that Harry Singleton and John Lavery had become hobbling passengers, Wilson demanded to go back into the fray. Despite objections from the Leeds officials, he slowly trotted back onto the pitch but it soon became apparent that he would be unable to last until the final whistle and he left the field again. As he made his way down the tunnel to the dressing rooms, he collapsed and was carried to the treatment room, where efforts were made to revive him. The battle was in vain and 'Soldier' lost his brief fight for life.
City never did recover from the tragedy and went into a dismal run of six successive defeats, including the loss to Burnley, and in the first five of which they even failed to score.
The second game in that run was at Saltergate where the home side Chesterfield got the only goal of the game, as City gave a first team debut to Centre-Forward George Page with John Lavery moving to the Left Wing to accommodate the return of Stan Cubberley at Inside-Left and Jimmy Kennedy made a return in place of Jimmy Henderson at Left-Half.
This was followed by a 3-0 defeat at Oakwell, where Barnsley took full advantage of City's disarray, as City lacked the services of Inside-Forwards Bob Watson and Stan Cubberley and Fred Hargraves was again moved up from Right Half and Charles Morgan brought back in his place while Willie Murray was given another chance at Outside-Left allowing John Lavery to take over at Inside-Left.
A crowd of 8,000 was at Elland Road for the visit of fourth-placed Chelsea, which saw the return of Bob Watson to Inside-Right and Fred Hargrave moving back to Right-Half with Charles Morgan dropping out. Local boy Garnet Johnson was given his debut in the first team at Outside-Left, in what proved to be his only appearance for City. In a closely fought game City were able to limit the high- flying Chelsea to a 1-0 win which was a reasonable outcome against a team of such quality. In a tightly packed League it left Chelsea in fourth spot, but they were just two points behind the leaders, West Bromwich Albion, and had a game in hand. The loss dropped Leeds to sixteenth, just three points above the bottom club Glossop but only nine points behind the top club.
A visit to Molineux was the next game on the City fixture list as they took on the freshly relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. City paid out £350 to Lincoln City in November for their Centre-Forward, Billy McLeod, and he made his debut in the Molineux encounter. However, for this game they saw no return on their investment as his name was strangely absent from the scoresheet. Willie Murray regained his Left-Wing spot from Garnet Johnson and goals from John Lavery and a David Murray penalty saw City almost get a reward from the game, but finally went down by 3-2.
The crowd stood by City as they tried to get back to winning ways and establish a settled side and 14,000 turned up for the game at Elland Road against Clapton Orient, a team from the lower reaches of the League. John George stood in for Fred Hargraves at Right-Half, in what proved to be his last game for City in an otherwise unchanged team. Their patience and faith was rewarded as Bob Watson, Fred Parnell and a first goal from Billy McLeod helped City to overcome the visitors by 3-2 to record their first victory after a run of five successive losses and move to thirteenth on the ladder.
City were unable to repeat their previous season's performance when they played eighteenth-placed Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, losing to the only goal of the game. Jimmy Freeborough finally got a game in his preferred position of Right-Back with David Murray moving to Left-Back to replace Andy Clark. Fred Hargraves and Jimmy Henderson were back as the Wing-Halves with Jimmy Kennedy moving to Centre-Half to replace Fred Walker, who had played his last game for City. Centre-Forward George Page was selected on the Left-Wing in place of Willie Murray, as City tried to combat their injury problems. The loss meant that Blackpool drew level on points with City but Leeds stayed thirteenth because of a better goal average, but both teams had played more games than their rivals.
Another game on the road and another 1-0 defeat was City's next game at Gainsborough Trinity as once more they stumbled to defeats against a team from the lower reaches of Division, but this time they were unchanged apart from the return of Willie Murray to the Outside-Left position.
City needed to strengthen its team and Manager Gillies went to Bolton Wanderers and signed the much-travelled Outside-Left, Tom Wilson. He made his debut on the Left-Wing in place of Willie Murray as City played host to sixth-placed Stockport County in front of a faithful 8,000 fans. Manager Gillies also gave a debut to local product Herbert Pickard at Left-Half as a replacement for Jimmy Henderson, while there was a return for the stalwart Dick Ray at Left-Back in place of David Murray. Leeds surprised everyone as Billy McLeod got his second goal for City and a hat-trick for John Lavery and a couple from Bob Watson saw City turn on the style with an emphatic 6-1 demolition of the Cheshire side. City climbed to twelfth place but had played more games than most other teams.
It proved to be a one-off performance, but Manager Gilbert Gillies still was looking to strengthen his side and he went to neighbours Bradford City and signed Centre-Half Gerald Kirk. He made his debut for City at Right-Half, in place of Fred Hargraves, as they visited Anlaby Road, before a crowd of 10,000, to play fifth-placed Hull City. John Lavery was again the City marksman as they went down 2-1.
City's visit to sixth-placed Bradford City in the final game of 1906 attracted 17,000 spectators to Valley Parade as the home team looked to re-enforce their promotion push. Gerald Kirk was moved to his usual position of Centre-Half against his old club, with Jimmy Kennedy reverting to his preferred position of Left-Half and Fred Hargraves returned to Right-Half. Unfortunately, City were without their regular Right-Wing pair of Fred Parnell and Bob Watson as Stan Jefferson showed his versatility by playing Outside-Right and Stan Cubberley came in at Inside-Right. In a hard-fought ‘local derby’ the honours were even as Billy McLeod got his third goal for City and Tom Wilson got his first as a 2-2 draw resulted in City finishing the year in seventeenth position, just five points more than bottom club Burton United and way out of contention, sixteen points behind top club West Bromwich Albion.
New Year's Day 1907 saw a visit to next-to the bottom club Glossop, without Gerald Kirk with Jimmy Kennedy going to Centre-Half and Jimmy Henderson filling in at Left-Half. Disappointingly, City again fell to another away defeat against a team they would have expected to beat, but went down 2-0. It saw City remain at number seventeen on the ladder, five points above bottom club Burton United, but on the same points as Blackpool and Glossop, who had an inferior goal average.
For their first home game of 1907 City faced promotion candidates, top team, West Bromwich Albion and after their 5-0 drubbing at the Hawthorns earlier in the season few would have given City a chance. However, 14,000 fans turned up and they were rewarded with a 3-2 victory as City showed that they were a different team at Elland Road than when they were on their travels. Gerald Kirk returned at Centre-Half, but City were still without Fred Parnell and Bob Watson, and Jimmy Kennedy, Tom Wilson and Jimmy Henderson had joined them as being unavailable. Veteran Charles Morgan filled in at Right-Half with Fred Hargrave moving to Left-Half, while Harry Singleton was brought back, for what proved to be his last game for City, on the Left-Wing. Against all the odds the patched up team triumphed thanks to two goals from Billy McLeod and another from Stan Jefferson. The win pleased Chelsea, who took over at the top, and City moved to sixteenth but they were still in the relegation fight.
City's first-ever game in the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cup had pitted City against the now First Division Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Bristol were in second place in the First Division, just three points behind leaders Newcastle United. David Murray replaced Jimmy Freeborough at Right-Back, while Fred Hargraves moved to Right-Half in place of Charles Morgan, as Jimmy Kennedy returned to Left-Half. Bob Watson replaced Stan Cubberley at Inside-Right, while Tom Wilson returned at Outside-Left. Billy McLeod was again City's scorer but the team's travel sickness continued with a 4-1 defeat as City fell at the first hurdle in front of a crowd of 14,000.
The teams had lined-up:
Bristol City:William Demmery; Archie Annan, Joe Cottle; Reuben Marr, Billy Wedlock, Pat Hanlin; Fred Staniforth, Willie Maxwell, Sammy Gilligan, Andy Burton, Frank Hilton.
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; David Murray, Dick Ray; Fred Hargraves, Gerald Kirk, Jimmy Kennedy; Bob Jefferson, Bob Watson, Billy McLeod, John Lavery, Tom Wilson.
The game was really all over bar the shouting after only five minutes. By that time Bristol were 2-0 up and only a brilliant display from Harry Bromage in the Leeds goal kept the score within the bounds of respectability. He produced a series of marvellous saves in a breath-taking ten-minute spell of intense Bristol pressure when he saved shots from all angles. Unfortunately his colleagues could not match his level of performance against a rampant Bristol City.
The Bristol captain Willie Maxwell had won the toss and opted to play with the wind, a decision that was to pay early dividends. In their very first attack the home team forced a corner and Maxwell headed Fred Staniforth's flag-kick into the net after one minute had elapsed. Before Leeds could recover from that hammer blow, Maxwell split the weak Leeds defence wide open for Andy Burton to add a second with only five minutes on the clock.
Leeds could hardly ever get as far as the halfway line and were punished again by Maxwell as he broke through on the half-hour. The valiant Harry Bromage bravely foiled him from close-range but even he was helpless to prevent Sammy Gilligan from knocking in the loose ball. Bristol, who totally outclassed Leeds, looked set for a huge score but were foiled by Harry Bromage's heroics time after time.
There was a consolation goal for Leeds in the sixty-fifth minute as Billy McLeod netted. But Sammy Gilligan added another in the seventy-fifth minute and only a linesman's flag denied him a hat-trick in the dying minutes. Bristol City went on to finish in second place behind Newcastle United in the First Division that year, so it was understandable that City were so outclassed.
A trip to Filbert Street was next on the City itinerary against promotion contenders, third-placed Leicester Fosse, and the City unpredictability continued as they came away with a 2-2 draw against the expectations of the 8,000 crowd. Manager Gillies had switched his two Full-Backs Dave Murray and Dick Ray and re-installed Stan Cubberley at Inside-Right in an otherwise unchanged team.
Billy McLeod was now finding the net on a regular basis and looked to be the answer to City's striking problem. He was again on the scoresheet and there was a first goal for Gerald Kirk in the surprise 2-2 result, which saw City remain sixteenth.
After the fine result at Leicester, the City fans were hoping that their home form would continue as fourth-placed Nottingham Forest visited Elland Road. Unsurprisingly there was a crowd of 14,000 on hand to see the eagerly awaited match. City re-switched their two Full-Backs and Charles Morgan filled in at Right-Half for Fred Hargraves. Although Billy McLeod enhanced his growing reputation with another goal Forest were far too good for City and completed the double over them with an easy 4-1 victory. Forest were to finish the season as Second Division Champions, but for now the loss sent City down to seventeenth position and deeper into the relegation mire.
After a loss to a top promotion contender the fans were looking for a win as next-to-the-bottom Blackpool arrived at Elland Road, but the 7,000 crowd had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw, as stand-in Centre-Forward Bob Jefferson scored for City. Once again City were hard hit by injuries as Billy McLeod, Harry Bromage, David Murray, Jimmy Kennedy, John Lavery, Jimmy Freeborough and Jimmy Henderson were all out. On the bright side there was the return of Fred Parnell and Bob Watson. City lined-up: Jack Whitley; Dick Ray, Andy Clark; Charles Morgan, Gerald Kirk, Fred Hargraves; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Bob Jefferson, Stan Cubberley, Tom Wilson. The draw was enough to see City rise to fourteenth position.
A visit from bottom club Burton United was seen as a chance to get back on the winning track, as City had recorded one of their few away successes against them earlier in the season. While Billy McLeod returned at Centre-Forward in place of Bob Jefferson, City were still lacking several players due to injury and City's only other changes were because of the return of Jimmy Kennedy at Left-Half, with Fred Hargraves moving to Right-Half and replacing Charles Morgan, who had played his last game for City. Two more goals for Billy McLeod and one from Fred Parnell saw City please their 7,000 fans with a good 3-1 win to complete the double over the Staffordshire side. The win took City to thirteenth place but it was still a tight race to avoid the re-election places.
Harry Bromage and John Lavery were back in place of Jack Whiting and Stan Cubberley for City's visit to Blundell Park, as City looked to complete another double at the expense of Grimsby Town. They were sadly disappointed as they suffered another drubbing on the road going down 4-0 to the Cleethorpes side. City were now fourteenth but just two points above next-to-the-bottom Blackpool.
There was the chance of another double when Burslem Port Vale were the next visitors to Elland Road as Dick Ray, John Lavery and Gerald Kirk dropped out of the City team. In came Jimmy Freeborough at Right-Back, John Henderson at Left-Half and, in a final game for City, Willie Murray filled in at Inside Left, with Jimmy Kennedy moving to Centre-Half in a Half-Back line switch. Goals from Fred Parnell and Bob Watson ensured that City got full points with a 2-0 win and a second double of the season with 7,000 fans going home contented, as City leap-frogged their opponents into thirteenth place.
Memories of the tragedy of 'Soldier' Wilson came back as United visited Turf Moor in search of points against sixth-placed Burnley. It did not auger well when Billy McLeod was not available and Gilbert Gillies gave Alf Harwood his chance to play the only game of his Leeds City career. Bob Watson moved to Inside-Left as Stan Cubberley returned at Inside-Right with Willie Murray omitted. Harwood repaid the faith shown in him by his Manager and scored on debut with Tom Wilson getting the second as City pulled of a surprise but welcome third away win by 2-1, to maintain thirteenth place.
The return of Billy McLeod to an otherwise unchanged City team brought him the only goal of the game in front of a crowd of 10,500 as beat eighteenth-placed Chesterfield at Elland Road as City gained their third consecutive victory for the second time in the season as thoughts of relegation were eased. City moved to twelfth, condemning their opponents to nineteenth place, seven points below them.
The crowds were coming back to Elland Road and the visit of Barnsley saw an attendance of 14,000 to witness an unchanged City make it four wins on the trot for the first time in the season. Billy McLeod scored for the second consecutive game and Bob Watson got the other as City won the ‘local derby’ 2-1. Barnsley had been in eleventh position and, while they had games in hand, they were on the same points as City. The win took City into tenth spot.
Although City were unchanged for the third consecutive game they were unable to keep up their run as they went to Stamford Bridge and played in front of 25,000, City's largest crowd of the season. Chelsea and Nottingham Forest had broken away at the top of the League and going into the game were two points clear of Forest, who had a game in hand, but Chelsea were six points clear of third-placed Leicester Fosse. City went down to the classy London outfit by 2-0. It was no disgrace, as Chelsea were promoted as close runners-up at the season's end. City slipped to twelfth place, but were nine points above the nineteenth team, Chesterfield.
There was a fifth home win on the trot against the next visitors to Elland Road. City were just nine points behind sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a game in hand as the game was played in front of 15,000 spectators. City had a settled team now, and were unchanged for the fourth successive game, as goals from Bob Watson and Stan Cubberley saw them 2-0 winners. Other teams had played their games in hand and although City won, they slipped to thirteenth but just seven points behind the sixth-placed Wolves, with a game in hand.
Unchanged for the fifth consecutive game, City were expected to dispose of struggling eighteenth-placed Glossop without too much trouble, but the 8,000 crowd were surprised and disappointed as their run came to an end as the visitors won 4-1 in a total upset, and City were thankful to Glossop Full-Back Bob McEwan for their only goal. City remained in thirteenth position and, fortunately, it proved to be City's last defeat of the season.
Andy Clark and Bob Watson were left out as David Murray returned at Left Back and John Lavery marked his return at Inside-Left with United's only goal as they visited seventeenth-placed Clapton Orient as the season wound down and City returned north with a point from a 1-1 draw, to push them up to twelfth position.
City were able to field an unchanged team as thirteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity were the visitors in the penultimate Elland Road game of the season. Lack of interest in the fixture was apparent as it attracted City's lowest home crowd of the season of just 3,000 spectators. They were, however, rewarded by a fine 4-0 victory as there were goals from Stan Cubberley, a brace from John Lavery, and one from Billy McLeod, as City moved up to eleventh spot.
After thumping twelfth-placed Stockport County 6-1 in the home fixture earlier in the season, City were looking forward to completing another double as they visited Edgeley Park, unchanged for a third successive game. They had however, to be content with a share of the points after a 2-2 draw, thanks to goals from Jimmy Kennedy and Billy McLeod in their last away fixture in a disappointing season on the road. It left City assured of eleventh position as they went into the final fixture, but behind Grimsby Town, in tenth place, on goal average and one point adrift from ninth-placed Hull City.
The final game of the season was against Hull City in front of a crowd of 7,000, which, while average, was almost half of the turn-out of the previous season in the corresponding fixture. They saw a City side, unchanged for the fourth consecutive game, held to a 2-2 draw by their Humberside visitors, but Billy McLeod finished the season on a high note with both goals.
In a disappointing season City finally finished in tenth spot in a twenty-team League after winning just three games on the road and losing just four at Elland Road, which summed up their season.
Their full record was Ten Wins, Five Draws and Four Losses for a ‘for and against’ goal record of Thirty-Eight against Twenty-Six. Meanwhile on the road their record was an unimpressive Three Wins, Five Draws and Eleven Losses, with a Seventeen against Thirty-Seven goal record. Manager Gillies was pleased with the improvement in results during the second half of the season but the away form would have to show a mark improvement if City were to progress to better things.
Nottingham Forest and Chelsea were the two promoted teams with Sixty and Fifty-Seven points respectively, while Leicester Fosse with Forty-Eight, West Bromwich Albion and Bradford City, both on Forty-Seven, Wolverhampton Wanderers on Forty-One, Burnley on Forty, Barnsley on Thirty-Eight and Hull City on Thirty-Seven were the other teams above City.
Jimmy Kennedy played Thirty-Five games, Harry Bromage Thirty-Four, while Fred Parnell and Fred Hargrave both managed Thirty-Three games, in a season ravaged by injuries with no other player reaching the Thirty mark. Billy McLeod led the goal-scorers with Fifteen goals, from Twenty-Three games, from John Lavery with Twelve, from Twenty-seven games, while Bob Watson with Nine, from Twenty-Eight games, the only other player close to double figures.
There was plenty of movement in the City playing ranks in preparation for their third season in the Football League. Andy Clark, Harry Singleton, Garnet Johnson, John Morris, Fred Walker and Willie Murray all retired or were found to be surplus to requirements. The stalwart Dick Ray dropped into Non-League football while George Page joined Redhill, Tom Drain departed for Kilmarnock, Alf Harwood went to West Ham United, Jack Whitley was allowed to join Chelsea in August 1907 and Gerald Kirk went back to Bradford City in September 1907.
Gilbert Gillies was also very active in his recruiting as Full-Back Harry Kay joined from Bolton Wanderers, Left-Winger Fred Croot from Sheffield United, Centre-Half Tom Hynds from Woolwich Arsenal, Right-Half Tom Tompkins from Denaby United, Inside Left William Thomas from Everton and Wing-Half James Thorpe from Bolton Wanderers and they all arrived before the end of May 1907, while promising Full-Back and Yorkshire cricketer Billy Bates was signed from Bolton Wanderers.
The new season started with a home game with Glossop and the club would have been very disappointed with the crowd as only 4,000 turned up a reflection of the waning interest in an unsuccessful team playing a team which had always struggled in the Second Division and hardly caught the imagination of the public. There were plenty of new as well as familiar faces in the City line-up which was: Harry Bromage; Harry Kay, David Murray; Tom Tompkins, Tom Hynds, Jimmy Henderson; Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Billy McLeod, John Lavery, Fred Croot. There were debuts for four new players in Harry Kay, Tom Tompkins, Tom Hynds and Fred Croot.
A goal from John Lavery and, for the second consecutive home game with Glossop, an own goal from one of their players, this time Goalkeeper William Tustin was the one to suffer the misfortune, saw City get revenge for their 1-4 reversal of the previous season to start the new season with a win, albeit not a very convincing one.
There was to be a stern test in their next fixture as they visited Filbert Street and the club that finished the previous season in third place, Leicester Fosse, who had been immediately declared promotion favourites for the current season. The game attracted an attendance of 10,000 and they were not disappointed as for the second consecutive season they were entertained by a 2-2 draw as Bob Watson and Billy McLeod got the Leeds goals as, for once, the Manager was able to select an unchanged team. City were in fifth spot but some teams had already played three games, while others had only played one, so it was not a true guide to the clubs' form.
Surprisingly the crowd remained only a slight improvement, with 6,000, as City entertained another mediocre team in Clapton Orient, who were, however, in sixth position, with the same number of points as City, but had played one game more. City again fielded an unchanged team. Bob Watson bagged a brace, Fred Croot got his first Leeds goal and John Lavery also netted twice as City romped home with a 5-2 win. It placed City top of the League, but second-placed West Bromwich Albion were one point behind with a game in hand.
For a fourth successive game City were unchanged as they visited Blackpool's Bloomfield Road in search of their third win of the season and to preserve their unbeaten record. They duly achieved all those objectives as goals from Bob Watson, John Lavery and Fred Parnell saw them emerge 3-2 victors and pacesetters in the Division, as clear leaders.
A visit to the Victoria Grounds, home of Stoke, founder members of the Football League, and relegated from Division One at the end of the previous season was always going to be a tricky fixture and there was an enforced change as Tom Tompkins was ruled out and Jim Thorpe was given his debut at Right-Half. Even though Stoke had only gained one point from their first four games they were too good on the day and, in front of a 10,000 crowd, a Fred Parnell goal was not enough to stop City losing their unbeaten record as they went down 2-1. It was enough to knock City from the top position and they dropped to second behind Hull City.
Tom Tompkin was back again at Right-Half but Jim Thorpe retained his place in the team at Left-Half as Jimmy Henderson dropped out for the Elland Road game with third-placed West Bromwich Albion, who had finished fourth for the second consecutive time at the end of the previous season and were rightly seen as one of the favourites for promotion. The class of the opposition and City's fine start to the season was reflected in the largest crowd witnessed at Elland Road and the second largest, after the record clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in the club's Football League history, as a massive 24,000 were present for the anticipated entertaining and important clash of two of the best teams in the Second Division. The clash lived up to its billing and a goal from Billy McLeod saw City take the honours in the top of the table battle. The win put City in second spot, one point behind Hull City, but with a game in hand.
City's highest attendance was broken as they visited near-neighbours Bradford City in their ‘local derby’ which was not just that, but also the battle for the top-spot in the League, as 27,000 poured into Valley Parade to witness the contest. Leeds had nine points from six games and Bradford had six points from four games, both teams having lost just one game. It was an unchanged Leeds City that took the field against their Bradford counterparts and that was where the contest ended as the home team took total control to play Leeds off the park and burst their promotion bubble with a 5-0 cake-walk. It was a game from which City never really recovered and a prelude to several heavy away defeats as City found life on the road just as daunting as in the previous season. The loss saw Leeds drop to third place and Bradford just one point behind, but with two games in hand.
However, their Elland Road record was still impressive and they went into the next game at Elland Road against Hull City seeking their fourth consecutive home victory. Top-of-the-table Hull City were also harbouring designs of promotion and were looking to further their aim with two points from the encounter. Leeds were without John Lavery and Stan Cubberley deputized at Inside-Left, as he became only the thirteen player used by City in the eighth game of the season.
Billy McLeod scored twice and Bob Watson got the other as Leeds preserved their one hundred per cent home record and stayed in touch with the leaders with a 3-2 win over their visitors from Humberside. It put Leeds back into second place, just one point behind Hull with a game in hand, but several others, including Bradford City, could overtake both teams if they won their games in hand.
City took an unchanged team to the Baseball Ground to face the other side relegated from the First Division, along with Stoke, at the end of the previous season in Derby County. The Rams were sitting in tenth place, four points behind, but had two games in hand on City. Like their previous two away games, it ended in defeat and like the last one it was a humbling experience as they went down 1-6 to the Rams before a 10,000 crowd. Derby Full-Back Jack Atkin was the scorer for Leeds with an own goal. City dropped to fourth, but they were becoming engulfed by several clubs who had games in hand.
Manager Gillies was disturbed by the number of goals being conceded and laid the blame at the feet of Harry Bromage. Having allowed Jack Whiting to go to Chelsea in the close season without replacing him, he was now forced to find a suitable goalkeeper to keep Harry Bromage on his toes. He went to Sunderland and bought Tom Naisby to give Bromage the necessary competition.
He went straight into the first team as Jim Thorpe was also left out in favour of Jimmy Henderson at Left-Half for the visit of eighteenth-placed Lincoln City to Elland Road in their next fixture. With Lincoln struggling near the foot of the table and 10,000 turned up to see City put them to the sword. While City maintained their one hundred per cent record, with a straight fifth home win, it was not in a very convincing fashion as Fred Parnell and Billy McLeod, against his former team, scored the goals as City scraped home 2-1 to maintain contact with the top clubs. Hull City led the table with City just three points behind and a game in hand, but five teams could leap-frog them if they in turn won their games in hand.
Fulham had gained election to the Second Division from the Southern League after winning that League title for two consecutive years. They were elected along with Oldham Athletic as Burton United lost their status after being voted out of the Football League, when they had finished bottom of the Second Division, after twice being next to the bottom in successive seasons. Burslem Port Vale resigned from the Football League due to financial difficulties. Fulham, who trailled City by just one point, but in seventh place, were a much stronger proposition than Burton United or Burslem Port Vale. This City found out to their cost, as they visited Craven Cottage with an unchanged team, and, in front of 20,000 spectators, were beaten 2-0. City slumped to seventh as Fulham jumped to fourth, but City's away form was costing them dearly.
John Lavery made a welcome return at Inside-Left in place of Stan Cubberley, But, with neither Wing-Halves, Tom Tompkins and Jimmy Henderson, available, City were forced to recall Jimmy Kennedy at Right-Half and give local boy Herbert Pickard his first game in almost a year at Left-Half. Right-Back Harry Kay was also injured and David Murray switched to that position and Jim Thorpe was forced to play in the unaccustomed role of Left-Back in the ‘local derby’ with thirteenth-placed Barnsley. It drew a crowd of 11,000 to Elland Road to see a Billy McLeod goal get City a point to preserve their unbeaten home record but they lost their one hundred per cent home record with a 1-1 draw, which saw City remain seventh.
Tom Tompkins returned at Right-Half for Jimmy Kennedy and Stan Cubberley made a return at Left-Half in place of Herbert Pickard. However, City were without John Lavery and Bob Watson, as William Thomas was given his first game for City at Inside-Left and Fred Parnell moved inside, as Bob Jefferson came in at Outside-Right, when City took on Chesterfield at Saltergate. The home team had got off to a poor start and were bottom of the League. Nevertheless, City's travel malaise struck once more and, although William Thomas scored twice on his debut and Fred Parnell also scored, Chesterfield still won by 4-3, as City failed to win for the third game and dropped to tenth while the Spireites lifted themselves off the bottom.
Fred Hargraves replaced Tom Tompkins at Right-Half, after Tompkin had played his last game for City before moving to Mexborough, and the two Full-Back switched positions as seventh-placed keen rivals Burnley visited Elland Road before a crowd of 7,000. There were goals from Fred Croot and Billy McLeod as City held on to their unbeaten home record with a 2-2 draw, which saw City drop to eleventh.
City visited Boundary Park to face high-flying Oldham Athletic, who like Fulham had just been elected to the Second Division and, like Fulham, they were proving to be a far better team than those they had replaced. The Latics went into the game in second place, just one point behind Hull City, but had two games in hand on the Tigers. Manager Gilbert Gillies had once more tried to re-enforce his ailing team, signing Jimmy Gemmell from Stoke in November 1907, and he made his City debut at Inside-Right. Fred Parnell moved to his normal Outside-Right spot and Bob Jefferson dropped out. Billy McLeod scored for the second consecutive game and Jimmy Gemmell celebrated his first game with his first goal for Leeds. But it was the Oldham section of the 8,000 crowd that went home happy as they won 4-2 and City dropped to twelfth.
For the home game with fifteenth-placed Grimsby Town, Harry Kay was back for City at Right-Back with Jim Thorpe dropping out after playing his last game for Leeds before joining Crystal Palace. Similarly Herbert Pickard came in at Right-Half in place of Fred Hargraves, who also had played his last game before joining Stoke. With a crowd of just 5,000 in attendance, City once more showed they were a force to be reckoned with at Elland Road. Goals from Billy McLeod, for the third game on the trot, a brace from Fred Croot and a David Murray penalty saw City keep there home record intact with an easy 4-1 win and they moved up one place to eleventh on the standings.
Bob Watson replaced Herbert Pickard at Right-Half for City's visit to Molineux. A crowd of 5,000 was on hand to see thirteenth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers increase City's away misery with an easy 2-0 win, but City clung on to eleventh position.
City's away disasters continued with a visit to Edgeley Park on Christmas Day. There was no Christmas cheer as Jimmy Freeborough replaced the injured David Murray at Left-Back and Jimmy Henderson was at Right-Half for Bob Watson. Billy McLeod was again on the scoresheet for City, but it was not enough, as 8,000 saw tenth-placed Stockport County triumph by 2-1 and pushed City down to twelfth.
For the last game of 1907, City played at Elland Road in front of a crowd of 8,000 against sixteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity. David Murray had recovered from injury and replaced Jimmy Freeborough at Left-Back, while Jimmy Kennedy replaced Jimmy Henderson at Right-Half. City remained undefeated at home as a 0-0 draw resulted, but it was a point lost rather than a point gained, as they dropped to thirteenth.
New Year's Day brought success on the road as City took an unchanged team to sixteenth-placed Glossop and, in front of their usual meagre crowd of 2,000, Glossop were defeated 2-0. There were goals from Fred Croot and Billy McLeod, to give City only their second away victory of the campaign. It was their first since the fourth game of the season way back in September, and it also gave them their first double of the season. The result put them one place up the ladder, to twelfth.
City were unchanged for the third game as they entertained the eighth-placed Leicester Fosse at Elland Road. There was a crowd of 10,000 was on hand to see the promotion contenders try to break the Leeds home record. City once again raised their game and, like the earlier game at Filbert Street, the points were halved, as a goalless draw saw City's home record remain intact, as City held on to twelfth place.
In the First Round of the F.A. Cup City were unfortunate to draw Oldham Athletic at their Boundary Road ground. Although newcomers to the Second Division, they and Fulham had both shown they were forces to be reckoned with. They were joint leaders of the Second Division, neatly placed as contenders for promotion, with a home record even more impressive than City's. They were still unbeaten, with just two points dropped, after eleven games. Athletic had already beaten City 4-2 on their home turf in the League and, with a crowd of 14,000 cheering them on, they repeated the result, winning 2-1. Fred Parnell scored for Leeds, as City once more failed to progress past the first hurdle in the F.A. Cup.
The teams lined-up:
Oldham Athletic: Bob Hewitson; Jimmy Hodson, James 'Snowy' Hamilton; Jimmy Fay, David Walders, David Wilson; Frank Hesham, Joe Shadbolt, Fred Newton, Harry Hancock, Alex Whaites.
Leeds City: Tom Naisby; Harry Kay, David Murray; Jimmy Kennedy, Tom Hynds, Stan Cubberley; Fred Parnell, Jimmy Gemmell, Billy McLeod, William Thomas, Fred Croot.
Oldham Athletic, the joint leaders of the Second Division, made Leeds City pay a heavy price for not playing to the whistle. City ran out on to a heavily sanded Boundary Park pitch fresh from their pre-match training in the Derbyshire town of Buxton, full of optimism. However they were caught napping after just thirteen minutes when Alex Whaites ran on to a pass and the entire Leeds defence stood still expecting the Oldham Winger to be blown up for offside, but the referee waved play on and Whaites galloped on to score despite a brave effort from Tom Naisby to stop his shot.
Leeds found the pitch treacherous underfoot and were again caught out just before half-time with a brilliant individual goal from Fred Newton as the Oldham Centre-Forward dribbled round Stan Cubberley and David Murray before exchanging passes with a fellow attacker and driving home a fierce shot, a minute before half-time. City, with their star forward Billy McLeod strangely out of touch, did manage to pull a goal back through Fred Parnell, who was one of the City's most consistent performers in their early years.
Billy McLeod at last wriggled free of the Oldham defence to engineer an opening for Parnell to dribble past David Wilson and 'Snowy' Hamilton, before lifting the ball over Bob Hewitson and into the net in the fifty-eighth minute. The goal gave City confidence and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Jimmy Hodson denied Billy McLeod an equalizer, but Oldham were full value for their victory.
Tom Hynds missed his first game of the season and Jimmy Henderson came in at Right-Half, as Jimmy Kennedy moved into the pivot role, for the visit of tenth-placed Stoke to Elland Road. There was another 10,000 attendance but unfortunately they witnessed the end of City's unbeaten run at Elland Road and Stoke completed the double as they took both points with a 1-0 victory. However, City remained twelfth.
Tom Hynds returned at Centre-Half and Bob Watson was also back at Inside-Right, with Jimmy Gemmell moving to Inside-Left. William Thomas was left out and did not play for City again before moving to Barnsley in the close-season, as City took on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. The Baggies had been promotion candidates for several seasons and were once more in the main contenders, in fourth place, so it was no surprise when they took both points as they reversed the score of the corresponding game earlier in the season at Elland Road and ran out 1-0 winners. The result saw the Baggies go third, but City remained in twelfth spot.
City were without Fred Parnell at Outside-Right and Bob Jefferson deputised as City broke all attendance records with the visit of Bradford City. The Crowd of 35,000 eclipsed the previous home record of 22,000 and the largest crowd of all, 27,000 at Valley Parade, both in local derbies against Bradford City. Bradford were hot favourites for promotion and the Second Division championship, as they sat in second place just two points behind leaders Derby County, while Leeds were still smarting from the 5-0 drubbing inflicted by Bradford at Valley Parade earlier in the season. However, it was Bradford who completed the double with a 1-0 victory for City's second home defeat of the season. City remained twelfth but on goal average from two other clubs.
John Lavery and Fred Parnell both returned for City, at inside-Left and Outside-Right respectively, as Jimmy Gemmell and Bob Jefferson gave way as City went to Anlaby Road to face sixth-placed Hull City after four consecutive defeats and without a win in five games in all competitions. A crowd of 9,000 saw Hull City show little sympathy for their plight and they gave them a 4-1 hiding as Billy McLeod got the Leeds goal. It sent City down to fourteenth on goal average from Clapton Orient. They were now falling into the re-election zone but had seven points on nineteenth club, Chesterfield, who had a game in hand on them.
With just one win in ten games City were in a terrible form slump and, worse still, the home record was long gone and the goals appeared to have almost dried up. Visitors Derby County had suffered relegation from the First Division the previous season and were looking to make a quick return. They were presently leading the table, and had been amongst the leading bunch all season, and had inflicted a 6-1 humiliation on City at the Baseball Ground earlier in the season. A crowd of 8,000 turned up at Elland Road expecting a third home defeat for Leeds, but the unpredictable City confounded them with a 5-1 victory. A David Murray penalty, a goal a-piece to Fred Croot and John Lavery and a pair from Billy McLeod broke the goal-scoring drought and sent the fans home happy as City took the Rams by storm. It pleased neighbours Bradford City, who went top, while it eased City's worries as they moved back up to twelfth place.
There were storms of a different kind as an again unchanged City visited Sincil Bank for the away game with bottom-placed Lincoln City and only 1,000 turned up as gale-force winds battered the stadium. The gales ripped off the roof on the stand and five people were injured, holding up the game rather than calling it off, and the game continued in farcical conditions with players having difficulty standing up and the ball blowing where ever the wind took it. It obviously blew in directions adverse to City and they went down 5-0 to the team that eventually finished bottom of the League. The result did move Lincoln temporarily off the bottom spot on goal average but City still retained the twelfth place.
City were unchanged for a fourth successive game as they welcomed Fulham to Elland Road. The Craven Cottagers were in fine form in fifth position and making a strong promotion challenge, just two points away from second place, and 10,000 were in attendance to see City lock horns with another top club. Once again they could not score and Fulham took both points with the only goal of the game to complete a double and inflict the third home defeat of the season on City. Fulham went fourth and City thirteenth as a result.
Since the arrival of Fred Croot had proved to be the one successful acquisition made by the Manager, Tom Wilson had been consigned to Reserve team football by the consistently good form of the former Blades Left-Winger, who not only supplied good crosses for Billy McLeod but proved himself to be a consistent goal-scorer. So it came as no surprise when Gilbert Gillies took the opportunity to sell Tom Wilson to Manchester United in February 1908.
City lacked the services of Fred Parnell for the visit to Oakwell for the ‘local derby' with Barnsley. Like City, the Terriers had struggled all season and their home form was nowhere near as impressive as Leeds'. Going into the game they were fifteenth, just one point behind City, with two games in hand. A crowd of 5,000 attended to see City pick up their third away victory of the season, as Bob Jefferson, Billy McLeod and Fred Croot scored the goals, as City won 3-1. The win saw City rise to eleventh, nine points above the danger zone.
With Fred Parnell still unavailable, City maintained the same team for the visit of third-from-the-bottom Chesterfield to Elland Road. Once again City found goals hard to come by and the visitors went home with a point as the game remained goalless and City failed to beat a poor team that finished second bottom in the League at season's end. The point was enough to keep City in eleventh place on the ladder.
Fred Parnell was back for City's visit to fifth-placed Burnley, but played at Inside-Right in place of Bob Watson. They again failed to score and Turf Moor team took the points with the only goal of the game in front of a crowd of 7,000, as City's form still did not improve. City dropped to thirteenth, but had a cushion of seven points from the danger zone but had played two games more than the team, Grimsby Town, who held the unenviable position.
The visit of Oldham Athletic drew a crowd of 15,000 to Elland Road, as the patrons again showed a willingness to turn up to watch the better opposing teams. Oldham had beaten City both in the League and F.A. Cup on their own turf and were well in the hunt for promotion at the first attempt, as they were four points behind the top team with a game in hand. City were back to virtually full strength with the return of Bob Watson to Inside-Right, which allowed Fred Parnell to switch to his usual Outside-Right spot in place of Bob Jefferson. Jimmy Henderson and Stan Cubberley switched Wing-Half roles. However, it was Oldham who completed the double to make it three-out-of-three for the season and gave City their fourth home defeat as they ran out 2-1 victors, with Fred Parnell scoring for Leeds. The win was important for the Latics as they closed in on top spot, two points behind and a game in hand, while City looked anxiously over their shoulders as they dropped to fifteenth just six points above Grimsby Town, who still had the two games in hand.
City were without John Lavery and Jimmy Gemmell was recalled to deputise, while Stan Cubberley and Jimmy Henderson switched back to their initial Wing-Half positions and Bob Jefferson was recalled to replace Bob Watson at Inside-Right. City were looking to get amongst the goals and points as they visited thirteenth-placed Clapton Orient. They had put Orient to the sword to the tune of 5-2 at Elland Road earlier in the season and the home team had struggled for all the campaign, but like Leeds, they had a good home record. City's goal famine continued but the goalless draw suited both teams, in front of a good 8,000 crowd. The draw saw Leeds in fourteenth place but seven points clear of Chesterfield, who had replaced Grimsby Town in the dreaded spot, with Lincoln City seemingly doomed in bottom spot.
Again City were looking to repeat an early season result as they visited Blundell Park to play eighteenth-placed Grimsby Town, after emerging 4-1 victors in the earlier home fixture between the two teams. City had John Lavery back in their ranks at Inside-Left, as Jimmy Gemmell moved to Inside-Right at the expense of Bob Jefferson. City were again goalless as the struggling Cleethorpes team took the points with a 2-0 win watched by 6,000. The win gave the Mariners a five point buffer over nineteenth-placed Chesterfield, who had played a game less, with City in fifteenth place two points better off than Grimsby, but time was running out as Chesterfield only had five games to play.
After an almost perfect start to the season, City's season had gone into a rapid decline. Wins became more and more spasmodic and the goals had been reduced to a mere trickle. In the previous eighteen League games they had won just three games and failed to score on twelve occasions, and they had also lost their only F.A. Cup-tie in addition. One could have forgiven the fans if they had lost some of their enthusiasm and loyalty, but 12,000 turned up at Elland Road for the visit of fellow strugglers, twelfth-placed Stockport County, in the Good Friday fixture. The popular Billy Bates was given his first start for City as Right-Back Harry Kay dropped out, in an otherwise unchanged team. City repaid their faith with a fine 3-0 win with goals from Jimmy Gemmell, a Billy McLeod penalty, and Fred Croot, as City won for the first time in six games and scored for the first time in three. It was a welcome win as it took City to fourteenth place and seven points clear of Chesterfield, who had only four games left to play.
The win attracted 10,000 for the next fixture, again at Elland Road, on Easter Saturday, this time against ninth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. City were without top-scorer Billy McLeod, but Bob Watson returned at Inside-Right with Jimmy Gemmell switching to Centre-Forward. Tom Hynes was moved from Centre-Half to Left-Back in place of David Murray and Jimmy Kennedy took over the Centre-Half spot. Even with a patched up team City again surprised their fans with a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Fred Parnell, Jimmy Gemmell and Bob Watson as any thoughts of relegation were firmly dismissed. City moved up to thirteenth on the ladder and out of touch of any re-election problems which were finally mathematically impossible.
After two outstanding results by City, they were hoping for a third, in a third consecutive, but final, home fixture for the season, on Easter Monday. Tom Naisby missed his first game since joining Leeds and City were also without Stan Cubberley and Fred Parnell. Harry Bromage deputised in goal for Tom Naisby and the return of Harry Kay, at Left-Back, allowed Tom Hynds to return to his Centre-Half role. Jimmy Kennedy moved to Left-Half to replace Stan Cubberley and Bob Jefferson deputised for Fred Parnell at Outside-Right. The under-strength side were not able to get on top of their fellow strugglers, sixteenth-placed Blackpool, who went away with a point from a 1-1 draw, as John Lavery scored the goal for City, in what turned out to be his last game for Leeds, as City moved into twelfth place.
For the final game of the season City visited Gainsborough Trinity and welcomed back Tom Naisby, in goal for Harry Bromage, and Stan Cubberley at Left-Half, Fred Parnell on the Right-Wing and Billy McLeod at Centre-Forward. However they were without John Lavery and the promising Billy Bates, so Tom Hynds reverted to Left-Back, Jimmy Kennedy to Centre-Half and Jimmy Freeborough came in at Right-Back. In a game of no consequence Billy McLeod's goal was not enough to stop Gainsborough from winning 2-1 and ringing down the curtain on a forgettable season.
City finished twelfth in a twenty-team competition, which, as in the previous season, showed Promotion form at Elland Road and Relegation form in the Away fixtures. The home record was Nine Wins, Six Draws and just four defeats with a goal record of thirty-three to eighteen. In contrast there were just Three Away Wins, Two Draws and Fourteen Defeats for a goal tally of Twenty against Forty-Seven. With Thirty-Two points City were just two points better off than the Eighteenth Club. Near-neighbours Bradford City went up as Champions along with Leicester Fosse with Fifty-Four and Fifty-Two points respectively. Oldham Athletic finished in third spot with Fifty points followed by Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County, Burnley and Hull City, with none of them more than six points from the runners-up spot.
Fred Croot was City's only ever-present with Thirty-Eight League appearances, but Tom Hynds, with Thirty-Seven, and Billy McLeod, with Thirty-Six, featured strongly, as did Fred Parnell and David Murray who both managed Thirty-Four Appearances.
Billy McLeod again led the scorers with seventeen League goals with no one else making double figures but Fred Croot was next with a commendable eight goals.
The City Directors felt that Gilbert Gillies had taken the club as far as he could. His contract was not renewed and he moved to Bradford Park Avenue to take over their managerial reins. The Directors appointed Frank Scott-Walford as his replacement.
After Managing Brighton for three years he brought several of his Brighton players with him, though few proved to be of any renown. The players he brought with him were Inside-Forward Jimmy Burnett, Outside-Right David Dougal, Outside Right/Inside Forward Dickie Joynes, Wing-Half Willie McDonald, Centre-Half Tom Morris and Inside Forward Tom Rodger. He also brought in Full-Back John White from Queens Park Rangers and Right-Half Tom McAllister, Centre-Forward Adam Bowman, Right-Back John (Jock) Watson and Centre-Half John (Jock) Hamilton from Brentford. Goalkeeper Thomas Cunningham came from Sunderland Juniors and Outside-Right Richard (Dickie) Guy from Hastings.
Many players left, Fred Parnell left for Exeter, William Thomas departed for Barnsley, Jimmy Freeborough went to Bradford Park Avenue, Jimmy Henderson to Preston North End, Bob Watson to Rochdale, Tom Hynds to Hearts, James Thorpe to Crystal Palace, Tom Tompkins to Mexborough, while Bob Jefferson, John Lavery and Harry Kay all left for Swindon, where they gave many years of outstanding service.
Since the end of the 1907/08 season Lincoln City had been relegated due to their poor results and Stoke had resigned because of financial problems. Their places had been taken by Tottenham Hotspur and Bradford Park Avenue, who had been elected into the Second Division of the Football League. They were joined by the two clubs relegated from the First Division, Birmingham and Bolton Wanderers, while Bradford City and Leicester Fosse had been promoted to the First Division in their stead.
After the success of the newly-elected Fulham and Oldham Athletic in that season, when both narrowly missed out on promotion, City would have approached their first fixture of the 1908/09 season with a fair amount of trepidation as they welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Elland Road. They were greeted by a large crowd of 20,000 to witness how City fared under the new Manager, Frank Scott-Walford, against the Division's new boys and to view the several new players in the City team. City lined-up with: Tom Naisby; Jock Watson, Jack White; Tom McAllister, Jock Hamilton, Stan Cubberley; Dickie Joynes, Jimmy Gemmell, Adam Bowman, Tom Rodger, Fred Croot. There were debuts for no less than seven players, Full-Backs Jock Watson and Jack White, Right-Half Tom McAllister and Centre-Half Jock Hamilton, and Outside-Right Dickie Joynes, Centre-Forward Adam Bowman and Inside-Left Tom Rodger in the forwards. City were off to a winning start as Tom Rodger scored the only goal of the game on debut.
City, in a quirk of the fixture list, played the first five games of the season at home and with a debut for David Dougal as he stood in for Dickie Joynes on the Right-Wing; they entertained Clapton Orient, who were usually amongst the Division's strugglers. It was expected that City would get off to a good start, given their fixture advantage, and that Clapton Orient would pose no problems. It was not the case, and, as their previous year's inability to score freely raised its head again, Clapton held City goalless to go back to London with a point, leaving a disappointing 8,000 crowd disappointed. In the early season League standings, with some teams having played three games but others only one, City were in fourth place, waiting for things to settle down.
There was a third Outside-Right in three games, as Dickie Guy was given his first game for City in an otherwise unchanged side for the visit of Hull City, who had been close to promotion the previous campaign. Leeds kept their third clean sheet in front of a 12,000 crowd and goals from Tom Rodger, his second of the season, and Adam Bowman saw City through 2-0 to put City in the vanguard of the Division, in second place.
City were without Centre-Half Jock Hamilton and the reliable Jimmy Kennedy deputised. The Manager rang the changes up front with the return of Billy McLeod to Centre-Forward and a debut for Jimmy Burnett at Inside-Right. Andy Bowman and Jimmy Gemmell dropped out, as City played host to near-neighbours Barnsley. Once more Tom Naisby kept a clean sheet, as City were yet to concede a goal, while Billy McLeod celebrated his return to the team with a brace of goals, to give City a 2-0 win and kept them undefeated in second place behind Birmingham, who had won four games straight.
Jock Hamilton was back at Centre-Half in place of Jimmy Kennedy as City faced the last of their five games at home as they played host to Derby County. As in the previous campaign, the bubble burst in the fifth game, when in front of a big 20,000 attendance City were well beaten. Derby County had been one of the clubs who went so close to promotion in the previous season and they showed their class as they broke all City's proud records of not conceding a goal or being beaten, as they won by a 5-2 margin. This was despite Billy McLeod getting two more goals, one being from the penalty spot, to take his tally to four in only two games. City dropped to fourth spot, just behind the Rams on goal average,
Willie McDonald was given his first game at Centre-Half in place of Jock Hamilton, while up front Adam Bowman was re-installed at Centre-Forward as Billy McLeod moved to Inside-Right, with Jimmy Burnett missing out, for the visit to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. In front of a small 5,000 crowd City went down to a poor Blackpool outfit, but one who were enjoying an early season burst of form, and the writing was again on the wall that City were unable to win away from home. It left City in sixth place, in an uneven League due to the differing number of games played by the individual clubs.
Tom McAllister missed his first game for City, as Jock Hamilton took over his Right-Half position and Jimmy Kennedy took the Centre-Half spot from Willie McDonald, while Billy McLeod was back to Centre-Forward as Jimmy Gemmell returned at Inside-Right, with Adam Bowman not playing, as City visited Chesterfield at Saltergate. Chesterfield, like Blackpool, had been one of the perennial strugglers in the Division and were to finish second bottom in this campaign. Once again, in a game they were expected to take points, City let down their supporters, as they went down 2-0 as a crowd of 7,000 watched. City dropped to tenth on the League ladder.
City were again on the road as they visited another renowned team of easy-beats at Glossop, but, like Blackpool and Chesterfield, they had been showing good early season results. Billy Bates filled in at Left-Back for the absent Jack White and Tom Rodger also missed his first game for City as Adam Bowman took over his Inside-Left spot. For the third consecutive game City failed to find the net and had yet to score away from Elland Road, as they played out a 0-0 draw in front of 4,000 spectators, which was larger than normal for the home side. City dropped to eleventh place.
For the home game with seventh-placed Stockport County, City welcomed back Jack White, with Billy Bates dropping out. Tom Rodger also returned, taking Dickie Joynes' place at Outside-Right. A crowd of 8,500 saw City get back on the winning track as they registered a 2-1 victory, after four games without a win, and the last three without scoring. As Stockport were to finish third from bottom it was no great feat. It needed an own goal from Stockport Goalkeeper Jimmy Molyneux and one from Billy McLeod to achieve it. City moved up to eighth as a result.
A tough trip to the Hawthorns to play West Bromwich Albion in front of a crowd of 13,554 with an unchanged team was next on the agenda. West Bromwich Albion had always been one of the teams pressing for promotion, and this season was no exception, as they sat in fourth place, just three points behind the early leader Birmingham. Billy McLeod was again on the mark for City in a brave but unsuccessful attempt at victory, as the home side squeezed home 2-1. The result saw the Baggies move up to third and City dropped to tenth.
City made two direct changes with Tom McAllister returning at Right-Half for Jock Hamilton and at Outside Right with the return of Dickie Joynes, but there were a couple of positional changes with Tom Rodger moving to Inside-Right and Jimmy Gemmell going to Inside-Left, as Adam Bowman dropped out for the visit of Birmingham. Birmingham had been relegated from the First Division but were making a strong charge to get back at the first attempt. They were the early competition leaders and a 15,000 crowd turned up at Elland Road in anticipation of a close encounter. City rose to the occasion as Billy McLeod scored for the third consecutive game and Tom Rodger added a second as City took the points 2-0. It was another of those games which made the opposition aware of the potential of City, particularly at Elland Road, where they had a record better by only the best. It did not dislodge Birmingham from top spot, but it did move City to ninth place just four points behind them and opened up the promotion race.
Billy McLeod was again on target as City visited seventeenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity with an unchanged team. In front of a crowd of 4,000 it was enough to gain City a point in a 1-1 draw and move up a place to eighth.
City were again unchanged for the visit of fifteenth-placed Grimsby Town to Elland Road. A crowd of 8,000 was on hand to see Billy McLeod keep up his goal-scoring form and City boost their imposing home record and increase their recent run of good form with a fine 4-1 win, as both Jimmy Gemmell and Billy McLeod scored a brace of goals. City were slowly pegging back the new leaders West Bromwich Albion as they moved into seventh place four points in arrears but with a game in hand.
Leeds were again unchanged for their visit to Craven Cottage as they took on Fulham, who had come so close to promotion the previous campaign. They were well and truly in the race again, sitting nicely in third place, two points behind the leaders, with two games in hand. The well supported Fulham had 18,000 supporters to cheer them in their cosy home ground on the banks of the Thames, but a single strike from Billy McLeod was sufficient for City to score an upset 1-0 win, and to register their first away win of the season. It pushed City into sixth place, with the same points as third-placed Fulham, four points behind leaders, West Bromwich Albion, with a game in hand.
There was a renewed optimism at the club, but this was dampened by the news that two of their leading lights, the prolific Billy McLeod and their most successful signing of the summer, Tom Rodger, were both unavailable for the home clash with fifteenth-placed Burnley. City were weakened as Dickie Guy came in at Outside-Right with Dickie Joynes moving into Inside-Right in place of Tom Rodger, while Andy Bowman was Billy McLeod's deputy. In front of 14,000 spectators, Andy Bowman got the goal which gave City a share of the points in a 1-1 draw, as they extended their run to five games undefeated. City remained sixth but lost ground on the leaders.
City should have visited bottom-of-the-table Bradford Park Avenue, but the game was postponed and in consequence other teams that played were able to push City into eighth place.
There was another 14,000 crowd on hand as goal hero Billy McLeod was back in place of Adam Bowman but City were without the increasingly influential Left-Half Stan Cubberley, as Willie McDonald came in to deputise. City extended their unbeaten run to six and Billy McLeod scored in his seventh consecutive appearance as City walloped Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2 to record their seventh home win of the season from ten games, with just the single defeat. It was Jimmy Gemmell who led the way with a hat-trick, while Billy McLeod and Dickie Guy, with his first goal for the club, scored the others. Although City were in seventh place they were well within striking distance of the clubs above them, three of whom they could overtake if they won their games in hand, but the only club that was more than two points ahead of City was top team West Bromwich Albion, who they trailed by four points but had a game in hand.
There was an enthusiasm and confidence at the club and even whispers of promotion, but it all vanished as City went on a horror run. It started with the away fixture at Oldham Athletic, who had inflicted three defeats on City in the previous campaign as they went close to promotion at their first attempt. City arrived at Boundary Park feeling confident and buoyed by the return of Tom Rodger for Dickie Joyne at Inside-Right, but in front of a crowd of 8,000 they were torn apart and thrashed to the tune of 6-0 as their unbeaten run and Billy McLeod's run of eight goals in seven consecutive games came to an end. City dropped to number eight in the pecking order.
Christmas Day saw a visit to Burnden Park to play Bolton Wanderers, who had been in the First Division the previous season. They were one of the leaders and at that time were third, well within striking distance. They were to go on to be the eventual champions at the end of the season. It was always going to be one of the toughest games of the season, but still without Stan Cubberley and with Billy McLeod, Left-Back Jack White and Centre-Half Jimmy Kennedy not available City's task was made much harder. Billy Bates came in at Right-Back, against his former club, as Jock Watson moved to Left-Back to replace Jack White. Jock Hamilton deputised for Jimmy Kennedy, while Andy Bowman covered for Billy McLeod. Not surprisingly City went down 2-0 in front of a crowd of 19,400 and slipped to ninth, but still in contention.
On the following day, Boxing Day, there was a return fixture at Elland Road and 15,000 turned up to see the future Second Division Champions, who had moved into second spot. Billy McLeod, Jock Watson and Jimmy Kennedy were all passed fit, but Willie McDonald and Tom Rodger were not available at Left-Half and Inside-Right, respectively. Jock Watson returned to Right-Back with Billy Bates switching to Left-Back against his old club. This allowed Jack White to move to Left-Half as Willie McDonald's replacement. Dickie Joynes came in at Inside-Right as Tom Rodger's replacement, with Billy McLeod replacing Adam Bowman at Centre-Forward. City were not outclassed and lost narrowly 2-1 with Dickie Joynes getting his first goal for the club, as City experienced their second home defeat of the season. City remained ninth and still well in touch despite the two defeats.
New Year's Day took City to Oakwell for a ‘local derby’ with eighteenth-placed Barnsley. Tom Rodger returned at Inside-Left for Jimmy Gemmell and Willie McDonald also returned at Left-Half, allowing Joack White to revert to his usual position of Left-Back, as Billy Bates moved to Right-Back and Jock Watson dropped out. Dickie Guy got his second City goal, but it was not enough, as the home side scored twice in a 2-1 win in front of 6,500 spectators. Tenth position was where City were but they were just six points behind the third club, but worryingly, just six points more than the bottom club.
The next day, City were in London at White Hart Lane as they took on third-placed Tottenham Hotspur in front of a 16,000 crowd. City were without Jimmy Kennedy and Dickie Joynes as Jock Hamilton deputised at Centre-Half and Jimmy Burnett came in at Inside-Right. Tottenham gained revenge for their first game of the season defeat at Elland Road and consolidated their promotion push, which eventually saw them runners-up, by scoring a fine 3-0 victory. Nothing much had changed with City still tenth, but losing touch with the top teams and starting to look over their shoulders at the five clubs within two points of them.
City remained on the road as they visited Anlaby Road for the game with sixth-placed Hull City, who were on the fringe of the promotion-hopefuls. Jimmy Gemmell came in at Inside-Left, with Tom Rodger moving to Inside-Right to replace Jimmy Barnett. The Humbersiders avenged their early-season loss at Elland Road as, in front of a crowd of 7,000, they ran out 4-1 winners as Billy McLeod got his name back on the scoresheet. City were now twelfth with four clubs snapping at their heels within two points.
In the F.A. Cup, City had once more been drawn at Boundary Park against Oldham Athletic and were expecting their usual quick exit against a team who had a perfect record against them. Even with the return of Stan Cubberley, the omens for a Cup revenge were not very high with City having lost all of their previous six games and only scored three goals in the process. With the previous month's 6-0 thrashing still fresh in their minds the two teams lined-up:
Oldham Athletic: Howard Matthews; Jimmy Hodson, James 'Snowy' Hamilton; Jimmy Fay, David Walders, David Wilson; Frank Hesham, Finlay Speedie, Fred Newton, Arthur Wolstenholme, Joe Donnachie.
Leeds City: Tom Naisby; Jock Watson, Jack White; Tom McAllister, Jock Hamilton, Stan Cubberley; Dickie Guy, Jimmy Gemmell, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Burnett, Fred Croot.
A bleak winter day, with an icy wind blasting from one goal to the other only hardening the already snow-covered pitch, coupled with a major Rugby League game between Oldham and Warrington being played at the close-by Watersheddings meant that the game only attracted a sparse crowd of 7,000. City skipper Jock Watson won the toss and he wisely chose to play with the wind to their backs. A shoot-on-sight approach was adopted and this bore fruit after fifteen minutes, when Jimmy Gemmell found Billy McLeod just outside the penalty area and City's ace-marksman rifled the ball into the net to give Leeds the lead. City knew they needed to use the wind to their advantage and build up a strong lead before they changed ends and had to withstand the wind-assisted assault in the second half.
They were stunned when their plan did not bear fruit and Oldham got an equalizer five minutes before the interval. Fred Newton had raced on to Joe Donnachie's pass, only to be brought down from behind as he found himself in the penalty area. James Hamilton made no mistake from the spot. Although Oldham piled on the pressure in the second half City defended well and the nearest Athletic came to beating the excellent Tom Naisby was when Jock Watson cleared off the line with Oldham claiming a handball. Oldham wasted a stream of corners as the wind often carried the ball dead direct from the kick and their hopes of victory were lessened when Arthur Wolstenholme limped off with Twenty minutes left and City were able to hold on for a replay at Elland Road.
Oldham were without the injured Arthur Wolstenholme for the replay on the following Wednesday and Arthur Griffiths was drafted into his Inside-Left spot in the only change to either team. The midweek Replay attracted 19,047 spectators to Elland Road. Billy McLeod was injured after half an hour but soldiered on as a passenger for the rest of the game and the Leeds supporters had long thought the free-scoring striker was better on one leg then the rest of Second Division strikers were on two. It did illustrate how City relied on his prolific scoring ability and when David Walker handled the ball in the penalty area to give City a penalty, it was a limping one-legged McLeod who was entrusted with taking it. True to form McLeod crashed home the penalty with his good leg to give City the lead. City who had previously been denied when Oldham's Goalkeeper Howard Matthews had tipped a Jimmy Burnett effort against the bar, almost made it 2-0 as Fred Croot's fierce shot left a muddy imprint on the same crossbar. City deserved some luck, but its fashion was almost unbelievable as it would seal their victory. Oldham defender 'Snowy' Hamilton smashed a clearance against Leeds Outside-Right Dickie Guy with such force that it flattened the City Winger and cannoned into the net with Guy flat out and oblivious to his success.
To seal a memorable win, Goalkeeper Tom Naisby capped two fine match performances with a remarkable double penalty save with ten minutes left on the clock. After being beaten by 'Snowy' Hamilton's spot kick in the initial game, he had to face him again after Jimmy Gemmell had handled. He brilliantly parried the ball to save Hamilton's spot-kick and then quickly recovered his balance to push away the Oldham Full-Back's follow-up to ensure Oldham did not give themselves a fighting chance and ensured a City victory by 2-0.
City were without Tom Naisby, Jock Watson, Stan Cubberley, Billy McLeod and Fred Croot, who missed his first game since joining City at the start of the 1907/08 campaign after sixty-three consecutive League and F.A. Cup appearances, for their next away game at fourth-placed Derby County, as their Cup encounters with Oldham Athletic took their toll.
The untried Thomas Cunningham, was given his chance in goal, however it proved to be his only game for City. Jack White switched to Right-Back to allow David Murray to deputize at Left-Back, while Willie McDonald came in at Left-Half, and Adam Bowman came in at Centre-Forward with David Dougal filling in at Outside-Left. Derby were just too good for the makeshift City team and they completed the double as they won easily by 5-1 to make it seven straight losses for City in the League. Adam Bowman kept up his good scoring record, when given a chance by City, as he scored the consolation goal in front of a crowd of 7,000. City were sinking fast and were fourteenth, but all but two of their rivals were within two points of them and the bottom two, close-neighbours Barnsley and Bradford Park Avenue, were now just four points away.
For the home game against fifteenth-placed Blackpool, City were still without Billy McLeod and Stan Cubberley but the return of Tom Naisby in goal, Jock Watson at Right-Back and Fred Croot at Outside-Left certainly improved the team. David Dougal was given a chance on the Right-Wing as Dickie Guy dropped out. A crowd of 8,000 turned up to see City scrape home by the only goal of the game, again from Adam Bowman, for his second goal in two games, over a poor Blackpool side that would have been soundly beaten by a full City side. It stopped the rot and City moved back to eleventh, but had no cause for complacency.
City were still without Billy McLeod but it was Dickie Joynes who filled the Centre-Forward spot, as City welcomed back Stan Cubberley in place of Willie McDonald at Left-Half and Dickie Guy for David Dougal on the Right-Wing as City played host to Southern League side West Ham United in their first-ever Second Round F.A. Cup tie in front of a huge 31,471 crowd at Elland Road as the teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tom Naisby; Jock Watson, Jack White; Tom McAllister, Jock Hamilton, Stan Cubberley; Dickie Guy, Jimmy Gemmell, Dickie Joynes, Jimmy Burnett, Fred Croot.
West Ham United: George Kitchen; Fred Shreeve, William Taylor; Billy Yenson, George Chalkley, Patrick Tirrell; Jimmy Frost, Danny Shea, Walter Miller, Jack Burton, Fred Blackburn.
Unknown in the North of England, West Ham United were thought to be easy pickings for City as they struggled near the foot of the Southern League Division One.
The novelty of the opposition and, no doubt, the thought of an easy City victory and passage into the F.A. Cup Third Round, saw the game attract by far the biggest crowd to any City F.A. Cup tie. The fans hopes did not materialize and the game was an ordinary affair with Leeds second best to a West Ham team that based their game on short passing and flair.
Dickie Joynes, who normally played Outside-Right or Inside-Right, rarely got a look in as he was easily held by the strong West Ham Centre-Half, George Chalkley, on a heavy pitch. It was the skilful Hammers that took the lead on the half-hour mark, as Fred Blackburn supplied a perfect cross from the left wing and Walter Miller headed the ball home. City had a golden chance to equalize after Fred Shreeve had handled in the penalty area, but Jimmy Gemmell crashed his spot kick against the crossbar and, without thinking, he tried to force in the rebound and was penalized for playing a penalty twice. The miss did, however, galvanize City into action and Hammers' Goalkeeper George Kitchen was tested by a Jimmy Gemmell shot and a Stan Cubberley header.
With just three minutes left, City finally gave their fans something to cheer about. Jock Watson's long clearance found nippy Left-Winger Fred Croot, whose cross was driven home in great style by Jimmy Burnett. The huge crowd went wild and City's name went into the draw for the Third Round of the F.A. Cup for the first time.
One of the biggest prizes in football awaited the winners of the F.A. Cup Second Round Replay at the Boleyn Grounds at Upton Park. The Winners had been drawn to play a home tie against Newcastle United, the League Champions-elect and F.A. Cup Finalists in three of the last four seasons. The two sides showed just one change with Adam Bowman taking over the Centre-Forward spot from Dickie Joynes as Billy McLeod was still not available. So the teams lined-up:
West Ham United: George Kitchen; Fred Shreeve, William Taylor; Billy Yenson, George Chalkley, Patrick Tirrell; Jimmy Frost, Danny Shea, Walter Miller, Jack Burton, Fred Blackburn.
Leeds City: Tom Naisby; Jock Watson, Jack White; Tom McAllister, Jock Hamilton, Stan Cubberley; Dickie Guy, Jimmy Gemmell, Adam Bowman, Jimmy Burnett, Fred Croot.
Originally planned to take place on the Wednesday, the Replay had been put back until Thursday to avoid the clash with another big F.A. Cup Replay between Millwall and Woolwich Arsenal. City had decided that experimenting with Dickie Joynes at Centre-Forward had been a failure and it came as no surprise when they turned to Adam Bowman to add more punch to a lack-lustre attack. Bowman had joined them in the summer from Brentford along with Tom McAllister and Jock Watson, and had shown a good strike rate, with five goals in just eleven appearances, mainly as Billy McLeod's deputy.
He didn't take long to prove them correct, firing in a cross from Outside-Right Dickie Guy after just two minutes. West Ham found great difficulty in imposing their neat style upon the game as the Leeds defence, with Stan Cubberley an outstanding figure, refused to be broken down. City were just twelve minutes away from the dream tie with Newcastle United, when their goal-scoring hero turned villain.
He gave away a needless free-kick and Fred Shreeve floated the ball down the Left-Wing to Fred Blackburn, who curled in a centre which Danny Shea put beyond Tom Naisby's reach. Adam Bowman almost made amends in the dying minutes, when he appeared to be bundled over in the penalty area. However, the Hammers survived appeals for a penalty and the game went into extra-time. After scoring West Ham's first goal Danny Shea became an even bigger hero when he scored their second with just four minutes of extra-time left. Again it was a free-kick that was City's undoing, as Fred Blackburn's cross was headed in by Shea to put West Ham into the Third Round. The financial implications of missing out on the lucrative tie with Newcastle United were to have an effect on City's future prospects.
Fifteenth-placed Glossop's visit to Elland Road saw a 10,000 crowd at Elland Road and, still without Billy McLeod, City were further weakened by the loss of Centre-Half Jock Hamilton, as Willie McDonald deputized. Fortunately the weakness of the opposition saw City get their second consecutive home League win with goals from Fred Croot, Jimmy Burnett and Jimmy Gemmell as City won 3-1. City moved up to eleventh place.
Leeds had an unchanged team as they visited Edgeley Park hoping for a double over the struggling Stockport County, who were just two points behind City and in fourteenth place. Again their expectations received a jolt as the away days blues again appeared and City went down 1-0 in front of a crowd of 6,000. City stayed in eleventh spot, but they were just four points in front of the nineteenth club, which was an indication of the closeness of life at the bottom.
The visit of West Bromwich Albion saw the return of Billy McLeod and Jock Hamilton to the central roles with Willie McDonald and Adam Bowman making way. The Baggies were leading the competition but were locked in a three-way battle with Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur for the two promotion spots, and also the championship of the Second Division. The Throstlers always assured the crowd of a good game, so it was no surprise when 12,000 spectators were there to witness the expected tussle. Honours finished even as Billy McLeod marked his return with his customary goal and West Brom were happy with the point from a team that didn't often lose at home. It kept the Baggies in top spot and sent Leeds up to tenth but still only four points from the dreaded re-election spot.
Jock Hamilton dropped out as Tom Morris, one of Manager Frank Scott-Walford's summer signings from his old club Brighton and Hove Albion, was given his debut, as City took on next-to-the-bottom club, Gainsborough Trinity, at Elland Road. In front of a 7,000 crowd they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 as they lost their third home game of the season. The result saw Gainsborough jump to seventeenth place as City dropped to eleventh but still four points above the latest occupant of the nineteenth spot, Bradford Park Avenue.
City were again without Billy McLeod, as Jimmy Burnett moved to Centre-Forward with Dickie Joynes coming in at Inside-Left, as City visited twelfth-placed Grimsby Town knowing goals would be at a premium. City had beaten the Mariners earlier in the season and would have had only vague ideas of completing the double at Blundell Park. A goal from Jimmy Gemmell in front of 5,500 spectators was enough to give City a 1-0 win for them to claim their first double of the season with only their second away win. City had games in hand but after the win they were in thirteenth position, still four points above the latest nineteenth club, Chesterfield, but had two games in hand, and had the same number of points as the tenth club, Glossop.
By co-incidence ninth-placed Fulham, the only team against whom City had won that season in an away fixture, before their win at Grimsby, were the next visitors to Elland Road. City brought back Adam Bowman at Centre-Forward, allowing Jimmy Burnett to revert to Inside-Left as Dickie Joynes dropped out. Bowman once more came up with the goods as he and Dickie Guy scored with a crowd of 10,000 watching as they sealed their second double in a fortnight and put themselves in twelfth place, within striking distance of the top half-dozen clubs, as they had games in hand on many clubs.
The win against the Londoners came at a cost as both of the Full-Backs, Jock Watson and Jack White, were missing for the visit to Burnley and Billy Bates and Jock Hamilton filled in. Adam Bowman was also missing as Tom Rodger made a welcome return at Inside-Left with Jimmy Burnett moving to Centre-Forward. A crowd of 5,000 was at Turf Moor to see the two rivals play out a goalless draw, as City had no bite up front, and remained twelfth.
For the Good Friday home encounter with the struggling nineteenth-placed Chesterfield, Full-Backs Billy Bates and Jock Hamilton switched positions and Willie McDonald and Jimmy Kennedy were called upon to deputize for Stan Cubberley and Tom Morris, who were both out. Adam Bowman was brought back at Centre-Forward in place of Jimmy Burnett, in the continued absence of Billy McLeod, in the hope of injecting some sting into the City attack. Bowman duly obliged with a goal as City ran out easy winners in front of another 10,000 crowd as Tom Rodger, Jimmy Gemmell and Adam Bowman were all on the scoresheet. City kept themselves on course for a top half finish as they completed their fourth game undefeated. City were now eleventh just five points behind fourth place Hull City.
Bradford Park Avenue had been elected to the Second Division at the start of the season but had struggled somewhat in their new surroundings. It gave City the chance of another 'local derby' and 11,000 fans turned up for the Easter Saturday encounter. With the return of Billy McLeod at Centre-Forward and Stan Cubberley at Left-Half, most of them had come expecting a City win to consolidate their climb up the League and build on their unbeaten run. Adam Bowman and Willie McDonald dropped out, Jimmy Burnett was brought back to replace the unavailable Tom Rodger while Tom Morris was also back at Centre-Half in place of Jimmy Kennedy. To the fans surprise City were soundly beaten by their near-neighbours to the tune of 3-0, as their recent unbeaten run came to an end with their fourth home defeat of the season. City remained eleventh in the very closely fought League where fifth place and nineteenth place were separated by just eight points.
City made wholesale changes for their Easter Monday visit to tenth-placed Birmingham, who had fallen away after their bright start to the season. Once again Billy McLeod was forced to drop out and Jimmy Burnett moved from Inside-Left to replace him, with Tom Rodger returning in his place. Dickie Joynes also came into the team as Jimmy Gemmell's replacement at Inside-Right. Harry Bromage was given his first game of the season in goal in place of Tom Naisby and David Murray was also brought back at Right-Back in place of Jock Hamilton, who filled in for Tom McAllister at Right-Half. David Dougal was also in on the Right-Wing as Dickie Guy dropped out. A poor crowd of 3,000 turned up at St Andrew's and Birmingham ran out 1-0 winners with a disjointed City failing to score for a second game. City were now in twelfth place and the table remained just as congested.
Billy Bates and David Murray switched positions at Full-Back and Willie McDonald filled in for Stan Cubberley at Left-Half but City were otherwise unchanged in the continued absence of Billy McLeod and Jimmy Gemmell. For their Easter Tuesday clash they visited eleventh-placed Clapton Orient, against whom they had played out a goalless draw at Elland Road in the second game of the season. Nothing changed as City went goalless for a third successive fixture in a 0-0 draw in front of 3,000 spectators. City dropped to thirteenth.
Billy McLeod and Stan Cubberley were back in harness for the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers with another much-changed City team. Tom Naisby was in goal for Harry Bromage, Jock Watson returned at Left Back and Tom McAllister to Right-Half. This allowed John Hamilton to move from Right-Half to Right-Back and Billy Bates to fill in at Outside-Right for the missing David Dougal. Billy McLeod took over at Centre-Forward from Jimmy Burnett, who moved to Inside Left with Tom Rodger moving to Inside-Right as Dickie Joynes missed out along with Willie McDonald, who made way for Stan Cubberley at Left-Half. In front of a 7,000 crowd at Molineux, Billy McLeod got his usual goal, but it was not enough, as Wolves ran out winners by 2-1 and left City with just one point in their last four games as they slipped back down the table to fourteenth place but were safe as they were five points above nineteenth placed who only had one game to play.
While City had gained some revenge by knocking Oldham Athletic out of the F.A. Cup, it still hurt City to think about the 6-0 drubbing they had received at Boundary Park earlier in the season. A poor crowd of just 4,500 turned up to see the clash at Elland Road in their final home fixture of the season with what, apart from Jimmy Gemmell, was, on paper, their strongest side. Harry Bromage was back in goal in place of Tom Naisby, with Jock Watson and Jack White back in tandem at Full-Back, as Jock Hamilton gave way. David Dougal replaced Billy Bates as stand in Outside-Right, with the Half-Back line and other forwards unchanged. There was, surprisingly no goals for Billy McLeod in a 3-0 win as Jimmy Burnett, Fred Croot and David Dougal, with his first goal for City, were the scorers as City finished their home campaign on a winning note and moved up to twelfth.
For their final game of the season City visited Horton Park Avenue home of the Bradford Football Club who, to avoid confusion with Bradford City, were always known as Bradford Park Avenue. The Ground was also famously used by Yorkshire C.C.C. and like the Bramall Lane of the day could only really use three sides of the ground for Football spectators. Tom McAllister was pushed up to Inside Right and Willie McDonald took the Right-Half spot while Jock Hamilton came in for Tom Morris at Centre-Half. Billy McLeod was once again missing which allowed Jimmy Burnett to resume at Centre-Forward and Tom Rodger to move to Inside-Left. Park Avenue duly completed the double in the ‘local derby’ with a 2-0 win in front of a crowd of 6,000 as City's season ended on a losing note.
It was another disappointing season for City as the same old problems recurred, but they could have easily achieved sixth place had they not gained just three points from their last six games. Their cause had not been helped by injury to key players, Billy McLeod, in particular, and they could not boast one ever-present player amongst their ranks. Fred Croot had missed just one game and with thirty-seven League appearances was City's most regular player. Goalkeeper Tom Naisby, with thirty-three appearances and Tom McAllister, with thirty-two and Jack White with thirty-one were the only other players to amass more than thirty appearances, although Jock Watson and Jimmy Gemmell both managed twenty-eight.
Billy McLeod was once again leading goalscorer with fifteen goals from just twenty-two games, and netted two more in the F.A. Cup in two games for good measure. Jimmy Gemmell was next best with eight League goals, but by a coincidence all his goals were scored in five games, which included a hat-trick and a brace, happily all five games resulted in a win for City.
City finished twelfth for the second consecutive year with thirty-five points in a closely contested Division of twenty teams. Their full record again showed a good overall home performance and a very poor away one. They won twelve of their home games, drawing three and losing only four with a goal record of Thirty-Five against Nineteen. Away was as poor as the home record was good with just two away wins, which both resulted in doubles being achieved, while four were drawn and a lopsided thirteen games were lost, as just eight goals were scored while thirty-four were conceded.
Bolton Wanderers finished Champions with fifty-two points while two clubs had fifty-one points with Tottenham Hotspur gaining promotion at the expense of West Bromwich Albion on goal average. The rest were also rans, with Hull City on forty-four and Derby County on forty-three coming next but after that City were just five points behind Oldham Athletic in sixth spot and six points ahead of Blackpool in twentieth and bottom place. And Bradford Park Avenue's double over City saw them in sixteenth position whereas they would have been bottom had City done the double instead.
City had progressed to the Second Round of the F.A. Cup before going out in extra-time of the Replay, but the financial implications of that defeat with the resulting loss of a 'plum' home tie were to reverberate into the club's ability to strengthen their side in the close season and a fresh assault on promotion to Division One.
Two players, who still survived from the reign of Gilbert Gillies were still by far the best City players. Fred Croot had been virtually ever-present for two seasons and his runs along the left touchline and his crosses to the Leeds strikers endeared him to the Leeds fans and made him a danger to opposing teams. Billy McLeod was also a crowd favourite and chief beneficiary of Fred Croot's crosses, as he constantly topped the City goal-scoring list. His absence through injury for many games had shown City's dependency upon him for strike power.
To those two could be added Harry Bromage, who had to play second fiddle to Tom Naisby for almost the whole of the last season, but who had been a dependable keeper since the club's entry into the Football League, and to a lesser extent the ever-improving Stan Cubberley. None of the players recruited by Frank Scott-Walford had been resounding successes although a few had proved to be up to Second Division standards.
City had always been short of cash and there was little money available for team strengthening in the summer of 1909 in preparation for the new season. He spent time looking for bargains in Ireland and he came back with Centre-Forward Billy Halligan and Inside-Right Tom Mulholland from Ulster club Distillery. Jimmy Horsley, a Centre-Half from Newark, Welsh International Half-Back Haydn Price from Wrexham, Hugh Roberts, an Outside-Right from Southport Central and Colin Stockton, an Amateur Outside-Right from Chester, all came in May 1909. George Affleck a Full-Back from Scottish Junior club Penicuik joined in June 1909 about the same time as Right-Half Hugh Berens arrived from Musselburgh, and Harry Bridgett, an Outside-Left, arrived from Stoke. Later came the arrivals of Outside-Right Ted Hamilton from Petershill in August 1909, Inside-Forward Frank Mann from Newark Town and Goalkeeper Tony Hogg from Walker Church Lads in September 1909.
There were also many players who left Elland Road. Some like Billy Bates and Tom Rodger left League football while Fred Hargraves went to Stoke, Jimmy Kennedy joined Stockport County, Charles Morgan left for Bradford Park Avenue, Dickie Guy for Portsmouth, David Murray for Mexborough Town, Jock Hamilton returned to Brentford and Willie McDonald went back to his roots with Nithsdale Wanderers.
City kicked off the new season with a 6,000 crowd against the reinstated Lincoln City at Elland Road on 1st September with Harry Bromage; Jock Watson, Jack White; Tom McAllister, Tom Morris, Stan Cubberley; Colin Stockton, Tom Mulholland, Billy Halligan, Jimmy Gemmell, Fred Croot. There were debuts for Colin Stockton, Tom Mulholland and Billy Halligan while Billy McLeod was again on the sidelines. City could not have asked for a better start with a resounding 5-0 win. They proved they could score without Billy McLeod, that they always won when Jimmy Gemmell scored, and that they were a very strong and hard-to-beat team at Elland Road. They sat proudly at the top of the League on day one. Jimmy Gemmell led the way with two goals, but there were also two goals, on debut, for Billy Halligan and a first City goal for Centre-Half Tom Morris.
Hull City had finished in fourth spot in the previous season and were looking to improve on that performance and were not the sort of team City were looking to face in their second game of the season at Anlaby Road. A crowd of 10,000 was in attendance as an unchanged City team were well beaten. Billy Halligan got his third goal in two games, but it was not enough as the Humbersiders won 3-1 on their home turf. City were eighth in the early season standings, with clubs on uneven games played.
Fourth placed Derby County were City's next opponents. They were expected to provide stiff opposition and attracted a crowd of 12,000 to Elland Road for the second home game of the season. Billy McLeod returned to the side at Centre-Forward as Billy Halligan moved to Inside-Right at the expense of his former Distillery team-mate Tom Mulholland. There was a debut for Welsh International Haydn Price at Left-Half as deputy for Stan Cubberley, who had picked up an injury. Goals from Fred Croot and a fourth in three games for Billy Halligan saw City move to fourth in the League and preserve their perfect home record with a fine 2-1 win over the team that eventually finished fourth in the Division and narrowly missed promotion on goal average.
Tom McAllister was unavailable for the trip to eleventh-placed Stockport County's Edgeley Park, but Stan Cubberley had recovered from injury to resume his place at Left-Half, with Haydn Price switching to Right-Half. Billy McLeod was again out and Billy Halligan reverted to Centre-Forward as Dickie Joynes got his first game of the season at Inside-Right. David Dougal came in at Outside-Right for the former Chester amateur, Colin Stockton who had played his third and final game for Leeds. City picked up their first away point of the season as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stockport County to keep them in touch with the leading clubs in sixth place.
Billy McLeod was back for the Elland Road game with seventh-placed Glossop, with Billy Halligan moving back to Inside-Right at the expense of Dickie Joynes. A crowd of 12,000 turned up expecting City to keep up their promotion challenge. They were, however, sadly disappointed as a first goal of the season to Billy McLeod was not enough to save them from their first home defeat of the season as they went down 2-1 to a better Glossop outfit, to drop to seventh in the League standings.
City were without Billy McLeod, Tom Morris and Jimmy Gemmell as they travelled to St Andrew's to face Birmingham, who had made a terrible start to the season and were in eighteenth position. Fortunately Tom McAllister was back at Right-Half and Stan Cubberley moved to Centre-Half, with Haydn Price moving to Left-Half. In the forwards Billy Halligan took on the spearhead role with Dickie Joynes coming in at Inside-Right and the ageing Jimmy Burnett filled in at Inside-Left for Jimmy Gemmell. A brace from Billy Halligan saw him score his sixth goal in six games, as he was fast proving to be more than a capable deputy for Billy McLeod. His goals were enough for City to get their first win on the road in front of a surprisingly large crowd of 14,000 by 2-1, as they moved back into promotion contention in seventh place but five points behind the early leaders, West Bromwich Albion, with two games in hand.
The high-flying leaders West Bromwich Albion had always provided good entertaining football and had always been promotion contenders, so it was hard to understand why City had a relatively low attendance of 7,500 for their visit. City were still without Billy McLeod, but were strengthened by the return of Tom Morris and Jimmy Gemmell. Stan Cubberley moved back to Left-Half as Haydn Price dropped out, along with Jimmy Burnett. Hugh Roberts made his debut at Outside-Right in place of David Dougal, as he became the third player to wear the number seven jersey. The Baggies proved just too good for City and returned to the Hawthorns with the points as City slipped out of promotion contention in tenth place.
City's next fixture meant a visit to their old rivals, Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. They went there without Stan Cubberley and Jimmy Gemmell, who had joined Billy McLeod on the treatment table. Haydn Price and Jimmy Burnett returned as their deputies. Dick Joynes was left out as Tom Mulholland was given another chance at Inside-Right and there was a debut at Outside-Right for Ted Hamilton, who be the fourth player to wear the number seven jersey. Billy Halligan got his seventh goal in eight appearances, but it was not enough to prevent Oldham taking the points with a 2-1 victory in front of an attendance of 10,000, as the home team kept up their recovery from a poor start as City slipped to eleventh.
City had never done particularly well in local derbies against the two Bradford clubs and Barnsley, or indeed, their other Yorkshire opponents such as Hull City, but their latest 'local derby' at home to twelfth-placed Barnsley was to prove to be the worst loss the club had suffered in any fixture to date. City had Jimmy Gemmell back in place of Jimmy Burnett at Inside-Left but Tom McAllister was absent and Haydn Price took his place at Right-Half, in an otherwise unchanged City line-up. There was little to warn the 8,000 of the impending demolition as Barnsley made the short trip from Oakwell to Elland Road. The men from Oakwell were well aware of the strong City home record, as they had just one point to show for their previous four closely contested visits. It may have been a freak result, as it was Barnsley's only away win of the season, and the 7-0 hiding they gave City on that day provided exactly half of the away goals they managed all that season. But it brought home to Frank Scott-Walford the need to re-enforce his weak team, who had slipped to fifteenth.
After their home drubbing at the hands of Barnsley, City could not have asked for a much harder task than a trip to Craven Cottage to take on fifth-placed Fulham, who had proved to be one of the Second Division's better teams since their election a couple of years back. Fred Coot, who missed only his second match for City, and Jimmy Gemmell were both missing and Tom McAllister and Billy McLeod were still not fit. So Hugh Berens was given his debut at Right-Half and Haydn Price was asked to fill in at Outside-Left, while Jimmy Burnett played his final game for City at Inside-Left, in place of Jimmy Gemmell, before retiring. There was a return for David Dougal at Outside-Right as the musical chairs for the Right-Wing spot continued. City were buoyed by the memory of completing the double over the Thames-siders the previous season as they faced them before a crowd of 14,000. City were again well-beaten with the home team running out 5-1 winners, as Billy Halligan claimed his eighth goal of the season in just ten games. However, it could not stop City's fourth consecutive loss or its slide, as they now dropped to eighteenth.
City were happy to welcome back Billy McLeod, Fred Croot, Tom McAllister and Jimmy Gemmell, who returned at Inside-Right as Billy Halligan switched to Inside-Left, to return to near full-strength, as Hugh Berens dropped out. Manager Frank Scott-Walford was without Right-Back Jock Watson and Centre-Half Tom Morris and he switched Jack White to Right-Back and gave debuts to George Affleck at Left-Back and Jimmy Horsley at Centre-Half as he still searched for players to strengthen his squad. Eleventh-placed Burnley, strong rivals in their no holds-barred 'War of the Roses' clashes, were the visitors to Elland Road and a ninth Billy Halligan goal in just eleven appearances was the difference between the two sides, as City won 1-0 in front of an attendance of 7,000, to bring their losing sequence to an end and moved up to sixteenth.
Fourteenth-placed Bradford Park Avenue had done the double over City the previous season, their first in the Second Division, but had struggled near the relegation zone for most of that season. So City, with an unchanged team, were looking forward to two points as they came to Elland Road for the 'local derby'. In front of a crowd of 10,000 Billy McLeod bagged a brace to make it three goals in his only four games, but that was not enough to stop Park Avenue from keeping their perfect record against City and give them their fourth home defeat of the season, as they won 3-2 and pushed City back to seventeenth, one point above the re-election zone.
Fred Croot, Tom McAllister and Jimmy Gemmell were again absent as they joined Jock Watson on the injured list for the visit to Molineux against the consistent Wolverhampton Wanderers. Stan Cubberley switched to Right-Half and Haydn Price was recalled at Left-Half as Dickie Joynes came in at Inside-Right and David Dougal switched to the left Wing to allow Ted Hamilton to be the latest player to wear the number seven shirt. City lost their sixth game in the last seven outings as Wolves humbled them 5-0 in front of a disappointing crowd of just 5,500. City were now eighteenth and just one point above nineteenth-placed Lincoln City.
There was a recall for Goalkeeper Tom Naisby and local boy Herbert Pickard at Right-Half as Jock Watson, Jimmy Gemmell and Fred Croot all returned for the visit of Gainsborough Trinity, who were also struggling in seventeenth-placed in the League, to Elland Road. Jock Watson and Jack White were reunited as the pairing at Full-Back, as George Affleck dropped out, and so did Goalkeeper Harry Bromage, as he missed his first game of the season. Stan Cubberley returned to his favoured Left-Half role as Haydn Price dropped out, along with Dickie Joynes. David Dougal reclaimed the number seven jersey from Ted Hamilton to allow the return of Fred Croot to the Outside-Left position. In front of a disappointingly small crowd of 3,000 City played out a goalless draw to obtain a needy point, but against a team of Gainsborough's calibre they had expected more. City remained eighteenth just two points above the dreaded nineteenth position.
Tom McAllister returned for the visit to bottom of the League, Grimsby Town, as Herbert Pickard made way, but once more Billy McLeod was out, and Billy Halligan took his Centre-Forward spot. Tom Mulholland was given another chance at Inside-Right while Dickie Joynes became the fourth diffent player to wear the number seven jersey as he took over from David Dougal. In front of a 3,000 crowd at Blundell Park, City's dismal run continue as Billy Halligan got his tenth goal as Grimsby Town won 3-1. The loss did not affect City's standing in eighteenth place as Lincoln City did not play and now had two games in hand on City.
Billy McLeod returned for the Elland Road clash with Manchester City, who were amongst the front-runners and in fourth position in their first season in the Second Division, after being relegated from the top League at the end of the previous season. Harry Bromage was back on goal for Tom Naisby, while Jock Watson dropped out and Jack White moved to Right-Back, which allowed George Affleck to reclaim the Left-Back spot. With Tom McAllister once more injured, Herbert Pickard was given another chance at Right-Half, while Hugh Roberts got another run in the number seven jersey in place of Dickie Joynes. Billy Halligan kept his ever-present tag as he moved to Inside-Left to take the place of Jimmy Gemmell as Billy McLeod returned at Centre-Forward. City lost their eighth game of the last ten as Manchester City went back to Maine Road with both points after an easy 3-1 win in front of a poor crowd of 5,000. It was a scoring return for Billy McLeod, but it was the only bright spot as City were starting to look like relegation prospects. City were just one point above Lincoln City, who had two games in hand.
City travelled to Leicester Fosse, who were riding high in sixth place in the League, as they tried to regain their First Division status which they had lost at the end of the previous campaign. Jock Watson returned at Right-Back as Jack White dropped out and Hugh Berens made his second appearance at Right-Half in preference to Herbert Pickard. City came away from Filbert Street empty-handed as their horror run continued with a 6-2 defeat before a crowd of 12,000, as Billy McLeod and Tom Mulholland got on the scoresheet. City were now clinging on to eighteenth place by goal average and had played two games more than Lincoln City.
Manager Frank Scott-Walford had finally been able to bring in James Tildesley, a Full-Back from Middlesbrough, and he went straight into the team at Left-Back in place of George Affleck for the Christmas Day clash with lowly fifteenth-placed Clapton Orient, which only attracted a crowd of 6,000 to Elland Road. Tom Morris was forced to miss the game as Jimmy Horsley got his third game of the season, but Jimmy Gemmell was back in place of Tom Mulholland at Inside-Right, as was Tom McAllister for Hugh Berens at Right-Half. There was a first goal for City from Hugh Roberts and another from Billy McLeod and there was some welcome Christmas cheer for City as they registered their first win in six games and only their second in twelve. Birmingham, who were also having a horror run, were the new occupiers of the nineteenth spot, a point worse off than City.
There was another home game against the seventh-placed club in the Division as Blackpool visited Elland Road for the final home game of 1909. George Affleck was in for James Tildesley at Left-Back and Herbert Pickard had to deputize for Stan Cubberley at Left-Half. Billy Halligan was out, for the first time in the season, which gave his ex-Distillery team-mate, Tom Mulholland, a chance at Inside-Right as Jimmy Gemmell moved to Inside-Left. There was a goal for Billy McLeod and Hugh Roberts made it three goals in two games, as he cemented the Outside-Right spot, and gave City a very welcome second home win on the trot in two days in front of an improved 10,000 attendance. The win took City to sixteenth place, three points above nineteenth placed Birmingham.
The final game of 1909 was played the following day at Sincil Bank, home of eighteenth-placed Lincoln City, and as usual, with no time between two games, injuries took their toll. Jock Watson was out and James Tildesley was drafted in at Right-Back. Tom McAllister was missing at Right Half but there was a welcome return of Tom Morris and Stan Cubberley to the two other Half-Back positions as Jimmy Horsley moved from Centre-Half to Right-Half and Herbert Pickard dropped out. Up front the influential Billy McLeod and Fred Croot were not available and Billy Halligan came in at Centre-Forward and Harry Bridgett became Manager Frank Scott-Walford's twenty-fifth player used in the season to date as he made his debut at Outside-Left. After the previous season's inclement weather and devastating result, City were quite happy to share the points with Lincoln City in a goalless draw in front of a much better crowd of 8,000 to consolidate sixteenth place.
City played their fourth game within seven days as they visited Bloomfield Road on New Year's Day to take on ninth-placed Blackpool, who they had conquered at Elland Road just five days previous. They were heartened by the return of several players from injury, as they returned to close to full-strength. Billy McLeod, Fred Croot, Tom McAllister and Jock Watson all returned, with Right-Half Jimmy Horsley, Right-Back James Tildesley and Outside-Left Harry Bridgett all dropping out, while up front the return of Billy McLeod meant that Billy Halligan moved to Inside-Left and Jimmy Gemmell went to Inside-Right at the expense of Tom Mulholland. Billy Halligan got his eleventh goal of the season, but City, disappointingly went down to the bottom team of the previous year by 3-1 in front of a poor crowd of 4,000. However, City remained sixteenth, four points above Birmingham.
The first home game of the New Year saw the fourth-placed Hull City at Elland Road as the Tigers looked to maintain their promotion push. City were missing a couple of key players as James Tydesley deputised for Jock Watson and Jimmy Horsley came in for Tom Morris at Centre-Half. In front of a good crowd of 10,000, Jimmy Gemmell scored his first goal since the opening day of the season, but his record, of every time he scored Leeds won, was broken. City shared the points in a 1-1 draw with their Yorkshire rivals, as they dropped to seventeenth place.
In the F.A. Cup City had drawn a top First Division side, Sunderland, at Roker Park. With so many classy players such as Dick Roose, the Welsh International Goalkeeper, Scottish Internationals Tommy Tait at Right-Half and Charlie Thomson at Centre-Half, and English Internationals such as George Holley, father of Leeds United stalwart Tom Holley, at Centre-Forward, Arthur Bridgett at Inside- Left and Jackie Mordue at Outside-Left, they were given little chance of progress even though they were able to field an unchanged team. The teams lined-up:
Sunderland: Dick Roose; Billy Troughear, Albert Milton; Tommy Tait, Charlie Thomson, Harry Forster; Willie Clark, Harry Low, George Holley, Arthur Bridgett, Jackie Mordue.
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; James Tildesley, George Affleck; Tom McAllister, Jimmy Horsley, Stan Cubberley; Hugh Roberts, Jimmy Gemmell, Billy McLeod, Billy Halligan, Fred Croot.
A crowd of 18,000 paid £545 to see the game in which Leeds while outclassed gave the home team a run for their money. Indeed, had not Billy McLeod not missed a penalty with twenty minutes to go and Sunderland ahead by 1-0 they could have forced a Replay at Elland Road. With players like George Holley, Arthur Bridgett and Jackie Mordue being among the best in the First Division United's defence had their work cut out as the forwards skills kept them busy. City’s Goalkeeper Harry Bromage was, understandably, always featuring in the thick of the action and it was to his, and the Leeds defence's, credit that they were able to keep the game scoreless until the fifty-fourth minute.
Arthur Bridgett picked up a stray pass from Billy McLeod and forced his way past Jimmy Horsley and George Affleck to feed George Holley, who forced the ball home from close-range. City responded well with Jimmy Gemmell going close and Welsh International Dick Roose also saved well from his fellow countryman Hugh Roberts. City's big chance came when Fred Croot was brought down as he bore down upon goal inside the penalty box. Billy McLeod, after a brief discussion, stepped up to take the spot kick and blazed it over the bar. This acted as a rude awakening for Sunderland and they stormed back into attack and as the clock wound down City had to thank Billy Halligan for getting back to execute a goal-line clearance to deny Jackie Mordue a second goal for the Roker Park men. However, once again City fell at the first hurdle but took great credit and heart from holding such a classy team to such a narrow win.
Back in the League City faced another stiff task as they visited another of the Division's high-flyers in League leaders Derby County at the Baseball Ground. Jock Watson was able to resume at Right-Back in place of James Tildesley but sadly City were lacking Fred Croot as David Dougal deputized in an otherwise unchanged team. City were unable to score and made it four League games without a win as they went down narrowly by the only goal before an attendance of 7,000. City were now sixteenth, just two points above nineteenth-placed Birmingham.
Another away game followed, this time at Glossop, as the home team sat in third position, after being well up with the leaders all season. James Tildesley was back at Right-Back as once again Jock Watson was out, but City were strengthened by the return of Fred Croot on the Left-Wing in place of David Dougal. Hugh Roberts was the Leeds goal-scorer as City went down once more, albeit narrowly, by 2-1 in front of the usual poor attendance at Glossop, this time barely 1,000, and it was five games without a win and just two points in that time, as City slipped precariously close to the danger zone, just one point above the dreaded nineteenth spot.
There was a good crowd of 10,000 at Elland Road as City were unchanged to face Birmingham, who were deep in the relegation mire in nineteenth place and were eventually to finish bottom at the end of the season. City had managed their sole away win at the Midlander’s expense earlier in the season and there was hope of a rare double against the Division's strugglers. Hugh Roberts was on the scoresheet for the second consecutive game, for his fifth of the season while Billy McLeod weighed in with his eighth as City broke their sequence without winning and completed their first double of the season to go seventeenth, three points above Birmingham. It was Billy Halligan's twenty-fourth and final game for City as he was sold to Derby County for £400 to ease City's financial problems.
Tenth-placed Oldham Athletic crossed the Pennines to continue their 'War of the Roses' rivalry with City. They were enjoying a splendid season and fighting for a top spot, with games in hand, as they visited Elland Road. Jack White came in at Right-Back for James Tildesley, while Tom Mulholland was restored at Inside-Right, as Jimmy Gemmell switched to Inside-Left in place of the departed Billy Halligan. A crowd of only 6,000 were there to greet them, but they joined with City to produce a highly entertaining game. However, Billy McLeod's second goal in nearly two months, Tom Mulholland's second-ever goal for City and a penalty from Fred Croot were not enough, as Oldham went nap to win 5-3 for City's sixth home defeat of the season. Their former strong point had started to become a myth and City remained seventeenth, but were just one point above the drop zone.
A third consecutive home game, this time with the visit of fifteenth-placed Stockport County saw the crowd diminish even further, as only 5,000 turned up. James Tildesley was back at Right Back for Jack White and Dickie Joynes was given his first game since the end of November at Inside-Right, as Tom Mulholland was forced to pull out. City were again beaten 2-0 as they fell to their seventh home defeat of the season and their fifth loss in seven matches. They dropped to nineteenth, just four points better off than bottom club Grimsby Town, but one point behind Lincoln City and Birmingham, who had played more games than them.
A trip to the Hawthorns brought no relief either, as one of the most consistent clubs in the Second Division won 3-1, as Billy McLeod got the City goal. Jack White was back at Right-Back for James Tildesley and Tom Morris returned at Centre-Half for Jimmy Horsley, after a long lay-off. Tom Mulholland also returned at Inside-Right in place of Dickie Joynes, while David Dougal had to fill in at Inside-Left for the absent Jimmy Gemmell. It became the sixth loss in eight games as City wondered where their next points were coming from, as they stayed in the relegation spot.
A visit from sixth-placed Fulham attracted only 4,000 spectators to Elland Road as the fans disenchantment with City sank to a new low. Tom Morris was out again and Jimmy Horsley took over the Centre-Half spot once more, but City were pleased to welcome back Jimmy Gemmell in place of David Dougal at Inside-Left. Fred Croot helped the City cause with a brace, including one from the penalty spot and they were able to gain a point with a 2-2 draw as their disappointing run without a win continued unabated. City did, however move above Birmingham into eighteenth position, on goal average, but had a game in hand.
Manager Frank Scott-Walford twenty-sixth player used was Inside-Left George Ackerley, who he had picked up as an amateur from Liverpool in March, and he went straight into the team even though he had no professional experience at senior level. He made his debut at eleventh-placed Barnsley in the 'local derby' and the lack of interest by both sets of fans in the two teams struggle in the lower reaches of the Second Division was shown in the meagre 2,000 attendance. Tom Morris returned at Centre-Half for Jimmy Horsley and George Ackerley got his chance as Jimmy Gemmell had to drop out. After their sensational home defeat at home earlier in the season, City were fearing the worst from their Oakwell trip but they managed a share of the points with a 1-1 draw with a goal from Billy McLeod, which satisfied both teams. City were now seventeenth but were just one point above nineteenth-placed Birmingham, while Gainsborough Trinity were below them on goal average but had two games in hand.
Two days later City were again on the road with a trip over the Pennines to Turf Moor to take on their 'War of the Roses' rivals thirteenth-placed Burnley. Tom McAllister and Tom Morris were both missing, and there were recalls for Hugh Berens at Right-Half and Jimmy Horsley at Centre-Half. The visit to Turf Moor, to play before 4,000 spectators, proved fruitless as City were well beaten 3-0 and it was seven games since they had last tasted victory. City dropped back one more place as Birmingham leap-frogged both themselves and Gainsborough Trinity to leave City still ahead of Gainsborough Trinity but having played two games more.
Easter Saturday brought a visit to eleventh-placed Bradford Park Avenue for another 'local derby' and it saw the introduction of new players number twenty-seven and twenty-eight to the City team-sheet. Goalkeeper Tony Hogg been brought from Walker Church Lads in the close season as 'one for the future' and was barely twenty when he received his call-up to the first team. Tommy Astill had been similarly acquired from Sheffield Douglas in December 1908 and he came in at Inside-Left for what turned out to be his only game for City. Harry Bromage missed only his third game of the season in goal, but Jimmy Gemmell had played his last game for City, as had Hugh Berens, who had given way to local boy Herbert Pickard, for what would also be his last game for the club. Park Avenue had won all their previous encounters with City, and this game was never going to break the tradition as Bradford secured their second double in two seasons over City with a 4-2 win. Fred Croot got a penalty and Hugh Roberts got the other goal for City in front of a crowd of 12,000, as their record now showed five loses and two draws in their last seven matches. City were now in the dreaded nineteenth place one point behind Birmingham and four above bottom club Grimsby Town, who had a game in hand.
Harry Bromage returned in goal and David Dougal came in at Inside Left in place of the two young debutants in the Bradford game. There was a return also for Tom Morris at Centre-Half as Jimmy Horsley moved to Right-Half in place of Herbert Pickard. Two goals from Billy McLeod finally gave the win that City had waited so long for. It came in City's fourth consecutive game on the road at sixteenth-placed Clapton Orient on Easter Monday and, with City having already beaten them at Elland Road on Christmas Day, they were able to claim their second double of the season, with only their second away win of the season, in front of 7,000 spectators. They moved into seventeenth place with Gainsborough below them on goal average and Birmingham back in nineteenth spot one point behind.
There was an unchanged team for the visit of eighth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Elland Road and after the 5-0 drubbing at Molineux the small crowd of 5,000 must have feared the worst for the return match. They were pleasantly surprised as a Billy McLeod strike was enough to give City both points as they won their second game on the trot to ease their relegation worries somewhat. However, the threat was still very real, with Gainsborough Trinity just two points behind, and a game in hand, and nineteenth placed Birmingham trailing by three points, with just four games to play.
They were unchanged for the third game, which was understandable after the two victories, but the trip to eighteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity failed to generate any points before a crowd of only 3,000 as the home side triumphed 2-0 to bring City closer to them in the relegation mire, just behind them on goal average. However Birmingham were looking increasingly like the team in trouble as they were three points behind City with just three games to play.
City were now desperate for points as the season drew to an end and the visit of bottom team Grimsby Town was a true 'four pointer' which City had to win to push their opponents through the door to re-election. There was another disappointingly low attendance as only 5,000 paid to see the game. A settled City side, that was unchanged for the fourth successive time, paid dividends as Fred Croot scored twice, one being from the penalty spot, and Billy McLeod kept up his recent return to scoring form by getting the other as City eased to a 3-1 victory in a 'must win' game. They knew full well that they had to visit the table-topping Manchester City in one of the remaining games before returning to Elland Road for the final game with Leicester Fosse, who were in the top half dozen teams, but the victory sealed Grimsby Town's re-election fate as they were six points behind eighteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity with three games to play. The victory also saved City as Birmingham were now five points behind them with two games left to play.
City played their final away game of the season at Maine Road where Manchester City had to win as they battled out a four-way tussle at the top with Derby County, Hull City and near-neighbours Oldham Athletic, who all had games in hand, which was so close that every point was vital. City were without David Dougal at Inside-Left as George Ackerley filled in, but they were no match for the determined Sky Blues who ran out 3-0 winners to put one hand on the Second Division Championship but Leeds were also mathematically safe from re-election.
Fifth-placed Leicester Fosse were the visitors to Elland Road for the final game of the season and City were able to field the settled side that had seen them to safety in the vital last six games, as David Dougal returned at Inside-Left in place of George Ackerley. City were thankful to see Billy McLeod register his sixteenth goal of the season, as it was that goal which gave City the point as they drew with Leicester Fosse, who were quite happy with the result, which cemented fifth spot for them. It must have been worrying for the club financially that a bare 2,000 turned up for the game and it marked a new low as the worst attendance in the club's history. The crowds had plummeted since the turn of the year and it did not bode well for funds being available for strengthening the team in the coming close season.
Elland Road had staged its first Representative match on 20th November 1909, when 8,000 spectators came along to see an entertaining 4-4 draw between the Amateur teams of England and Ireland. The low crowd for that game was a disappointment for the officials and the F.A..However, the Leeds Officials were caught totally by surprise when Elland Road staged the F.A. Cup Semi-Final clash between Barnsley and Everton in March 1910. Neither the Club nor the Ground were able to cope as fans poured into Leeds from the nearby Barnsley as well as Liverpool and all points in between, as well as a good following from the locals, as they were not geared up to cope with a crowd in excess of 36,000. People who were lucky enough to get into the ground had trouble seeing. Thousands were locked outside as turnstiles were closed before excursion trains and coaches from across the Pennines had arrived. Those locked out scrambled onto roofs of nearby houses and buildings, or sought vantage points on Beeston Hill, to catch a glimpse of the action. The Influential Athletic News reported, "It is clear that the Association and clubs concerned lost considerably by allotting the match to a small ground constructed for Second Division football and not for events of national importance." It had been a total shambles and it would be another twenty years before a new-look Elland Road was considered good enough to stage another F.A. Cup Semi-Final.
City finished seventeenth in a twenty team Division with just twenty-seven points. Their proud home record of previous years was there no more as it showed just eight wins, four draws, and seven losses, more losses than any other teams in the Division, other than the three teams below them, who each lost eight, and for the first time they had an adverse goal-record, with only thirty scored and thirty-three conceded, the highest of any team in the League. The away record was even worse than other seasons with just two wins, three draws and a huge fourteen loses, while the goal chart showed sixteen for and forty-seven against, but few teams apart from the top ones had good away records in a season dominated by home wins.
Manchester City took the championship with fifty-four points, with near-neighbours Oldham Athletic just edging out Hull City and Derby County on goal average as they all finished on fifty-three points. For their part City were three points adrift from sixteenth spot and one point better off than Gainsborough Trinty in eighteenth place, and three points ahead of Grimsby Town, and four ahead of Birmingham, who were the bottom two teams.
Once again City were wracked by injuries to their better players and there were, once again, no ever-presents, but Harry Bromage and Stan Cubberley led the way with thirty-five appearances while Fred Croot with thirty-four was the only other player to feature in more than thirty games.
Billy McLeod led the scorers with sixteen goals from twenty-eight games, but Billy Halligan ran him close with eleven from twenty-four games before he left for Derby County in February. Fred Croot, with the help of four from the spot, finished with seven.
City were in such desperate financial distress that in September 1910 shareholders were asked to take up debentures in the club worth £4,000, and the Directors gave personal guarantees for £8,000, which secured the club's liabilities and provide working capital, while Manager Frank Scott-Walford was forced to cut City's wage bill to save a four figure sum.
Before Billy Halligan had left for Derby County in February 1910, Adam Bowman had gone to Portsmouth in November 1909 and Tom Naisby left for Luton Town in 1910. There was a wholesale clear-out of players who were no longer required by Manager Frank Scott-Walford. Tom McAllister left for Halifax Town, Jock Watson returned to Scotland with Clyde, Haydn Price left for Shrewsbury, Jimmy Gemmell joined Sunderland in May 1910, James Tildesley left for Luton, Frank Mann went to Lincoln City and Jimmy Burnett retired. Several others either left, retired or joined Non-League clubs, Herbert Pickard, Colin Stockton, Dickie Joynes, Ted Hamilton, Hugh Berens, David Dougal, George Ackerley and Goalkeeper Thomas Cunningham being amongst them.
As in the previous close season the Manager scoured Ireland looking for bargains and unearthed a real gem in Inside-Forward Billy Gillespie, who was picked up from Derry City in May 1910. While his career at Leeds only lasted less than two seasons, he later gave seventeen years excellent service to Sheffield United and became arguably the leading Irish player of the day being capped twenty-five times by them. He also went to Shelbourne and came back with Outside-Right George Cunningham, Inside-Forward Joseph Enright, and Wing-Half Mick Foley, all in May 1910. He also went back to Ulster and picked up Scottish-born Left-Back Alex Creighton from Distillery in August 1910, while in the same month he plucked Right-Half John Harkins from Scottish club Bathgate, while closer to home Goalkeeper Cecil Reinhardt was signed from Leeds University in September 1910 and Wing-Half Chris Kelly from Denaby United. While he was in Ireland he did also bring M. Curran from Portadown and J.A.S. Hegan from Cliftonville, but they never saw first-team duty.
For the 1910-11 season, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea had been relegated from Division One to Division Two, while Manchester City and Oldham Athletic had taken their places, as they were promoted from Division Two to Division One. Although Birmingham had finished bottom it was the other club who had also asked for re-election, Grimsby Town, which left from Division Two to join the Midland League and Huddersfield Town joined Division Two from that League.
City were hoping for improved form and looked to the new players, principally from Ireland, such as Left-Back Alec Creighton, Half-Back Mick Foley, who was included at Inside Right, Outside Right George Cunningham, Centre-Forward Billy Gillespie and Inside-Left Joe Enright, who all made their debuts in the opening game along with Right Half John Harkins, to improve their status. City kicked off the season with a home fixture with Blackpool before a surprisingly good crowd of 12,000, without ace marksman Billy McLeod. The City line-up was: Tony Hogg; George Affleck, Alec Creighton; John Harkins, Tom Morris, Stan Cubberley; George Cunningham, Mick Foley, Billy Gillespie, Joe Enright, Fred Croot. Tony Hogg was in goal for his second first team game in place of Harry Bromage, while George Affleck, who had played regularly at Left-Back in the second half of the previous campaign, looked to cement the Right-Back spot. Only Tom Morris, Stan Cubberley and Fred Croot remained of the previous year's regulars. Joe Enright made a scoring debut against the Sea-siders but it did not stop them going back to Bloomfield Road with both points with a 2-1 win.
A surprisingly large crowd of 8,000 greeted City at Glossop for their first away game of the season. The home team had always struggled on meagre gates but had finished sixth the previous season and the locals were looking for bigger things and got behind their team for the new season. Billy McLeod was back for City for his first game of the season as he replaced Billy Gillespie, while Jimmy Horsley filled in at Left-Half for Stan Cubberley. Joe Enright got his second goal of the season but once more City went down 2-1, to be rock-bottom in the early standings.
After the two defeats Manager Frank Scott-Walford dropped his Right-Wing partnership of the two former Shelbourne players, George Cunningham and Mick Foley, and replaced them with Hugh Roberts at Outside Right and Tom Mulholland at Inside-Right. Stan Cubberley returned at Left-Half in place of Jimmy Horsley, for the second home fixture of the season with fourteenth-placed Lincoln City. Lincoln had always been among the strugglers in the Second Division and, indeed, they finished the season as the bottom team in the League, so City would have been extremely disappointed to go down by the only goal of the game in front of an attendance of 8,000, as they remained rock-bottom.
There was a visit to near-neighbours Huddersfield Town, who were newly elected to the Second Division and struggling in eighteenth place. It provided another 'local derby', and it was hoped it would bring more success than their games against the Bradford clubs and Barnsley. Harry Bromage was restored in goal as Tony Hogg dropped out. George Afflick, Tom Morris and Stan Cubberley were all out as Jack White deputized at Right-Back, Chris Kelly was given a debut as he also deputized at Centre-Half and Jimmy Horsley again stood in at Left-Half. Billy Gillespie returned at Centre-Forward, with Billy McLeod moving to Inside-Right at the expense of Tom Mulholland. Fred Croot scored from the spot and Billy McLeod also opened his account for the season but there were no points as City went down 3-2 at Leeds Road before 7,500 spectators, as City lost yet another 'local derby' and remained pointless and bottom of Division Two after four games.
The visit of fourteenth-placed Birmingham to Elland Road brought the bottom team of the previous season and a team against which City had done the double. There were returns for George Affleck, Tom Morris and Stan Cubberley and they all took over their usual positions, but John Harkins was out at Right-Half and Chris Kelly moved there from Centre-Half. Billy Gillespie got his first goal in City colours but it only produced the first point of the season for City as they were held to a 1-1 draw with 8,000 onlookers, as City continued in bottom place.
West Bromwich Albion had always been amongst the top few teams of Division Two, narrowly missing promotion on several occasions. They were once more one of the pacesetters, in seventh place, just one point behind the top club, Chelsea. The Hawthorns was not a good place to visit for a side in search of their first win of the season. City were unchanged but were no match for the team that finished the season as Champions of the Second Division, going down 2-0 in front of a crowd of 10,000. After six games City were bottom of the Division with just one point.
John Harkins returned at Right-Half for Chris Kelly, into a team that was now becoming settled and moulding itself into a unit. Hull City had narrowly missed out on promotion the previous season, on goal average, and were once again up with the leaders, just two points adrift, but in ninth place. The omens were not looking good as the Tigers visited Elland Road with visions of City being easy prey. In front of an 8,000 crowd Billy Gillespie made himself a hero with his second goal of the season and City got their first win of the campaign against all of the odds. City remained bottom but on goal average from Barnsley.
After an initial first season in which they just missed out on promotion, Fulham had consolidated with two top ten finishes and were looking to go a little bit better. They were in fifteenth spot after an indifferent start, but still in a good position to launch a promotion effort, as City visited Craven Cottage with an unchanged side looking for their first away win to move them off the bottom. There was a third goal of the season for Billy Gillespie, who was showing good form and proving he had the knack for scoring goals, but it was not enough to get City a point as the home side won 2-1 to please the 11,000 crowd, but left City still bottom.
Unchanged for the third successive game City welcomed fourteenth-placed Bradford Park Avenue to Elland Road. Having failed to gather even a point in their four previous 'local derby' matches with Park Avenue, City would not have been too optimistic about their chances of sending their fans in the large 13,000 crowd home happy. However, Billy McLeod at last found his name on the scoresheet with that of Billy Gillespie as City were 2-0 winners for their second home win of the season but were still a long way from getting themselves out of the relegation mire and remained bottom in the early season standings.
There was a trip across the Pennines to visit Turf Moor, home of ninth-placed Burnley, again with an unchanged team against a team that always provided fierce opposition. Unfortunately, there was a 4-1 beating for City before 8,0000 people. Billy McLeod scored for the second consecutive game, but it was of no avail as their plight got worse.
Only 5,000 turned up at Elland Road for the visit of fellow strugglers fifteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity as City remained unchanged for the fifth successive time. City helped their cause no end as they ran out 4-0 winners. Joe Enright scored for the first time since the second game of the season, Billy Gillespie bagged a brace, to take his tally for the season to six, and Billy McLeod scoring for the third successive game, as City won their third home game. City got off the bottom as they moved above Barnsley on goal average.
Bolton Wanderers were looking for a quick return to the First Division after suffering relegation at the end of the previous season. They were right up with the leaders in third place as City made the trip across the Pennines to Burnden Park, with an unchanged side for the sixth successive game. There was a 10,000 crowd on hand to see the home side triumph quite easily by 3-0 to keep up their promotion push, as they moved equal top, and left City, once more, in bottom place.
Fred Croot was out as City's run of unchanged teams was broken. Harry Bridgett played his first game of the season as he deputized at Outside-Left when City visited Edgeley Park to play the struggling Stockport County, who were in fourteenth place, in a relegation zone battle. Only 4,000 turned up to see the game and City ran out easy winners to claim their first away win of the season with two goals from Billy Gillespie, one from Billy McLeod and a first of the season from Harry Bridgett. It saw City jump to sixteenth, one point above the bottom team, Gainsborough Trinity.
Derby County, who had just missed out on promotion the previous season on goal average were just off the pace, in ninth place, as the visited Elland Road as the season was slowly approaching the half-way mark. They attracted a crowd of 10,000 as the home fans had started to see a settled look about their team. Even though they were without Fred Croot, City were able to field an unchanged team as Harry Bridgett continued to deputize in the knowledge that Croot would be out until Christmas. Centre-Half Tom Morris got a rare goal for City, his first of the season, and Right-Winger Hugh Roberts got two, as he too figured on the scoresheet for the first time in the season, as City pulled off a fine 3-2 victory to send their fans home happy. They eased themselves further away from the bottom into fourteenth place.
Unchanged for the third game, City took the short trip to Barnsley for another 'local derby' against a side that were seventeenth, one point above the bottom club, in the relegation zone. City would have been hoping to use the fixture to kick them well clear of that zone but suffered a rude awakening as the home side gave them a 4-0 hammering in front of a poor 4,000 crowd, to send City down to fifteenth place just one point above the re-election zone.
John Harkins had to drop out and his spot at Right-Half was filled by the versatile Jimmy Horsley, who had proved his worth in all three of the Half-Back spots, as City entertained another club on the edge of the relegation zone. Tenth-placed Leicester Fosse, who were struggling to keep pace with the leaders in their second season after being relegated from the First Division, visited Elland Road with City having hopes of picking up more points. But the Filbert Street team left them disappointed as they finished just in front 3-2, before a disappointing crowd of 5,000. Joe Enright and Tom Morris, who scored for the second consecutive home game, got the City goals as they rued slipping back into the relegation mire into sixteenth place, one point above the re-election zone.
For the Christmas Eve visit to Molineux, City were without Billy McLeod and Tom Mulholland deputized at Inside-Right. Wolverhampton Wanderers were starting to lose touch with the leaders in the promotion stakes, being four points behind in sixth place, and the game kicked off with a crowd of 6,000 to urge them on. Although Billy Gillespie was again on target with his ninth goal of the season, City were well beaten 3-1, as they remained in the danger zone, in sixteenth place, still one point outside the dreaded nineteenth place.
Billy McLeod and Fred Croot were both back for the Boxing Day clash with fourth-placed Chelsea at Elland Road as Tom Mulholland and Harry Bridgett gave way at Inside-Right and Outside-Left respectively. Chelsea were right up in the hunt for promotion as they mounted a strong challenge for a quick return to Division One after their relegation at the end of the previous season. They were four points behind leaders Bolton Wanderers, but had three games in hand. The 18,000 crowd were treated to a pulsating game as City held the Pensioners to a 3-3 draw with goals from Hugh Roberts, Fred Croot and Billy McLeod and hopes of pulling clear of the relegation zone were renewed. Their reward was to move up one spot to fifteenth, two points clear of nineteenth place.
The following day City entertained third-placed Clapton Orient, who contrary to previous seasons, were making a promotion bid and like Chelsea were in the leading bunch, with games in hand. After the pulsating game with Chelsea, City had a few injury worries and Tony Hogg was back in goal in place of Harry Bromage, while Billy Gillespie was missing at Centre-Forward, which meant that Billy McLeod took over with Tom Mulholland filling in at Inside-Right and, in a positional change, the two Full-Backs George Affleck and Alec Creighton switched positions. A 10,000 crowd was on hand to see Tom Mulholland, with his first goal of the season, get the only goal of the game for an unexpected win. It pulled City clear of the danger zone, in fourteenth position, as the first half of the season came to an end.
The two Full-Backs, George Affleck and Alec Creighton, reverted to their usual positions but City were still without Harry Bromage and Billy Gillespie. Inside-Left Joe Enright and Outside-Left Fred Croot were now added to their injury list. Stan Cubberley moved to Inside-Left, as John Harkins returned to take over his Left-Half spot, and Harry Bridgett again filled in for Fred Croot at Outside Left, as City were on the road for the New Year's Eve fixture with Blackpool. The Sea-siders were on the fringe of the promotion challengers, in sixth place, and had already won at Elland Road on the opening day of the season, so the odds against a City win were pretty high. City, in front of an extremely disappointing 1,000 attendance, not only got their revenge, but got their second away win of the season with their second successive win. They moved towards mid-table safety, in fourteenth place, as they beat the Sea-siders 2-1 at Bloomfield Road.
Twelfth-placed Glossop attracted a 10,000 attendance to Elland Road for the first home game of the New Year with City looking for revenge for their defeat at Glossop in the second game of the season. There was a return for Harry Bromage, in goal in place of Tony Hogg, and Centre-Forward Billy Gillespie and Inside-Left Joe Enright, as Billy McLeod moved to Inside-Right at the expense of Tom Mulholland. Stan Cubberley dropped back to his accustomed Left-Half spot with John Harkins dropping out. However, City were without Hugh Roberts at Outside- Right, as George Cunningham deputized. Quite unexpectedly, City were beaten 2-0, as they failed to make it three wins on the trot and conceded their first double of the season. City remained in fourteenth place but had missed the chance to boot themselves clear of the relegation zone.
In the F.A.Cup City were drawn against Manager Frank Scott-Walford's former team, Southern League club Brighton and Hove Albion, in the First Round at Elland Road. After being knocked out in the Second Round by another Southern League club, West Ham United, just two years previously, City should have been well aware of the dangers Non-League clubs posed, but the fans were looking forward to the next Second Round Tie. Frank Scott-Walford had left Brighton and brought several players with him for the start of the 1908/09 season, but only Centre-Half Tom Morris, regarded as one of the Second Division's best stoppers, still remained to play against his former club. Neither Morris nor his colleagues had a memorable match as they finished well beaten by a much fitter, cleverer and more organized side. For City, John Harkins returned at Right-Half in place of Jimmy Horsley, Hugh Roberts was back at Outside-Right in place of George Cunningham, but Billy Gillespie was out and this saw Billy McLeod moved to the Centre Forward position, as Tom Mulholland came in at Inside-Right. The teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Harry Bromage; George Affleck, Alec Creighton; John Harkins, Tom Morris, Stan Cubberley; Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, Billy McLeod, Joe Enright, Harry Bridgett.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Bob Whiting; Fred Blackman, Joe Leeming; Billy Booth, Joe McGhie, J.H. Howarth; Bert Longstaff, Bill Jones, Jimmy Smith, G.C. Webb, Bill Hastings.
Although City were unhappy about the Brighton opening goal, they could have no complaints about the overall result. Brighton started brightly and before five minutes had elapsed Bert Longstaff crossed from the goal-line, with Leeds complaining the ball had gone out of play, but Harry Bromage could only parry the cross and Bill 'Bullet' Jones had the rebound in the net in a flash. City were on level terms five minutes before the interval after some brilliant work by Billy McLeod. He had already tested the Brighton Goalkeeper, Bob Whiting, on several occasions, and he now he tried to lob the ball over the keeper's head and, after it hit the bar, Hugh Roberts was on hand to rifle the ball home from the rebound.
City, however, failed to build on that goal and after sixty-five minutes they fell behind again. Bert Longstaff found himself in lots of space on the right and from his accurate cross Bill 'Bullet' Jones lived up to his nickname to head his, and Brighton's, second goal as Harry Bromage unavailingly could only get his fingertips to it. It was Bert Longstaff, once again, that created Brighton's third and best goal. The tiring Leeds defence failed to hold him from making another searching run down the flank and he sent over a teasing centre for Jimmy Smith to power in a great header for the killer third goal, in a 3-1 victory.
City were well beaten and once more fell at the first hurdle. The Brighton Right-Back Fred Blackman joined Huddersfield Town in May 1911 and from there was bought by Leeds City for £1,000 in February 1914.
City now could concentrate on the League programme and there was an away trip to Sincil Bank next on the agenda with Lincoln City in deep trouble in bottom place in the relegation quagmire. They had, however, won at Elland Road early in the season and so it was a potential banana skin as they sought to ease their worries with a double at Leeds' expense. Tony Hogg was back in goal, taking over from Harry Bromage, but Stan Cubberley had picked up a knock in the Cup-tie and Jimmy Horsley came in at Left-Half. There was an attendance of 5,000 to cheer the teams on and a goal from Joe Enright saw City share the points with a 1-1 draw. It was a result which probably suited both teams. Lincoln City jumped two places with their point but Leeds dropped one place to fifteenth.
United welcomed back Stan Cubberley and Fred Croot to their regular positions as Jimmy Horsley dropped out at Left-Half and Harry Bridgett had finished his stint at Outside-Left, as, apart from Billy Gillespie, City returned to full- strength. 'Local Derbies' had not been kind to City and once again there was a team looking for a double at City's expense as fourteenth-placed Huddersfield Town made the short trip down Geldard Road to meet near-neighbours City. To the great joy of the Leeds section of the 10,000 crowd, City got their revenge for their earlier defeat at Leeds Road with an emphatic 5-2 win to move nicely into mid-table, in fourteenth place, four points clear of the drop zone. Fred Croot helped himself to a brace, including one from the penalty spot, and Billy McLeod made a welcome return to the score-sheet with two strikes while Tom Mulholland got his second of the season as Leeds went nap.
Sixteenth-placed Birmingham were one of the clubs in the dogfight that was taking place below City in the relegation zone and one of the clubs to whom every point was precious. Birmingham had already been to Elland Road and left with a point, but City, unchanged and almost at full strength, would have been looking forward to picking up more points after their recent run of good form. Billy McLeod scored his third goal in two games but the Midland team finished the 2-1 winners at St Andrew's in front of a good-sized crowd of 15,000. City remained fourteenth but still on the fringe of the re-election zone, three points away from the team above them, Bradford Park Avenue.
After the game at Birmingham against a team lower than City in the League standings, Leeds were now faced with a succession of fixtures against clubs above them and also in pursuit of promotion, so City were not expecting any favours. The first team they had to face was third-placed West Bromwich Albion, who were always up with the leaders and had been in the race for promotion each season for several campaigns. This season the Baggies had often led the race and were eventually to finish the season as Champions of the Second Division. City were unchanged for the third game and a crowd of 10,700 came to Elland Road to see City do battle with one of the League leaders. In a tremendous win and confidence-booster City won the tussle by 3-1, as Billy McLeod got his fourth goal in three games, Tom Mulholland his second in three and Joe Enright his second in four, much to the delight of their fans. The win did not move City up the table as they remained fourteenth, but it did leave them five points clear of the nineteenth spot.
There was a visit to Anlaby Road to play their Humberside rivals Hull City in a 'Yorkshire Derby' with the Tigers still smarting from their early season defeat at Elland Road, but still pushing hard for promotion, in eighth place. City, who had Harry Bromage back in goal for Tony Hogg in an otherwise unchanged team, had Joe Enright to thank for the goal, as they came away from their short trip to the coast with a creditable 1-1 draw in front of a 6,000 crowd as they moved steadily away from the danger places.
City were unchanged as they welcomed Fulham to Elland Road. The Craven Cottagers were handily placed in tenth place in the table waiting for a slip from the teams above them. City again had the goal power to score another good victory as goals from Fred Croot, from a penalty, Joe Enright and Tom Mulholland gave them another 3-1 win with a crowd of 6,000 cheering them on. Still fourteenth, they were getting ever closer to the bunch of clubs above them.
Unchanged for a third game, City made the short trip to Bradford to play twelfth-placed Park Avenue, in the 'local derby', looking to complete the double and gain revenge for previous year’s doubles they had inflicted on City. City were rightly full of confidence and they maintained their recent good form as, before an attendance of 12,000, they repeated their 2-0 score-line at Elland Road, as Fred Croot scored from a penalty and Tom Mulholland kept up his goalscoring with the other, to claim the double and make it four games undefeated. The win took City to thirteenth, just behind Park Avenue on goal average and with a game in hand.
After securing only their third away win of the season and their first double at Bradford, City were again on the road with a visit to eighteenth-placed Gainsborough Trinity, with a chance of a second double. City had won their Elland Road encounter 4-0 and, with Trinity in the relegation zone and City in winning form, there was every reason for optimism. City, unchanged for a fourth successive time took on Gainsborough in front of a small, by City's standards, crowd of 4,000, but it was larger than normal for the struggling home team. Joe Enright and Hugh Roberts were on target as City won 2-1 to complete their fourth away win and second double of the season to keep up their unbeaten run. They were now twelfth with games in hand on the teams above them and well clear of any thoughts of re-election.
City had received an early season 3-0 thrashing from the present League leaders, Bolton Wanderers, at Burnden Park and, with the Trotters firmly in top spot; they arrived at Elland Road hungry for maximum points. City were unchanged for a fifth game and were not lacking in confidence after their recent run of good form. A crowd of 15,000 were on hand to see if City could maintain their unbeaten run at the promotion contenders' expense. Tom Mulholland, with his third goal in four games, was the scorer, as City triumphed by the only goal of a hard-fought game in this 'War of the Roses' clash with so much at stake. City kept up their unbeaten run to make it just one point dropped in the last six games, against several fine sides, and there were even whispers of the possibility of promotion, as City moved into eleventh spot, ten points behind second-placed Chelsea.
Two days later, in a fixture re-arranged after a recent postponement, eighth-placed Burnley came over the Pennines to try and put an end to City's unbeaten run and keep up their own outside chance of promotion. They had inflicted a 4-1 defeat on City at Turf Moor and were looking to repeat the result against City, who were unchanged for the sixth successive time. Only 5,500 turned up for the Monday fixture and the Clarets were in typical uncompromising mood, so it was no surprise that the sides fought out a goalless draw, which saw both sides satisfied with the result, as City moved into tenth place and into the top half for the first time in the season.
Stockport County were deep in the relegation fight, in seventeenth place, as the visited Elland Road for City's third successive home game. City had scored an emphatic 4-0 win at Edgeley Park, earlier in the season, and were looking to repeat the dose as the Cheshire side took the field before a crowd of 9,000, most of who were cheering for a City victory. It was the seventh game unchanged for City and two goals from both Billy McLeod, who was on the scoresheet for the first time in half-a-dozen games, and Tom Mulholland, whose rich vein of goals gave him his third in three games, saw City repeat the 4-0 score-line of the game at Edgeley Park as City won to complete the double and take their run to eight games unbeaten. Their progress continued as they climbed to ninth on the ladder.
Still with an outside chance of promotion, City travelled to the Baseball Ground to take on seventh-placed Derby County, who had an even better chance. City had put a dent in the Rams promotion hopes with a 3-2 win at Elland Road earlier in the season and both teams knew it was going to be a keenly-fought and close tussle. Unchanged for the eighth time on the trot, City gave as good as they got in front of a disappointing 5,000 crowd and held Derby to a 2-2 draw as Fred Croot scored from a penalty and Tom Mulholland got his fourth goal in as many games to push their unbeaten run to nine, with only three points dropped in that time. City remained ninth, four points behind eighth-placed Burnley with a game in hand.
Good Friday saw the highly important clash with Chelsea, who were in a three-way tussle with West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers for the two promotion places. They were the promotion and Championship favourites as they were second, just one point behind Bolton Wanderers, but had two games in hand. City's all-time attendance record was smashed asunder as the clash drew 50,000 spectators to Stamford Bridge and their previous record of 35,000, for the local derby with Bradford City, looked miniscule in comparison. City were unchanged for the ninth and final time, as Harry Bromage played what was to be his final game for City. A goal from Billy McLeod ultimately counted for nothing as Chelsea pressed home their ground advantage in front of their huge intimidating and fanatical following to win 4-1. It brought to an end the City unbeaten run and firmly closed the door on any lingering thoughts City fans may have had for promotion or a top five place, but for the time being they were still ninth as Chelsea moved to the top.
Easter Saturday saw Barnsley visit Elland Road as Tony Hogg, in goal for Harry Bromage, was the only change by City. Barnsley were deep in relegation trouble, in seventeenth spot, one point out of the re-election zone, but had managed a 4-0 drubbing of City at Oakwell earlier in the season, and they took the field before a crowd of 10,000 desperate for points. A goalless draw was always on the cards as Barnsley, with more to play for knew they had to subdue the prolific City Forwards. Leeds remained ninth but the point did Barnsley little good as they were now equal on points with the nineteenth club, but had a better goal average.
Easter Monday meant three games in four days and a the second trip back to London in that time to play fifth-placed Clapton Orient, who still had a very remote chance of promotion but were certain of a top-six finish. Injuries at that time of the year were inevitable and Stan Cubberley and Billy McLeod were missing. Mick Foley came in for his third game of the season at Left-Half, not having played since the second game of the season, while there was a return at Centre-Forward for Billy Gillespie, who played his first game since 7th January 1911. In front of a 6,000 crowd the Londoners reversed the Elland Road scoreline to get their revenge with a 1-0 win, but City clung on the ninth spot by goal average.
City were on the road again the following Saturday for their final away game of the season for a trip to Filbert Street to play fourteenth-placed Leicester Fosse in a game of little consequence as Fosse had ensured they were out of relegation danger and City knew they well out of any hope of promotion. Stan Cubberley and Billy McLeod were in their usual positions as Mick Foley and Billy Gillespie gave way at Left-Half and Centre-Forward respectively. Leicester completed the double over City as they added a 2-1 home win to their 3-2 triumph at Elland Road with Fred Croot getting his eighth goal of the season for City, as City slipped to eleventh.
For the final game of the season against tenth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road Mick Foley stood in for Tom Morris at Centre-Half in an otherwise unchanged team. A crowd of 6,000 turned up to see their team take on a Wolves outfit with little to play for as they were already assured of at least tenth position, and a possibility of ninth, no matter what was the outcome of games on the final day of the season. City likewise were assured of at least a twelfth spot finish but a tenth Joe Enright goal for the season gave City both points and gave them the eleventh position, with goal average keeping them below Fulham and above Bradford Park Avenue, who both also finished on thirty-seven points.
It had been a topsy-turvy season for City starting disastrously with five defeats and a draw from their first six games. It was a start that meant they missed out on promotion as the season improved steadily leading up to Christmas, and then exploded from thereon, as City put together performances which were the envy of the rest of the League and brought victories over many of the high-flyers. In finishing eleventh City did improve on previous years with the exception of their initial season when they managed tenth spot. It was based on a strong home record which was much better than the previous campaign with eleven victories, four draws and just four defeats and an outstanding goal tally of thirty-five against eighteen. Away from home, particularly before Christmas, the old frailties were in abundance, but they recovered from their worst first half year on the road, when seven of nine games were lost, to gain a total of four away wins, three draws, but still twelve losses with twenty-three goals for and thirty-eight against. Eventually City finished sixteen points behind the Champions West Bromwich Albion and fourteen behind Bolton Wanderers, but the significance of the first six games and another poor run leading up to Christmas was not lost on the fans. Chelsea were third, two points behind the Trotters, but the next five teams, Clapton Orient, Hull City, Derby County, Blackpool and Burnley were all within four points of each other. With Lincoln City marooned in bottom place on twenty-four points, there was only six points separating the next seven clubs in a very tight League.
After using twenty-eight players in the 1909-10 season Manager Frank Scott-Walford had a much more settled and injury free team and used only nineteen players with six of those featuring in a mere handful of appearances. Billy Gillespie made an inspired start, but played only twice after Christmas and, while there was just Left-Back Alec Creighton as the only ever-present player, the settled nature of the team was apparent. Right-Back Geoge Affleck missed just one game, as did Inside-Left Joe Enright; Centre-Half Tom Morris missed just two, with Outside-Right Hugh Roberts and Centre Forward Billy McLeod missing just three. Left-Half Stan Cubberley missed just four games, Right-Half John Harkins only seven, and the ever-reliable Outside Left Fred Croot restricted his deputy Harold Bridgett to just eight games.
For once the goal-scoring was more evenly spread and, while Billy McLeod once more led the way with fourteen, there were solid contributions from Joe Enright with ten, and Billy Gillespie with nine from nineteen appearances and Tom Mulholland also bagged nine from twenty-one games, while Fred Croot weighed in with eight of which five were from the penalty spot.
Fringe player Jimmy Horsley left, Tommy Astill left for Doncaster Rovers and John White joined Merthyr Tydfil in the close season. However, Goalkeeper Harry Bromage, who had given City sterling service since the club first joined the Football League, left to join his brother at Doncaster Rovers, after more than one hundred and fifty appearances for City in the League and Cup.
Once more Frank Scott-Walford was off to Ireland scouring the country for bargains. He may not have been so lucky this time, but he did go back to Shelbourne for Wing-Half Joe Moran, who was capped along with Joe Enright in March 1912, and Inside-Forward John Clarkin in May 1911. At the same time, he also got Right-Back Frank Heaney from St James' Gate, together with his brother John, who was not destined to make the City first team. He also went to Ulster and tried to get cover for the departed Harry Bromage as he picked up Goalkeeper Leslie Murphy from Belfast Celtic in May 1911, his team-mates, Right-Back Edward McDaniel and William Briggs who, like John Heaney, did not make the grade, as well as Outside-Left Jimmy Fortune from Distillery at the same time. He also brought in Wing-Half Sam Johnson from Coventry City. However, by and large, he had decided to use the same team that had finished the second half of the season so well in the previous campaign.
As a result of the promotions, relegations and re-elections at the end of the 1910-11 campaign, West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers were promoted from Division Two to Division One with Bristol City and Nottingham Forest being relegated from Division One to Division Two, while bottom club in Division Two, Lincoln City, were not re-elected and left to join the Midland League, and Grimsby Town were elected to Division Two from the Midland League.
City could not have asked for five more challenging matches to start their season, as their first two matches were both away and they were asked to play the two former First Division clubs and the teams finishing third, fourth and eighth in the Second Division. They were visitors to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest in their first game of the season. Joe Enright was out, and there was a debut for Leslie Murphy in goal, in what was the regular City line-up for most of the second-half of the previous campaign as they lined-up: Leslie Murphy; George Affleck, Alec Creighton; John Harkins, Tom Morris, Stan Cubberley; Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, Billy McLeod, Billy Gillespie, Fred Croot. In front of a 10,000 crowd Billy McLeod scored City's first goal of the season but it did not stop them from going down 2-1.
Two days later they traversed the Pennines to Turf Moor for their usually keenly contested Yorkshire/Lancashire clash with Burnley and City were forced to make three changes from their side at Nottingham. They welcomed back Joe Enright for his first game of the season at Inside-Left, as Billy Gillespie moved to Centre-Forward and Billy McLeod to Inside-Right to accommodate his return, with Tom Mulholland being the one to drop out. Both Wing-Halves were missing, and Right-Half John Harkins' absence meant a debut for new-signing Sam Johnson, while another new signing, Irishman Joe Moran, was also on debut at Left Half in place of Stan Cubberley. Billy McLeod got his second goal of the season and Joe Enright opened his account, but it did not stop City going down 4-2 in front of a crowd of 15,000. They lost their second consecutive game and were fifteenth in the early season standings, with the usual uneven number of games played by the individual teams.
City's first home game of the season saw them pitted against Chelsea, who had so narrowly failed to gain promotion and finally put an end to City's unbeaten run and their lingering promotion hopes on the Good Friday of the previous season before a huge crowd at Stamford Bridge. There was nowhere near the crowd of that day to watch the two teams, but it did attract a quite acceptable crowd of 15,000 to Elland Road. Fred Croot was not available and that meant a debut for the new signing from Irish Club Distillery, Jimmy Fortune at Outside-Left. City were otherwise at full strength, as John Harkins returned at Right-Half and Stan Cubberley at Left-Half in place of their deputies Sam Johnson and Joe Moran. Both teams would have been satisfied to get a point out of the clash as the game finished scoreless and left City in seventeenth place
There was a trip to the capital as City were asked to face another high-flyer in the shape of sixth-placed Clapton Orient, who had finished fourth just behind Chelsea in the previous campaign and were once again right up with the leaders. Fred Croot was still absent but Tom Mulholland was recalled at Inside Right, with Billy McLeod moving back to Centre-Forward and Billy Gillespie to Inside-Left as Joe Enright moved to Outside-Left to the exclusion of Jimmy Fortune. Billy McLeod got his third goal of the season but City narrowly went down 2-1 to a good Clapton Orient side in front of another excellent attendance of 13,000, but it did still leave City in seventeenth place, with just one point from four games.
Bristol City had only been two points from safety and were considered to have been unlucky to find themselves relegated at the end of the previous season. They had, however, only got off to an average start to their renewed life in the Second Division. Fred Croot was back at Outside-Left, with Billy Gillespie dropping out, as Joe Enright moved back to Inside-Left, as City faced the side from Ashton Gate in their second home game of the season with a 10,000 crowd on hand and still looking for their first win of the season. Fred Croot celebrated his return by getting his first goal of the season while Joe Enright got his second and Billy McLeod kept up his scoring form with his fifth, as City finished all over their visitors from Bristol by 3-1 to record their first win of the season, to go to sixteenth on the ladder.
It was an unchanged City that went to the Midlands to take on pointless and bottom-placed Birmingham, who had only finished four points out of the bottom two in the last campaign. There was another 10,000 crowd for the game and they were treated to a feast of goals. Unfortunately the Leeds defence was the one that leaked the most and City went down 4-3 in a game they should have won. There were goals from Fred Croot, a season's first for Hugh Roberts and another from Joe Enright, which did nothing to ease City's relegation fears, as they slipped to seventeenth place.
There was another good crowd on hand at Elland Road as 12,000 spectators were there to see the 'local derby' with eleventh-placed Huddersfield Town. Town had struggled since being elected to the Second Division and were again in the lower half of the League. City were looking for a repeat of the previous year's result when City's 5-2 victory was soon to start a revival after their early season run of bad results. Goalkeeper Leslie Murphy missed his first game of the season as Tony Hogg took over in goal, but the outfield positions remained unchanged. Billy McLeod and Joe Enright were on target as City beat their near-neighbours 2-0 to gain their second win of the season. It saw City move up to fifteenth place.
Blackpool had finished eighth in the previous season but were not maintaining that form in the current season and were in thirteenth place but had games in hand. City were hopeful of picking up some points at Bloomfield Road. There was a very disappointing attendance of only 4,000 as City took an unchanged team for their game at the seaside, but they came back empty handed after losing 3-0 with a disappointing display that left them in sixteenth position, just outside the relegation zone.
After the poor start to the season the fans forgot the run of the previous year and several promising displays against strong opposition that season and stayed away in their droves as only 6,000 turned up to see fellow strugglers next-to-the-bottom Glossop at Elland Road. City were at full-strength as Leslie Murphy returned in goal for Tony Hogg. Tom Mulholland got his first goal of the season and Fred Croot his third as City helped their position to go fifteenth with a 2-1 win at the expense of their relegation rivals.
Hull City had finished fifth in the previous campaign and were again well placed in third spot one point behind the top team, Clapton Orient, as City made the short trip to Humberside. Sam Johnson filled in at Right-Half for the absent John Harkins. In a hard-fought match Leeds went down to the only goal of the game as they lost their sixth game on the road to leave them still pointless on their travels, and still in fifteenth position.
The 'local derby' with seventh-placed Barnsley saw an improved 12,000 crowd at Elland Road as the fans knew that the next-to-the-bottom club of the previous season were in top half of the table and showing better form in the current season and would be a test for City. John Harkins returned in place of Sam Johnson at Right-Half as the City team started to have a settled look about it. Billy McLeod was on target and Tom Mulholland scored twice as City won their fourth successive home game to ease themselves into fourteenth position and towards the safety of mid-table with a narrow 3-2 victory.
Another 'local derby' followed as City visited eleventh-placed Bradford Park Avenue, who had consolidated their position in mid-table since their election to the Second Division. They seemed to have the wood over City in their first two seasons in the League, as they recorded doubles at their expense, but City had gain some revenge with a double of their own in the previous season. John Harkins was out again with Sam Johnson again deputizing at Right-Half as a Fred Croot penalty gave City a share of the points with a 1-1 draw in front of a good crowd of 13,000. City remained fourteenth in the middle of a cluster of six clubs separated by only two points.
Thirteenth-placed Fulham, who were the next visitors to Elland Road, had almost gained promotion in their initial season after being elected to the Second Division, but had since consolidated to become a regular mid-table team. City had Irishman Joe Moran at Right-Half for his second game of the season as he took over from Sam Johnson as deputy for John Harkins. The 8,000 crowd went home disappointed as City went down 2-0 and although they remained fourteenth on goal average, they slipped back towards the relegation zone as other teams edged nearer to them.
John Harkins returned at Right-Half for Joe Moran as City were back to full-strength for their visit to the Baseball Ground to play eighth-placed Derby County. The Rams had finished sixth in the previous season but were battling for top spot, five points adrift but with two games in hand, as City faced them before a crowd of 12,000. Billy McLeod was again a scorer and Hugh Roberts got his second of the season but it was all to no avail as the home side ran out easy winners 5-2 and pushed City further down among the Division's strugglers in sixteenth place.
Grimsby Town had just been re-elected to the Second Division after a year in the Midland League. They were making steady progress in their renewed surroundings and sat comfortably in mid-table, in tenth place, as they came to Elland Road for the next fixture. Joe Moran came in at Left-Half for Stan Cubberley, in an otherwise unchanged and settled City team. The game was put back until the Monday and it could have been the reason for a very poor attendance of just 3,000 that was on hand to see City lose their second consecutive home game as Billy McLeod scored in a 2-1 defeat in City's third consecutive loss, and their fourth game without a win, as the alarm bells started to ring, but City were still in sixteenth position.
Fred Croot was out for the visit of top-of-the-table Burnley to Elland Road. This meant that there was a return for Billy Gillespie, who came in at Inside-Left with Joe Enright moving to Outside-Left. The Clarets were in fine form and fully deserved to be the leaders. They had already beaten City at Turf Moor in the second game of the season. Burnley were just too good for City and duly completed the double over the home team by 5-1 with Billy Gillespie scoring for Leeds from a penalty with a crowd of 10,000 in attendance, as City slumped to seventeenth.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were well up with the leaders in fourth position, but on the fringeof the promotion hopefuls as City visited Molineux. After the drubbing from Burnley there was a shake-up in the City ranks as Billy McLeod was out and Billy Gillespie moved to Centre-Forward for what was to be his final game for City before he departed to Sheffield United to find local and international fame. Leslie Murphy gave way as Goalkeeper to Cecil Reinhardt, who made his City debut. Alec Creighton was also out at Left-Back and this saw George Affleck move to Left-Back, so that Frank Heaney could also make his debut at Right-Back. Joe Enright moved back to Inside-Left and Harry Bridgett came in for his first game of the season at Outside-Left. In front of 8.000 spectators Wolves were rampant and swamped a weak-looking Leeds by 5-0 to give them their fifth consecutive defeat and their sixth game without a win. City were still in seventeenth position but the teams below them all had games in hand on them, as they sat just four points above the bottom two.
6,000 were in attendance for the visit of fifteenth-placed Leicester Fosse, as Alec Creighton returned to Left-Back with George Affleck reverting to Right-Back as Frank Heaney dropped out. Sam Johnson was in at Right-Half as John Harkins' deputy, but there was also good news with the return of Billy McLeod and Fred Croot. Billy McLeod returned to Centre-Forward to replace the departed Billy Gillespie and Fred Croot replaced his capable deputy Harry Bridgett at Outside- Left. Mick Foley was given his first game of the season at Inside-Right as he deputized for Tom Mulholland. Two goals from Joe Enright were enough for City to break their losing run with a 2-1 win over the Foxes, but they were still deep in relegation trouble, in seventeenth place.
Two days later, on Christmas Day, City were at home to relegation-threatened bottom club, Gainsborough Trinity, and Centre-Half Tom Morris was an absentee as Chris Kelly was given his first game of the season as his deputy. On the bright side, Tom Mulholland returned in place of Mick Foley at Inside-Right. City were looking to get both points at their struggling rival's expense, but there was not much Christmas cheer as the two relegation-threatened sides played out a goalless draw, but the point put City in sixteenth place.
Boxing Day saw the reverse fixture, with City visiting Gainsborough as John Harkins returned in place of Sam Johnson at Right-Half. Tom Morris was back at Centre-Half in place of Chris Kelly, who had played his last game for City before returning to Denaby United. Joe Enright was absent at Inside-Left, which meant that Irishman John Clarkin was given his debut in what turned out to be his only game for City. Tom Mulholland was City's scorer as they went down 2-1 before a crowd of 6,000 and the relegation writing was well and truly on the wall. City had only been able to get one point from two games with the bottom club of the Division, and they were now just four points above the bottom club, Glossop, who had two games in hand, while Gainsborough had moved to nineteenth, thanks to their three point haul from City and were now just two points behind with a game in hand. Eighteenth club, Stockport County were just two points behind with three games in hand. City were desperately in need of a good run to get them out of the hole they had dug for themselves.
Four days later City played their final fixture for 1911 at home to ninth-placed Nottingham Forest, who were out of touch with the leading group, but had beaten City at the City Ground in the opening game of the season. Full Back Alex Campbell had just been signed from Middlesbrough and he was in the team at Left-Back as Alec Creighton was absent. Joe Enright was back at Inside-Left and Leslie Murphy was also back between the posts in place of Cecil Reinhardt. It was not to be a day of celebration for Right-back Alex Campbell as he broke his leg. It was so bad that he never played first-class football again. Tom Mulholland was on the scoresheet twice and Joe Enright made a scoring return as City notched a 3-1 victory over the Trent-siders to give their supporters some hope, as 8,000 had turned up for the game. City finished the year in fourteenth position, but were there on goal average from two other teams, and there were still teams below them with games in hand.
Alec Creighton was back at Left-Back, but Joe Enright was once again absent and Mick Foley filled in at Inside-Left as City made the trek to Stamford Bridge in the first game of the New Year. Third-placed Chelsea were in a close three-way tussle with Derby County and Burnley at the top and did City no favours in front of a 10,000 crowd as they won 4-2. Billy McLeod and Mark Foley, who got his first goal for the club, were the City scorers. City were now fifteenth but in deep trouble.
The first home game of the New Year saw City play hosts to Glossop in the First Round of the F.A. Cup. Leeds had an abysmal record in the Cup having fallen at the first fence on many occasions. Glossop were bottom of the Second Division, having won just once and were in an even worse situation than City, who had already beaten them at Elland Road in the League. So, while nothing was ever certain with City, their supporters were hoping to see progress in the Cup. City were back to what was near to full-strength, as Joe Enright returned at Inside-Left for Mick Foley. In front of an excellent crowd of 21,000 the teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Leslie Murphy; George Affleck, Alec Creighton; John Harkins, Tom Morris, Joe Moran; Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, Billy McLeod, Joe Enright, Fred Croot.
Glossop: Joe Butler; George Hampton, John Cuffe; Harry Littlewort, Jock Goldie, Jimmy Carney; Billy Law, Billy Herbert, Harry Stapley, Tom Fitchie, Joe Hodkinson.
The Derbyshire team needed all the luck possible to win at Elland Road, but they did themselves no favours when their usual Inside-Right, Willam Berwick, sprained his ankle when getting out of one of a fleet of taxis that they had hired to get them to the ground from the railway station. His place in the team was taken by Billy Herbert and it did not stop the visitors from immediately going on the attack.
They were almost the first on the scoresheet when a close-range effort by their Scottish International, Tom Fitchie, hit the angle of the bar and post. However, it was City who scored in their first worthwhile attack. Fred Croot made great strides down the left wing and from his cross Hugh Roberts nodded in the only goal of the game.
Leeds were not playing well but they almost increased their lead as Tom Mulholland hit the bar with a stinging drive. As the game came to a conclusion there was a scare for City as Harry Stapley clipped the bar with the last kick of the match and almost earned the visitors a replay.
There was a low spot in the second half as the referee had to stop play to lecture some stone-throwing supporters on the popular side of the ground. City luckily progressed to the Second Round where they were drawn against sterner opposition with a clash with First Division West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road.
City's next League game was against seventh-placed Clapton Orient, who were outside of the four leading teams, but had not totally lost touch and had already beaten City in London in the fourth game of the season. Leeds were unchanged from their F.A. Cup encounter with Glossop and a surprisingly low crowd of 5,000 was there to watch the game. Orient duly completed the second double of the season registered against City as they won 2-0 against the hapless Leeds. City were in sixteenth place but were surrounded by other teams in close proximity, and who were all in danger of having to seek re-election.
The following Tuesday, City visited Blundell Park to take on ninth-placed Grimsby Town, who had already won at Elland Road in early December. Alec Creighton was out at Left-Back and George Affleck moved across from Right-Back to allow close-season signing from Belfast Celtic, Edward McDaniel, to make his debut at Left-Back. Billy McLeod and Joe Moran were also out and Mick Foley came in at Centre-Forward and Sam Johnson at Left-Half, as their replacements. Before a crowd of 3,000 City sprang a surprise as they returned home with both points as they won 2-1 with goals from Sam Johnson and Joe Enright. City moved to fourteenth but had played more games than any of their relegation rivals.
For the game at fifteenth-placed Bristol City, Leslie Murphy was out and Cecil Reinhardt re-instated as Goalkeeper. Billy McLeod was also back at Centre-Forward in place of Mick Foley and George Affleck moved back to Right-Back to replace Edward McDaniel. McDaniel lost his place to Joe Moran, who came back into the team at Left-Back. The long trip to Ashton Gate proved a fruitless one as City went down, by 4-1, in front of a crowd of 7,000, as Fred Croot was the Leeds scorer from the penalty spot. City were still in fifteenth spot, but very vulnerable if others won their games in hand.
It was back to the F.A. Cup, and the visit of First Division West Bromwich Albion to Elland Road attracted an attendance of 21,320. With Billy McLeod on the injured list Mick Foley took over at Centre-Forward, while Joe Moran moved back to his normal position of Left-Half, at the expense of Sam Johnson, as Alec Creighton returned at Left-Back as the teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Cecil Reinhardt; George Affleck, Alec Creighton; John Harkins, Tom Morris, Joe Moran; Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, Mick Foley, Joe Enright, Fred Croot.
West Bromwich Albion: Hubert Pearson; Arthur Cook, Jesse Pennington; George Baddeley, Fred Buck, Bobby McNeal; Claude Jephcott, Harry Wright, Bob Pailor, Sid Bowser, Ben Shearman.
England International Jesse Pennington was probably the best known of several international and Football League representatives in the Baggies team. It was their Goalkeeper, Hubert Pearson, who represented the Football League, who was soon in the action, but not as would be expected. George Affleck had handled in the penalty area and the keeper moved up-field through the snowstorm to take the penalty. He mishit his spot-kick and it slewed against the right-hand post and was cleared, and he was forced to scurry back to defend his own line.
City could not take advantage of their good luck and two good chances went begging from Joe Enright and Hugh Roberts after Fred Croot had provided the openings. The game was not decided until the very last minute. City seemed to have held out to face a replay at the Hawthorns when the game finished with one final moment of drama. City lost the ball on the Albion right wing and Claude Jephcott benefited from it, as he collected the ball and dribbled round Alec Creighton to the by-line. He cut the ball back for Sid Bowser and the Inside-Left controlled the ball and shot home for the winner.
City claimed that he had used his hand and not his chest to control the ball before getting in the scoring shot. The referee consulted his linesman, and the goal stood despite a crescendo of boos from the home fans, and he was jeered from the pitch at the end of the game. The Throstlers went on to reach the Final against Barnsley, where, with the identical team that had faced City at Elland Road, they were beaten after a replay.
City were unchanged, as they travelled to Leeds Road, to face thirteenth-placed near-neighbours Huddersfield Town in the 'local derby'. Town were not enjoying the best of seasons and were down in the relegation dog-fight which encompassed virtually the whole of the bottom half of the League. Points were at a premium as the clubs positions constantly change from week-to-week. City had won the first encounter at Elland Road earlier in the season, and knew if they could repeat the dose it would certainly help their cause. Two goals from Tom Mulholland were enough to ensure their first double of the season as City won the 'local derby' 2-1 before a crowd of 8,000. City were now in sixteenth place as others had played and won some of the games in hand.
Again unchanged, City welcomed eleventh-placed Blackpool to Elland Road hoping to build on their win against their local rivals, as the Sea-siders were also close to the relegation zone. They had suffered a 3-0 defeat in their earlier season visit to Bloomfield Road, and gained their revenge, to make it two wins on the trot, as Joe Enright got the all important goal as City won 1-0 before a crowd of 6,000, to leave City in fifteenth place.
After already beating bottom-placed Glossop twice at Elland Road, in the League and F.A. Cup, City were looking forward to a possible third successive win as they visit the favourites for application for re-election. They were unchanged for a fourth consecutive game, but, in front of the very small crowd of just 3,000, a Tom Mulholland goal was not enough to stave off defeat as they went down 2-1 and dropped to seventeenth.
There was a visit from fourth-placed Hull City in the next game at Elland Road. The Tigers were firmly in the top promotion contenders of the League, well away from the relegation zone, but just two points away from third place with a game in hand. City were unchanged for the fifth game and hoping they could get something from the game after holding the Tigers to a single goal at Anlaby Road earlier in the season. They achieved this with a goalless draw in front of a crowd of 8,000 but still hovered precariously in the bottom reaches of the League, in seventeenth position.
With Joe Moran and Joe Enright both selected for Ireland in their International match against Scotland at Windsor Park, Belfast, on the same day, City were robbed of their services for the 'local derby' with Bradford Park Avenue at Elland Road. It was a vital match in the relegation struggle as the visitors were well and truly embroiled in the battle, even though they were in twelfth position on the ladder. After drawing at Park Avenue earlier in the season, City were confident of taking the points. The call to international duty of the two Irishmen meant a return for two City stalwarts, Billy McLeod at Centre-Forward, with Mick Foley moving to Inside-Left for his fellow Irishman, and Stan Cubberley, who came back at Left-Half for Joe Moran. In front of a crowd of 10,000, Mick Foley netted for City, but it was their Bradford rivals who went home with the points with a 2-1 win. The loss pushed City into eighteenth place, three points above nineteenth-placed Glossop and four points above bottom club Gainsborough Trinity, and both teams had two games in hand.
Mick Foley was out for the trip to Craven Cottage, as the two Internationals returned with Joe Enright taking over at Inside-Left and Joe Moran returning at the expense of Stan Cubberley at Left-Half. Tenth-placed Fulham had won at Elland Road earlier in the season and they completed the double before a poor crowd of 3,000 as the City defence collapsed to allow a humiliating 7-2 rout with Joe Enright and Tom Mulholland getting the consolations for City. Although still eighteenth, City were now just one point from the drop zone.
Third-placed Derby County were on of the three teams who were battling it out at the top and had already inflicted a 5-2 defeat on City at the Baseball Ground, so City were not exactly hopeful of getting anything out of their game at Elland Road. George Affleck missed his first game of the season as Irishman Frank Heaney got his second game as his deputy at Right-Back. Billy McLeod was not in the best of form or fitness and Mick Foley took his place at Centre-Forward. An extremely disappointing crowd of only 4,500 turned up to see one of the best teams in the Second Division, and City put up a creditable performance, They could not stop the Rams completing the double but did restrict them to a single goal victory by the only goal of the game, which taken in the context that Derby County finished the season as Champions, was an extremely good effort on their part. It mattered little as it was points that City needed, and badly, as they were now in the dreaded nineteenth position, having played more games than their rivals and the games were fast running out.
Tony Hogg was recalled in goal for Cecil Reinhardt, George Affleck returned at Right-Back as Frank Heaney dropped out. Alec Creighton made way, as Joe Moran moved to Left-Back and Stan Cubberley took over the Left-Half position. Billy McLeod returned at Centre-Forward as Mick Foley dropped out, and Fred Croot was also absent at Outside-Left as Harry Bridgett was, as usual, his deputy, as City were forced into several changes for the visit of thirteenth-placed Birmingham to Elland Road. The St Andrew's team were on the fringe of the relegation zone, five points above City, and City once more had visions of improving their own chances against a fellow-struggler. There really was not a lot between the bottom-half teams and a goalless draw resulted, as neither side were prepared to take chances with so much at stake, which did not thrill the 5,000 crowd in the Good Friday clash. City were still nineteenth but fast losing contact with teams who were playing their games in hand.
Easter Saturday saw City unchanged and facing thirteenth-placed Stockport County, another team deep in the relegation zone, five points above City. Only 4,000 were present for the tussle as the teams met for the first time that season. Once more both teams cancelled each other out and City were held to a 1-1 draw with a goal from Joe Enright, when they were looking for and needed both points as they were still nineteenth and now starting to run out of games.
Barnsley were almost out of the promotion race in ninth position but, with games in hand, still looked certain of a top half-dozen finish as City visited Oakwell and, although they had won at Elland Road earlier, they would not have been optimistic about their chances of repeating the outcome. Fred Croot was back at Outside-Left as Harry Bridgett gave way and to everyone's great surprise Billy McLeod at last found his scoring boots and scored twice and the returning Fred Croot repeated his feat, with the help of one from the spot, as City stunned the small home crowd of 3,000 as they completed the double with a fine 4-3 win. They were still nineteenth but with three games left they could still catch most of the teams in the bottom half of the League.
City were unchanged for their visit to Edgeley Park to take on fellow strugglers thirteenth-placed Stockport County, as with three games to go it was still mathematically possible for any one of eight teams to fill the next to bottom re-election spot, with Gainsborough Trinity already virtually certain of being in the bottom place. Leeds and Stockport were two of those eight teams, and a win would be of vital importance as it could condemn the loser to almost certain re-election. With 3,000 watching the two teams fought out a tense 3-3 draw, with Billy McLeod again scoring twice and Tom Mulholland getting the other, as both teams lived to fight another day. The point did lift City to eighteenth, one point above Glossop, who had a game in hand. With Gainsborough Trinity almost certainly doomed there were still four other teams in danger with just two games to go.
For the final home game of the season City were in the situation of desperately needing a win as time was fast running out. Unchanged for the third game, City were up against seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, 5-0 winners at Molineux earlier in the season and locked in a three way battle with Barnsley and Hull City for fifth spot. It was a daunting task that confronted them but they managed to hold Wolves to a 1-1 draw, as Billy McLeod got his fifth goal in the last three games in front of a crowd of 5,000. It was not enough and City were back in the dreaded nineteenth place, with one game left to play, with Huddersfield Town two points ahead with a better goal average, Glossop ahead on goal average, but with a game in hand and Gainsborough Trinity doomed in bottom place. It left City almost certainly needing to win their last game at Leicester Fosse to stand a chance of finishing above Glossop in the table.
So City went to tenth-placed Leicester Fosse knowing they needed a win to avoid re-election. They were unchanged for the fourth game and faced a Leicester side that knew they would certainly finish in the top dozen, but depending on whether other teams won games in hand they could even finish tenth. City had won their Elland Road encounter 2-1, and needed to repeat it. There was a crowd of 10,000 and Leicester did City no favours as they took their revenge by the same margin as City, running out 2-1 winners as Joe Enright got the City goal. Glossop, who had made a fine recovery in the second half of the season, benefited from City's poor run of only one win in their final eleven matches and just pipped City on goal average as both teams finished on twenty-eight points. The heavy away defeats at Fulham, Derby and Wolves had counted detrimentally for City.
At the top of the Division Derby County beat Chelsea to the Championship on goal average with Burnley, just two ponts, away third. For the rest it was just so close with several teams being on equal points but in the end City and Glossop were marooned five points above bottom club Gainsborough Trinity but four points adrift of the next club Huddersfield Town and there were six clubs within three points of them.
City's record was again much better at home than away winning seven, drawing six and losing six at home for a goal tally of twenty-one against twenty-two, while away there were just three wins and two draws and fourteen losses and a goal tally of twenty-nine for and fifty six against to finish nineteenth out of twenty with twenty-eight points.
They were not quite the stable team of the previous season but they still had many games when the team were unchanged from the previous match. Hugh Roberts was the only ever-present player, and he played both F.A. Cup matches for good measure. George Affleck and Tom Morris both missed just one game, Tom Mulholland three and Joe Enright four, one being while on International duty, while Fred Croot missed just six and Billy McLeod seven.
It was Billy McLeod who headed the goal-scorer with fourteen due mainly to a late flurry when he got five goals in three games. He was closely followed by Joe Enright with twelve and Tom Mulholland on eleven with Fred Croot getting seven, of which four were penalties.
Elland Road had also been the scene for the F.A. Cup Fourth Round Replay between Barnsley and Bradford City and it was packed to the rafters with a crowd of 45,000. The lessons from the 1910 F.A. Cup Semi-Fanal had not been learned as once again the organization was a shambles, with the referee having to stop play due to crowd encroachments. It proved that Elland Road was just not built for the large crowds of big match occasions and that the officials were unable to organize procedures with any efficiency. Disgruntled supporters stormed the turnstiles and one gateman was robbed of his takings, but the thief was caught and prosecuted. The game itself went to extra-time after no goals had been scored and the referee brought the game to an end as mounted policemen could not clear the playing area.
City were criticized by all and sundry but the damage that was done to the club was not the source of City's problems but more the chronic shortage of cash it had always suffered, which stifled their attempts to build a team and pay the wages of players who could take the club to higher plains as well as improve the ground to the same level. As well as having to re-apply for election to the Second Division, their financial resources were also at their lowest ebb as the bank asked the club to repay its £7,000 overdraft. This took the seven-year-old City to the brink of financial collapse. The club benefactor, Norris Hepworth, poured more money into the club, but appointed a receiver, Tom Coombs to run the club's affairs. A public meeting at the Grand Central Hotel on 19th April 1912 revealed that the benefactor had put £15,000 into the club's coffers to keep it afloat, a huge amount of money in those days, but it underlined that without his help City would have folded long ago.
An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting was held soon after and it revealed that the club had incurred losses of £11,321 since they had started, and that, at the time of the meeting, they had Assets of £7,084 and Liabilities of £15,782. Not surprisingly the Meeting chose to wind up the Company and confirmed that the receiver should run the club, which he did for the next three years. Manager Frank Scott Walford had suffered from ill-health and the pressure of running the club was too much and he resigned, after two years of trying to run the club with virtually no cash to buy players.
So City had no money, no Manager and were about to face re-election to the Football League. They were at their lowest ebb. Into that dire situation stepped Herbert Chapman, who was building up a reputation as a canny Manager in Non-League football, but as yet untried in the Football League. He was of course to go onto be one of the greatest Managers of all time, reaching unprecedented success with both Huddersfield Town and Arsenal where he achieved, amongst other honours, triple consecutive Football League Championships with both clubs, after his time at Leeds. His first job was to make sure that City were re-elected and he canvassed support in the time before the Football League Annual Meeting and it paid off.
Fortunately for City they were re-elected at the Meeting on 4th June 1912. They received thirty-three votes but bottom club Gainsborough Trinity were not so fortunate receiving only nine and dropped to the Midland League with Lincoln City being elected, having obtained twenty-seven votes, in their place.
Herbert Chapman went about rebuilding in a business-like manner. He allowed many of the former players, in particular the ones from Ireland, to leave the club and replaced them with experienced players of known pedigree and preferably with international experience. Out went Chris Kelly who returned to Denaby United, Alec Creighton who returned to Ireland with Glenavon, Cecil Reinhardt left, Tom Mulholland returned to Distillery, John Harkins left for Darlington, Leslie Murphy returned to Glentoran, Sam Johnson left, Jimmy Fortune returned to Shelbourne, The Heaney brothers returned to Ireland, John Clarkin also went back to Ireland to join Belfast Celtic, Alex Campbell departed, as did Edward McDaniel.
Before the start of the new season Herbert Chapman went on the recruiting trail. He brought in England International Centre Half Evelyn Lintott from Bradford City, who also played for England as an amateur, and Left Back Jock Ferguson from Dundee in June 1912. He went to Everton in July 1912 and picked up Wing-Half John Allan. He quickly returned to Goodison for Irish International Goalkeeper Billy Scott in August. In the meantime he went to Scotland and came back with Scottish International Full Back George Law from Rangers in July 1912, and to Cumbria for Inside Right Jimmy Robertson from Barrow in the same month. Right-Back Charlie Copeland came from South Bank in August 1912, while Inside-Forward Andy Gibson followed from Southampton in September 1912.
Lancashire clubs, Bury and Preston North End, had been relegated from Division One to Division Two as Derby County and Chelsea were promoted from Division Two to Division One in their place. The Football League had also re-elected Leeds City and voted out Gainsborough Trinity, who left to join Midland League and were replaced by Lincoln City who came in from the Midland League.
Herbert Chapman had said his aim was to achieve promotion. The fans were pleased at the new array of faces, particularly the Internationals, who brought a touch of class to the team. There was a fine blend of former regulars and new faces that lined up for the club's difficult opening fixture at Craven Cottage, with debuts for Goalkeeper Billy Scott, the two Full-Backs, George Law and Jock Ferguson, Right-Half John Allen, Centre-Half Evelyn Lintott, Inside-Right Jimmy Robertson and Inside-Left Andy Gibson as City lined-up: Billy Scott; George Law, Jock Ferguson; John Allen, Evelyn Lintott, Stan Cubberley; Hugh Roberts, Jimmy Robertson, Billy McLeod, Andy Gibson, Fred Croot. It was always going to be a hard ask. Fulham had a sound home record and, with just Left-Half Stan Cubberley, Outside-Right Hugh Roberts, Centre Forward Billy McLeod and Outside-Left Fred Croot having played together before, it was no real surprise that City went down 4-0 before a good crowd of 20,000. It was not the best start but it would take time for the team to get used to each other.
There was a crowd of 15,000 for City's first home game of the new season with near-neighbours Barnsley. Mick Foley came into the side at Left-Half with Stan Cubberley moving up to Inside-Left at the expense of Andy Gibson. Barnsley had finished in sixth spot in the previous season, marginally outside the main promotion contenders. But in a terrible season for City, they had managed to do the double over the men from Oakwell in the 'local derbies'. They registered their first win of the season as Jimmy Robertson got his first goal for the club and Fred Croot was successful from the penalty spot as City won 2-0. City were joint sixteenth in the early season tables.
There was another 'local derby' next on the agenda as City were unchanged when they visited another near-neighbour in Bradford Park Avenue, who were down in eighteenth place. City had managed a draw at Park Avenue, but had been beaten at Elland Road, and their record against them since they had been elected to the Second Division had been poor. A fair sized crowd of 18,000 was on hand to see Stan Cubberley get the only goal of the game as City got their first away win of the season and a second win overall, in keeping a second consecutive clean-sheet. City moved to fourteenth, but had games in hand on many teams.
Sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, who had finished fifth and given City a 5-0 drubbing at Molineux the previous season, were the next visitors to Elland Road in what had not been an easy start for City. 20,000 turned up to see the tussle and witnessed a first goal of the season from Billy McLeod and another penalty from Fred Croot as City drew 2-2 as they fielded an unchanged side for the third comsecutive game. City moved up to twelfth with games in hand on nearly every team.
Unchanged for the fourth successive game, City went to Filbert Street to face nineteenth-placed Leicester Fosse before a crowd of 10,000. Fosse had been the team to put the nail in City's re-election coffin by defeating them 2-1 on the last day of the season, when even a point would have been sufficient to avoid the threat of re-election. Against their weakest foe to date, a goal from Jimmy Robertson, his second of the season, saw City half the points with a 1-1 draw, which saw them drop to fourteenth place.
John Allan was missing for the home game against sixteenth-placed Stockport County and Stan Cubberley moved back to Right-Half to give Andy Gibson a chance to return at Inside-Left for his second game of the season. The Cheshire side had struggled the previous season and were again finding life tough and should have been easy pickings for City. In front of another good crowd of 15,000, two goals from Billy McLeod were needed to narrowly see off their challenge with a 2-1 win, as City were settling in nicely and getting to know each other better. Leeds moved into tenth spot, but were just four points behind top team Hull City, with two games in hand.
Preston North End had suffered relegation from the First Division at the end of the previous season. They had been very unlucky to be just one point short of safety and, in a very tight League, had only been sixteen points behind the Champions, Blackburn Rovers. Most people were expecting a quick return for the Lancastrians and City visited Deepdale to visit one of the top teams in the League. Preston had made a sluggish start and were level on points with City but had played two games more. City were without Outside Right Hugh Roberts, who had been an ever-present the previous season and had not missed a game in the current campaign. It meant a first appearance of the season for Joe Enright in the unaccustomed role of Outside-Right in an otherwise unchanged team. Billy McLeod was on the mark again with his fourth goal of the season and Joe Enright celebrated his recall by getting the other as City ran them close, narrowly going down 3-2 in front of a disappointing crowd, considering the drawing power of both teams, only 9,000, the lowest City had attracted in the campaign to date. City dropped to twelfth, but were still in touch with the leaders, if they could win the games in hand.
There was a return by John Allan for the Elland Road encounter with eighth-placed Burnley, as Stan Cubberley moved back to Inside-Left, with Andy Gibson being omitted. Burnley had narrowly missed out on promotion the previous season, and given City a 5-1 home drubbing as they completed a double at their expense. Once more the men from Turf Moor were pushing for promotion as City faced another stern fixture. In front of a 10,000 crowd City did not disappoint their fans as two goals from Jimmy Robertson and one each from Billy McLeod and Stan Cubberley saw them gain revenge for their previous year losses as they upset the visitors 4-1. City were proving to be a team to be feared and had come through a searching start to the season from several classy teams with flying colours. Their home record showed them unbeaten with three wins and a draw and well in contention for possible promotion that Herbert Chapman was hoping for. For now they were tenth, three points behind top team, Lincoln City, with two games in hand.
There was another stern challenge in store as City made the short trip to Anlaby Road to face fourth-placed Hull City. Hugh Roberts was back at Outside-Right as Joe Enright was left out to face the Tigers, who had been in the group who were close to promotion the previous season and were looking to go one better this time round, and were just one point behind the leaders. There was another 10,000 attendance and the City defence were not in good form as the home side won easily by 6-2. Billy McLeod and Fred Croot, with a penalty, scored for Leeds. City were eleventh but still well in contention, with games in hand.
Manager Herbert Chapman had been on the lookout for new talent and had picked up Right Half Tom Broughton from Grangetown in October 1912 and Outside Right Simpson Bainbridge from Seaton Delaval, a Northumberland side, in November 1912. They were seen as ones for the future, but in several team changes, close season signing from South Bank, Charlie Copeland, was given his debut at Right-Back. George Law switched to Left-Back for the absent Jock Ferguson. Stan Cubberley moved back to Right-Half for John Allan with Joe Enright re-installed in the team in his preferred position at Inside-Left. City welcomed eighteenth-placed Glossop, who had made a miraculous recovery after Christmas to pip City on goal average in the re-election fight of the previous season, to Elland Road. Another good attendance, this time 12,000, was on hand to see City show them who was boss as they ran out easy 4-0 winners with Billy McLeod helping himself to a hat-trick and Mark Foley getting the other City goal. Billy McLeod was in tremendous scoring form. The hat-trick was the culmination of five successive games in which he had scored in each game and had amassed eight goals. The win took City into ninth position, four points behind the leaders, Birmingham, with a game in hand.
City were unchanged as they visited sixth-placed Clapton Orient, who had finished fourth the previous campaign. There was another 10,000 crowd on hand as City were unable to break their away day blues and went down 2-0. They remained ninth, five points behind new leaders, Lincoln City, with two games in hand.
A bumper crowd of 15,000 were at Elland Road looking forward to the visit of Division Two new boys Lincoln City, who had returned after a season in the Midland League and were enjoying a good season, and were now topping the League. George Law was absent and this meant a return at Left-Back for former regular George Affleck's first game of the season, as he partnered Charlie Copeland at Full-Back. John Allan also returned at Right-Half with Stan Cubberley moving back to Inside-Left as Joe Enright dropped out. Jimmy Robertson got his fifth goal of the season, while Evelyn Lintott got his first, as City were held to a 2-2 draw by the Imps. The result knocked Lincoln off top spot and City were ninth, five points behind new leaders Birmingham, with a game in hand.
George Law and Jock Ferguson were back in harness as the Full-Back pair as Charlie Copeland and George Affleck dropped out, while Andy Gibson was in at Inside-Left as Stan Cubberley was absent for the visit to fourth-placed Nottingham Forest. Forest had struggled the previous season and only finished five points above City. They were not struggling this season and were level on points with the leaders, but had an inferior goal average, and it was a measure of City's improvement that they were able to go to the City Ground, in front of a crowd of 8,000, and take both points with a 2-1 win. The goals came from Jimmy Robertson and a first of the season from Hugh Roberts, in what proved to be his final game for City. City remained ninth, five points behind the leaders, Birmingham, with a game in hand.
Herbert Chapman gave the recently-signed Simpson Bainbridge his debut at Outside-Right for the visit of thirteenth-placed Bristol City to Elland Road. City had struggled the previous season, and were again struggling, as they took on City in front of another 10,000 crowd. Despite Jimmy Robertson scoring his third goal in as many games as he pushed his season's total to seven, City were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw. It was their second consecutive home draw against inferior opposition and even though they remained undefeated at Elland Road they were vital points lost if they were to maintain their promotion push. City again remained ninth, five points behind the leaders, Birmingham, with a game in hand.
Leaders Birmingham at been on the fringe of the relegation battle in the previous season, but, like City, they were up with the teams seeking promotion in the current season. Stan Cubberley returned at Inside-Left as Andy Gibson gave way, and there was 20,000 at St Andrew's to see the two promotion contenders do battle. Billy McLeod was back on target, for the first time since he had scored a hat-trick more than a month previous, and he weighed in with a pair, to take his season's tally to eleven, as the two teams played out a 2-2 draw. The draw knocked Birmingham from top spot, and City moved to eighth, six points behind new leaders, Burnley, with three games in hand.
The Festive season was almost upon them as City played hosts to tenth-placed Huddersfield Town in the 'local derby' and a surprisingly large crowd of 20,000 forgot about their Christmas shopping to see the near-neighbours do battle. Town had been one of the teams close to the bottom, just above City, in the previous season, but, like City, were putting in a bid for promotion. City were unchanged but no match for Town who had a surprisingly easy win by 3-0, as City's defence was once again off-form as they went down to their first home defeat of the season. City fell to tenth spot as Huddersfield went above them.
The crowd remained remarkably faithful to City as four days later, on Christmas Day, 15,000 turned up to see City face fifteenth-placed Grimsby Town. Mick Foley was absent at Left-Half, which allowed Joe Moran to have his first game of the season, in an otherwise unchanged team. There was no Christmas cheer as City went down to the men from Blundell Park by 2-1, with Stan Cubberley scoring the Leeds goal, as City slipped to twelfth on the table.
The next day, Boxing Day, brought a third successive home game and with it being with lowly Blackpool, who were then eighteenth, but were to finish the season rank bottom of Division Two, City were expecting to get both points. Mick Foley was back in place of Joe Moran at Left-Half and Joe Enright took over from Stan Cubberley at Inside-Left. The crowd of 8,000, City's smallest home gate to date, were extremely disappointed as City went down to their third consecutive home defeat in five days, as the Seasiders won 2-0, to record their only away win of the season. Understandably, City fell further down the table to fourteenth place.
Herbert Chapman was well aware that the recent City form was not good enough. He went to Worksop Town for Inside-Right Arthur Price, but really showed he meant business when he went to Bradford City and paid £1,400 for Scottish International Inside-Left Jimmy Speirs. Both made their debut as City played their fourth successive home game in just seven days as they took on a tricky game with seventeenth-placed Fulham. Another 10,000 crowd, quite likely boosted by the two signings, made it 48,000 people at Elland Road in the seven day period. George Law moved from Right-Back to Right-Half to replace John Allan, as Charlie Copeland came in at Right-Back, while Jimmy Robertson and Joe Enright dropped out of the Inside-Forward berths to accommodate Arthur Price and Jimmy Speirs. Simpson Bainbridge and debutant Arthur Price were both on the scoresheet as City conceded their first double of the season as they went down 3-2 in a Christmas week that could not have been more disastrous, with City finishing 1912 in fifteenth place.
New Year's Day meant a trip to Bloomfield Road for the return game with eighteenth-placed Blackpool. Arthur Price was out as Jimmy Robertson took over his spot at Inside-Right. There was a debut for Tom Broughton at Right-Half, as George Law reverted to Right-Back in place of Charlie Copeland, while at Left-Back Jock Ferguson was replaced by George Affleck. In front of a 5,000 crowd City showed that the Boxing Day result was an aberration as they won in a canter by 3-0 with Fred Croot, Simpson Bainbridge and Billy McLeod getting the goals. However, vital points had been conceded in those horrendous four home games and more consistent good form was needed if City were to mount a serious promotion bid. However, for now, City occupied fourteenth spot, twelve points behind leaders Preston North End, with two games in hand.
Arthur Price was back for Jimmy Robertson in an otherwise unchanged side for the 'local derby' with ninth-placed Barnsley at Oakwell. Barnsley had maintained their early season form and were up with the bunch behind the leading group of three. It was always going to be a stiff challenge for City. The home team won by 2-0 in front of a poor attendance of 5,000, as City started to lose touch with the main contenders, in fourteenth place.
The First Round of the F.A. Cup saw the second-placed Burnley visit Elland Road. Despite the men from Turf Moor's League position, City had handed them a 4-1 beating in their earlier Elland Road clash and were looking to a change of F.A. Cup fortune and at least getting over the first hurdle. City had John Allan back at Right-Half in place of Tom Broughton and Jimmy Robertson was in at Inside-Right in place of Arthur Price. The game took place in terrible conditions before a crowd of 12,000. The teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Billy Scott; George Law, George Affleck; John Allan, Evelyn Lintott, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, Jimmy Robertson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Fred Croot.
Burnley: Jerry Dawson; Tom Bamford, David Taylor; Willie McLaren, Tommy Boyle, Billy Watson; Eddie Mosscrop, Dick Lindley, Bert Freeman, Teddy Hodgson, William Husband.
There were blizzard conditions and the two teams laboured under great difficulties and reduced visibility. The heavy snow also made the line-markings very hard to distinguish. However, the two teams made light of the conditions and provided a highly entertaining encounter with plenty of goals. The sides had gone in at half-time with the visitors leading by 4-2. Billy McLeod and Mick Foley had been on the mark for City and Teddy Hodgson, Tommy Boyle and Bert Freeman, with two, for the men from Turf Moor.
They had played just five minutes of the second half when the referee, Mr E.J. Squires of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, abandoned the game when he was unable to tell whether Simpson Bainbridge had been inside the Burnley penalty area when he was upended, as the lines had been obscured by snow.
The Referee was not in charge when the game was replayed the following Wednesday and Mr A. Shallcross of Sheffield had the whistle. City decided to play the young Tony Hogg, who had spent his time in the Reserves since the advent of Billy Scott at the start of the season, between the posts. So the teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; George Law, George Affleck; John Allan, Evelyn Lintott, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, Jimmy Robertson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Fred Croot.
Burnley: Jerry Dawson; Tom Bamford, David Taylor; Willie McLaren, Tommy Boyle, Billy Watson; Eddie Mosscrop, Dick Lindley, Bert Freeman, Teddy Hodgson, William Husband.
Both sides had a sprinkling of Internationals, with City having England International Evelyn Lintott and Scottish Internationals George Law and Jimmy Speirs, while Burnley had England Internationals Jerry Dawson, Billy Watson, Bert Freeman, Tommy Boyle and Eddie Mosscrop.
There were thrills and goals aplenty as Leeds played their first F.A. Cup Tie under Herbert Chapman. In front of a crowd of 13,109, City were off to a flying start as Billy McLeod scored a brilliant goal after just eight minutes. Leeds successfully defended a corner and the ball came to Simpson Bainbridge who instinctively fed the City striker. The speedy front-man ran almost the length of the pitch before crashing an unstoppable shot past Burnley custodian, Jerry Dawson.
It was end to end stuff, and George Affleck cleared an Eddie Mosscrop attempt off the line before Fred Croot almost doubled the City lead with a snapshot that brought out the best in English International Goalkeeper Jerry Dawson. It was, however, the very impressive Burnley who drew level. Scottish International Jimmy Speirs nudged English International Bert Freeman in the penalty area and from the resulting spot kick English International, Tommy Boyle, got the equalizer after thirty-three minutes.
The game continued to ebb and flow, but without further goals, until the final fifteen minutes when the game came to a climax with an exciting and highly entertaining finale. On the seventy-five minute mark, Mick Foley conceded a free-kick on the edge of the Leeds penalty area and Burnley Right-Half Willie McLaren took it and picked out Dick Lindley, who headed home to put Burnley in front for the first time.
City hardly had time to catch their breath before England International Bert Freeman made it 3-1 with a brilliant run and shot just two minutes later. Excitement reached fever pitch three minutes later when Mick Foley pulled one back for City as he forced the ball home after a John Allan effort had come back off the bar. So with ten minutes to go there was everything to play for. Leeds fought tooth and nail for an equalizer, but Burnley, who went on to gain promotion at the end of that season, held on to win a memorable match by 3-2.
It was back to the League fare as City took on ninth-placed Bradford Park Avenue in the 'local derby', looking to complete the double over their rivals. George Law was out and this meant a return for Charlie Copeland at Right-Back. John Allan was also out and Stan Cubberley returned at Right-Half, while Arthur Price was back at Inside-Right in place of Jimmy Robertson. After City's recent topsy-turvy form the supporters did not know what to expect but 10,000 still turned up to cheer them on. Mick Foley, with his first goal of the season, and Jimmy Speirs, with his first goal for City, were the Leeds scorers as they won 2-0 to complete their first double of the season. The result took City into thirteenth place with a lot of work to do to catch the leading bunch.
Fred Croot was out for the first time in the season and that gave his capable deputy Harry Bridgett his first game of the season at Outside-Left. Jimmy Robertson was back at Inside-Right as Arthur Price was also out. George Law was back and replaced Stan Cubberley at Right-Half for the trip to Molineux to face fifth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, who had held City to a 2-2 draw at Elland Road earlier in the season. Simpson Bainbridge and Billy McLeod were both on target as the early season result at Elland Road was repeated as they drew 2-2 before a crowd of 8,000, to leave City in fourteenth position.
Herbert Chapman was out recruiting once more and in January he had gone to County Durham side Shildon Athletic, who played in the North Eastern League, and picked up Winger George Fenwick. He was given his debut, at Outside-Left, in the next game at Elland Road against seventeenth-placed Leicester Fosse, taking over from Harry Bridgett in the continuing absence of Fred Croot. Arthur Price was back at Inside-Right in place of Jimmy Robertson as they took on the struggling Fosse. In front of another 10,000 crowd the returning Arthur Price scored twice, with Jimmy Speirs, debutant George Fenwick and Billy McLeod also on the scoresheet as City finally hit form with an emphatic 5-1 victory. It took City into ninth place, fourteen points behind Preston North End with two games in hand.
However, to say that City were inconsistent would be an understatement and they underlined this in their next away game with a visit to Edgeley Park. They took on, one of the favourites for application for re-election and languishing as the bottom club, Stockport County. In front of 7,000 and unchanged from their big win over Leicester Fosse, City were beaten even more emphatically to the tune of 6-0 by the team that ended next to the bottom and level on points with the bottom club, as both were forced to apply for re-election. City dropped to eleventh as a consequence.
This inconsistency was further more illustrated by their next game at Elland Road. After the defence had leaked six goals, there had to be changes. It was young keeper Tony Hogg that got the axe, as the more experienced Billy Scott was re-instated. Strangely that was the only change to the defence, but Jimmy Robertson took over from Arthur Price at Inside-Right. In front of a large crowd of 18,000, City extracted maximum revenge for their narrow 3-2 loss at Deepdale as they went nap over the League leaders, Preston North End, in a 5-1 demolition. George Affleck scored from a penalty, new boy George Fenwick scored twice to take his tally to three in three games, as Simpson Bainbridge and Mick Foley completed the scoring. Preston North End finished the season Champions of the Second Division, well ahead of the third club and only lost four games all season, three of which were away. For now City had to be content with ninth position.
The enigma that was City was further emphasised as they next visited Turf Moor to take on second-placed Burnley, who were in close pursuit of Preston and at season's end were just three points in their wake as runners-up and the other team promoted to the First Division. With an unchanged team and in front of an extremely parochial crowd of 12,000, City held the high-flyers to a 2-2 draw with Billy McLeod and Jimmy Speirs getting the goals. Their reward was to remain ninth, ten points behind Burnley, with a game in hand.
City were unchanged again for their clash with sixteenth-placed Hull City at Elland Road. They kept up their points-gathering with a 1-0 victory over their Humberside neighbours with Billy McLeod getting the all-important goal in front of another large crowd of 20,000. They remained ninth, eight points behind second club Burnley.
A visit to relegation threatened seventeenth-placed Glossop was next on the City itinerary. Tony Hogg returned as Goalkeeper in place of Billy Scott. George Affleck was switched to Right-Back with Jock Ferguson filling at Left-Back in the absence of Charlie Copeland. Fred Croot was back at Outside-Left in place of George Fenwick, who had made an impressive start to his City career with three goals in his five games, but strangely he never played again for City or in first-class football. The usual poor Glossop home crowd was only 2,000 but they would have been happy as once more City showed their inconsistency going down to the strugglers by 2-1, as Billy McLeod got his third goal in three games. City stayed ninth on goal average from Grimsby Town, but also had a game in hand on them.
Good Friday saw City visit Blundell Park to play Grimsby Town. Charlie Copeland returned at Right-Back, at the expense of Jock Ferguson, as George Affleck reverted to Left-Back and Arthur Price returned at Inside-Right in place of Jimmy Robertson. Billy McLeod got both goals to make it five goals in the last four games, but it was not enough as the Mariners got the points with a 3-2 win in front of an 8,000 attendance. Grimsby leapfrogged City into ninth spot, with City tenth, two points behind, with a game in hand.
There was a return to Elland Road for the Easter Saturday game with twelfth-placed Clapton Orient and a return to winning ways. Arthur Price was out at Inside-Right and that meant that Jimmy Robertson was back in the team once more, as a poor crowd of just 6,0000 was on hand for the visit of the London team. There were two goals from Jimmy Speirs and Billy McLeod extended his scoring run to five games as City ran out easy winners by 3-1. City remained tenth, one point behind Grimsby Town, with a game in hand.
City travelled to Gigg Lane for their Easter Monday clash with twelfth-placed Bury. The Lancashire side had been members of the First Division for almost twenty years until they had suffered relegation at the end of the previous season, when they were by far the bottom team with just twenty-one points. They were well out of any contention for promotion but 10,000 turned up for the game, with City fielding an unchanged team. Billy McLeod was again the City goal-scorer as they played out a 1-1 draw with the Shakers. As a result of the draw, City slipped to eleventh on the ladder.
The following day the two teams met in a return match at Elland Road, with Arthur Price returning at Inside-Right for Jimmy Robertson, in front of another good crowd of 17,000. Billy McLeod continued his rich vein of goals as he netted an hat-trick to score for the seventh consecutive game and take his tally to ten in that period. Billy Speirs added another as City ran out easy winners by 4-2. The win saw City catapulted into eighth place, with the same points as seventh club Wolverhampton Wanderers, who had a better goal average, as it was the game City had in hand and they were now just six points behind third-placed Birmingham.
There was a visit to Sincil Bank where sixth-placed Lincoln City provided the opposition as City played their fifth game in eight days. The Imps were well out of any relegation problems and but had a chance of promotion, being two places and two points ahead of City. City had remained remarkably injury free, over the Easter fixture glut, and were unchanged for the clash. A crowd of 9,000 was on hand and were treated to an entertaining 3-3 draw. City's goals were scored by Jimmy Speirs, Billy McLeod, who extended his goal-scoring run to eight games, and Fred Croot. The draw took City into seventh place still two points behind sixth-placed Lincoln City.
Joint-tenth-placed-Nottingham Forest were the next team to visit Elland Road, and as City had won at the City Ground earlier in the season a double was in prospect as Forest hovered precariously in the relegation zone, as just four points separated tenth from eighteenth. Unfortunately Jimmy Speirs was missing and Jimmy Robertson came in for him at Inside-Left in front of another bumper Elland Road crowd of 20,000. It was again Billy McLeod who scored the only goal of the game as City completed their second double of the season and had their fifth game without defeat as they headed for their best finishing position since they joined the Football League. It was McLeod's twelfth goal in the last nine games and he had scored in each. The Football League record is thought to be scoring in ten consecutive games by Ruud Van Nistelrooy. However, he got eight consecutively in one season and two in the first two games of the following season. So it might even be that Billy McLeod holds the record for consecutive scoring games in one season in the Football League. City remained seventh one point behind Lincoln City in sixth spot.
Jimmy Speirs returned at Inside Left for the visit to Ashton Gate to take on fifteenth-placed Bristol City as he replaced Jimmy Robertson. Joe Enright played what was his farewell game for Leeds as he took over at Outside-Right for the absent Simpson Bainbridge. Bristol were still embroiled in the relegation battle but a win over Leeds would have seen them clear. Billy McLeod's long goal-scoring run came to an end as Jimmy Speirs got the Leeds goal in a 1-1 draw in front of a 15,000 crowd, which sent both sets of fans home happy. The point took City into sixth position with a better goal average than Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, who were level on points.
Birmingham were in third spot, not far behind the leaders, as they visited Elland Road for the final home game of the season. City had gone six games without defeat and were putting in a late surge, but had no chance of promotion. Simpson Bainbridge returned at Outside-Right for Joe Enright and Tom Broughton returned at Right-Half as George Law was forced to pull out. In front of a poor final crowd of just 8,000, City put an end to any lingering aspirations of promotion Birmingham may have had, with another demolition job on a top club at Elland Road as they swept them aside 4-0. Jimmy Speirs got a brace, with Billy McLeod and Mick Foley completing the scoring to finish their home campaign on a high note, and moved into sixth place.
The last game of the season saw City at Leeds Road to take on Huddersfield Town in another 'local derby', with Town just one point above City in fifth place and seeking to do the double over them after Town had recorded a 3-0 win at Elland Road earlier in the season. George Law was back at Left-Back as George Affleck dropped out in an otherwise unchanged team, as City looked for revenge, the fifth spot and to finish the season on a high note with their eighth game without defeat. Town spoiled their party as they got the only goal of the game to take the points and leave City disappointed in front of a poor crowd of 8,000. City finished the season in sixth place with the same points as Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, but they had a better goal average.
Early in the season City had been hit by a £125 fine by the Football League as they made a technical breach of the £4-per-week maximum wage, when they paid several of the new players their annual salary of £208, in advance. Aston Villa had been fined by the Football League for a similar offence. When City became aware of this they immediately informed the League that they were in a similar situation and were duly fined and had to pay costs and the players had to pay back the overpayment to the club. The good news for the season was that they had made a £400 profit.
After the dismal record of the 1911/12 season, City's current season record was a vast improvement. Herbert Chapman's ambition and team plan had been a success and only their inconsistency had stopped them from being serious challengers for promotion. It was soul destroying to witness so many fine victories against the top sides and unexplainable loss to teams they should have dismissed with ease. Their success came on the back of a fine home record and an improved away performance but which was still not up to standard. The results were helped by the record number of goals scored, due in no small degree to the fine scoring run of Billy McLeod, but let down by a defence that leaked goals in all the wrong places.
City finished sixth, as they had in their first season in the Football League, and their full record was forty points from thirty eight games. At home they recorded twelve wins, three draws and just four losses with forty-five goals for and twenty-two against while away they won only three but drew seven and lost nine with twenty-five goals for and forty-two against.
Preston North End, who City beat 5-1 at Elland Road, were champions with fifty-three points, three ahead of runners-up Burnley, with Birmingham, who City beat 4-0 at Elland Road, in third place on forty-six points. At the other end Blackpool were bottom and stranded on twenty-six points along with Stockport County. Oddly Blackpool were one of the four teams to win at Elland Road, while Stockport beat Leeds 6-0 at Edgeley Park. Glossop finished eighteenth on thirty-two points only eight points behind City in sixth place. It was a closely contested League apart from the top few and bottom two.
City had several towers of strength with prolific marksman, Billy McLeod, and Centre-Half, Evelyn Lintott, both being ever-presents. Left-Half Mick Foley missed only two games, George Law only three, and the ever-reliable Fred Croot made thirty-two appearances. Billy McLeod, for once injury-free and in great form, particularly in the second-half of the season, led the goal-scorers with twenty-seven goals in the League and another in the F.A. Cup, with a strong contribution from Jimmy Speirs, with ten in just nineteen games, after joining from Bradford City in the January.
Several former stalwarts were on the move in the close season with Tom Morris and Hugh Roberts going to Scunthorpe and Lindsey United, Stan Cubberley to Swansea Town, Jimmy Robertson to Gateshead, John Allan to Rochdale and Harry Bridgett to West Stanley. Irish Right-Winger George Cunningham did not live up to his early promise and went to Crewe Alexandra, while Jock Ferguson became a trail-blazer, joining fledgling U.S.A.team Bethlehem Steel. Joe Moran, Andy Gibson, Tom Broughton and George Fenwick all left or retired as none played League Football later. Early in the following season Joe Enright also left joining Newport County in October 1913.
Outside Right Webb Richardson joined City from Barnet and Alston in June 1913, and England Amateur International Outside-Left Ivan Sharpe was recruited from Derby County in the same month, while the defence was bolstered as Herbert Chapman went back to his old club and picked up Centre-Half John Hampson from Northampton Town in August 1913. He also brought Centre-Half Harry Peart from Bradford City in September 1913 and Outside-Right Neil Turner from Petershill in the same month.
Both Blackpool and Stockport County had been re-elected and with Preston North End and Burnley having been promoted from Division Two to Division One, they had been replaced by the two bottom clubs Woolwich Arsenal and Notts County, who had been relegated from DivisionOne to Division Two.
There was a mixture of old and new as City started their new campaign, with Glossop being the first side to visit Elland Road. There were debuts for John Hampson at Centre-Half and Ivan Sharpe at Outside-Left as it was strange to see a City team without Fred Croot in it. City lined-up: Tony Hogg; Charlie Copeland, George Affleck; Evelyn Lintott, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, Arthur Price, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ivan Sharpe. Glossop had finished the previous season just one place above having to ask for re-election and City made short work of them, winning with ease in front of a disappointingly small crowd of 8,000. In a 3-0 victory Jimmy Speirs got one and Billy McLeod a brace, as the leading goal-scorers from the previous season were quick to get their names on the scoresheet.
City's first away game of the season took them to Stockport County and possibly revived memories of a 6-0 drubbing they received from the team that eventually finished equal on points with the bottom team, as they both had to apply for re-election. There was a crowd of 10,000 at Edgeley Park to watch their team take on an unchanged Leeds City. Even though Arthur Price scored for his first goal of the season for City, the home team ran out eventual winners by 2-1. City were twelfth in the early season table but had played less games than almost every other team.
There was a crowd of 23,000 at Elland Road for the 'local derby' with second-placed Bradford Park Avenue, who boasted three wins from three games. George Law came in for his first game of the season as he replaced Evelyn Lintott at Right-Half. The City side, which was almost the same team that had finished the previous season, clicked into gear and convincingly beat their near -neighbours by 5-1, considering that at the end of the season Bradford were promoted as runners-up, it was no mean feat as the goals were well spread between Jimmy Speirs, Arthur Price, Simpson Bainbridge, who got two, and Billy McLeod. City moved up into tenth place, three points behind leaders Woolwich Arsenal with a game in hand.
City were unchanged as they visited twelfth-placed Notts County at Meadow Lane. County, the oldest Football Club in the World, had suffered relegation from the First Division at the end of the previous season and were looking for a quick return to the top flight. In front of a crowd of 12,000 City lost their second away game 4-0 to the team who would be Second Division Champions at the end of the season and City dropped to twelfth place.
Again unchanged, City welcomed table-toppers Leicester Fosse as the next team to play at Elland Road. The men from Filbert Street had struggled and finished in the lower reaches of the League the previous season, but for the present, they led the Division with eight points from six games. A crowd of 18,000 saw City emerge 2-1 winners as Simpson Bainbridge got his third goal of the season and Arthur Price his second to maintain their one hundred per cent home record. The win burst the Leicester bubble but City remained twelfth, four points behind the new leaders, Bury, with a game in hand.
For the game with six-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, City were unchanged for the fourth consecutive time. They had never won at Wolverhampton and had just one draw and several heavy defeats in the previous seven years. A crowd of 10,000 was there to see City win for the first time as Jimmy Speirs got the first, to take his tally for the season to three, Billy McLeod got the second for his fourth and Ivan Sharpe got his first goal for City, when he scored a penalty, as City emerged 3-1 winners to keep in touch with the early leaders Bury. They were now equal seventh, but they still trailed Bury by four points, with a game in hand.
City were now a settled team, free of injuries and for the fifth game they were again unchanged. They entertained twelfth-placed Hull City at Elland Road in front of another bumper crowd of 20,000. They lost their perfect home record as the Tigers went back to Humberside with the points after a 2-1 win, as Jimmy Speirs got his fifth goal of the season for City. The loss sent City plummeting down to twelfth spot but they had played fewer games than almost any other team.
After the setback to the Tigers, City still kept the same team for the visit to Oakwell and the 'local derby' with sixth-placed Barnsley. The Tykes had finished above City in the previous campaign, in fourth place, and were again amongst the early leaders. They were just three points behind the leader, Notts County, but had three games in hand. City got themselves back amongst the contenders as they ran out 4-1 winners in front of a crowd of 12,000. Jimmy Speirs got another two to make it four goals in three games and six for the season, with Arthur Price and Billy McLeod rounding off the scoring. The win saw City overtake Barnsley to go ninth on goal average. They were four points behind leaders, Bury, with a game in hand.
There was another 20,000 crowd at Elland Road as, for the seventh successive match, City were unchanged as they played host to top-of-the-table Bury. The Shakers had struggled somewhat after being relegated from the First Division but ultimately finish the season in tenth place. They were topping the early season table as once more City did their promotion hopes no harm, as they won both points with a 2-1 win. Arthur Price scored for Leeds along with Jimmy Speirs, who got his name on the score-sheet for the fourth successive game. The win knocked Bury off their perch and pushed City into fifth place, just three points behind new leaders, Notts County, with three games in hand.
There was another 'local derby' on the agenda for City as they took the short trip to Leeds Road to face sixteenth-placed Huddersfield Town. The Terriers had finished above Leeds, in fifth place, the season before after leap-frogging them in the last game of the season after registering a win, by the only goal of the game, at Leeds Road. City finally had to make changes to their line-up as Charlie Copeland, Simpson Bainbridge and Ivan Sharpe were all out. George Law switched from Right-Half to Right-Back in place of Charlie Copeland, allowing Evelyn Lintott to return at Right-Half. Outside Right Neil Turner had been signed from Petershill in the close season and he made his debut as Simpson Bainbridge's replacement. The mercurial Ivan Sharpe missed his first game of the season and long-serving Fred Croot was a perfect replacement for him at Outside-Left. There was a relatively poor attendance of only 9,000 to see the Neil Turner score on debut as the two teams fought out a 1-1 draw, as City slipped to eighth.
After finishing the previous season in mid-table Lincoln City were struggling in seventeenth place as they visited Elland Road. Charlie Copeland and Ivan Sharpe were both back. George Law reverted to Right-Half as Evelyn Lintott dropped out to accommodate Charlie Copeland at Right-Back, while Fred Croot gave way to Ivan Sharpe at Outside-Left. Billy McLeod got his name back on the scoresheet as he got his sixth of the season and the strike proved to be enough as City ran out 1-0 winners in front of an attendance of 12,000. The win sent City into third place, four points behind the leaders, Notts County, with three games in hand.
City went to Bloomfield Road to play nineteenth-placed Blackpool, who were once again struggling after finishing bottom the previous season. Neil Turner dropped out and Ivan Sharpe went to Outside-Right with Fred Croot coming in at Outside-Left. City shared the points in a 2-2 draw in front of only 5,000 spectators as John Hampson got his first goal for City and Fred Croot got his first goal of the season, as City remained unbeaten for five games. Although City dropped to fourth place they were just three points behind leaders, Notts County, with three games in hand.
For the next home game against bottom club Nottingham Forest, City had Simpson Bainbridge back at Outside-Right and Ivan Sharpe moved back to Outside-Left with Fred Croot dropping out. In a positional change, Arthur Price went to Inside-Left with Jimmy Speirs taking over the Inside-Right role. In front of a crowd of 14,000 City registered their biggest score ever to crush the visitors by 8-0. The teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; Charlie Copeland, George Affleck; George Law, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, Jimmy Speirs, Billy McLeod, Arthur Price, Ivan Sharpe.
Nottingham Forest: Jack Hanna; Walter Dudley, Tommy Gibson; Jack Armstrong, Joe Mercer, George Needham; Robert Firth, Jack Bell, Harry Jones, John Derrick, Frederick Banks.
Before the season had started City had bought England Amateur International Winger Ivan Sharpe and the rugged and forceful Nothampton Town Centre-Half, John Hampson, to stiffen the defence which had let City down on a few occasions the previous season, when they had finished a very competitive sixth. The City supporters were very pleased with the team's progress and anticipated promotion push and showed their faith in their team by buying £2,000 of season tickets.
Top scorer Billy McLeod had captured the imagination with a remarkable spate of scoring towards the end of the season, in which he scored thirteen goals in just eleven games, including having found the net in nine consecutive games. He was in goal-scoring form in this game too, as he led the way with four and Arthur Price got two with John Hampson and Jimmy Speirs getting one each, to complete the rout.
Forest had struggled in the previous season and were deep in trouble, as bottom club, before they visited Elland Road and eventually finished the season rank bottom. Arthur Price had a great game and led the way, scoring twice and creating another in the first thirty minutes. Forest Goalkeeper, Irish International Jack Hanna, did well to block an Arthur Price pile-driver early in the game, but he failed to hold it and the alert Billy McLeod pounced on the rebound to score with ease.
Price rattled in two more well-taken goals before half-time for City to go to the break three goals to the good and in total control. In the second-half the floodgates opened as, just after the half had got underway, John Hampton rose to head in an Ivan Sharpe corner. Billy McLeod soon added a fifth and Jimmy Speirs a sixth, before Billy McLeod completed the demolition job with two more to leave Forest bewildered, battered and totally beaten by eight clear goals.
The avalanche of goals saw City move up to third in the table, just three points behind Notts County, with three games in hand, and sent a clarion to all the teams in the Second Division that Leeds City was the team to watch in the promotion race, while poor Forest continued in the bottom position, which was where they stood at the season's end.
The papers were full in their praise of Leeds and "JRB" wrote in the 'Leeds Mercury', "The City forwards were a brilliant lot, who displayed fire and resolution in their attack. They were supported by a trio of halves who did their work excellently, while Copeland and Affleck were a puissant pair of backs." As the full-backs were powerful, the half-backs excellent and the forwards brilliant, probably Tony Hogg didn't rate a mention as he spent the afternoon with nothing to do apart from leading the crowd in their appreciation.
After the Elland Road romp City were set a far sterner task as they visited newly relegated Woolwich Arsenal, who were in the leading group with City. They were in fifth place, with the same points as City but with a worse goal average and had played a game more. Nevertheless, they were well placed in the push for promotion. The Gunners had just moved into their new Highbury Ground in September 1913 and City were, therefore, one of the first teams to play in the palatial surroundings, albeit in it's embryonic stage. Arthur Price and Jimmy Speirs had switched back to their normal positions, but City could not get on the scoresheet and went down by the only goal in front of an 18,000 crowd. It was to be an important and costly loss, as City finished two points behind the second and third clubs, the promoted Bradford City, and Woolwich Arsenal, and they had a goal average superior to both. But for now, it dropped City to fifth place, but still well in contention.
Back on safe ground at Elland Road, City were looking to make up for those dropped points as they took on tenth-placed Grimsby Town in front of a 10,000 crowd. Without Simpson Bainbridge, Herbert Chapman decided to give Right-Winger James Johnson a chance. He had been brought from the Northumberland team, Bedlington, in October 1910, and had served his time in the lower Leagues for the City teams. It was to be his only game for Leeds. Billy McLeod led the way with two goals and John Hampson and Arthur Price both added to their growing tallies with one apiece as City cruised to a 4-1 win over the side from Cleethorpes. The win put City up to fourth place, four points behind Notts County with three games in hand.
John Jackson was a well-known player north of the border having played in the 1910 Scottish Cup Final for Clyde and been on loan with Celtic. Herbert Chapman bought the Inside Forward for £1,000 to add further class to the forward line in December 1913. He went straight into the first team at Inside-Right, as Arthur Price moved to Outside-Right, in place of James Johnson. However, in defence City were without the powerful John Hampson and Evelyn Lintott filled in at Centre-Half. Birmingham had finished third the previous season but they were not the force they were and were not in contention this time round in fourteenth place. There was a crowd of 15,000 on hand on the last Saturday before Christmas. Goals from Billy McLeod and Ivan Sharpe were enough to gain the points with a 2-0 win to keep City's promotion drive on course, but there was no change at the top as City remained fourth.
Right up with the leaders, City drew a huge crowd of 30,000 to Elland Road for the Christmas Day encounter with sixth-placed Fulham. They welcomed back John Hampson to Centre-Half as Evelyn Lintott made way. Billy McLeod got his fourteenth of the season and defender John Hampson weighed in with his fourth, as City triumphed 2-1, for their third consecutive win. Things were not as good on the financial front, as City were not able to pay the Cottagers their full share of the takings and Fulham took immediate retribution by withholding City's share of the gate in the reverse fixture on the ensuing day. At the F.A. enquiry in the following month, City maintained there had been a Railway strike on Christmas Day. It resulted in many fans arriving late for the game and there were police present to prevent them from rushing the turnstiles, so the club had to take the price of admission "on account". The inquiry accepted City's explanation and gave them a verbal warning for not taking money at the turnstiles in the prescribed manner. Fulham were ordered to pay over the £20 4s 5d due to City from the Boxing Day attendance and also ordered to pay three guineas expenses. But that was slightly in the future, but the win left City in third place just two points behind Notts County, with three hames in hand.
The same two teams met again the following day, on Boxing Day, at Craven Cottage in the reverse Christmas clash. New signing John Jackson was absent and Arthur Price moved to the Inside-Right position in his place with Simpson Bainbridge returning at Outside-Right. Fulham would have been pleased to see 25,000 show up for the game, but Billy McLeod with the only goal of the game gave Leeds the points as he scored for the fourth consecutive game and City won their fourth successive game to send the Fulham supporters home with no Christmas cheer. The win sent City into second place, one point behind Hull City, with a game in hand.
City visited eighteenth-placed Glossop for their fourth game in seven days and there was the usual expected poor crowd of 2,000 to greet them. John Jackson was back and took Arthur Price's spot at Inside-Right as Simpson Bainbridge retained the Outside-Right slot. At Outside-Left Ivan Sharpe was not available and Fred Croot deputized. Simpson Bainbridge was the player to score for City, with his fourth of the season, as they shared the points in a 1-1 draw with the struggling home team. The draw was costly as it saw City in fourth place, just one point behind the three teams in first place, with Hull City top on goal average, and City had at least one game in hand on all three.
Twelfth-placed Stockport County provided the opposition in City's next game at Elland Road. They had had to apply for re-election at the end of the 1912-13 season but had beaten City 6-0 at Edgeley Park that season and had also triumphed there by 2-1 in the early season fixture. They were by no means in the top half of the table but were not troubled by any immediate threat of re-election, as they were City's first visitors in the New Year. Ivan Sharpe was back at Outside-Left in place of Fred Croot but George Law was out at Right-Half and his place was taken by Evelyn Linnott. There was a crowd of 10,000 on hand to see City start the New Year in fine fashion. Jimmy Speirs, John Jackson, who got two, Billy McLeod and Ivan Sharpe were the goal-scorers as City scored another big home win, by 5-1, to keep up their promotion challenge and clock-up there sixth successive home win. It made no difference to City's League standing as they remained fourth, still one point from top.
City had been drawn to visit Gainsborough Trinity in the First Round of the F.A. Cup, but the Midland League team opted to give up ground advantage, when guaranteed a minimum of £500 from the Elland Road gate receipts. The game attracted 14,000 to Elland Road and total receipts were £520, so City paid a high price for the home advantage. Gainsborough had been members of the Second Division but had lost their League status when Lincoln City were elected ahead of them at the end of the 1911/12 campaign. They had dropped into the Midland League, where, amongst others, they played Leeds City Reserves.
Their Northolme Ground did not have a large capacity and it made financial sense that the struggling Midland League club should concede the tie to Elland Road. City did not have a very good record in the F.A. Cup, never having ventured past the Second Round and their record, at home or away, no matter what the opposition, was truly abysmal. They had fallen at the First Round in five out of seven attempts. Nevertheless their side contained several renowned Cup-fighters. Captain Jimmy Speirs had led Bradford City to victory over Newcastle United in 1911 in England, while north of the border, John Jackson played for Clyde in the 1910 Final where they went down to Dundee after extra-time in a replay. Because of their status, home advantage and the experience of the relative Players City were expected to win the tie with ease. George Law returned at Right-Half for Evelyn Lintott as the teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; Charlie Copeland, George Affleck; George Law, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ivan Sharpe.
Gainsborough Trinity: Ernie Heath; John Williamson, George Speak; George Verrill, Fred Coe, James Tellum; Herbert Lounds, John Green, Harold Ibbotson, Wally Masterman, Thomas 'Toy' Coulbeck.
City began well after a through ball from John Hampson was latched on to by John Jackson for the flying Scotsman to score with a cracking shot after just three minutes. After seventeen minutes Scottish international Right-Half George Law made it 2-0 with a long range shot and when, on the half-hour, Billy McLeod made it 3-0 it looked like City were on there way to another big score. Unfortunately, complacency then set in and Gainsborough Centre-Forward Harold Ibbotson scored just a minute before half-time.
Soon after the Interval, City had the perfect chance to restore their three goal lead. Jimmy Speirs had been fouled in the penalty area and John Jackson was given the chance from the penalty spot. His attempt was well saved by the Gainsborough Goalkeeper, Ernie Heath. Things were starting to go wrong for City and matters got worse as soon after Gainsborough got a second to close the arrears to a single goal. The Gainsborough Outside-Right, Herbert Lounds, who later joined Leeds City in 1919, provided the cross from which Harold Ibbotson scored his second goal after fifty-five minutes.
City could not regain their first-half rhythm and Trinity started to get on top as their confidence grew. Thankfully, ten minutes from time City scored to ease the fear of their supporters, who had seen them concede defeat out of the jaws of victory in the F.A. Cup far too often. A corner from Simpson Bainbridge was not cleared properly and, as Mick Foley powered in a shot from outside the area, it was blocked by a Trinity defender but the ever-alert John Jackson was on hand to react the quickest and fire home from close-range.
Trinity could not make any impression as their players tried until the end, but City were the team to go into the hat for the Second Round draw. The Gainsborough Left-Back, George Speak, later played for Leeds United and won a Second Division Championship medal with them in the 1923-24 campaign.
Arthur Price was restored at Outside-Right as Simpson Bainbridge had to drop out for the vital visit to fifth-placed Bradford Park Avenue. Park Avenue, despite a heavy defeat at Elland Road in City's second home game of the season, were flying almost as high as City and were one of the leaders along with Hull City, Notts County and Woolwich Arsenal. They were, however, three points behind City and like several other clubs, who thought they still with a chance of promotion, had played more games than City. The vital clash attracted a 32,184 attendance as the 'local derby' was raise to a level of even more importance. Unfortunately for City, the men from Park Avenue dented their hopes with a 3-1 win, as Billy McLeod scored for Leeds, but it was another game which City would look back on at the end of the season as one of great significance in their final position. City still held fourth position, but if they won their games in hand they could go above all of the teams above them.
Simpson Bainbridge was back in place of Arthur Price at Outside-Right for City's second vital clash in as many games. City welcomed leaders Notts County to Elland Road, still smarting from their 4-0 drubbing at Meadow Lane early in the season. However, with seven home wins in succession the City supporters would have been quietly confident. A large crowd of 25,000 was present to see City go down 4-2 and suffered their second important defeat in two games as Ivan Sharpe and John Hampson got the Leeds goals. City still hung on to fourth place, five points behind Notts County, with three games in hand.
West Bromwich Albion were flying high in Division One as they paid Elland Road a visit in the Second Round of the F.A. Cup. The two had clashed just two years earlier at the same stage and the Throstlers had gone through with a controversial last minute winner. Indeed, the Baggies still had six players who took part in that game, but, in an indication of the transformation which City had gone through, they only had two players on view. Charlie Copeland had had to drop out after the Notts County game and George Law dropped back to Right-Back, with Evelyn Lintott coming in at Right-Half. The teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; George Law, George Affleck; Evelyn Lintott, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ivan Sharpe.
West Bromwich Albion: Hubert Pearson; Joe Smith, Jesse Pennington; Frank Waterhouse, Fred Buck, Bobby McNeal; Claude Jephcott, Fred Morris, Alf Bentley, Albert Lewis, Ben Shearman.
There was a capacity crowd on hand for the game and the entrances to the sixpenny enclosures had been closed fifteen minutes before kick-off and the official attendance was 29,7333 with takings of £1,397. West Bromwich Albion were recognised as one of the top teams in England but they were under early pressure from Leeds, as the home team twice went close with a header from Jimmy Speirs and a shot from John Hampson. It was Leeds that continued to make most of the running and England International Goalkeeper Hubert Pearson saved bravely from the fleet-footed John Jackson. However, after the game passed half-time and the home team still pressed their supporters were given hope, but as the game reached the final stages their fitness began to tell as they ran out of steam and the Baggies came more into the game.
Memories of the tie of two years before came back into the thoughts of the Leeds fans, who were hoping that history would not repeat itself. To their dismay and disbelief, lightning did strike twice. With just one minute remaining, the West Bromwich Albion Centre-Forward, Alf Bentley, created some space for himself to fire in a strong shot from distance and it evaded Tony Hogg's effort to save and rippled the net. City and its fans were stunned and devastated, and to make matters worse the Baggies got a second in injury time to clinch the match beyond recall, as Outside-Right Claude Jephcott, who had made the winner two years previous, again wriggled his way through the Leeds defence and score with an accurate shot.
The final result was not a fair reflection of the game, as City had held the upper hand for so long without being able to put the ball in the net, and, even after they lost the ascendency, their defenders, with Evelyn Lintott and George Affleck outstanding, had more than held their own against the Throstler's excellent attack. However, once again they failed to better their F.A. Cup record and fell at the second hurdle.
City had to travel to Filbert Street without their two regular Wingers, Simpson Bainbridge and Ivan Sharpe. John Jackson took Scott Bainbridge's spot at Outside-Right, while Arthur Price was brought back into the team at Inside-Right. Fred Croot was Ivan Sharpe's deputy at Outside-Left. Charlie Copeland was back at Right-Back with George Law moving to the Right-Half position and Evelyn Lintott dropped out. Sixteenth-placed Leicester Fosse were struggling and City were looking to get their promotion push back on the rails with a double over them, after having already narrowly beaten them at Elland Road. A poor crowd was a reflection on the home team's results, more than the attractiveness of the opposition, as only 4,000 turned up for the clash. Fosse won easily, in a surprise result, as Jimmy Speirs was the lone Leeds scorer in a 5-1 defeat, which saw them lose their third game in succession. The result put City down to fifth place, one point behind Bradford Park Avenue, who they had a game in hand on.
Ivan Sharpe was back at Outside-Left in place of Fred Croot and John Jackson reverted to his usual position at Inside Right, as he switched with Arthur Price, who went to Outside-Right, when tenth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers were the next team to play at Elland Road. City had already won at Molineux, but were still looking for their first double of the season. Once more they gave a masterful performance to easily beat the middle-of-the-table Wolves to complete their first double with a 5-0 win in front of a crowd, which reflected their recent poor form, of 10,000. Billy McLeod led the rampage with a hat-trick as Jimmy Speirs and Ivan Sharpe completed the scoring. The win saw them jump above Bradford Park Avenue back into fourth place, seven points behind Notts County, with four games in hand.
Hull City were in third position, five points behind Notts County, with three games in hand, but two points in front of City, who had a game in hand. Neither club had given up hope as Leeds visited Anlaby Road to take on the Tigers. Herbert Chapman had been looking to bolster his defence and had gone to Leeds Road to buy Right-Back Fred Blackman, who was rated as one of the best full-backs in the League, for £1,000 from Huddersfield Town in February 1914 and he also added Centre Forward Joe Dougherty from Darlington Forge Albion in the same month. 18,000 was present to see Fred Blackman make his debut at Right-Back for Leeds, in place of Charlie Copeland, in an otherwise unchanged team for the visit to Humberside. There was nothing much between the two teams but it was the Tigers who won the vital clash by the only goal of the day, as Leeds continued their slump as they lost their fourth game in the last five. City dropped to fifth one point behind Bradford Park Avenue, with a game in hand, but significantly they could not catch Notts County if they won their games in hand, as they were now nine points behind, with four games in hand.
City had won at Oakwell earlier in the season, in what was an outstanding result, as sixth-placed Barnsley had always been well in touch with the leaders throughout the season to date. City were without Goalkeeper Tony Hogg, as he missed his first game of the season, and Billy Scott stepped into the breach. The City outfield remained unchanged as Barnsley came to Elland Road with revenge in mind. For the 'local derby', with the added attraction of its relevance to the promotion race, it was little surprise that an excellent attendance of 20,000 resulted. There were goals from Billy McLeod and two from Ivan Sharpe, one of which was from the penalty spot, as City proved they were the better team and completed a double over their Yorkshire rivals by 3-0. It was a timely win and took City back into fourth spot, but the gap to Notts County remained the same.
City were unchanged when they next had to go to seventh-placed Clapton Orient on a Monday evening on 2nd March 1914 and the kick-off had been arranged for 4.30pm. On an almost winter's evening there was always going to be a problem, in those pre-floodlight days, that the game would finish in the semi-darkness of a very early spring evening. And so it proved. Billy Scott, the Leeds Goalkeeper, complained that he was unable to see the last two goals that went past him as Clapton Orient finished up 3-1 winners. John Hampson got the Leeds goal. Many people thought that the match should have been abandoned due to the failing light, but according to the Yorkshire Post, "The referee asked the linesmen if they could follow the ball and, receiving an affirmative reply, the game was allowed to proceed. It was quite certain, however, that the players themselves could not follow the ball." City appealed the result but they were unsuccessful even though the F.A. fined Orient £25. City remained in fourth place but had again lost ground.
City were away again for their next game with seventh-placed Bury at Gigg Lane. Jimmy Speirs missed his first game of the season and City solved his absence by moving Arthur Price to Inside-Left, and putting Ivan Sharpe in his place on the Right-Wing as Fred Croot deputized at Outside-Left. Tony Hogg was back between the posts as Billy Scott dropped out. There was a good crowd of 12,000 in attendance and a 1-1 draw resulted with John Jackson hitting the net for City, who dropped to fifth, one point behind Bradford Park Avenue, with a game in hand.
Near-neighbours sixteenth-placed Huddersfield Town were City's next opponents at Elland Road in another 'local derby'. A good crowd of 14,000 were on hand to see an unchanged City give the men from Leeds Road no chance and sent them home after giving them a 5-1 hiding. There was a seventh goal of the season for Centre-Half John Hampson, while Billy McLeod returned to scoring form with a hat-trick, and Arthur Price was on target for the first time since the 8-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest way back in November. City stayed in fifth place.
City were unchanged for the third game as they visited nineteenth-placed Lincoln City at Sincil Bank. Leeds had won their earlier Elland Road encounter by the only goal of the game and were looking to complete their third double of the season at the expense of their Lincolnshire rivals, who were struggling next to the bottom of the League. Unfortunately, City were unable to achieve their wish as the Red Imps beat them by the only goal of the game to get their revenge in front of an 8,000 crowd. City remained fifth but Notts County were now ten points in front, but City had three games in hand.
Another lowly club were the next visitors to Elland Road as fourteenth-placed Blackpool faced a still unchanged Leeds team in front of an attendance of 12,000. City had put three straight home wins together, since their loss to Notts County. They were looking to make it four, to keep up their promotion challenge. It had been derailed by four defeats in five games in January and February, but their good home record had helped keep them in touch. Billy McLeod got his twenty-fifth goal of the season, while John Hampson got his eighth, a remarkable achievement for a Centre-Half, as City won by 2-1. City were now fourth, still ten points behind Notts County, with three games in hand. City were, however still in line for second place, with Bradford Park Avenue just two points ahead, but City had a game in hand, but they had played the same number of games as Arsenal, who were behind Park Avenue on goal average. Fifth-placed Hull City shared the same points as City, but had a worse goal average and had played a game more. It was a close run race and there was a further five teams within four points of City, should any team slip up.
With Easter fast approaching, City went to the City Ground to play bottom team Nottingham Forest in the return game of the Elland Road fixture that had seen City rack up their record score of 8-0. Forest were in deep relegation trouble as the bottom club. They must have feared the outcome as City, unchanged for the fifth successive time, came looking for their third double of the season. As had often happened with City in their short history, they were beaten by a team they were expected to beat with ease. Forest got two points in their battle to stave off the threat of having to apply for re-election with a 2-1 win as George Law got a rare goal for Leeds, his first, in the League, goal of the season. City dropped to fifth place.
As the vagaries of the fixture-list demanded, City had to travel all the way to seventh-placed Bristol City for their Good Friday game of the intense Easter period, where games come thick and fast. City welcomed back Captain Jimmy Speirs to their ranks after a five game absence. He came back into his usual role at Inside-Left, with Arthur Price moving to Outside-Right to replace Ivan Sharpe, who in turn switched back to Outside-Left, which made Fred Croot drop out of the team. Bristol were just one point below Leeds in the League and there could have been many trips less exhausting than the visit to Ashton Gate and several more with easier opposition. A large crowd of 20,000 were there to see the two sides do battle and City would have been happy to have picked up a point, courtesy of a Billy McLeod goal, to take back with them on their long trip back to Elland Road. The point took them back into fourth place.
After the long trek involved in their round trip to Bristol, City had to face one of their keenest promotion rivals in the form of third-placed Woolwich Arsenal at Elland Road on the next day, on Easter Saturday. City received a blow for the game when their Captain Jimmy Speirs was ruled out and this meant their usual changes of Arthur Price to Inside-Left, Ivan Sharpe swapping wings to take his place at Outside-Right and Fred Croot filling the vacancy at Outside-Left. Woolwich Arsenal had won by the only goal of the game in their clash at Highbury earlier in the season in a very closely fought game and neither team were expecting there to be much in it in the return encounter. That was exactly what happened as they fought out a goalless draw in front of another huge crowd of 25,000. City remained fourth, two points behind the Gunners but five points behind Bradford Park Avenue, with a game in hand.
For their third game in four days City were hit quite badly as the sheer volume of games took its toll. Bristol City were the visitors to Elland Road as the reverse fixture of the Good Friday games took place on Easter Monday. Defensive kingpin, John Hampson was out and that meant a debut at Centre-Half for former Bradford City player Harry Peart, who Herbert Chapman had picked up in the previous September as defensive cover. By coincidence there was a recall for winger Neil Turner, who had also been signed in September and had scored on debut at Huddersfield Town in early November. He came into the team in place of Outside-Left Fred Croot, with Ivan Sharpe moving into the Outside-Left position to leave the Outside-Right position for him. The former Petershill Outside-Right made the most of his opportunity to score his second goal for the club in just his third game to give Leeds a 1-0 win in front of an attendance of 12,000, to maintain their promotion challenge. They were still two points behind Arsenal and three behind Bradford Park Avenue with a game in hand. Notts County were already assured of the Championship.
Easter Tuesday saw City's fourth game in five days as they played host to sixth-placed Clapton Orient. It was the reverse fixture to the controversial 'night' match of the first days of March. Clapton Orient were still in the leading group, two points behind City, and had an outside chance of promotion, so they, too, came to Elland Road with the intention of not giving much away. City welcomed back John Hampson at Centre-Half as he replaced Harry Peart, but there was bad news, as Billy McLeod joined Jimmy Speirs on the injured list, and Herbert Chapman gave a first chance to Joe Dougherty, his recent February signing from Darlington Forge Albion, at Centre-Forward. As was expected there was nothing in the game and it finished in a 0-0 draw, and City's promotion hopes diminished. They were still fourth, one point behind Arsenal, who now had a game in hand, and two points behind Bradford Park Avenue. Time was running out fast as City had just two games left to play.
City went to Blundell Park for their fifth game in eight days and their final away game of the season. Dropped points in recent vital promotion encounters and unexpected losses had made it extremely difficult for City to win the second promotion place. Their once prolific goal-scoring had been reduced to a trickle and had almost dried up with the continued absence of Captain Jimmy Speirs. It was hoped that the return of Billy McLeod might help matters as he was fit to take up his Centre-Forward role once more with Joe Dougherty dropping out. Herbert Chapman had been on the lookout for players to improve his squad and had brought in Wing-Half Tommy Lamph from Spennymoor United. He was to go on to be one of the few players to represent both Leeds City and Leeds United. He went straight into the team at Left-Half as Mick Foley moved up to Inside-Left, and Arthur Price reverted back to Outside-Right as Neil Turner dropped out.
A single Arthur Price goal was enough to give City both points before a crowd of 9,000, to give them their third double of the season. This win set everything on a knife's edge as City moved into third place with the same points as Woolwich Arsenal and a better goal average but the Gunners had a game in hand. They were also two points behind second-placed Bradford City, but had a better goal average. So City had to win their final game and hope that the other two dropped two points.
Woolwich Arsenal won their game in hand against Grimsby Town by 2-0 and so City went into the final game knowing that both teams had to get beat for City to go up. Bradford Park Avenue were at home to sixteenth-placed Blackpool and Arsenal were away to seventeenth-placed Glossop. For their final game of the season City were at Elland Road against thirteenth-placed Birmingham, who they had earlier beaten at St Andrew's and so they were looking for a fourth double of the season. Captain Jimmy Speirs was back at Inside-Left and that meant another reshuffle with Mick Foley reverting to Left-Half at the expense of Tommy Lamph. City finished the season on a winning note in front of a 10,000 attendance. Arthur Price, an own goal and Billy McLeod scored the Leeds goals as they rounded off the season with a 3-2 win and fourth double of the season. They finished in fourth place as both other teams won, Bradford Park Avenue, who were promoted, beat Blackpool 4-1 while Woolwich Arsenal won 2-0 at Glossop, but missed out on goal average.
Their late salvo came too late as the real damage had been done when they dropped ten points from twelve in January/February, and the fact that they had failed to get a point out of Notts County, only one from Woolwich Arsenal and two from Bradford Park Avenue, the three teams above them in the League. They also conceded two points to each of the bottom three clubs Nottingham Forest, Lincoln City and Leicester Fosse. Being without the services of Captain Jimmy Speirs for all but two of the last eleven matches did not help as during that time their goal-scoring was reduced to virtually nothing and many needless points were lost.
In the end they finished a very creditable fourth, the highest-ever position, with forty-seven points and just two points behind third placed Arsenal, who were just pipped for second place on goal average by Bradford Park Avenue and six points behind the Champions Notts County. City had a superior goal average to both Bradford Park Avenue, who they beat 5-1 at Elland Road, and Woolwich Arsenal, so two points more would have seen them promoted in second position.
Their full record was fifteen home wins, two draws and only two losses, to Notts County and Hull City, and a goal tally of fifty-four against sixteen, while away they were less impressive with five wins, five draws and nine losses and a goal tally of twenty-two against thirty.
The relegation issue was much clear cut, than the race at the top. City were two points ahead of Barnsley, in fifth spot. But they were ahead of Hull City, Bristol City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were seventh, eighth and ninth on the ladder, by six points. Nottingham Forest were well adrift on twenty-three points, with Leicester Fosse just edging Lincoln City on goal average for eighteenth spot both had twenty-six points two below Glossop, who, in turn, were four adrift of next club Blackpool, who had thirty-two.
City again had a reasonably settled squad with Full-Back George Affleck and Wing-Half Mick Foley were ever-present. Billy McLeod was virtually injury-free and missed just one game, while John Hampson and Tony Hogg missed just two and Arthur Price, Ivan Sharpe and George Law only three.
Billy McLeod was again the leading goalscorer with twenty-seven goals and added another in two F.A. Cup appearances. The City record goal tally was nicely spread, with Captain Jimmy Speirs scoring eleven in twenty-nine appearances, with Arthur Price also getting eleven, Centre-Half John Hampson eight and Winger Ivan Sharpe seven.
After finishing in their highest position and having a team good enough to gain promotion, and on a reasonably good financial footing and attracting good crowds, good takings and at last making a profit, all thanks to the good management of Herbert Chapman. In August 1914 a syndicate of businessmen bought the club from the receivers. The syndicate was headed by Joseph Connor, the President of the West Riding F.A. and included J.C. Whiteman, Sam Glover, George Sykes and W.H. Platts, with Messrs Connor and Whiteman thought to have been in active control. The syndicate guaranteed to put down £1,000 and pay the annual rent of £250.
With the onset of the First World War, the Football League issued a statement that in the interest of morale in the country that the football would continue, but that the clubs should do everything they could to help War funds and that the players should train for National Service. So the Football League continued for the first year of the War in the season 1914-15.
Herbert Chapman brought in Inside-Right Robert Cowen from Spen Black and White in April 1914 and Centre-Forward John Edmondson from Leyland in the same month. Goalkeeper Willis Walker was signed from Doncaster Rovers; Winger Ernest (Ernie) Goodwin from Spennymoor United, Wing-Half Valentine (Val) Lawrence from Oldham Athletic and Outside Right Alf Rothwell from Accrington Stanley, and all arrived in May 1914. While Left-Back Jack McQuillan was bought from Hull City for £100 in July 1914.
Some players volunteered for the Forces and some retired or played roles in the lower level teams, but James Johnson went to North Leeds Athletic and Neil Turner left in 1914.
In the Second Division Notts County and Bradford Park Avenue were promoted from Division Two to Division One, while Derby County and Preston North End were relegated from Division One to Division Two. The two bottom teams of the previous season, Nottingham Forest and Lincoln City were re-elected and Woolwich Arsenal changed their name to Arsenal.
City had not bought any big names, although some gave them good service, and had stuck in the main with their side of the previous season which had narrowly failed to gain promotion. They seemed to have a reasonably easy start to the season with games against teams who finished in mid-table in the previous year. The season kicked off on a Wednesday with the visit of Fulham to Elland Road. Fulham had given City two close games in the Christmas double-header but Leeds had completed the double in front of two massive attendances with 55,000 seeing the two games on consecutive days. It was therefore a big disappointment to both teams when just 8,000 were in attendance for the season's opener. City gave a debut to Left-Back Jack McQuillan, who kept George Affleck out and with John Hampson and Billy McLeod not being available; Harry Peart made a rare appearance at Centre-Half as City lined-up: Tony Hogg; Fred Blackman, Jack McQuillan; George Law, Harry Peart, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, John Jackson, Jimmy Speirs, Arthur Price, Ivan Sharpe. City went down 1-0 to the dismay of their supporters and their season was off to a bad start, with a defeat at Elland Road, which had long been the foundation of their success and of any hopes they had held for promotion.
For their first away game of the season at Edgeley Park they had a Saturday game and were without several players from the opening fixture. Harry Peart was out at Centre-Half and that meant a debut for Val Lawrence, their summer signing from Oldham Athletic, where he had played at Wing-Half. Outside-Right Simpson Bainbridge and Inside-Right John Jackson were also out and that gave debuts to Outside Right Alf Rothwell, a summer signing from Accrington Stanley, and Inside-Right Robert Cowen who had joined from Spen Black and White, also in the summer. Jimmy Speirs reverted to his normal Inside-Left position while Arthur Price swapped positions with him and went to Centre-Forward. There was another poor attendance and City again went down, this time at Stockport County by 3-1, with Ivan Sharpe getting the goal. City were bottom of the League.
City were missing John Hampson in defence and Billy McLeod in the attack, and once again they were not available for City's return engagement with top-of-the-table Fulham at Craven Cottage the following Wednesday. Val Lawrence had not been a success at Centre-Half and George Law swapped positions with him to allow him to play at Right-Half. Simpson Bainbridge and John Jackson had both recovered and took the places of Outside-Right Alf Rothwell and Inside-Right Robert Cowen. However, Ivan Sharpe was absent and Fred Croot came in for his first game of the season at Outside-Left. Another poor crowd of 5,000 were on hand at Craven Cottage and that meant there were 42,000 fans less than the previous season to watch the same fixtures this time round. It was a trend which continued all season. City again lost by the only goal and had lost their first three fixtures of the new season and consequently remained bottom.
Twelfth-placed Hull City were the next side to play at Elland Road, and it saw Leeds at last able to include John Hampson and Billy McLeod in their line-up for the first time in the season. George Law moved back to his normal role of Right-Half and Val Lawrence moved to Left-Half to accommodate John Hampson at Centre-Half, as Left-Half Mick Foley missed his first game of the season. Arthur Price moved to Outside-Right to the exclusion of Simpson Bainbridge as Billy McLeod came back in his usual Centre-Forward position. While City were almost back to full-strength they were not yet to the heights of the previous season and went down by 3-2 with Jimmy Speirs and John Jackson opening their goal accounts for the season. There was another disappointing attendance of 8,000 as City failed to open their points account and had now lost all four games of the season and were bottom.
Leeds were at home again the following game, and sixteenth-placed Blackpool, the perennial strugglers, were their guests. Mick Foley was back at Left-Half with Val Lawrence switching to Right-Half to replace George Law, who dropped out. City were also without Outside-Right Arthur Price and Outside-Left Fred Croot. This meant League debuts for Outside-Right Webb Richardson, who had been signed from Barnet and Alston way back in June 1913 but had not received the call before, and Outside-Left Ernie Goodwin, who had arrived from Spennymoor United in the summer. There was another 8,000 crowd in attendance as Billy McLeod scored his first goal of the season and Ernie Goodwin marked his debut by scoring from the penalty spot as City got off the mark with their first points with a 2-0 win over the Sea-siders. The win saw them move to nineteenth, above Glossop on goal average and on the same points as Blackpool, who had a better goal average.
For the first time in the season City were able to field an unchanged side, albeit not a full-strength one, for the visit to seventh-placed Clapton Orient. There was a crowd of 9,000 to see Orient beat City by 2-0 and even though City's away record was notoriously poor it was plain that City were no the force they had been the previous year as they lost their fifth game from six. They remained exactly where they were the previous week as both Glossop and Blackpool also lost.
Arsenal, who had dropped the Woolwich from their name, as it no longer seemed relevant now they were based north of the river, had been a strong contender for promotion the previous year. City had gained just one point from their clashes and with Arsenal top of the table and pressing for promotion the City fans feared the worst. Mick Foley was again out and there was a debut, at Left-Half, for local boy Wilson Wainwright, who had just been signed from local club Morley. Ivan Sharpe made a welcome return at Outside-Right as Webb Richardson dropped out and had played his last game for City. There was a crowd of 10,000 to see the game and no doubt City would have been happy with a share of the points when they drew 2-2 as Ernie Goodwin again scored from the spot and Captain Jimmy Speirs got the other. The point took City into seventeenth place, above Leicester Fosse and Glossop on goal average, and one point more than Blackpool.
City next had to visit the Baseball Ground to play tenth-placed Derby County, who would eventually finish the season as Champions, but for now were three points behind leaders Arsenal, with a game in hand. John Hampson, City's stalwart defender was absent and Harry Peart replaced him at Centre-Half. George Law reclaimed his Right-Half position at the expense of Val Lawrence and Mick Foley was back to replace Wilson Wainwright at Left-Half. Apart from John Hampson, City were almost at full-strength. In front of a disappointing 5,000 crowd City proved their capabilities by beating the Rams 2-1 with goals from Jimmy Speirs and Billy McLeod. The win took City into sixteenth place, above Lincoln City on goal average.
There was a crowd of 10,000 on hand at Elland Road as City played hosts to Lincoln City with an unchanged side and they recorded a well deserved 3-1 win over the Red Imps. Billy McLeod was again on the scoresheet, as was Captain Jimmy Speirs, who netted a brace, as City recorded their second successive victory. It moved City into fifteenth place, level on points with Birmingham, but with an inferior goal average, and had played one game more.
John Hampson returned for City, with Harry Peart dropping out of the Centre-Half position as City travelled to St Andrew's to play Birmingham. The home team were level on points with City and seven points behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand. There was an 8,000 crowd in attendance. Ivan Sharpe netted twice and Jimmy Speirs was also on the scoresheet, but it did not stop City going down 6-3 as the defence had an off-day. The loss dropped City back to sixteenth, level on points with Leicester Fosse and Lincoln City, but with a better goal average
Seventh-placed Grimsby Town were the next visitors to Elland Road as Ivan Sharpe was absent from the team at Outside-Right. This gave a chance for Simpson Bainbridge to return on the Right-Wing as City started to get a settled team. They delighted the 5,000 crowd with a 5-0 demolition of the Mariners. Billy McLeod scored twice and Jimmy Speirs, Simpson Bainbridge and John Jackson completed the scorers as City won their third game in the last four. It pushed City up to fourteenth, level on points with Stockport County, but with a better goal average, although they had played one game more than the Cheshire club.
Ivan Sharpe was back on board at Outside-Left with Ernie Goodwin dropping out as City went to Leeds Road to play top-of-the-table Huddersfield Town in the 'local derby'. Town had been a mid-table team in recent times but were now pushing for promotion and there was also local pride at stake. The game did attract a crowd of 14,000, as the home team prevailed by the only goal of the game. City slipped to fifteenth place level on points with Stockport County, who had a game in hand, Leicester Fosse and Lincoln City, who all had inferior goal averages.
It was an unchanged Leeds side that took on second-placed Bristol City at Elland Road as 8,000 turned up to view the action first hand. Against another team who had happily maintained a mid-table position since their relegation from the First Division, but were now making a push for promotion, City played out a 1-1 draw with Billy McLeod getting the goal. City remained fifteenth, level on points with Nottingham Forest, who had a worse goal average.
The away trip to seventh-placed Bury saw several changes to the City team. Former regular Full-Back George Affleck returned at Left-Back for his first game of the season in place of Jack McQuillan and Wilson Wainwright filled in once more for Mick Foley at Left-Half. John Jackson was also absent at Inside-Right and this meant a return for Arthur Price in his place, while at Outside-Left Ivan Sharpe was not available and that saw a return for Ernie Goodwin. There was a goalless draw played out in front of a crowd of 6,000 at Gigg Lane with both sides happy with a point. It saw City drop to sixteenth position.
Again City had several enforced changes for the game with fifth-placed Preston North End at Elland Road. Fred Blackman was out and it meant a return at Right-Back for Charlie Copeland, who made his first appearance of the season, but Mick Foley was back at Left-Half with Wilson Wainwright dropping out having played his last Football League game for City. A poor crowd of 7,000, considering the quality of the opposition, was on hand to see City play their second consecutive goalless draw against the side that eventually finished runners-up in the Second Division. City were now fifteenth with the same points as Nottingham Forest, but with a better goal average and a game in hand.
There was a visit to the City Ground to play Nottingham Forest in City's next game. It saw the return of Fred Blackman at Right-Back for Charlie Copeland, and John Jackson and Ivan Sharpe to their usual positions of Inside-Right and Outside-Left in place of Arthur Price and Ernie Goodwin. Forest, who had finished bottom the previous season and were again, like City, in a fight to avoid having to apply for re-election, repeated their win of the previous campaign by 3-1 in front of a meagre 3,000 onlookers. The defeat saw City drop to seventeenth, just three points above bottom team Glossop.
There was another struggling team in the shape of nineteenth-placed Leicester Fosse that provided the opposition in their next game at Elland Road. This time City were without skipper Jimmy Speirs and Arthur Price deputized at Inside-Left. In a remarkable display of their inconsistency City rattled in seven goals, two from Simpson Bainbridge, two from Billy McLeod and a hat-trick from Arthur Price, as they swamped Fosse 7-2. It was a huge victory but it did not improve their League status and they remained seventeenth. The Elland Road crowds and attendances in general were drastically reduced from the previous season and the low crowd at this game, of 5,000, was due to a combination of several reasons. City's record was poor and did not inspire people to turn up, Leicester Fosse were an equally unattractive side, not likely to fire the imagination, and there were a growing number of people who thought it was wrong to play football while there was a War in progress. One that had been promised to be over by Christmas but that was clearly not going to be the case.
Christmas was fast approaching as City made the short trip to Oakwell for the 'local derby' with ninth-placed Barnsley. The Tykes had finished one place and two points behind City in the previous campaign, but, unlike City, were putting in a determined bid for promotion and were right up with the leaders, just four points behind second placed Huddersfield Town, with a game in hand. City were unchanged on the last Saturday before Christmas but considering Barnsley's promotion push, there was a very poor attendance of only 3,000 to see the home team take the points with a 2-1 win, as Ivan Sharpe scored for City. Leeds remained seventeenth but the three teams below them all had a game in hand on them.
For the Christmas double-header City had Glossop, who were deep in the re-election mire and bottom of the League, as the opposition. On Christmas Day the first game was at Glossop, who were notoriously poorly supported, and the game was played in front of just 1,000 spectators. Jimmy Speirs was back at Inside-Left and Arthur Price dropped out while Ivan Sharpe was not available at Outside-Left and Fred Croot stepped in. John Jackson scored twice and Billy McLeod once as City cruised to an easy 3-0 victory and a welcome two points. The win took City to fifteenth place above Stockport County, who had a game in hand, and Nottingham Forest, on goal average.
In the Boxing Day encounter at Elland Road, Jimmy Speirs was out and Arthur Price was his deputy, in an otherwise unchanged team. Once again City had little trouble disposing of their lowly rivals and repeated the score-line of the day before. An attendance of 6,000 watched Simpson Bainbridge, Arthur Price and Billy McLeod get the goals in a 3-0 win that gave City a welcome four points from a Christmas double. The win took City up to thirteenth, ahead of Clapton Orient, who had a game in hand, on goal average.
Sixteenth-placed Stockport County were the visitors to Elland Road in the first fixture of the New Year. Jimmy Speirs and Ivan Sharpe were back in the starting eleven, with Arthur Price and Fred Croot giving way in the Inside-Left and Outside-Left positions respectively. City had gone down 3-1 at Edgeley Park in the second game of the season and the Cheshire side repeated the dose as once again they triumphed by 3-1, in front of a 7,000 crowd, with Jimmy Speirs netting for Leeds. The loss dropped City to sixteenth position, eight points above the bottom two clubs.
The First Round of the F.A. Cup saw City make a second trip of the season to the Baseball Ground to face Derby County. The Rams were leading the Second Division and had not lost at home since October, when City had unexpectedly won 2-1. City were without lynch-pin John Hampson at Centre-Half and Harry Peart once more deputized, but were otherwise unchanged as the teams lined-up:
Derby County: George Lawrence; Jack Atkin, Tommy Barbour; Harry Walker, Jimmy Bagshaw, George Brooks; Billy Grimes, Tommy Benfield, Norman Fordham, Jim Moore, Alf Quantrill.
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; Fred Blackman, George Affleck; George Law, Harry Peart, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ivan Sharpe.
City had signed English Amateur International Winger and Journalist Ivan Sharpe from the Rams in the 1913 close season. He returned to the Baseball Ground to haunt them with a virtuoso performance to destroy his old team and give City their only away win in the F.A. Cup in their entire existence. Ivan Sharpe had enjoyed a marvellous football career, which had included a stint at Derby County, where he won a Second Division Championship medal, and an Olympic Gold Medal as a member of the 1912 Great Britain football team in Stockholm. He was an amateur and his full-time job, as a Journalist, took him to several home bases and when he joined the Yorkshire Evening News, the Elland Road spectators were able to witness with delight his great skills.
His return to the Baseball Ground added spice to the tie and it was his teasing centres which caused the Derby defenders discomfort for most of the afternoon. Twenty minutes of the tie had elapsed when Sharpe was tripped just outside the penalty area. He took the ensuing free-kick himself and drilled a fierce shot which struck the Derby Right-Back Jack Atkin and it rebounded straight back to the Amateur International Winger. He did not need to be asked twice and he buried a powerful drive into the net giving Goalkeeper George Lawrence no chance.
Ten minutes later Derby drew level after Fred Blackman had given away a disputed free-kick. Derby Left-Half George Brooks pushed the ball forward to English International Centre-Half Jimmy Bagshaw, who in turn found Centre-Forward Norman Fordham, who scored from close-range.
The City defence was in fine form, with Full-Backs Fred Blackman and George Affleck excelling, and kept a tight grip on the Rams forwards. They defended in depth and with fifteen minutes left broke out to score the winner. It came after County had squandered a free-kick and Leeds gained possession. The ball was worked quickly downfield and Captain and Scottish International Jimmy Speirs created the opening for Billy McLeod to score the winner with a fine shot. It was Billy McLeod's sixth goal in twelve F.A. Cup appearances.
Wing-Half Tommy Lamph had joined Leeds from Spennymoor United in April 1914 and had made just one appearance at Left-Half before the end of that season. With John Hampson still unavailable he was called in at Centre-Half, to replace Harry Peart, in his first game of the season. City had pulled of a fine win at Derby County in the Cup, but had been beaten by their Humberside rivals at Elland Road earlier in the season. The Tigers had promotion ambitions, being just five points behind second-placed Birmingham, with a game in hand, in seventh position. Few would have imagined that City would go to Anlaby Road and beat Hull City by 6-2. No doubt the 5,000 crowd would have been very surprised. But they also witnessed a personal triumph for Centre Forward Billy McLeod, who set a new Leeds City Goal-scoring record for a single game when he scored five goals and Ivan Sharpe got the other to complete the scoring. Those five goals are still the record individual score for a single game for a team from the City of Leeds. No one for Leeds United has exceeded it, although Gordon Hodgson did equal it, and what made Billy McLeod's feat more remarkable was that it was achieved in an away game! The unexpected win saw Leeds jump to thirteenth place, ahead of Clapton Orient, who had a game in hand, on goal average.
Not surprisingly, City maintained an unchanged team for the visit to Bloomfield Road to take on eighteenth-placed Blackpool. It was City's third consecutive game on the road and City were hoping to make it three wins on the trot and complete a double over their Lancashire rivals as they had already beaten them 2-0 at Elland Road. It did not happen and Blackpool won by the only goal of the game in front of a 6,000 crowd. Leeds remained thirteenth, ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Clapton Orient, who had a game in hand, on goal average.
Having defeated Derby County in the First Round of the F.A. Cup, City travelled to the Park Royal Ground, the former home of the London Agricultural Society and then the headquarters of Southern League club Queens Park Rangers. They were confident that they would make the Third Round for the first time in their history. John Hampson was back at the centre of the City defence, having replaced Tommy Lamph at Centre-Half, in the only change in the City line-up from their defeat at Blackpool. The teams lined-up:
Queens Park Rangers: Robert MacLeod; Tom Millington, Harry Pullen; John Broster, Archie Mitchell, A. Whyman; Billy Thompson, Jimmy Birch, J.B. Miller, Tommy Simons, Davie Donald.
Leeds City: Tony Hogg; Fred Blackman, George Affleck; George Law, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Simpson Bainbridge, John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ivan Sharpe.
There was a crowd of 10,000, who paid £260 to see the game and the home spectators were soon impressed by the speed of their forwards as they quickly went on the attack, testing John Hampson and ensuring that Goalkeeper Tony Hogg would have a busy afternoon. Tony Hogg proved to be rock-solid in the City goal and soon Leeds were able to go on the attack and create some bright moments themselves. The Rangers' Goalkeeper Robert MacLeod was soon in action, as he saved well from Billy McLeod, but couldn't hold the strong shot and watched helplessly as Outside-Right Simpson Bainbridge poked the loose ball wide.
There was a difficult chance, which Inside-Right John Jackson could not convert, after being set up by the industrious Billy McLeod, before Rangers moved into top gear. Tony Hogg had to be at his very best to keep out strong shots from Centre-Half Archie Mitchell and former Bradford Park Avenue and Derby County Outside-Left, Davie Donald. The decisive goal did not come until seven minutes after half-time, when Billy Thompson crossed from the left for Tommy Simons, with a suspicion of offside, to put the ball in the net.
Leeds were suspicious that the goal was offside and they also felt they should have had a penalty in the dying minutes when Billy McLeod appeared to have his shirt pulled as he bore down on the goal, well inside the penalty area. However Leeds had not played well enough to deserve a place in the Third Round draw and failed once more to make the last sixteen in what proved to be their last F.A. Cup tie.
John Johnson was out for the Elland Road clash with Clapton Orient and Jimmy Speirs switched to Inside-Right to make way for Arthur Price at Inside-Left. City had already lost to Orient in London earlier in the season and as they once more lost by the only goal of the game they conceded a double to the London team in front of their smallest crowd of the season, a mere 4,000, and dropped to fourteenth place, ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Nottingham Forest, on goal average.
Goalkeeper Tony Hogg, Right-Back Fred Blackman, Outside-Right Simpson Bainbridge and Centre-Forward Billy McLeod were all out as City faced the daunting task of playing Arsenal at Highbury. It meant debuts for former Doncaster Rovers Goalkeeper Willis Walker and Centre-Forward John Edmondson, who had been signed from Leyland, both in the close season. Fred Blackman's absence saw George Affleck switch to Right-Back to allow Jack McQuillan to come in at Left-Back. John Jackson was back after injury and took over at Outside-Right from Simpson Bainbridge. It was no surprise when City returned home pointless from Highbury after going down 2-0 before a crowd of 10,000. The loss saw City plummet to seventeenth, ahead of Grimsby Town on goal average, and still seven points clear of the bottom two clubs, Glossop and Leicester Fosse, although both teams had a game in hand.
The City team was starting to get unsettled in more ways than one. Fred Blackman was back at Right-Back with George Affleck reverting to Left-Back to the exclusion of Jack McQuillan. Billy McLeod was also back and took the Inside-Right position, but City were without John Jackson and John Hampson once more. Harry Peart filled in at Centre-Half for John Hampson while Arthur Price moved to the Outside-Right spot as cover for John Jackson. Jimmy Speirs went back to his Inside-Left spot with the return of Billy McLeod. Having twice won at the Baseball Ground already this season, City appeared to have the 'Indian sign' over Derby County. However, the Rams were going full steam ahead as leaders of the Second Division and it seemed that realistically 'three times lucky' might not apply. Even a class outfit like Derby County failed to grasp the imagination of the Leeds public, and just 5,000 turned up for the clash. They missed an exciting game in which City went down 5-3, to make it six losses in seven games. John Edmondson scored his first goal for Leeds and Jimmy Speirs and Ivan Sharpe also got their name on the scoresheet. There was no change in the rankings as City stayed at seventeenth.
Eleventh-placed Lincoln City at Sincil Bank was City's next game and John Hampson returned at Centre-Half and so Jack Peart was left out. Billy McLeod was missing but this was offset by the return of John Jackson at Inside-Right. Jimmy Speirs was also out and this caused the usual reshuffle in the City forwards with Arthur Price taking over his role at Inside-Left and Ernie Goodwin came in at Outside-Right, after playing all his previous City games at Outside-Left. John Edmondson was on the scoresheet for the second successive game and his goal was enough to give City a 1-0 victory, to finally get them back to winning ways, as they chalked up their second double of the season before another small crowd of 4,000. It saw City rise to sixteenth, ahead of Grimsby Town on goal average.
There were 7,000 in attendance at Elland Road as fourth-placed Birmingham provided the opposition. Having lost 6-3 at St Andrew's earlier in the season, City were looking for revenge, as they fielded an unchanged side for the first time in a long time. Birmingham may have been fourth but had four games in hand over second-placed Arsenal and third-placed Preston North End, with Arsenal being only four points ahead of them. Inside forwards John Jackson and Arthur Price were on target as City won 2-0 for a welcome two points to burst the Birmingham bubble and ease themselves into fifteenth place, ahead of Nottingham Forest, who they had a game in hand over, on goal average, as they made it two wins in a row.
Unchanged for the third successive time City visited Blundell Park to take on eighteenth-placed Grimsby Town, who they had handed a 5-0 beating to at Elland Road earlier in the season. They made it three wins on the bounce in front of another small crowd of 4,000, with a convincing 5-2 win. The goals were well spread around as John Edmondson, John Jackson, Ivan Sharpe, Ernie Goodwin and Arthur Price all scored in the satisfying victory. City jumped to thirteenth place, ahead of Nottingham Forest, who they still had a game in hand over, on goal average.
Eighth-placed Huddersfield Town still had a remote chance of promotion as they visited Elland Road for the 'local derby'. City had Billy McLeod back after an absence of three games and he took over at Centre-Forward from John Edmondson, who had scored three times in a run of five matches. There were a much improved 12,000 fans on hand to see what proved to be a close and hard fought match. Ivan Sharpe scored the single goal in the game that gave City a 1-0 win and they had now put together a run of four consecutive victories to dispel any relegation fears. They were now twelfth, ahead of Hull City on goal average, but the Tigers had five games in hand, which if they won would have put them in second place!
There was the long trek to Ashton Gate in store for City to play tenth-placed Bristol City in their next fixture and Fred Blackman once more was out. George Affleck moved to Right-Back to replace him and Jack McQuillan came into the side at Left-Back, in an otherwise unchanged team. A crowd of 5,000 saw the home side take the points and bring to an end City's run of four successive wins. City dropped to thirteenth, just ahead of Lincoln City on goal average, although the Lincolnshire club had a game in hand.
City were looking to get back to winning ways with the visit of eleventh-placed Bury to Elland Road. The only changes they made to their team were positional, as the two full-backs switched positions, with Jack Quillan going to Right-Back and George Affleck reverting to Left-Back. Billy McLeod scored for the first time since he went nap against Hull City back in January and Arthur Price got the other as City won 2-1 in front of an attendance of 6,000. It meant that City remained thirteenth.
The Easter programme was not quite as arduous as in recent years, as there was no game on Good Friday. However the three fixtures were not of an easy nature and Easter Saturday saw City visit Deepdale to face second-placed Preston North End, who were in the hunt for the Championship as well as being near certainties for promotion. They still needed to make sure by maintaining their position, and this they did by beating an unchanged City by 2-0 in front of a poor crowd of 5,000. The loss saw City drop to fifteenth.
For the Easter double-header City had to face sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were still in with a fighting chance of the runners' up spot, but needed maximum points from their Easter encounters. The first game was at Molineux on Easter Monday and City had some players returning but had Ivan Sharpe unavailable. Fred Blackman was back at Right-Back in place of the deputizing Jack McQuillan. Simpson Bainbridge was able to come into the Outside-Right position as Ernie Goodwin dropped out, while Jimmy Speirs found himself returning in the Outside-Left spot vacated by Ivan Sharpe, a position he had not filled before for City. In front of a 15,000 crowd Wolves showed no mercy and rattled in five goals as City could only manage a solitary Billy McLeod strike. City remained fifteenth ahead of Grimsby Town and Lincoln City on goal average, and they had a game in hand over the latter.
The following day, Easter Tuesday, saw the return game at Elland Road. In addition to Ivan Sharpe and Ernie Goodwin, City now found themselves without Fred Blackman, John Hampson, John Jackson and Jimmy Speirs. It was a patched up outfit that City put on the field. Jack McQuillan came in at Right-Back for Fred Blackman, Harry Peart at Centre-Half for John Hampson, while Robert Cowen was pressed into service at Inside-Right for his first game since the second game of the season, as he replaced John Jackson, and Fred Croot played his first game since deputizing at Christmas, as he replaced Jimmy Speirs in the Outside-Left spot. In front of a 5,000 crowd City put up a brave fight against the odds and were narrowly beaten by 3-2. Billy McLeod and Arthur Price scored the City goals. City remained fifteenth, as the two Lincolnshire teams did not play.
Matters had improved a little for the visit of eighteenth-placed Nottingham Forest, but no one was dreaming about another eight goal strike this time round for City but after losing at the City Ground they would have been hoping for revenge against a side that were virtually safe from having to apply for re-election. Inside Right John Jackson, Outside-Left Ivan Sharpe and Outside-Right Ernie Goodwin were all back with George Cowen, Fred Croot and Simpson Bainbridge giving way. An Arthur Price hat-trick and an Ivan Sharpe goal gave City an easy and convincing 4-0 win in front of another poor crowd of 4,000. It meant City were a clear fifteenth.
John Hampson made his return to the City team in place of Harry Peart at Centre-Half for City's last away game of the season at Filbert Street against Leicester Fosse, who had already been consigned to a re-election place as the club next to the bottom. The team was otherwise unchanged and, after beating Fosse in convincing fashion at Elland Road by 7-2, City were hoping to complete the double against a side that had finished the season having to apply for re-election no matter what the outcome of their game may have been. Fosse hadn't read the script and, despite such a small crowd of 3,000 being interested, continued to take revenge on City, by beating them to the tune of 5-1, as John Jackson got the City consolation goal. It had no effect on the League standings as City remained fifteenth.
The final game of the season meant little to City as they had nothing to play for, but their visitors, near-neighbours Barnsley, while not able to make the top two and promotion, still needed a win to cement third position. Fred Blackman returned at Right-Back but both Jack McQuillan and George Affleck were out, which gave Joe Green the chance to make his debut and only League appearance for City at Left-Back. Jimmy Speirs also returned to fill in for Ivan Sharpe in the Outside-Left position. City finished the season on a losing note as the Tykes won the 'local derby' by 2-0 before another disappointing crowd of 5,000. The result gave Barnsley third place and City fifteenth.
It was a season which started poorly and continued with inconsistency. Once again it saw City hit the heights, twice winning at Champions Derby County, hitting seven past Leicester Fosse, scoring six at Hull, Billy McLeod scoring five in that very game, twice scoring five against Grimsby Town, but being hit for six by Birmingham and five by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County and Leicester Fosse. There were also several long runs of consecutive defeats and being knocked out of the F.A. Cup by Southern League club Queens Park Rangers. In the end City finished fifteenth on thirty-two points, twenty-one points behind Champions Derby County and fourteen points above bottom club Glossop.
Their full record was again dismal. They won nine games at home, drew three and lost seven in scoring forty goals and letting in twenty-five, which was almost acceptable, but too inconsistent. Five away wins was as good as usual but just one draw and thirteen losses was where City's season had foundered. Twenty-five goals for but thirty-nine against, as with their home goals tallies showed the defence leaked and the attack scored prolifically if inconsistently.
There were no ever-presents and Mick Foley and George Law led the appearances with thirty-five, John Jackson had thirty-two, Billy McLeod had thirty-one and Fred Blackman thirty. Billy McLeod once again led the scorers with eighteen in the League and another one in the F.A. Cup, while Arthur Price with eleven in twenty-four games, Jimmy Speirs with ten in twenty-five games and Ivan Sharpe with nine in twenty-six games, were regular scorers.
Derby County were Champions on fifty-three points, three ahead of Runners-up Preston North End, who in turn were three points ahead of third placed Barnsley, with Wolverhampton Wanderers a further two points away in fourth spot. The competitive nature of the Second Division could be judged by the fact that Arsenal were fifth on forty-three points while seventeenth placed Grimsby Town were just twelve points behind them. Glossop were marooned at the bottom on eighteen points, with Leicester Fosse six points better off on twenty-four but still five points adrift of Nottingham Forest on twenty-nine.
Football League games were suspended for the duration of the War and when it started again, mysteriously Arsenal found themselves in the top flight, which Barnsley and Wolverhampton Wanderers found hard to understand.
The Football League had come under great pressure to suspend their season with the advent of World War One. There was a huge drop in crowd attendances and City was one of the clubs to feel it and ran at a loss of £1,568. Anti-German feelings were high and former City Goalkeeper Dr Cecil Goodwin Reinhardt, dropped his German surname to become Cecil Goodwin to avoid public animosity. The Government did not support the game's continuation during War-time and several teams did not play during that period. Notably Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough pulled out of any participation for the duration of the war. This benefited Leeds City as they were able to call upon the players, particularly those of Newcastle United, and provide them with an outlet for their football.
The Football League decided on regional competitions, followed by a two month 'local' League competition. All players were to play as amateurs and could only receive payment for legitimate expenses, which was to prove to be root cause of the ultimate downfall of Leeds City. There was to be no promotion or relegation.
The regional competition help to cut down travel costs and inconveniences. Southern clubs were in the London Combination League, Lancashire had a League of its own, while City were in the Midland section covering clubs from Birmingham north up to and including Yorkshire. City like all clubs had to respect the players’ wishes to volunteer or to work or service wherever it suited the country the best. It meant that players would play as guests for the club nearest to their place of work or the base for their regiments, when time would allow. City by and large benefited from this situation as Newcastle United were one of the top teams of the era and chose not to run a football team. It did mean though that several of the City players guested for other teams. Tony Hogg and Fred Blackman guested for Fulham, John Jackson went back to Scotland and guested for Rangers and Celtic, Jack McQuillan guested for his former team Hull City, Billy McLeod guested for Bradford City, as he worked in Bradford, and there were several others in the same situation. There were also several players who volunteered and went straight into active service, Jimmy Speirs and Evelyn Lintott being amongst them.
City had Willis Walker, George Law, George Affleck, Charlie Copeland, Tommy Lamph, John Hampson, Mick Foley, John Edmondson, Arthur Price, Fred Croot as regular players and the odd games from Robert Cowen, Ernie Goodwin, Simpson Bainbridge and Ivan Sharpe and one from Full-Back John Dunn, who had signed for City from Eccles Borough in 1913. They also had some locals who signed on for the club such as Arthur Wainwright from Tinsley Working Men’s Club.
They were, however, bolstered by the inclusion of Outside-Right Fanny Walden of Tottenham Hotspur, Inside Left Clem Stephenson of Aston Villa, both of who were England Internationals and club legends, Wing-Half Bob Hewison and Goalkeeper Bill Bradley of Newcastle United, Inside-Right Tom Bennett and Inside Forward Curtis 'Tommy' Booth, who had played with Newcastle United Reserves, Centre-Forward Jack Peart, who had played with Sheffield United and Newcastle United but was then registered with Notts County, Harry Sherwin, then of Sunderland, but later to give fine service to Leeds United, Outside-Left Robert Hughes of Northampton Town, together with several players who played the odd game as the occasion arose.
City were part of the Midland Section Principal Tournament, a fourteen team competition which basically included the select teams from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and was played on a Saturday from September to February.
The Midland League Principal Tournament comprised five Teams from the First Division:
and nine from the Second Division:
19. Leicester Fosse 38 10 4 24 47 88 24
20. Glossop 38 6 6 26 31 87 18
Glossop were not included as they did not participate in the competition, having thought to have been disbanded at the time, but later reformed after not being re-elected to the League after the Football League Competition restarted in 1919-1920. After that the season was rounded off by a smaller competition and this was restricted to an even smaller area known as the Midland Section Subsidiary Tournament in which City participated in the Northern Section, which comprised teams from basically the West Riding of Yorkshire in a six team League. The teams were Barnsley, Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue, Huddersfield Town, Leeds City and nearby Rochdale.
City kicked off the new season and competition with a visit to the Baseball Ground to play Derby County. The team comprised mostly City players. George Law, George Affleck Tommy Lamph, John Hampson, Mick Foley John Edmondson, Arthur Price and Fred Croot, eight in all. They were supplemented by three guest players, Goalkeeper Bill Bradley and Inside-Right Tom Bennett, both of Newcastle United, and Outside-Right Fanny Walden of Tottenham Hotspur. They lined up: Bill Bradley; George Law, George Affleck; Tommy Lamph, John Hampson, Mick Foley; Fanny Walden, Tom Bennett, John Edmondson, Arthur Price, Fred Croot. City must have had a liking for the Baseball Ground as it was one of the few Stadiums where they could win. After winning in the League and F.A. Cup the previous year they made it three on the trot with a good 3-1 win with John Edmondson, Tom Bennett and Arthur Price doing the scoring before an attendance of 3,000.
City's first home game in the competition was against First Division ‘The Wednesday’, who did not officially become Sheffield Wednesday until 1929. It was their first encounter with the Sheffield Club and they were able to field an unchanged side. Arthur Price was again on target and John Hampson showed he hadn't forgotten the route to goal by getting the other in a 2-1 win in front of an 8,000 crowd.
There were 10,000 at Park Avenue to see City take on Bradford. Once again unchanged, City and Park Avenue put on a fine show and City were narrowly beaten by 4-3, with a goal from Tom Bennett and a couple from John Edmondson.
For the home game with Lincoln City, Right-Half Tommy Lamph was not available and George Law moved from Right-Back to take over his position and A. Wrigglesworth came in a Right-Back for his only game in City colours. The game attracted a very good crowd of 6,000 and City made it three wins out of four as John Edmondson and Arthur Price again scored in a 2-1 win.
Willis Walker, who served in the Royal Navy, was able to play in the next game at Elland Road against Hull City, coming in for Bill Bradley. City had a player by the name of Dowling at Right-back and he too played his only game for City. The defence was further weakened as John Hampson was not available and Arthur Wainwright from Tinsley Working Men’s Club took over. The depleted side must have performed well as the crowd of 7,000 saw George Law, Arthur Price and John Edmondson get the goals in a 3-1 win to make it four wins from five.
City next took on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground with 5,000 in attendance. Bill Bradley was back between the posts for Willis Walker and John Hampson returned at Centre-Half with Arthur Wainwright moving to Right-Half for his second and final game for City, as George Law reverted to his normal position of Right-Back. City unexpectedly went down 2-0.
A crowd of 7,000 was in attendance at Elland Road and they were treated to a performance to remember. Tommy Lamph returned at Right-Half as City fielded the team that had played in the first three fixtures of the season. The game was a personal triumph for Arthur Price who hammered home five goals, to equal Billy McLeod's record number of goals scored in one game. Unfortunately in the general scheme of things it would never be recognized as it was not in a recognized Football League game. John Edmondson and Tom Bennett scored the other goals as City ran riot to beat Barnsley 7-1.
City were unchanged for the trip to Leicester Fosse but in a form reversal they were beaten at Filbert Street by 4-0 before a crowd of 5,000, as their season started to fall apart and the inconsistencies which had always been part of City's make-up began to re-occur.
Tom Bennett and Fred Croot were not available and Robert Cowen came in for his first game of the season at Inside-Right and so did Ernie Goodwin at Outside-Left. In front of a crowd of 5,000 at Valley Parade City went down 3-0 to Bradford City.
Huddersfield Town were the next visitors to Elland Road and City were once more without their defensive strongman, Centre-Half John Hampson. They made several positional changes to cover for him. Charlie Copeland came in at Right-Back for his first game of the season as George Law moved up to Right-Half to release Tommy Lamph to fill in at Centre-Half. A poor crowd of 3,000 turned up and saw a stalemate with a 0-0 draw.
City had gone three games without scoring and things were not improved as Centre-Forward John Edmonson was not able to play. Fred Croot returned at Outside-Left as Ernie Goodwin dropped out and Tom Bennett moved to Centre-Forward and Newcastle United Inside-Forward Curtis Booth was given his first game for City at Inside-Right. There were no goals once more, as City went to Blundell Park, and a crowd of 4,000 saw City and Grimsby Town play out a 0-0 draw.
Notts County were City's next visitors to Elland Road and Leeds did not have the services of Tom Bennett. His place at Centre-Forward went to Winger Ernie Goodwin, who would not normally have been seen in that position, had not so many attackers been missing. Only 3,000 were in attendance as City failed to win for the fifth consecutive game and had now gone that long since they last scored, as Notts County showed them no mercy with a 4-0 drubbing.
For the return fixture with Derby County at Elland Road, City were able to field a stronger team. Willis Walker came back to replace Bill Bradley in goal, John Hampson replaced Tommy Lamph at Centre-Half and John Edmondson was back in place of Ernie Goodwin at Centre-Forward. It strengthened City in the vital positions and it gave them a double over the Rams, who were struggling at the bottom of the League. John Edmondson celebrated his return with a hat-trick and Fanny Walden got his first goal for City, as they ran out 4-1 winners in front of a very poor crowd of 1,000. It brought to an end the unwanted five game winless and scoreless run.
Tommy Lamph was brought back into the team to replace Curtis Booth at Inside-Right for City's visit to Sheffield's Hillsborough Stadium, which had been renamed in 1914 after previously, been known as Owlerton Stadium. The Wednesday had been beaten at Elland Road but, like City, had been inconsistent. In front of a 3,000 attendance the two sides played out a goalless draw.
Bradford Park Avenue were the next opponents at Elland Road and Tom Bennett came back at Inside-Right in place of Tommy Lamph. Park Avenue were not having the best of seasons but had pipped City 4-3 in their first encounter earlier in the season. There were 4,000 spectators to see Arthur Price score his first goal since scoring five in one game against Barnsley, back in mid-October, but Bradford held them to a 1-1 draw.
Christmas Day, saw City journey to Sincil Bank, without Arthur Price and Fred Croot. Arthur Price had not missed a game to that point and Curtis Booth was recalled to replace him at Inside-Left. Former City regular Outside-Right, Simpson Bainbridge made his first appearance of the season as he replaced Fred Croot at Outside-Left. There was a good attendance of 6,000, which saw the home team win 2-0.
There was a game the following Monday at Elland Road which saw Sheffield United as visitors. John Dunn, who had come from Eccles Borough and would later play for The Wednesday, came in at Right-Back for Charlie Copeland, in what proved to be his only game for City. John Hampson was again absent and George Law moved to Centre-Half in his place, while Arthur Price returned to the team after missing the one game, but in the unaccustomed role of Right-Half. A good crowd of 6,000 were on hand to see a close fought game, with City narrowly going down 3-2 as Tom Bennett and Simpson Bainbridge, with his first of the season, scoring the Leeds goals.
New Year's Day brought a trip to Humberside to play Hull City at Anlaby Road. Charlie Copeland returned at Right-Back and, as George Law was not available, Tommy Lamph was back at Right-Half. This allowed Arthur Price to return to his normal Inside-Left spot, with Curtis Booth dropping out. John Hampson was back at Centre-Half in place of George Law. The Tigers were another inconsistent team and Leeds came away with both points after an easy 3-0 win in front of a 3,000 crowd as Mick Foley scored his first goal of the season, John Edmondson got his tenth and Arthur Price also got his tenth from the penalty spot, as City posted their first win in five games and recorded a double.
City next showed their better side of inconsistency, as they took on leaders Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. George Law was able to return to the side and replaced Tommy Lamph at Right-Half. There was a crowd of 5,000 on hand for Elland Road's first game of the New Year and a Simpson Bainbridge goal was enough to give City both points in a 1-0 win.
John Hampson was not available and George Law switched from Right-half to Centre-Half with Tommy Lamph returning at Right-Half. The other side of their inconsistency was next seen as they travelled to Oakwell to play Barnsley. The Tykes were not a bad team but City had annihilated them at Elland Road to the tune of 7-1. Tommy Lamph scored for City as Barnsley got a modicum of revenge by getting the points with a 2-1 win with a crowd of 4,000 watching.
City had suffered a bad reversal at Filbert Street going down to Leicester Fosse by 4-0. John Hampson returned to play at Inside-Right as Tom Bennett dropped out and Tommy Lamph moved to Centre-Half in a positional switch with George Law, who moved to Right-Half. Before an attendance of 4,000, for the second consecutive game at Elland Road, Simpson Bainbridge scored the goal that gave City a 1-0 win.
Sheffield United were City's next opponents as they visited Bramall Lane. John Hampson, John Edmondson and Simpson Bainbridge were all out. A player by the name of W. Malcolm came in at Inside-Right for John Hampson, Tom Bennett was back to replace John Edmondson at Centre-Forward and Ernie Goodwin filled in for Simpson Bainbridge at Outside-Left. The Blades were challenging Nottingham Forest for top spot and, in front of a good 8,000 crowd, they ran out 4-1 winners as Ernie Goodwin got the Leeds goal from the spot.
There was a large crowd of 10,000 on hand for the Elland Road game with Bradford City. It could have been partly due to Leeds having two new faces on view, as Jack Peart, the Notts County Centre-Forward and Robert Hughes, the Northampton Town Forward, played their first games, but it was more likely the 'local derby' that had traditionally drawn large crowds. John Hampson was back at Centre-Half, with Tommy Lamph reverting to his Right-Half spot as George Law was pushed up to Inside-Right. Tom Bennett moved to Inside-Left as Arthur Price dropped out with Jack Peart coming in at Centre-Forward and Robert Hughes taking the Outside-Left spot from Ernie Goodwin. Bradford won the 'Inter-City derby' by the only goal of the game.
There were two more new faces in the City line-up for the visit to Leeds Road and Huddersfield Town. At Right-Back was the unknown G.D. Lavery, for his only game in City colours but at Inside-Left was Clem Stephenson, the star Aston Villa Inside-Forward. Stephenson went on to represent England and the Football League and, after a successful career at Villa, joined Herbert Chapman at Huddersfield Town in 1920 and led them to their triple First Division Championships in 1923-24/25/26, as well as managing the club for many years prior to the Second World War. Charlie Copeland was out at Right-Back and G.D Lavery came in for his only game. George Law was also out and Curtis Booth filled in at Inside-Right and Clem Stephenson replaced Tom Bennett at Inside-Left. A crowd of 6,000 saw the Terriers win easily by 5-1, but their fans saw a little bit of the future as Clem Stephenson scored the Leeds goal at Leeds Road, home of his future triumphs.
There were 3,000 on hand to see the last home game in the Principal Tournament and it heralded more new faces. Bob Hewison, the Newcastle United Wing-Half, and old Elland Road favourite, Ivan Sharpe, made their first appearances of the season for City. Charlie Copeland returned at Right-Back, Bob Hewison took Tommy Lamph's place at Right-Half, and Ivan Sharpe came in for Robert Hughes at Outside-Left. Jack Peart got his first goal for City, Ivan Sharpe celebrated his return with a goal and Clem Stephenson scored his second in two games as City won easily by 3-0.
The final game of the Principal Tournament was not played until Good Friday, 21st April 1916, when City visited Meadow Lane to play Notts County. City again had two new faces in the form of Stan Robinson of Bradford Park Avenue and a William Jennings in his only game for City and it was thought to be Bill Jennings of Notts County, where he usually played as a Centre-Half. Stan Robinson came in at Inside-Right for Curtis Booth and Bill Jennings replaced Ivan Sharpe at Outside-Left. Before a crowd of 3,000 the two teams played out a 1-1 draw and Arthur Price got the goal for City.
City finished the Principal Tournament in tenth position with twenty-five points. City were as usual indebted to their home record which saw them win eight, draw two and only lose three, with twenty-six goals scored and fifteen conceded. However, as usual, their away form was very poor, with just two victories, three draws and eight defeats with a lopsided goal tally of thirteen for and twenty-eight against.
The League was quite closely contested. Nottingham Forest were clear leaders on thirty-five points, with Sheffield United trailing four points behind. Third placed Huddersfield Town were only nine points ahead of thirteenth placed Grimsby Town in a closely bunched group of clubs, while Derby County were a poor last on sixteen points.
Left-Back George Affleck, Left-Half Mick Foley and guest Outside-Right, the diminutive Fanny Walden, were all ever-presents with twenty-six appearances, while Arthur Price and George Law only missed four games. Arthur Price led the goal-scorers with twelve and John Edmondson also contributed ten.
City did much better in the Subsidiary Tournament which took place in March and April 1916. They had a fairly settle team and it showed in their results. They were in the Northern Section in a six team 'Round Robin' competition with near-neighbours Barnsley, Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue, Huddersfield Town and Rochedale.
They kicked off the games at Rochedale and had an all-Leeds City defence, with Willis Walker in goal, Charlie Copeland at Right-Back and George Affleck at Left-Back. Arthur Price filled in at Right-Half with regulars John Hampson at Centre-Half and Mick Foley at Left-Half. The forward line was a different matter, as five foot two guest from Tottenham Hotspur, Fanny Walden, was at Outside-Right, Newcastle United's Curtis Booth was at Inside-Right, while Heart of Midlothian winger Willie Wilson, who was on leave from the Royal Scots, played his first game for City at Centre-Forward with Bradford Park Avenue's Stan Robinson was at Inside-Left and Northampton Town's Robert Hughes was at Outside-Left. A crowd of 4,000 saw Willie Wilson score on debut and give City both points with the only goal of the game.
City had several of their regulars back for their first home game in the Tournament against Bradford Park Avenue. Bob Hewison, the Newcastle United Wing-Half was back at Right-Half, which allowed Arthur Price to go back to his more normal position of Inside-Right, with Curtis Booth dropping out. Aston Villa's Clem Stephenson replaced Stan Robinson at Inside-Left, and Jack Peart of Notts County was back at Centre-Forward, which allowed Willie Wilson to go to his usual position of Outside-Left as Robert Hughes dropped out. Clem Stephenson announced his return with a hat-trick to keep up his record of scoring in every game, as City beat their Park Avenue rivals by 3-2 before a crowd of 4,000.
City took an unchanged side to Leeds Road to face Huddersfield Town. There was a crowd of 5,000 on hand as they played a 1-1 draw with Arthur Price getting the goal for City.
Unchanged for a third successive game, City entertained Bradford City at Elland Road in front of a very small crowd of 3,000, for such a crowd-pulling 'local derby'. Bradford City scored the only goal of the game to inflict City's first defeat of the Subsidiary Tournament.
April Fool's day saw City at Oakwell, again unchanged, and locked in a ten goal thriller. Jack Peart scored four, his first goals of the Tournament, and Fanny Walden and Clem Stephenson were also on the scoresheet as City won 6-4 before a crowd of 3,000.
Unchanged for the fifth successive game, City played Rochedale at Elland Road and completed the double over them. In front of a 3,000 crowd City were too good and ran out winners by 3-1, as Willie Wilson scored twice and Jack Peart once, as City headed the Tournament.
Once more unchanged, for the sixth time, City faced Bradford Park Avenue for the second time and needed to win to create space at the top. In front of a 5,000 crowd Arthur Price got the vital goal that won the game at Park Avenue to give them a second double in the Tournament and a clear lead at the top.
City had played the final game of the Principal Tournament on the Good Friday, without Jack Peart. For the Easter Saturday game with Huddersfield Town at Elland Road they were unable to maintain their unchanged team and were without John Hampson, Jack Peart and Willie Wilson. There was a first and only game for J.R. Williamson of Newcastle United at Centre-Half as understudy to John Hampson, while another Newcastle United player, J. Davison, played at Centre Forward for Jack Peart and Ivan Sharpe filled the gap left by Willie Wilson at Outside-Left. There was also a positional change with Clem Stephenson moving to Inside-Right as he switched places with Arthur Price, who took over at Inside-Left. Maybe the changes had an unsettling influence as, in front of a 5,000 crowd; Town took the points with a 2-1 win as Clem Stephenson got the Leeds goal.
Arthur Price showed his versatility by taking over at Centre-Half as City played their final Elland Road match of the season against Barnsley two days later on Easter Tuesday. Willie Wilson was back taking over the Centre-Forward spot, while Stan Robinson came in at Inside-Left and Robert Hughes took over from Ivan Sharpe at Outside-Left. Clem Stephenson was once again on the mark with the only goal of the game, in front of a 5,000 crowd, to make sure City finished top of the table and got their third double.
City finished off the tournament with a visit to Valley Parade and the inter-city rivalry saw a good-sized crowd of 8,000. Considering there was nothing more than pride to play for the size of the crowd was encouraging. Harry Sherwin, who was later to star for Leeds United, but at this time was guesting for City while still on the books of Sunderland and still trying to build a career on the back of his England Schoolboy International status. He came in at Centre-Half and allowed Arthur Price to move back to his Inside-Left spot in place of Stan Robinson. Jack Peart was also back at Centre-Forward and Willie Wilson moved to his usual Outside-Left spot. City extracted their revenge for their Elland Road defeat as they ran out winners by 4-2, with goals from Arthur Price, Willie Wilson, Harry Sherwin and a penalty from Jack Peart.
City finished top of the six team Northern Division with fifteen points by a clear three points from Bradford Park Avenue, winning seven, drawing one and losing two, with a goal tally of twenty-one to thirteen in total.
Six players, Willis Walker, Charlie Copeland, George Affleck, Mick Foley, Fanny Walden and Arthur Price were ever-present, with Bob Hewison, Clem Stephenson and Willie Wilson missing just the one game and Jack Peart only three. This was the secret of their success and Clem Stephenson and Jack Peart led the scorers with six goals with Willie Wilson chipping in with four and Arthur Price three. It had been a successful season's finale for City.
There was a similar format for the new 1916-17 season as there had been in 1915-16. There was a slight variation as the Principal Tournament was extended by two teams to include Rotherham County, Chesterfield and Birmingham, to the exclusion of Derby County, while the latter part of the season competition was curtailed. The Northern Division became Group A, with Barnsley and Rochdale being transferred to other Groups to leave City with games against just Huddersfield Town and the two Bradford clubs.
City had Willis Walker, Arthur Price, Charlie Copeland and John Hampson remaining of their own players after George Affleck, Tommy Lamph, who later guested with Preston North End, Fred Croot and John Edmondson, who later guested for The Wednesday, had all enlisted and Mick Foley had gone back to Ireland. Levy Thorpe of Burnley was there to fill the shoes of the Irishman at Left-Half, Edward Hudson of Manchester United filled in at Left-Back, Harry Sherwin was there to fill the role that Tommy Lamph and George Law had played and guests Bob Hewison, Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart were all still available. Last year's ever-present Fanny Walden was not around for the beginning of the season and the brother of Clem Stephenson, Jimmy Stephenson, of Aston Villa and Tommy Mayson of Grimsby Town joined City to cover the wing positions.
The season kicked off with a disappointing crowd of 3,000 at Elland Road for the game with Leicester Fosse. The Leeds line-up was: Willis Walker, Charlie Copeland, Edward Hudson; Bob Hewison, John Hampson, Levy Thorpe; W. McCreadie, Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart, Arthur Price, Jimmy Stephenson. There were debuts for the Manchester United Left-Back Edward Hudson, Burnley Left-Half Levy Thorpe, Outside-Right W. McCreadie, about who little was known, and it was his only game for City, and Jimmy Stephenson, the brother of Clem Stephenson, who also played for Aston Villa. Two goals from Arthur Price were not enough to get full points for City as they drew 2-2.
Charlie Copeland was not available for the trip to Blundell Park to play Grimsby Town. His place at Right-Back was taken by Bob Hewison, who dropped back from Right-Half where his place was taken by the returning Harry Sherwin for his first game of the new season. There were several positional changes in the forward line, with Clem Stephenson taking the Outside-Right position, his brother, Jimmy Stephenson, switching from the Outside-Left to replace him at Inside-Right, with Grimsby Town Outside-Left Jimmy Mayson making his debut for City on his home turf. City really went to town, winning 6-1 in front of a crowd of 4,000. Jack Peart scored twice and the other goals came from Clem Stephenson, Levy Thorpe and Jimmy Mayson, both of who got their first goals for City, and Arthur Price.
City kept the same eleven players but made a couple of positional changes, with Jimmy Stephenson taking the Outside-Right position with brother Clem switching with him and moving to Inside-Right, while the two Wing-Halves swapped positions with Levy Thorpe going to Right-Half and Harry Sherwin to Left-Half. City welcomed Notts County to Elland Road and would have had memories of a 4-0 home defeat and conceding a double to the Meadow Lane outfit. The Magpies were one of the better teams in the Tournament but they were blown away as City gained their revenge with a 5-0 victory. Again only 3,000 had turned up and the non-attendants had missed the avalanche of goals from City with Clem Stephenson bagging a hat-trick and Jimmy Mayson and Jack Peart getting one each.
City went to Millmoor to play Rotherham County on a roll, sporting a record of played three, won two, drawn one, and a goal tally of thirteen to three, by far the best in the Tournament. Charlie Copeland returned at Right-Back releasing Bob Hewison to play at Left-Half, with Harry Sherwin moving to Right-Half and Levy Thorpe dropping out. A crowd of 5,000 was on hand to see City once again go nap with four goals from Arthur Price and one from Jack Peart, as City were tearing the opposition to tattered remnants.
Huddersfield Town usually provided stern opposition and 8,000 turned up at Elland Road to see if the Terriers could stem the tide that was sweeping all opposition away. City welcomed back the influential Fanny Walden for his first game of the season in place of Jimmy Stephenson at Outside-Right, in an otherwise unchanged team. Town did stem the tide and City were thankful for a Jack Peart goal that gave them victory by the narrowest of margins with the only goal of the game. They may have stemmed the flow of goals but the win carried on City's impressive unbeaten start.
Edward Hudson was out at Left-Back and Bob Hewison, who was proving very versatile, filled in for him, with the equally versatile Arthur Price moving back to Left-Half in his place. Jimmy Mayson moved inside to Inside-Left and Jack Pattison, an Outside-Left from Newcastle United, came in as his replacement for his only game for City. Fanny Walden was also not available and that meant a return for Jimmy Stephenson at Outside-Right, as City went to Sincil Bank to play Lincoln City. A crowd of 4,000 saw them score another five, with goals from Jack Peart, who got a hat-trick, Jack Pattison in his only game for City and one for Clem Stephenson. The Red Imps replied with two but the 5-2 City win kept the goals and points coming as they remained unbeaten.
The Wednesday were the next visitors to Elland Road and City were without Charlie Copeland and Arthur Price. They did have Fanny Walden, Edward Hudson and Levy Thorpe back and moved the team around to accommodate the necessary changes. Bob Hewison moved to Right-Back to allow Edward Hudson to take the Left-Back spot. Levy Thorpe came in at Left-Half for Arthur Price. Jimmy Stephenson switched to the vacant Outside-Left spot so that Fanny Walden could play his last game for City at Outside-Right. A crowd of 5,000 saw The Wednesday gave City a run for their money, by restricting them to a single Clem Stephenson goal. They may have kept the score down but the City unbeaten run had now reached seven, including six successive wins.
A visit to Bradford Park Avenue was City's next challenge. Arthur Price was back at Inside-Left as Jimmy Mayson moved to Outside-Left and Jimmy Stephenson switched to the vacant Outside-Right position. There was an 8,000 crowd to roar the home team on but they were no match for City as Arthur Price celebrated his return with a pair and Jack Peart rounded off the scoring as City got both points with a 3-1 win and extended their winning run to seven games.
City were unchanged as Birmingham were the next team to visit Elland Road and drew a crowd of 6,000. They were one of a group of clubs that were fighting hard to stay in touch with City. Jack Peart got the City goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw, which broke their winning run but still left them undefeated after nine games.
Hull City welcomed City to Anlaby Road hoping to be the first club to defeat City. A crowd of 4,000 turned up to see the runaway leaders, who were without Centre-Forward Jack Peart and Outside-Left Tommy Mayson. Bill Toms of Eccles Borough, who later played for Manchester United, filled in at Centre-Forward. There was a switch involved in finding a replacement at Outside-Left. It was Bob Hewison, who added another position to prove his versatility, by playing there, as Charlie Copeland came in at Right-Back. The Tigers fought hard to hold City to a 1-1 draw as Clem Stephenson was the Leeds scorer.
Jack Peart was back at Centre-Forward, and Bob Hewison moved back to Left-Half as Levy Thorpe was not available. The Outside-Left position was filled by Billy James of Portsmouth in his only appearance for City. There was a crowd of 5,000 at Elland Road to see whether City could extend their unbeaten run as they face Nottingham Forest, who were on the outer fringes of the chasing pack. They did it with ease; as goals from Jack Peart, Harry Sherwin and Clem Stephenson gave City a 3-1 win to extend their unbeaten run to eleven.
All good things do come to an end and it was a visit to Oakwell that proved to be their downfall. Barnsley were keeping in touch with City, being one of their closest challengers and a win for City would have been a blow to their ambitions. City were without several key players, with Edward Hudson, John Hampson and Clem and Jimmy Stephenson, all out. Clem Stephenson and John Hampson were vital players in the City success to date and were sorely missed. Fred Clipstone of Northampton Town filled in for Edward Hudson at Left-Back. Levy Thorpe was back and took his usual Left-Half position, as the versatile Bob Hewison moved from Left-Half to Right-Half and Harry Sherwin moved from Right-Half to Centre-Half to cover for John Hampson. A. Kay of Barnsley played his only game for City as Jimmy Stephenson's replacement at Outside-Right. The versatile Arthur Price moved from Inside-Left to fill in for Clem Stephenson at Inside-Right, as Bill Toms played his last game for City at Inside-Left. There was a return by Tommy Mayson to reclaim his spot at Outside-Left. City played without cohesion and a crowd of just 2,000 saw them go down by 4-1, with Jack Peart the only Leeds player on the scoresheet.
There was another away game for City as they visited Saltergate, after an absence of several years, to take on Chesterfield. City were almost back to full-strength as only John Hampson was unavailable. Edward Hudson reclaimed his position at Left-Back, Arthur Price moved back to Inside-Left to allow Clem Stephenson to resume at Inside-Right and his brother Jimmy Stephenson was back at Outside-Right, with the temporary replacement players all dropping out. There were 4,000 spectators to see the game and in an exciting and hard-fought encounter City just got home by 4-3. Jack Peart and Clem Stephenson shared the goals with two each.
John Hampson was available but Edward Hudson and Harry Sherwin were not, as Sheffield United were the next visitors to Elland Road. John Hampson was the perfect replacement for Harry Sherwin, but City had to rely on the versatile Bob Hewison to fill Edward Hudson's Left-Back position and this left a hole at Right-Half, which was filled by a player known as W. Feathers, who had his only game for City. City were not extended and a crowd of 5,000 saw them win 2-0 as Arthur Price and Clem Stephenson found the net.
Edward Hudson was no longer available and so City brought in Billy Hampson of Newcastle United and one of several sets of brothers, by the name of Hampson, who were soon to join the City ranks. He later returned to Leeds as the Manager of Leeds United in the 1930's. He immediately made his debut for City in the away game at Leicester Fosse. John Hampson was not available at Centre-Half but Harry Sherwin was available and replaced him. With the arrival of Billy Hampson, Bob Hewison was able to revert to his favoured Right-Half position at the expense of the temporary A. Feather. A crowd of 3,000 saw City go on their usual goal scoring spree, as Arthur Price got a hat-trick and Levy Thorpe scored, as they won with ease by 4-1.
City were unchanged as they had Grimsby Town as the visitors to Elland Road. City had handed the Mariners a sound beating at Blundell Park earlier in the season and, with them being down among the strugglers, it looked as if they would have no problems and a goal spree was expected. It didn't happen as City had Arthur Price to thank for the only goal of the game and a hard-fought 1-0 win to the disappointment of the 3,000 crowd.
The Saturday before Christmas was bleak in several ways as City visited Meadow Lane, knowing that they had won by five clear goals at Elland Road earlier in the season. City played before the smallest crowd in their history as only 500 spectators saw the game. A foot of snow fell in Yorkshire, which might explain the sparseness of the attendance! Once again unchanged, City had everything else against them and went down by the only goal to lose for the second and final time in the season.
Christmas Day saw Bradford City at Elland Road in a 'local derby' that was always keenly awaited by both Cities. An excellent crowd of 10,000 was on hand to see the game as Leeds were weakened by the absence of Arthur Price and Levy Thorpe. Bob Barnshaw who had played for Sheffield United and later played for Watford and Aberdare Athletic came at Left-Half for his only game in City colours. Alexander "Sandy" Trotter, who had time with Jarrow Croft and Ashington before becoming a regular for seven years with Leicester City, came in at Outside Left, with Tommy Mayson moving to Inside-Left in place of Arthur Price. It was a close fought game in the end the two sides were separated only by a Tommy Mayson penalty as Leeds won 1-0.
There was a return game on the next day, Boxing Day, at Valley Parade. City had their two missing players back in their ranks as Levy Thorpe came back at Left-Half and Arthur Price returned to Inside-Left with Tommy Mayson reverting back to his usual Outside-Left position and the temporary players dropped out. The full-strength Leeds team was too good for the home team, who were roared on by an 11,000 crowd, and Leeds triumphed 3-0, with goals from Jimmy Stephenson, his first for City, Jack Peart and Arthur Price.
For the final game of 1916, City were at home to Rotherham County. John Hampson was back at Centre-Half. This mean a reshuffle of the Half-Back line with Harry Sherwin going to Right-Half and Bob Hewison to Left-Half as Levy Thorpe dropped out. A crowd of 4,000 saw City notch another victory as Tommy Mayson and Bob Hewison, with his first strike for City, got the goals as they won 2-0.
The New Year started with a trip to Leeds Road to play near-neighbours Huddersfield Town. City were without the services of John Hampson, Bob Hewison, Clem Stephenson and Arthur Price. Once more it meant switches in several positions, Harry Sherwin moved from Right-Half to Centre-Half to take John Hampson's place and Levy Thorpe was available and took Harry Sherwin's place at Right-Half. George Dawson, the Preston North End Wing Half, was available as a guest and stood in for Bob Hewison at Left-Half. Sunderland Inside-Forward Billy Moore, who played for England both as a Professional and an Amateur, also became available as a guest and he filled in for Clem Stephenson at Inside-Right. Sandy Trotter made his second guest appearance for City, as he took over from Arthur Price at Inside-Left. It was Sandy Trotter who got the Leeds goal in a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of 7,000.
Bottom club Lincoln City, who City had beat 5-2 at Sincil Bank earlier in the season, were the next visitors to Elland Road. There were only 2,000 in attendance as City had Arthur Price back at Inside-Left in place of Sandy Trotter. There were goals from Jack Peart, Arthur Price and Billy Moore, who got his first for City, as they won 3-1.
Willis Walker had enlisted with the Royal Navy and could only play when on leave, so City were lucky to obtain the services of the Blackburn Rovers regular Goalkeeper, Alfred Robinson. He made his City debut at Hillsborough as they played The Wednesday in front of a 5,000 crowd. Clem Stephenson was back at Inside-Right as Billy Moore moved to Inside-Left and Arthur Price dropped out. Jimmy Stephenson and Jack Peart got the Leeds goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw.
There was a 6,000 crowd as Bradford Park Avenue came to Elland Road. Bob Hewison returned at Right-Half and Levy Thorpe moved to Left-Half as George Dawson dropped out. Jimmy Stephenson was not available and so there was a return for Stan Robinson at Outside-Right as the game finished goalless.
City were almost certainties to top the League but there was a healthy scrap going on for second spot. One of the clubs in contention was Birmingham and the visit of the leaders to St Andrew's attracted the biggest crowd that City played in front of in that season, as a healthy 15,000 came to see if the Leeds juggernaut could be stopped. City were without Clem Stephenson and Billy Moore moved to Inside-Right to replace him as Arthur Price returned at Inside-Left. Jimmy Stephenson returned at Outside-Right to the expense of Stan Robinson. Honours were even as the two played out a 1-1 draw with Jack Peart getting the Leeds goal.
Clem Stephenson was still not available and he was joined by Bob Hewison and Billy Moore. City once more called on the services of guests George Dawson at Right-Half and Sandy Trotter at Inside-Right as they both played their final games for City. Hull City were their visitors at Elland Road as a small 2,000 crowd watched a 1-1 draw, with Jack Peart again the lone Leeds goal-scorer.
City had started to drop points, but while in no imminent danger, they had dropped five points in the last six games because of those draws. There was another draw as they visited the City Ground to play Nottingham Forest. Bob Hewison was back at Right-Half and Billy Moore at Inside-Right as the temporary guests were no longer needed, but Tommy Mayson was not available at Outside-Left and Stan Robinson deputized. In a keenly contested and exciting game City and Forest played out a 3-3 draw with Billy Moore and Jack Peart, who got two to make his tally four goals in the last three games, scored for City.
Bob Howison was not available, but City welcomed back Clem Stephenson and Tommy Mayson as they played hosts to Barnsley, the team that had ended their initial long unbeaten run, and who were currently vying very strongly for second spot, at Elland Road. There were 6,000 in attendance as Arthur Price dropped back to Right-Half to cover for Bob Hewison, while Billy Moore moved to Inside-Left to allow Clem Stephenson to resume at Inside-Right, and Tommy Mayson returned at Outside-Left at the expense of Stan Robinson. City made no mistake this time and extracted full revenge with a masterly 3-0 win as Jack Peart made it six goals in four games, with a brace and Clem Stephenson celebrated his return with the other.
The final home game at Elland Road saw the visit of Chesterfield and, with Alfred Robinson no longer available in Goal, City brought in Billy Hampson's brother Tommy Hampson to take his place as Goalkeeper. Tommy Hampson went on to play in goal for West Ham United for several years. Billy Moore was not available but Bob Hewison returned. So, Bob Hewison returned to his Right-Half spot and Arthur Price moved back to his old position of Inside-Left as Billy Moore's replacement. Jack Peart pleased the 4,000 crowd as he got the only goal of the game to give City the points as he registered his seventh goal in the last five successive games.
City were at Bramall Lane for their final game of the Midland Section Principal Tournament, with Sheffield United. Right-Back Charlie Copeland was not available and John Hampson came back to fill in for him at Right-Back in an otherwise unchanged team. A crowd of 6,000 were present to see an entertaining 2-2 draw as Jack Peart extended his scoring run to eight in the last six games and Arthur Price netted the other Leeds goal.
City finished the Principal Tournament in first position with forty-six points. They led the Tournament from beginning to end and were never in any real danger of not being the top team after their initial eleven games had yielded nineteen points. They scored a phenomenal sixteen goals against three conceded in their first three away games, lost only two games all season and failed to score only twice. City were prolific both at home and away, their home record saw them win eleven, draw four and lose none with a goal tally of twenty-seven for and a miserly six conceded. If their home record was impressive so too was their away record with seven victories, six draws and only two defeats with a lopsided goal tally of forty-one for and twenty-three against. The overall goal tally was sixty-eight for and twenty-nine against.
City finished eight points clear of second club Barnsley but otherwise the League was quite closely contested. Third placed Birmingham were only one point behind Barnsley and one ahead of fourth placed Huddersfield Town with a closely bunched group of clubs, Bradford Park Avenue, just two behind Town, Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Bradford City and Rotherham County, on thirty points, all with just four points between them. Lincoln City were marooned in sixteenth and bottom place on sixteen points.
There were no ever-presents but Jack Peart missed only one, and Harry Sherwin two. Jimmy Stephenson missed just three games, Tommy Mayson four, Bob Hewison and Arthur Price five, and Clem Stephenson, Charlie Copeland and Levy Thorpe missed six games.
With sixty-eight goals being scored, there were plenty of players who regularly found the net. Jack Peart led the goal-scorers with twenty-five and Arthur Price, with seventeen, and Clem Stephenson, with twelve, also made strong contributions.
The Subsidiary Competition, after the euphoria of the Principal Tournament, was something of an anti-climax. The first game was at Bradford Park Avenue and drew a crowd of 6,000. City lined-up Tommy Hampson; Fred Clipstone, Billy Hampson; Bob Hewison, Harry Sherwin, Levy Thorpe; Jimmy Stephenson, Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart, Billy Moore, Stan Robinson. Charlie Copeland was no longer available but Tommy Mayson, John Hampson and Arthur Price were the ones missing from their last game at Bramall Lane. It was again Jack Peart that got the City goal in a 1-1 draw and that made it nine goals in seven games, one away from Billy McLeod's City record.
Tommy Mayson was back again to replace Stan Robinson at Outside-Left and, with Billy Moore out at Inside-Left, Arthur Price returned to his old spot. Huddersfield Town were the visitors to Elland Road and Jack Peart failed to score as the Terriers won 2-0 in front of a crowd of 4,000.
City were at home again, this time with Bradford City as the visitors. Tommy Mayson was out and with Billy Moore available he came into the team at Outside-Left, in the only change to the City side. There was another 4,000 crowd on hand and it took an Arthur Price penalty to earned City a share of the points in a 1-1 draw.
City were at home for the third time as Bradford Park Avenue visited Elland Road eager to take advantage of City's form slump and retain top spot in the Subsidiary Tournament. Fred Clipstone was not available and a player by the name of Rose had his only game for City at Right-Back. Levy Thorpe was out at Left-Half and Tom Cawley, who later played for Rotherham County came in for his first game for City. Jack Peart was also out and Billy Moore moved to Centre-Forward from the Outside-Left spot with Tommy Mayson returning to fill that position. The crowd of 3,000 saw City complete their home fixtures with only a draw to show for their endeavours as they went down 2-0.
City had the Newcastle United, F. Hudspeth at Right-Back to take on Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road. With Jack Peart still not available City shuffled their forwards to find a goal-scoring combination. Arthur Price moved from Inside-Left to Centre-Forward, Tommy Mayson went to Inside-Left from Outside-Left and Billy Moore changed from Centre-Forward to Outside-Left. It did have some effect as a Clem Stephenson goal was enough to give City both points in front of a 3,000 crowd.
City saved their best performance to last as the played Bradford City in front of a 3,000 crowd at Valley Parade. Jack Peart was at last back in the team at Centre-Forward as Arthur Price moved back to Right-Half in place of Bob Hewison who moved to Right-Back for F. Hudspeth who had played his only game for City. Levy Thorpe was back at Left-Half as Tom Cawley dropped out. Billy Moore and Tommy Mayson switched positions to leave Billy Moore at Inside-Left and Tommy Mayson at Outside-Left. There was a hat-trick for Billy Moore and one each for Jack Peart and Clem Stephenson as City rounded of their season with a resounding away win by 5-1.
Bradford Park Avenue finished on top with eight points, Huddersfield Town Second on seven points and City third on six points with Bradford City bottom on three points.
The 1917-18 season saw little change to the Tournament format. The three main Divisions remained with Lancashire, London Combination and Midland Sections. City were again in the Midland Section against the same opposition, except that Chesterfield had withdrawn for the current season. The Subsidiary Tournament remained the same with City up against Huddersfield Town and the two Bradford clubs.
Charlie Copeland was no longer available and Willis Walker had enlisted in the Royal Navy, which left Arthur Price and John Hampson of the Leeds City team. Tommy Lamph had returned and City also retained a nucleus of guest players in Billy and Tommy Hampson, Bob Hewison, Harry Sherwin, Clem Stephenson and Jack Peart, who were later joined by Tom Cawley of Rotherham County and Harry Millership of Blackpool. Harry Millership later signed for City and went on to represent Wales
The fixture list for the new season showed that each team would be played on an home and away basis in consecutive matches. City's first opponents were The Wednesday at Hillsborough. Willis Walker was on leave from the Navy and took his place between the posts as City also gave a game to Corporal P.J. Barrett of the Army at Outside-Right. The City Line-up was: Willis Walker; Bob Hewison, Billy Hampson; Harry Sherwin, John Hampson, Tommy Lamph; Cpl Barrett, Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart, Tom Cawley, Stan Robinson. There was a good crowd of 8,000 at Hillsborough to greet the new season. Jack Peart, who had finished the previous Tournament in devastating scoring form, show he was going to continue in similar vein by scoring the only goal of the game and getting the City season off to a good start.
The reverse fixture played at Elland Road on the following Saturday saw Arthur Price back in the City team at Inside-Left in place of Tom Cawley and The Wednesday and the rest of the League were shown that Leeds were carrying on their high scoring feats of the previous season as they excited the 6,000 crowd with a typical 5-0 victory. The returning Arthur Price led the scoring with two, with Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart, for the second goal in two games, and Corporal Barrett, with his first goal for City, completing the scoring.
Willis Walker had finished his leave and returned to the Royal Navy and Alfred Robinson was in goal for City as they went to Valley Parade to play their close neighbours and rivals Bradford City. There were 4,000 at Valley Parade to see the two teams renew their friendly rivalry, which had seen ascendancy sway back and forth. It was Leeds that presently ruled the roost. However, Bradford showed that, on their day, they were still a force to be reckoned with as they won an exciting encounter by 3-2, with Billy Hampson netting his first goal for Leeds and Clem Stephenson getting the other.
Nineteen-year-old Local boy Fred Baines, who later played for Rochdale, Rotherham County and Accrington Stanley, was given a run at Full-Back when John Hampson was not available. Bob Hewison moved forward to Right-Half to allow Baines to make his debut at Right-Back as Harry Sherwin moved to Centre-Half in John Hampson's position. A 4,000 Elland Road crowd saw City quickly gain revenge in emphatic fashion as they routed Bradford City in the reverse encounter by 4-0. Jack Peart got his third of the season and Arthur Price pushed his tally to five in just three games with a hat-trick.
For their trip to Rotherham County, City had Tommy Hampson in goal for Alfred Robinson and the two Full-Backs swapped positions with Billy Hampson going to Right-Back and Fred Baines to Left-Back. Jack Peart got his fourth goal of the season, Clem Stephenson his third and Harry Sherwin opened his account for the season as City won 3-0 in front of a crowd of 5,000.
Corporal Barrett had returned to Army duties and Stan Robinson was unavailable for the reverse encounter at Elland Road with Rotherham County. A City Junior player, Schoolboy International N. Arkle, came in at Outside-Right, for his only City game, and Ernie Goodwin was included in the Outside-Left spot. A crowd of 5,000 were entertained to a feast of goals with City winning 6-0, as they took their goal tally to 15-0 in the three home games to date. Arthur Price, with two, Jack Peart, also with two, and a first of the season both Ernie Goodwin and Bob Hewison were the City goal-scorers.
Stan Robinson was available and came in at Outside-Right as City welcomed Lincoln City to Elland Road. City had not even conceded a goal in their home games and the lowly Lincoln were no test for them as they kept their record intact and made it 18-0 in just four games with a 3-0 win before a crowd of 4,000. Jack Peart, Clem Stephenson and Stan Robinson, with his first for the season, were the goal-scorers.
Jimmy Stephenson and Billy Moore returned to play and score in their only game of the season, as City visited Sincil Bank. Jimmy Stephenson was at Outside-Right for Stan Robinson and Billy Moore at Outside-Left for Ernie Goodwin. In positional switches, Billy Hampson went to Left-Back and Fred Baines to Right-Back, and Bob Hewison went to Left-Half and Tommy Lamph went to Right-Half. A crowd of 4,000 witnessed another City goal feast as Jack Peart, Bob Hewison, Jimmy Stephenson and Billy Moore were the scorers in a 4-0 win.
Willis Walker was on leave and able to play in place of Tommy Hampson in the Elland Road clash with Grimsby Town. The two Full Backs reverted to their former positions with Billy Hampson back at Right-Back and Fred Baines at Left-Back, while Bob Hewison reverted to Right-Half and Tommy Lamph went back to Left-Half. Twenty-year-old Billy Kirton had been spotted playing for Pandon Temperance in the Newcastle District United League and signed by City. He was to go on to sign for Aston Villa and score the winning goal for them in the 1920 F.A. Cup Final and was also selected for England against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park Belfast on 22nd October 1922 and scored the England goal in his only International appearance. He made his City debut at Inside-Right, in place of Clem Stephenson, in his only game of the season, along with Corporal W.Grant of the Army, who played at Outside-Right in place of Jimmy Stephenson and Stan Robinson was back at Outside-Left for Billy Moore. Maybe all the changes disrupted City, as their home record received its first dent, as they were held 2-2 by the Mariners in front of a crowd of 3,000 with Jack Peart getting both goals.
John Hampson's brother, E. Hampton, who also turned out for Northampton Town, made his City debut at Outside-Right in place of Corporal Grant as City went to Blundell Park for the reverse fixture. Willis Walker's leave pass had expired and so Tommy Hampson was back between the posts to make it three players named Hampson all in the same team. Tom Cawley returned to the team in place of Billy Kirton at Inside-Right. Stan Robinson, Arthur Price, with two, and Harry Sherwin were the City goal-scorers as they won 4-0 in front of a meagre 1,500 as City brought their points tally to seventeen from twenty and the other teams were playing catch-up.
Birmingham were one of three clubs who were trying to keep in touch, and succeeding to some degree, and they were the next visitors to Elland Road. John Hampson took over from his brother in an unusual role of Outside-Right, while Clem Stephenson was back to replace Tom Cawley at Inside-Right and Ernie Goodwin replaced Stan Robinson at Outside-Left. There was 5,000 in attendance and they saw a Jack Peart goal win the game for City by 1-0.
City made just one change for the reverse fixture at St Andrew's, replacing John Hampson by Tom Cawley at Outside-Right. There was a huge crowd on hand, for what the home supporters knew would be their team's last attempt at pegging back the City lead, as 26,000 were present to see Birmingham get their revenge and inflict City's second defeat with a 3-1 score-line. Tom Cawley, who scored his first goal for City, was the Leeds goalscorer.
Corporal Grant was brought in at Outside-Left in place of Ernie Goodwin when Notts County were the next team to arrive at Elland Road. There was a crowd of only 2,000 as the Leeds public were failing to get behind one of the best teams in the land. Corporal Grant got his first and only goal for City and Clem Stephenson got the other as City again won at Elland Road by 2-0, to keep a clean sheet for the sixth time in their seven games there.
City were without Clem Stephenson and John Hampson proved his versatility further as he filled in at Inside-Right. Corporal Grant was replaced by another player from the Army in Corporal Chard, who played his only game for City at Outside-Left. City drew a crowd of 3,000 to Meadow Lane for the reverse fixture with Notts County and it produced an entertaining 4-2 win for City, with Jack Peart scoring twice and Arthur Price and Harry Sherwin getting the others.
Barnsley were struggling at the bottom of the table but they gave City two close games. The first game at Oakwell saw City with two sets of brothers, both by the name of Hampson, to make it four players of that name in the team. Goalkeeper Tommy Hampson and brother Billy Hampson, at Right-Back, were reasonably consistent members of the team. John Hampson had been a City stalwart for several years and while he had started as a Centre-Half and built up his reputation as a resolute defender since arriving from Northampton Town, he had become much more of a utility player and was operating at Inside Right, as Clem Stephenson's stand-in, in this game. His brother, E. Hampson was helping City out as a guest and he had come into the side as a replacement for the Army player, Corporal Chard, in City's only change. There were just 1,400 in the crowd, but they saw a very closely contested game which City eventually ran out winning by 4-3, thanks to two goals from Jack Peart and one each from John Hampson and Tom Cawley.
One of the sets of brothers were out, as Clem Stephenson was back at Inside-Right for John Hampson, and Corporal Grant was back at Outside-Left in place of his brother E. Hampson, as City took on Barnsley at Elland Road in the reverse fixture. There was a crowd of 3,500 to see City just get home by 2-1 with goals from Jack Peart, with his fifth in three games, and Bob Hewison.
The traditional Christmas games were with Huddersfield Town and the Christmas Day game at Elland Road attracted a crowd of 5,000. It saw the debut of Harry Millership at Left-Back as he took over from local boy Fred Baines, who had played thirteen consecutive games. The versatile John Hampson was back, this time at outside-Left in place of Corporal Grant. Goals from Arthur Price, Harry Sherwin, from the penalty spot, and Bob Hewison, for his second goal in two games, saw City 3-0 winners.
The Boxing Day game at Leeds Road saw Harry Millership drop out in favour of John Hampson at Left-Back, with Ernie Goodwin filling the vacancy at Outside-Left. An attendance of 4,000 saw City again the victors, this time by 3-1, as Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart and Arthur Price found the net for them.
Harry Millership was back at Left-Back as John Hampson dropped out and Corporal Grant took over from Ernie Goodwin at Outside-Left, as City visited Anlaby Road to play Hull City in the first game in 1918. A crowd of 2,000 turned up to see the Tigers, who were in the small chasing group, try to stop the Leeds City juggernaut. Like almost every team before them, they failed, and City won 2-0, with goals from Clem Stephenson and Arthur Price.
The reverse game at Elland Road saw the two Leeds Full-Backs switch positions, with Harry Millership at Right-Back and Billy Hampson at Left-Back. It also saw the return of John Hampson to Outside-Left to replace Corporal Grant, who had played his last game for City. A crowd of 2,000 saw City surprisingly go down to the Tigers by 3-1, with Arthur Price, getting his third goal in as many games, the sole Leeds scorer. It gave the chasing pack a momentary glimmer of hope, but City were soon to set off on another winning run to put paid to that.
The defeat by Hull City did not phase city and they fielded an unchanged team for their game at Filbert Street with Leicester Fosse. Fosse were in mid-table and City had little trouble disposing of them 4-2 in front of an attendance of 3,000. Harry Sherwin, Clem Stephenson and Tom Cawley, with a brace, were the City scorers.
Tommy Lamph was out for the reverse fixture and City moved John Hampson to Left-Half to cover for him and this meant another game for Ernie Goodwin in the vacant spot at Outside-Left. An improved attendance of 5,000 saw City get back to normal with a 4-0 home win, with goals from Arthur Price, Jack Peart, Ernie Goodwin and Clem Stephenson.
There was just one change for the home game with Nottingham Forest as Charlie Buchan, the well-known Sunderland Inside-Forward, thought by many to be the best forward in the country, played at Outside-Right and scored in his only appearance for City. It was a day of unusual events with Nottingham Forest finding themselves a man short when they did the pre-match head count and so the Leeds City player, E. Hampson, was pressed into service for Forest and so became the only Leeds City player to take the field against them, while still playing for them. It was also the second time two sets of brothers were on the field in a Leeds City game, albeit one was playing for the opposition. A crowd of 3,000 saw the game which City won 2-0, but none of the Leeds regulars scored. Harry Wightman, who later managed Nottingham Forest, but was guesting for them, as he played for Derby County at the time, was the first name on the Leeds score-sheet with an own goal. The second was scored by Charlie Buchan, who was one of the greatest goal-scorers ever and still figures at number six on the all-time goal-scorers lists of the First Division of the Football League, with Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven goals. (Top Ten: Jimmy Greaves 357, Steve Bloomer 317, Dixie Dean 310, Gordon Hodgson (Ex-Leeds United) 287, Alan Shearer 283, Charlie Buchan 257, Nat Lofthouse 255, Joe Bradford 248, Hughie Gallacher 246, Joe Smith 243).
Tommy Lamph returned at Left-Half and John Hampson moved to Outside-Left in place of Ernie Goodwin, while Tom Cawley returned at Outside-Right in place of the illustrious Charlie Buchan. A crowd of 3,000 in the reverse fixture at the City Gound saw Jack Peart get the goal that gave City victory over Nottingham Forest by 1-0, as City gained their fourth successive win.
There was an unchanged City team as Leeds played Bradford Park Avenue at Elland Road in front of a crowd of 7,500. City made it five wins on the trot as the edged home by 2-1 with goals from Tom Cawley and Clem Stephenson as the season moved into its final stages.
They were unchanged once more as they made the short trip to Park Avenue. The game again attracted 7,500 spectators and City made it six consecutive wins as Harry Sherwin scored from the spot and Jack Peart hit the net for the twentieth time in the season.
The season came to a climax as City met second club Sheffield United in the final two games of the season. Going in to the first game at Bramall Lane, City had forty-five points and the Blades had thirty-nine and so could not catch the rampant City. Leeds with their six successive wins had sealed their top spot as a mathematical certainty. However, Sheffield United still wanted to prove they were the better team at that moment. City turned up for the game at Bramall Lane with an unchanged team but discovered John Hampson had missed the train to Sheffield and they were a man short. Sheffield United came to the rescue by loaning them A. Spratt who played at Outside-Left. It was not a rare occurrence that teams turned up without their full compliment and A. Spratt also guested for Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham County in that season. In front of an 18,000 crowd, the Blades came out on top by 2-1 and Bob Hewison scored for Leeds, who had their lead at the top cut to just four points.
The final game of the Tournament took place at Elland Road when the reverse fixture was played in front of 15,000, City's best home crowd of the season. John Hampson was back at Outside-Left as City fielded the team that had served them so well in the latter part of the season. Goals from Tom Cawley and Clem Stephenson left little doubt in the minds of the Blades as to which was the better team and City finished the season six points in front of their South Yorkshire rivals.
City were easy winners of the Midland Section gaining forty-seven points from their twenty-eight games. Their record was even better than their runaway win of the previous season, when, in two games more, they had forty-six points and a goal tally of sixty-eight to twenty-nine compared to this seasons seventy-five to twenty-three. Their full record for the Principal Tournament in 1917-18 was founded on a brilliant home record and an away record that was almost as good. At home they won twelve of their fourteen games and drew one and lost one for a goal tally of thirty-nine for and just seven against. On the road they were almost equally successful, with eleven wins and just three losses and thirty-six goals for and sixteen against. Sheffield United were second, six points adrift, with Birmingham and Hull City third and fourth, a further seven ponts behind and a huge thirteen points behind City. The other eleven teams were in a League of their own with Nottingham Forest and Bradford Park Avenue seventeen points behind City on thirty points, and bottom club Barnsley on eighteen.
City were blessed with a fairly settled squad as Bob Hewison, Billy Hampson, Harry Sherwin and Jack Peart were ever-presents. Arthur Price missed just one game, Tommy Lamph only two, Clem Stephenson four and Goalkeeper Tommy Hampson five. The mammoth goal record was quite well spread, with Jack Peart leading the way with twenty, followed by Arthur Price on fifteen and Clem Stephenson with eleven, as twelve others also figured on the list.
The Subsidiary Competition was off to a bad start as City, with John Hampson at Centre-Forward, in place of the absent Jack Peart, and Fred Croot returning for a farewell performance at Outside-Left, went down to Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road in front of 6,500 spectators by 4-2. Arthur Price and Clem Stephenson got the Leeds goals.
City were still without Jack Peart for the reverse fixture with Huddersfield Town at Elland Road. W. Rutherford was his stand-n for his only game with City, as John Hampson moved to the Outside-Left position to replace Fred Croot. In front of a crowd of 6,000, Tom Cawley got the only goal of the game as City got their revenge by the narrowest of margins.
City were at Elland Road once again for the visit of Bradford Park Avenue. John Hampson took over the Centre-Forward spot and his brother E. Hampson came in at Outside-Left, as once more City had two sets of brothers in their side. Only 1,000 were present as City won 3-1 with Arthur Price getting two goals and Clem Stephenson the other.
John and E. Hampson were both out for the reverse fixture at Park Avenue. Walker Hampson, who had played four games for Burnley prior to the outbreak of WW1, and had been playing in the Newcastle and District League with Scotswood joined the side, in place of the unavailable Harry Millership. He came in at Right-Back to form the City defensive partnership with his brothers Billy, at Left-Back, and Tommy, in goal, as City featured three brothers as the first three names on their team-sheet. Middlesbrough's Scottish International Centre-Forward Andy Wilson was brought into the City side in place of John Hampson in Jack Peart's role and a nineteen-year-old City Junior, Schoolboy International Billy Kettle, who later joined Newcastle United before going to Ebbw Vale, Southend United, Grimsby Town, Southport and Wigan Borough, came in for his only game in City colours at Outside-Left. A crowd of 7,000 saw Andy Wilson get both goals as City won 2-1.
The final games in the Subsidiary Tournament saw City pitted against Bradford City. They were at Elland Road for the first game. The Army player, Corporal P.J. Barrett, came in at Outside-Left as Billy Kettle dropped out. They two teams played out a goalless draw in front of a crowd of 3,000.
Jack Peart was back for the reverse fixture at Valley Parade, the previous scene of one of City's defeats that season. He came back at Centre-Forward in an otherwise unchanged City team. Again there was a crowd of 3,000 and again the game was scoreless, as City finished the Subsidiary Competition in top spot on eight points, with Huddersfield Town on seven, and Bradford City on six, with Bradford Park Avenue bottom with just three points.
There was a play-off between the top team in the Lancashire Section of the Principal Tournament, and the top side in the Midland Section, to decide the unofficial Champions of England. The games were played on an home and away basis following the games in the Subsidiary Tournament. City being the top team in the Midland Section took on Stoke, their counterparts in the Lancashire Section. The first game took place at Elland Road on 4th May 1918. Clem Stephenson had been called up into the Army and was not available, but City had Harry Millership back. He returned at Right-Back in place of Walker Hampson. City went to Newcastle United and obtained the services of their English International Inside-Foward Billy Hibbert and he replaced Corporal Barrett at Outside-Left, while Tom Cawley moved to Inside-Right to replace Clem Stephenson and Ernie Goodwin took his place at Outside-Right. The teams lined-up:
Leeds City: Tommy Hampson; Harry Millership, Billy Hampson; Bob Hewison, Harry Sherwin, Tommy Lamph; Ernie Goodwin, Tom Cawley, Jack Peart, Arthur Price, Billy Hibbert.
Stoke: Teddy Peers; Alec Milne, Billy Twemlow; Joey Jones, Charlie Parker, Eli Turner; Billy Harrison, Bob Whittingham, Harry Howell, Billy Herbert, Arthur Bridgett.
Both sides had a liberal sprinkling of guests with City having several players from the North-Eastern clubs, particularly Newcastle United. Stoke had their fair share, with Welsh International Goalkeeper Teddy Peers, Winger Billy Harrison and Centre-Forward Harry Howell all from Wolverhampton Wanderers as well as Sunderland's England International, Arthur Bridgett at outside-Left. There was a crowd of 15,000 at Elland Road to see the two teams do battle for the right to be called "League Champions".
City were off to a bright start as their Outside-Right Ernie Goodwin took advantage of a poor clearance by the Stoke defence to make good ground down his flank before sending across a perfect centre for Billy Hibbert to rise and head the ball home. This triggered Stoke into a quick response and, during a spell of pressure, City were indebted to Right-Back Harry Millership for maintaining their narrow advantage, as he headed a goal-bound shot off the goal-line. Leeds were thankful for their let-off and took full advantage of their good fortune as they took the game to Stoke. In a lightning raid, Centre-Forward Jack Peart was put in possession and he took the ball through the middle, raced past a defender and fired in an unstoppable shot past Welsh International Goalkeeper Teddy Peers to double the City lead.
It had been a fast and furious first-half and it prompted A.W. Pullin, Old Ebor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, to comment, "The pace of the first half had been exceptionally fast and the players had neither spared themselves, nor each other, though the play had not been by any means rough. It was now largely a case of stamina, though the Leeds lead was formidable to say the least". Stoke came more into the game after the interval and their pressure brought out some fine saves from City Goalkeeper Tommy Hampson. In particular, he made two outstanding saves from Stoke danger-man, the Sunderland and England Outside-Left, Arthur Bridgett.
The Potters grew more confident as the game progressed and City had to withstand tremendous pressure in the final ten minutes as they tried their hardest to reduce the City lead. Leeds did not give in to the pressure and kept their goal intact and took a two-goal lead into the reverse leg at the Victoria Ground.
City were unchanged, while Stoke had Jack Maddock at Right-Back for Alec Milne, The more experienced Dickie Smith at Left-Half for the young Eli Turner, but were without the dangerous Arthur Bridgett at Outside-Left as Billy Tempest took over. The teams lined-up:
Stoke: Teddy Peers; Jack Maddock, Billy Twemlow; Joey Jones, Charlie Parker, Dickie Smith; Billy Harrison, Bob Whittingham, Harry Howell, Billy Herbert, Billy Tempest.
Leeds City: Tommy Hampson; Harry Millership, Billy Hampson; Bob Hewison, Harry Sherwin, Tommy Lamph; Ernie Goodwin, Tom Cawley, Jack Peart, Arthur Price, Billy Hibbert.
City knew they could expect an all-out effort from their Staffordshire rivals and, while the two goal lead was a welcome starting advantage, they knew they would need to be on their best form and have a fair share of the luck, if they were to prevail. As expected, Stoke started off where they had left off at Elland Road, with a sustained attack. City countered this with a determined rearguard action, and, despite several narrow escapes and some fine goalkeeping by Tommy Hampson, City kept Stoke at bay during the vital opening period of pressure. City had weathered the initial storm and had started to show the Victoria Ground crowd their own skill and attacking capabilities when fifteen minutes before half-time City found that they were not going to get their fair share of the luck, as disaster struck with a match-ending injury to Bob Hewison.
Yorkshire Evening Post reporter A.W. Pullin (Old Ebor) described the misfortune, "Hewison, in trying a shot at goal came to grief, apparently in collision with an opponent. After lying on the ground he had to be carried off helpless. The injury was to his right knee. His retirement, after half-an-hour's play was a serious blow to City, who at this point had been the better side." It meant a reshuffle in the city ranks, but thankfully they had the versatile Arthur Price would be able to drop back to Right-Half for the stricken Bob Hewison, and City battled on with ten men and only four forwards. The ten men fought a good fight and managed to keep their two goal advantage from the first leg until ten minutes from time. With City hanging on in quiet desperation, Bob Wittingham, the Stoke Inside-Right, was brought down in the Leeds penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Centre-Half Charlie Parker made no mistake from the spot and the scene was set for a grandstand finish.
The Potters kept on pressing but the resilient City would not concede and held out against all the odds. They were rewarded for their fighting spirit by preventing any further score and, in front of a 15,000 crowd at the Victoria Grounds they lost the second leg by 1-0, but took the championship on merit by a 2-1 aggregate. City had won their first major trophy, but, because it was not a recognized Football League or F.A. competition, few record books recognized that achievement. The Gate Receipts for both legs totalled £913 and were donated to the National Footballers' War Fund.
City had moulded a team together, despite their financial problems and the disruptions of the War. This included Manager Herbert Chapman being employed as Manager of the Barnbow munitions factory in 1916 and the running of the club being left to his Assistant George Cripps and two Directors, Chairman Joseph Connor and J.C. Whiteman, who did not always act in harmony. Although they were initially without Clem Stephenson on Army service, they did manage to retain the services of Billy Hibbert along with most of their guest players from the previous season. They still had John Hampson, Arthur Price and Harry Millership of their own players and others like Willis Walker, Charlie Copeland and a handful of others still played whenever possible. They did sign Goalkeeper Walter Cook from Castleford Town in the 1918-19 close season, as Tommy Hampson who had played a couple of 'blinders' in the Play-Off Finals had gone south and joined West Ham United, who he gave tremendous service to for several seasons.
The Tournaments followed the format of the previous season, but there was the addition of another team to the Principal Tournament in the shape of Coventry City.
Willis Walker was available for their first game and took his place between the posts as City kicked off their new season with a home game against Notts County. There was a new face, however, with Albert McLachlan, who had played with Aston Villa before going north of the border with Aberdeen, at Right-Half, as City lined-up: Willis Walker; Harry Millership, Billy Hampson; Albert McLachlan, Harry Sherwin, Tommy Lamph; E. Hampson, Billy Hibbert, Jack Peart, John Hampson, Tom Cawley. A crowd of 5,000 saw City get off to a flying start with an emphatic 4-1 win with goals from Jack Peart, a couple from Tom Cawley and one from Billy Hibbert.
A visit to Meadow Lane was City's next fixture and the Magpies gave them a fright by inflicting a 5-2 defeat on them. Willis Walker had returned to the Royal Navy and so there was a debut for Walter Cook in goal. Arthur Price was back and he slipped into the Inside-Left position as John Hampson moved back to Left-Half and Tommy Lamph went to Right-Half to the exclusion of Albert McLachlan. There was a good crowd of 7,000 on hand to see the "League Champions" take on County and despite goals from Arthur Price and a second of the season for County player Jack Peart, they went home happy with their victory.
Jack Peart was out for City's next match at home to Birmingham. Billy Hibbert took over the Centre-Forward position while winger Stan Robinson took the Inside-Right spot. There was also a positional switch as Tommy Lamph went back to Left-Half as John Hampson moved to Right-Half, his third different position in three games. Once more City were not getting the crowds they deserved as only 3,000 turned up. The ones who did attend were treated to a fine performance by City who beat the well credentialed Midlanders by 3-1, with Billy Hibbert, Tom Cawley and E. Hampson getting the goals for Leeds.
The Birmingham fans got behind their team in numbers and, while nowhere near the previous season's 26,000, they still attracted 14,000 to St Andrew's. Jack Peart was back at Centre-Foward with Billy Hibbert moving back to Inside-Right at the expense of Stan Robinson. The two strikers, Jack Peart and Billy Hibbert were both on the scoresheet but the home side ran out 4-2 winners as City lost their second away game of the season. But it turned out that it was to two very good teams, that both finished above City in the final table.
City made several changes for their home game with Rotherham County, but mostly positional, as Bob Hewison was back for them at Right-Half and John Hampson moved from that position to Outside-Left to the exclusion of his brother. Once again there was a poor crowd with only 2,000 in attendance. It was not a happy return for Bob Hewison as he broke his leg and was side-lined for the rest of the season and it was his last game in City's colours. Despite the handicap City did manage to win by 2-1 with goals from Arthur Price and a penalty from Billy Hibbert.
Billy Hibbert was out of the reverse fixture and it meant the return of crowd favourite, Billy McLeod, who had been working for an Engineering firm in Bradford and turning out for Bradford City, since the beginning of the war. Harry Millership was also out and this meant a return for Charlie Copeland at Right-Back. Jimmy Hampson reverted to Right-Half as Bob Hewison's replacement and Stan Robinson was included at Outside-Left. Tommy Lamph was also missing and Leeds had to borrow a Rotherham player and they gave a game to County's Rotherham-born Jack Smelt, whose brother Alf was later to play for Leeds United and also had two other brothers, Len and Tom, who played League Football. A surprisingly large crowd of 7,000 were on hand to see City easily win at Millmoor by 3-0 with Harry Sherwin, Billy McLeod and Jack Peart getting the City goals.
Charlie Copeland and Harry Millership were both unavailable and John Hampson played his fifth different position of the season, in only the seventh game, as he filled in at Right-Back for the visit to Sincil Bank to take on Lincoln City. Leeds were short of a player and so Lincoln allowed one of their own players, Arthur Bavin, to play for them at Right-Half. Fortunately for Leeds Billy Hibbert was back at Inside-Right and Tommy Lamph at Left-Half as their resources were thin. In front of a crowd of 4,000 City's patched up team went down to the Red Imps by the only goal of the game, losing their third away game of the season and not looking as if they could retain their top spot for a third season.
Fortunately for City Clem Stephenson, Willis Walker and Charlie Copeland were all back for the reverse fixture with Lincoln City at Elland Road. Willis Walker took over from Walter Cook in goal, Charlie Copeland was back at Right-Back and this allowed John Hampson to move back to Right-Half. The return of Clem Stephenson at Inside-Right saw Billy Hibbert move to Outside-Left instead of Stan Robinson. Before an improved crowd of 6,000, Clem Stephenson was soon back to business scoring both goals as City won 2-0 to maintain their one hundred per cent home record.
Harry Millership was back at Right-back for Charlie Copeland as City visited Blundell Park for their game with Grimsby Town. Tommy Lamph, however, was not available and that meant a second game of the season for Albert McLachlan at Left-Half in an otherwise unchanged side. A crowd of just 2,000 saw City win 2-0 with Clem Stephenson and Jack Peart getting the goals, as City picked up their second win on the road for the season.
The reverse fixture at Elland Road saw Tommy Lamph back at Left-Half for Albert McLachlan in an otherwise unchanged team. There was a crowd of 4,000 on hand to see City win at a canter with goals from Billy Hibbert, from the penalty spot, Arthur Price and Jack Peart, as City made it three wins from three.
Willis Walker was out for City's first game after the Armistice in the First World War. It would, however, be a long time before the End of the War filtered through to the playing strengths of the clubs in the Football League. Arthur Price was also not available and the City team had several switches to cover his absence. Albert Mc Lachlan came in at Right-Half, John Hampson moved from Right-Half to Outside-Left, with Billy Hibbert moving from that position to Inside-Left to take Arthur Price's position. The biggest disappointment was that Clem Stephenson was also out, even the appearance of Billy McLeod in his place was not an adequate replacement, and City suffered their fourth reversal of the season at Valley Parade. Bradford City had always been keen rivals and in front of a crowd of 8,000 they got the better of Leeds by 3-1, with Jack Peart getting the Leeds goal.
City were still without Willis Walker, Arthur Price and Clem Stephenson and they were further disrupted by the loss of Walter Cook, Billy Hibbert and Billy McLeod. City's dilemma was solved by the loan of Jimmy Hugall, the Clapton Orient goalkeeper, in place of Walter Cook in goal for his only appearance for City, Billy Moore, the Sunderland Inside-Forward, for his fourteenth a final game for Leeds, in place of Billy Hibbert at Inside-Left and Tom Hall, the Newcastle United Inside-Forward in place of Billy McLeod at Inside-Right. City kept their perfect home record by beating Bradford City by 2-1 before a crowd of 7,500 in the reverse fixture at Elland Road with two goals from John Hampson.
There was a trip to Hillsborough to take on The Wednesday and City were still missing Clem Stephenson but the quality of some of the City replacements was starting to show. Willis Walker was available once more for goalkeeping duties and his return apart, there was the same personnel in defence, although Tommy Lamph went to Right-Half and Albert McLachlan to Left-Half in a positional switch. Up front there was still no Arthur Price, nor Clem Stephenson, but Billy Hibbert returned at Inside-Left for Billy Moore, and Billy McLeod came in at Outside-Right for Tom Cawley, who missed his first game of the season. The game was witnessed by a 10,000 crowd and City notched their third away win of the season as Tom Hall got his first goal for City and Jack Peart rounded off the scoring in a good 2-0 win.
For the reverse fixture at Elland Road, Walter Cook was in goal for Willis Walker, who was not available, and Tom Cawley was back in place of Billy McLeod in the Outside-Right position, while Tommy Lamph returned to his usual Left-Half spot and Albert McLachlan to Right-Half in a Wing-Half positional change. A much-improved crowd of 9,000 turned up, but City let them down as they drew 1-1, to lose their perfect home record, as Tom Hall got his second goal for the club.
City were at home again as Hull City were the visitors to Elland Road. They were without Left-Back Billy Hampson, Left-Half Tommy Lamph and Outside-Right Tom Cawley. It meant changes in all but two outfield positions. Charlie Copeland came in at Right-Back as Harry Millership moved to Left-Back to cover for Billy Hampson. Arthur Price was back and he took his usual Inside-Left spot, with Billy Hibbert moving to Outside-Left, allowing John Hampson to move back to Right-Half, as Albert McLachlan moved from there to Left-Half as Tommy Lamph's replacement. Fred Linfoot, who had been signed from Smith's Dock, came in for Tom Cawley in the Outside-Right position, and, although he had reasonable success with Lincoln City, Chelsea and Fulham, he never made an appearance for Leeds City in a Football League game. A crowd of 5,000 saw City play out the second successive home draw as the game remained goalless.
Billy Hampson was back at Left-Back for the reverse fixture with Hull City and Harry Millership returned to his Right-Back role at the expense of Charlie Copeland, while Tommy Lamph was back at Right-Half as John Hampson dropped out. There were 4,500 in attendance at Anlaby Road and they saw City fall to their fifth defeat of the season by 2-1 with Jack Peart getting the goal for City.
City once more took on Huddersfield Town in the traditional Christmas fixtures. The first was played on Christmas Day at Elland Road. City were again in the position of not having a recognized goalkeeper available. They were fortunate to be able to get the services of Sheffield United's regular goalkeeper Harold Gough, who went on to become an English International in 1921, and he replaced the unavailable Walter Cook. Harry Millership and Billy Hampson swapped positions at Full-Back; John Hampson took over at Outside-Left from Billy Hibbert, who had played his last game for City, and Billy McLeod came in at Outside-Right for Fred Linfoot. 5,000 were at Elland Road to see a hard-fought 1-1 draw as City dropped their third home point, with their third consecutive home draw, as Arthur Price scored the Leeds goal from the penalty spot.
The Boxing Day reverse fixture at Leeds Road saw City with an unchanged team. A good crowd of 10,000 saw the two teams again put on a closely fought encounter and, as in the game at Elland Road, the City goal came from the boot of Arthur Price from the penalty spot. City supporters were happy as they notched their fourth away win of the season at Huddersfield Town's expense, with the only goal of the game.
There was a crowd of 6,000 at Elland Road as City played Coventry City, the newcomers to the Tournament. City were able to call on Walter Cook as goalkeeper after Harold Gough's two game sojourn with them. Harry Millership reverted to Right-Back and Billy Hampson to Left-Back as the two Full Backs went back to their usual positions. Albert McLachlan dropped out at Left-Half and John Hampson in turn dropped back from the Outside-Left position to replace him with a player by the name of E. Scott, who was called in to play his only game for City at Outside-Left. Leeds were beaten at home for the first time in just short of a year as the visitors got the only goal of the match and went home with both points.
City would not have been unhappy when the reverse fixture at Highfield Road was postponed and held over until the Easter Tuesday of 22nd April 1919, by which time City were able to field a stronger team.
After the interruption, City were able to field an almost full-strength team as Clem Stephenson and Willis Walker were back after demob. Willis Walker came in for Walter Cook in goal, while Albert McLachlan returned at Left-Half which enabled John Hampson to take over the Outside-Left spot from the temporary player, E. Scott. Billy McLeod also dropped out, allowing Tom Hall to move to Outside-Right to accommodate Clem Stephenson's return at Inside-Right. The 6,000 crowd looked on in approval as City looked more like the team of old and swept to a 4-0 win over near-neighbours Barnsley at Elland Road. Tom Hall, Arthur Price and a couple from Clem Stephenson, were the City scorers.
Harry Sherwin was out, after completing his stint as a War-time guest for Leeds, although he was to return and play for Leeds United, in the reverse fixture at Oakwell and the versatile John Hampson finally played in the role that had found him fame, as he played in his sixth different position for the season, at Centre-Half. His place at Outside-Left went to Tom Cawley. City completed the double with a Tom Hall goal without reply from Barnsley before a good crowd of 7,000.
City had picked up Herbert Lounds from Gainsborough Trinity but did not officially sign him until August 1919. However, they gave him his City debut at Outside-Left, in place of Tom Cawley, in the side’s only change for the visit of Leicester Fosse to Elland Road. Again there was a small crowd of 3,000 as City failed to get the support they deserved from the Leeds public. Goals from Clem Stephenson, a brace from Arthur Price and another from Jack Peart saw City to a 4-2 win to maintain their impressive home record.
Albert McLachlan was out for the reverse fixture at Filbert Street, and Arthur Price dropped back to Left-Half, allowing Tom Cawley to take over at Inside-Left. City could not breach the Leicester Fosse defence and the game ended goalless before a crowd of 4,000.
Nottingham Forest were one of the leaders in the Tournament and were poised in top spot in a finely tuned race, with Bradford Park Avenue and City pushing hard, but with Birmingham and Notts County, who had both beaten and lost to City earlier in the season, were also intermittently in top spot. It was therefore a game that the Forest supporters had looked forward to with relish as City visited the City Ground. Leeds had Albert McLachlan back at Left-Half, which meant that Albert Price went back to Inside-Left in place of Tom Cawley. Herbert Lounds was out, and City brought in a guest, Joe Cartwright of Manchester City, at Outside-Left. In front of a 10,000 crowd City showed who was the boss and handed Forest a 2-0 beating with goals from Clem Stephenson and Jack Peart.
City were without Captain John Hampson for the reverse fixture at Elland Road and Full-Back Charlie Copeland was pressed into service at Centre-Half in the only change to the team that had won at the City Ground. With City moving into contention at the top, the people of Leeds finally gave them some support with a good crowd of 11,000, the best home gate of the season, but, on the day that they needed to perform, they were soundly beaten, as Forest got their revenge with a 4-0 victory.
After managing a, win one, lose one, outcome with three contenders for the top spot, City were next faced with a couple of back-to-back games with Bradford Park Avenue, the only other team in real contention. City needed full points if they were to become the top team and with Charlie Copeland not being a success at Centre-Half, they were badly missing John Hampson, now that Harry Sherwin was no longer at the club. They solved their problem by taking on a player by the name of A. Rutherford. He must have had more success than Charlie Copeland as City came away from Park Avenue with both points, as goals from Jack Peart, Clem Stephenson and Tom Hall gave them a 3-1 away win in front of a 5,000 crowd.
After the away win at Bradford Park Avenue, City were again hopeful of recording another double to help with their assault on top spot. The signs were good as John Hampson was back at Centre-Half in place of A. Rutherford, and, while Albert McLachlan was out at Left-Half, City had Clem Voysey the twenty-one year-old Arsenal Centre-Half in as his replacement, in his only appearance for Leeds. A crowd of 10,000 were in attendance as the Leeds supporters again got behind their team in anticipation of a good finale to the season and with the hope of top spot for the third year in succession. Again City were not up to the task as once more they lost heavily at home as Bradford triumphed 5-2 to severely dent the City dream of top spot. Tom Hall and Clem Stephenson got the two Leeds goals.
Once more City had to face Sheffield United in the last home and away games of the Tournament, and while the Blades were not as close as in the previous year they still wanted to stop City from being top. The first game took place at Elland Road in the last home game of the Principal Tournament. City brought back A. Rutherford at Centre-Half, which allowed John Hampson to move to the Outside-Left position for Joe Cartwright, who had finished his guest spell. Leeds replaced Clem Voysey with another guest T. Currie, who also only played once for City. a crowd of 8,000 went home happy as City won 2-1, with goals from Jack Peart and Tom Hall to keep their hope of finishing top alive.
For the reverse fixture at Bramall Lane, City had Albert McLachlan back at Left-Half in place of T. Currie. However, they were without Arthur Price and fan favourite Billy McLeod came in to replace him at Inside-Left, as he was now back with City after his guest spell with Bradford City. A crowd of 22,000 urged the Blades on and they cheered the home team to victory by the only goal of the match and sent City home in disappointment as their hopes of a third top place finish finally crumbled.
City still had the postponed fixture with Coventry City to play at Highfield Road but it was held over until Easter Tuesday, over a month later, in between their two fixtures with Bradford City in the Subsidiary Tournament.
City gave a debut to Left-Back Dick Roberts, who they had signed from Rhyl, as Billy Hampson was not available for the trip to Highfield Road. Clem Stephenson was also out and this meant Tom Hall moved to Inside-Right and Herbert Lounds filled in at outside-Right. A. Rutherford had long since finished his guest spell and John Hampson was back at Centre-Half and his Outside-Left spot was filled by the returned Simpson Bainbridge. With nothing much to play for City entertained the 9,000 crowd with a 3-1 win with goals from Jack Peart, Billy McLeod and a penalty from Tom Hall.
City finished in fourth spot, four points behind top team Nottingham Forest, with Birmingham and Notts County both on forty-one points, one behind Forest and three in front of City. Bradford Park Avenue were fifth just one point behind City. It was so close and yet so far and just two more victories would more than likely have seen City top once more. For a long time it seemed as if they would get through because of their home record but the two late home defeats to Nottingham Forest and Bradford Park Avenue were the difference between first and fourth place. Their full record was nine wins, three draws and three losses at Elland Road with a goal tally of thirty to twenty, while on their travels they won eight, drew one and lost six with a goal tally of twenty-three to eighteen. While not quite as successful or prolific as in the previous two years they were still a force to be reckoned with.
Jack Peart led the appearances and goals tallies. There were no ever-presents but Jack Peart missed just one game of thirty and Billy Hampson missed just two while Harry Millership, Tom Lamph and John Hampson missed only three each. Arthur Price with twenty-three appearances was the only other player to top the twenty mark.
Jack Peart finished with fourteen goals at the top of the goalscorers, with good contributions from Clem Stephenson with nine, Arthur Price with eight and Tom Hall with seven.
The Subsidiary Tournament followed the same lines as in recent years as City played three back-to-back home and away fixtures against their West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town and the two Bradford clubs, Park Avenue and City. The fixtures between the four clubs, three of who had finished in the top six of the Midland League Tournament, saw improved crowds and varying results.
The first game saw Huddersfield Town visit Elland Road in front of a crowd of 9,000. City made changes from the previous Principal Tournament fixture at Bramall Lane with Fred Linfoot at Centre-Half for A. Rutherford and Herbert Lounds at Outside-Right for Tom Hall. The City line-up was: Willis Walker; Harry Millership, Billy Hampson; Tommy Lamph, Fred Linfoot, Albert McLachlan; Herbert Lounds, Clem Stephenson, Jack Peart, Billy McLeod, John Hampson. It proved an easy 3-0 win for City as Jack Peart scored twice and Billy McLeod got the other.
The reverse fixture at Leeds Road saw City make just one change. Tom Hall was back and took his place at Outside-Right as Herbert Lounds dropped out. There was a crowd of 8,000 to see the game and Huddersfield Town emerged the winner as they scored the only goal of the game.
Bradford Park Avenue had home advantage in the next fixture and it drew a crowd of 12,000. Willis Walker was out and this meant a debut for Charlie Sutcliffe, the Bradford-born goalkeeper who had played with Heckmondwike, Halifax Town and York City before joining Leeds. Fred Linfoot dropped out and John Hampson moved back to Centre-Half to make way for Simpson Bainbridge, who had returned to the club, at Outside-Left. Billy McLeod was also out and Tom Hall moved into his place at Inside-Left and Jimmy Stephenson filled in for two games at Outside-Right. Park Avenue pleased their fans with an easy 5-0 win.
Willis Walker was back in goal for the reverse fixture at Elland Road. However, Tommy Lamph was out at Right-Half and resulted in a recall for Fred Linfoot in his place, while Jack Peart, too, was out at Centre-Forward and this meant a return for Billy McLeod. Despite the changes City got their revenge with Billy McLeod, Jimmy Stephenson and Tom Hall getting the goals in a 3-1 win, in front of City's smallest crowd in the Subsidiary Tournament of 6,000.
The first game of the final pairing with Bradford City took place at Valley Parade, on the Easter Saturday, in front of 16,000, the highest attendance that City played before in the Subsidiary Tournament. John Hampson had to play at Left-Back after Billy Hampson was not available and Fred Linfoot again filled in at Centre-Half. Jimmy Stephenson was not available any more and Herbert Lounds returned at Outside-Right. There was a first goal of the season for Simpson Bainbridge, but Bradford City went one better to win 2-1.
After fulfilling the postponed Principal Tournament game with Coventry City at Highfield Road on the Easter Tuesday, City were left with their final fixture of the War-time Tournaments in the reverse fixture with Bradford City at Elland Road. Charlie Sutcliffe was in goal for the absent Willis Walker, but Billy Hampson returned at Left-Back for Dickie Roberts, who had played his only game for City in the Coventry game. John Hampson had been at Left-Back at Valley Parade but remained at Centre-Half, the position he filled at Coventry, in preference to Fred Linfoot. Jack Peart was absent at Centre-Forward as John Edmondson had his first run of the season in City colours at Centre-Forward. Clem Stephenson had missed the game at Coventry, but was back at Inside-Right for Tom Hall, to play his final game for City. A crowd of 7,000 were at Elland Road to witness the final game of the Tournament and looking forward to the more competitive peace-time with their own players as they hoped Clem Stephenson would remain with the club, after almost a hundred games in their colours. Clem did not mark his farewell performance with a goal, he failed to keep up his goal every other game average and in fact did not score at all in the Subsidiary Tournament. However, two City regulars got the goals, with Billy McLeod scoring twice and Simpson Bainbridge getting the other, as City finished on a winning note with a 3-1 win.
Bradford Park Avenue topped the Subsidiary Tournament on eight points, with Huddersfield Town second with seven and City third on six, with Bradford City out of contention with three.
Harry Millership, Albert McLachlan, John Hampson and Clem Stephenson all played the full six games, while Billy McLeod, who missed just one game, led the scorers with four.
So the War-time Tournaments came to an end, with Leeds City having figured prominently, and the clubs looked forward to resuming the Football League Competion in 1919-20. In the final season of peacetime football in 1914-15, City had finished a very poor fifteenth in Division Two and had little hope of joining the upper echelons of the First Division for the new season. In the 1914-15 season, in the First Division, Chelsea had finished nineteenth on twenty-nine points and Tottenham Hotspur had been bottom with one point less. In Division Two Derby County had finished Champions with fifty-three points and Preston North End had been runners-up three points behind. Barnsley had been third with forty-seven points, Wolverhampton Wanderers fourth on forty-five and Arsenal fifth with forty-three, on goal average from Birmingham and Hull City. A cluster of clubs had followed very closely with the fourteenth club being just six points behind Arsenal. At the bottom Glossop were marooned on eighteen points six adrift from the nineteenth club, Leicester Fosse, who in turn were five points away from the next club up the ladder, Nottingham Forest.
It had been decided to extend the top two Divisions of the Football League to a twenty-two team competition in each. The question was how it would be achieved. One solution to the problem was to allow the relegated clubs in the 1914-15 season, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, to remain in the First Division. However, Henry Norris, the Arsenal chairman, disputed this idea. Norris, who had just been elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative MP, argued that a great deal of match-fixing had gone on in the 1914-15 season and that league positions should be disregarded. The reason for this was that Arsenal had finished in fifth place in the Second Division in the 1914-15 season and therefore had no grounds for being elected to the First Division. It was decided to give Chelsea one of the vacant places in the First Division. However, Norris persuaded the League Chairman to vote on the other club to join them. Arsenal won the ballot with eighteen votes. Tottenham Hotspur only got eight whereas Barnsley, who finished third in the Second Division in the 1914-15 season, received five votes. Many people were of the opinion that Norris had bribed his fellow chairmen in order to win the election. The system was obviously flawed and on merit both Barnsley and Wolverhampton Wanderers and even Tottenham Hotspur should have prevailed rather than Arsenal. However there was no real form guide as to the relative strengths of any club as no competitive football had been played for four seasons and the current strengths of individual teams would have been a mystery.
In the end Arsenal bought their way into the First Division in preference to more meritorious clubs. However, when the Football League resumed after the Great War, all teams resumed places held in 1914-15, except: Derby County and Preston North End were duly promoted from Division Two to Division One, Arsenal were elected from Division Two to Division One and Tottenham Hotspur were relegated from Division One to Division Two. Coventry City, Stoke and West Ham United joined Division Two from the Southern League, Rotherham County joined Division Two from the Midland League and South Shields joined Division Two from the North Eastern League. Glossop, who had financial problems, left from Division Two for the Lancashire Combination and Leicester Fosse changed its name to Leicester City.
The Leeds public were unaware of the problems going on behind the scenes at Elland Road and so were happy when the Football League fixtures recommenced after interruption of the First World War, when all League games had been suspended after the end of the 1914-15 season. City still had several of the players who were with City in the last season of competitive football. Some, like Arthur Price, Tommy Lamph and John Hampson, had played for City throughout the War and others like Mick Foley, Simpson Bainbridge, Billy McLeod, Ernie Goodwin, George Affleck, Charlie Copeland, Fred Croot, Willis Walker and John Edmondson had return after the Armistice, although some had played a few games when available from War duties.
There had also been some players who had joined City during the war. Right-Back Harry Millership had joined from Blackpool, Goalkeepers Walter Cook and Charlie Sutcliffe had come from West Yorkshire football, Wing half Frank Chipperfield had joined in 1914, but had never played first-team football, Utility player Arthur Wainwright had come from Tinsley WMC, Two Outside-Rights, Fred Linfoot from Smith's Dock, and Herbert Lounds from Gainsborough Trinity, Full-Back John Dunn had joined from Eccles Borough, Inside-Right Billy Kirton had joined from Pandon Temperance and Left Back Dick Roberts had arrived from Rhyl United. During the lead up to the season, Inside Right Billy Short, also from the same team as Billy Kirton, Pandon Temperance, arrived in May 1919, Centre-Half William 'Tot' Hopkins was bought from Sunderland in July 1919 for £100, Right-Back Bill Ashurst was signed from Durham City before the start of the season, Leeds-born local product, Outside Right Billy Pease was signed on, Inside Right George Stephenson was signed from New Delaval Villa, and Robert Wilkes and William Crowther were also on the books.
While City had signed George Stephenson, who like Billy Kirton, Billy Ashurst and Billy Pease went on to play for England, Herbert Chapman had wanted his other two brothers, but they chose to re-sign with Aston Villa in the First Division rather than Second Division City. He wanted Clem Stephenson to be the player round whom he would build a team that would find true greatness. He did achieve that when he became Manager of Huddersfield Town and with Clem Stephenson as his leader the club won an unprecedented three consecutive Football League Championships in the early to mid-twenties.
There were two long-standing Leeds City players on the move before the start of the new season. Fred Croot, who had given City sterling service for twelve years and played well over two hundred games joined Scottish club Clydebank. Charlie Copeland had never been a regular but had always been there in times of need. After seven years of service and a hundred appearances in peacetime and wartime, he was given a transfer to Coventry City. It was just thought to be a career move but later it would emerge there was a deeper reason. The War had not been kind to City in many ways, but classy full-back Fred Blackman was now in his mid-thirties and he was allowed to join Queens Park Rangers after guesting for Fulham for the duration of the War. Full-back John Dunn, who had never made a Football League appearance, was allowed to join Luton Town.
The season kicked off full of promise on 30th August 1919, with a trip to the Sea-side and a visit to Bloomfield Road to play Blackpool. City still had John Hampson, Tommy Lamph, Mick Foley, Arthur Price, Billy McLeod and Simpson Bainbridge from pre-War days and gave Football League debuts to Willis Walker, Harry Millership and Herbert Lounds, who had played for City in War-time, and 'New boys' William 'Tot' Hopkins and Billy Short, as they lined-up: Willis Walker; Harry Millership, John Hampson; Tommy Lamph, William 'Tot' Hopkins, Mick Foley; Herbert Lounds, Arthur Price, Billy Short, Billy McLeod, Simpson Bainbridge. There was a good crowd of 10,000 to see the first peace-time game and Billy McLeod was off to a flying start as he grabbed two goals. Unfortunately, his teammates did not do so well and City wentdown to a 4-2 defeat. In retrospect it was a hard task for a first game as Blackpool finished fourth at season's end.
The following Wednesday, Coventry City were the first visitors to Elland Road. City were unchanged and a crowd of 8,000 were there to see City get off the mark with a good 3-0 win. Billy McLeod bagged another two, which put the rest of the Division on notice that he was a man to be watched closely. Simpson Bainbridge got City's other goal with his first goal for the season. City were in mid-table in tenth place.
Arthur Price missed the next home game with fifth-placed Blackpool the following Saturday. Billy Short moved to Inside-Right to replace him and City welcomed back another player from the pre-war era as John Edmondson came in for his first game of the season at Centre-Forward. He was quickly on the goal trail, and it was his goal that gave City their second home win by the narrowest of margins, in front of an improved attendance of 10,000. City were seventh in the early season standings, two points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Bristol City.
United travelled to bottom club Coventry City for their Thursday fixture at Highfield Road without Mick Foley, but Arthur Price was able to return at Left-Half in his place. It was an unusual day to play football but Leicester City also played host to Tottenham Hotspur, so City were not alone. Spurs won that game by 4-2. City did even better as they scored four without reply, to be right up with the leaders in sixth spot, just two points behind the top team, Tottenham Hotspur, who had not dropped a point. Billy McLeod continued his goalfeast with another two, while John Edmondson and Simpson Bainbridge both got their second goal of the season, in front of a crowd of 12,000.
Just two days later they were back at Elland Road to play Hull City, who had not got off to a good start and were in fifteenth spot on three points. They attracted a crowd of 10,000 to Elland Road as City were unchanged from their trip to Coventry. Having won both their opening home games and not having yet conceded a goal at Elland Road, City supporters were expecting more of the same. The Tigers were not going to roll over and finished 2-1 winners, as Simpson Bainbridge got his third goal of the season, but it was not enough and both points went back to Humberside, as City slipped to tenth.
The vaguaries of the fixture list had seen the back-to-back pairing on a home and away basis of the teams and this meant that City were on Humberside the following week to visit Anlaby Road to try to get revenge against Hull City. Mick Foley was back and Arthur Price moved to Inside-Right at the expense of Billy Short. An 8,000 crowd were on hand to see the game and John Edmondson scored his third goal of the season as the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw, and City were down to twelfth.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were doing quite well and were above City on eight points in sixth place. So their visit to Elland Road was never going to be an easy game. John Hampson had dropped out and his place at Left-Back saw a first game of the season for George Affleck, another pre-War regular. There was a good crowd of 12,000 on hand to see what promised to be a close encounter. And so it proved, as the two teams fought out a 1-1 draw with Arthur Price getting his first goal of the season from the penalty spot. City moved up to equal ninth on eight points, six points behind runaway leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who still had a perfect record.
A trip to Molineux was City's reward, and no one would have been over-optimistic about their chances. Although John Hampson returned, City were without Centre-Half William 'Tot' Hopkins, Left-Half Mick Foley and Outside-Left Simpson Bainbridge. John Hampson filled in at Centre-Half for 'Tot' Hopkins, Arthur Price dropped back to Left-Half and Billy Kirton made his peace-time debut at Inside-Right, as did Ernie Goodwin at Outside-Left. Against the odds, City pulled off a fine 4-2 win, with a first goal of the season for Tommy Lamph and a superb hat-trick for Billy McLeod, as he took his tally to nine goals in just eight games, while Wolves replied with goals from Centre-Forward Wally Bate and England International Outside-Left Sammy Brooks. City eased their way into seventh position on ten points. They were five points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who had dropped just one point, but they were only two points behind the second and third teams, Birmingham and Fulham, one behind fourth and fifth teams Blackpool and Stoke and just behind sixth team Bristol City on goal average. Willis Walker, Harry Millership, Tommy Lamph, Herbert Lounds and Billy McLeod had played all eight games and John Hampson,'Tot' Hopkins, Simpson Bainbridge and Arthur Price had missed just one game. Billy McLeod had scored nine goals in his eight games while Simpson Bainbridge had got three, as had John Edmondson from his six games.
The Citizens of Leeds had no inkling of any problems and were happy with their team's win at Wolverhampton Wanderers and the close proximity to the leaders in the Second Division promotion race, so to be confronted, as they were, by the headlines of the Yorkshire Post on 7th October 1919, came as quite a shock:
"SUSPENSION OF THE LEEDS CITY CLUB
LORD MAYOR INTERVENES
CHARGE OF EXCESSIVE PAYMENTS TO PLAYERS
The alarmist rumours which have been bruited abroad regarding the Leeds City Football Club have come to a head. From to-day the club is virtually under suspension, though the Lord Mayor of Leeds (Mr Joseph Henry) has intervened, and is hopeful of saving the club.
The exact position of affairs at the moment is that the directors, Messrs. J. Connor, J.C. Whiteman, S. Glover and G.Sykes are prepared to resign the management of the club to Mr Henry if The League and Football Association will allow him to carry it on until a new company is formed.
There is a disposition in some quarters unfriendly to Leeds City to regard the club as already "down and out" but we have the authority of Mr. Henry for stating that he has great hopes of saving the club-and he is in a better position than anyone else at the moment to assess the club's prospects at their true value.
During the weekend Mr.Henry interviewed in Sheffield Mr. J.C. Clegg, the chairman of the Football Association Commission which has been holding the Leeds City Inquiry, and Mr. A.J. Dickinson, who is a member of the F.A. Council. Mr. Henry has pursuaded Mr. Clegg to call a further sitting of the Commission, which is to meet in Sheffield on Wednesday afternoon.
"I have very great faith," he explained to a "Yorkshire Evening Post" representative today, "that as the outcome of the proposals which I shall then put forward the drastic step of causing the permanent suspension of the club will not be carried out."
Meanwhile, it is a fact that Leeds City stand suspended. That arises because of the Non-compliance of the directors with an instruction to produce certain documents.
The history of the unhappy business which has brought the club so near to disaster that it can only be averted by the resignation of the active directors is soon told. C. Copeland, a Leeds City player, who was recently transferred to Coventry City, wrote to the Football Association in the summer making charges against the directors of excessive payments to certain players who assisted Leeds City during the war-time period.
Later, Mr.J.W. Bromley, a former director of the club, brought certain facts to the notice of the Football Association, but it is believed to have been upon the information of Copeland chiefly that the Football Association acted in the first instance in appointing a Commission of Inquiry.
When the Commission sat in Manchester last Friday week, important conclusions turned upon the production of certain documents. Some of these documents had been in Mr Bromley's possession, but, by agreement, they had been sealed up and handed to Alderman W.H. Clarke, the solicitor acting in the matter, to be kept in his strong room. The package was not to be opened except with the consent of all parties concerned.
Much importance was attached to those documents, and they were ordered to be produced, failing which the club were to be suspended as from today. The documents in Ald. Clarke's possession had not been produced.
Meanwhile, however, the Lord Mayor of Leeds (Mr. Joseph Henry), who was a director of the Leeds City Club during the late Norris Hepworth's chairmanship, has consented, in consideration of his past interest in football, to find a away of continuing the club which it is hoped will be acceptable to the authorities of the Football Association and the Football League.
If the worst happens-if, for instance, the Football Association Commission persists in their suspension of the club notwithstanding the resignation of the directors-Leeds City will have completed its career in English League football with the sensational victory which was gained by the team in their match at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
IF THE WORST HAPPENS
In this case, the vacancy in the Second Division would presumably be filled by the admissionof Burslem Port Vale, who were only beaten by one vote in the election at the annual meeting of the League. There is a disposition in some quarters to take that for granted. Indeed, it is announced, with some show of authority, that Port Vale are prepared to take over Leeds City's fixtures.
The rules of the League provide thay if Leeds City be permanently suspended, the transfer rights of the players will rest in the Football League. The players engaged in the club's service would not suffer any loss of wages, which would be guaranteed by the Football League out of the transfer fees."
The root of the whole situation was in the War Years and stemmed from two basic problems. The amateur status of all players as designated by the Football Association, which allowed for players to be paid their legitimate expenses and no more, and the disharmony amongst the officials of Leeds City during the War Years.
The disharmony began in the summer of 1916 when the Leeds City Secretary/Manager, Herbert Chapman, to help the War effort took up a senior Management position at the new Barnbow munitions factory at Barwick-in-Elmet between Crossgates and Garforth on the outskirts of Leeds. As he devoted all of his time to his new job, he handed the running of Leeds City to his assistant George Cripps, who took charge of Secretarial duties and then team selection duties.
This caused problems with the Chairman Joseph Connor, who, along with J.C. Whiteman, had selected the team to that point and it was Connor's opinion that Cripps was also the person to blame for the poor state of City's finances because of his incompetence and threatened to resign unless something was done about it. In 1917, Cripps was relieved of his book-keeping duties which were now to be done an accountants' clerk, but remained in charge of the team and correspondence.
City had made the Football League aware of its financial situation by were urged by the League Chairman, John McKenna, to carry on.
The friction which existed between the Chairman and George Cripps spread to the players, who he was also unpopular with. Before a Midland Principal Tournament game with Nottingham Forest, Captain John Hampson sent a letter to the directors stating that the players would go on strike if George Cripps travelled with the team. Chairman Joseph Connors, knowing the implications for the club managed to dissuade the players from such action, and so the uneasy peace continued.
It continued until the return of Herbert Chapman to his position of Secretary/Manager in 1918. George Cripps stepped down to his former position of Assistant, but was unhappy with the demotion and consulted his solicitor, James Bromley, a former Leeds City Director, to sue for wrongful dismissal. It subsequently was revealed by Joseph Connor that George Crippshad claimed £400 and told his solicitor that the Leeds City Board had made improper payment of expenses in controvention of the Football League edict. The allegations never became public and no names were named, but it left a lasting impression on the Elland Road club.
An agreement was reached between George Cripps, via his solicitor, and the Leeds City Board of Directors in January 1919. The agreement provided for Cripps to hand over all paperwork relating to the club, including his private cheque book, pass book and letters to and from various players, to the directors, Messrs. Connor and Whiteman in the offices of the Leeds City Solicitor Alderman William Clarke. The documents were duly handed over, placed in a strong box and locked securely away. Joseph Connor maintained that George Cripps gave a written undertaking not to disclose any of the club's affairs and his solicitor, James Bromley gave his word that the evidence would remain confidential. George Cripps was paid £55 in full settlement of his claim. However Joseph Connor's recollections did not tally with those of James Bromley's. The Solicitor maintained that he handed over a parcel of documents, given to him by George Cripps, to be held in trust by Alderman Clarke and were not to be opened without the consent of Connor and himself.
No matter which version was to be believed it was obvious that the evidence that was securely under lock and key was damning evidence. The mere fact that the City Directors were prepared to buy George Cripps' silence was an indication of their willingness to hide the truth from outside sources and only those within the club had an inkling of what was going on.
The problem may have remained under the carpet had it not been for a wrangle over the wages Full-Back Charlie Copeland might receive for the 1919-20 season. Copeland had joined the club from South Bank in August 1912 and had given the club good service but was never a regular first team player for very long but had amassed almost one hundred senior appearances in the meantime. The Board had offered him £3 10s for any weeks that he played for the Reserve team and considerably more should he make the first team. As he had received £3 per week for being a Reserve team player and £4 per week if he made the first team, in his last pre-war season he was not over-impressed and the Board suggested a free transfer might be the solution.
It was thought that Copeland would only be a back up player as Harry Millership had cemented his claim to the Right-Back position. One can imagine the Board's reaction when he demanded £6 per week, and backed that up by threatening to report the club and its Directors to the Football Association and the Football League for making illegal payments to players during the War. The Board were furious and, although there was a chance of Copeland carrying out his threat, they gave him a free transfer to Coventry City.
In July Copeland carried out his threat and informed the Football Associations of his allegations. A joint six-man Committe of the Football Association and the Football League was set up to investigate his claims. The coincidence of James Bromley being Copeland's solicitor and also George Cripps' was too much for the Directors, who believed that James Bromley had given Copeland the information about the documents that George Cripps had handed over. Joseph Bromley always denied having done so.
James Bromley revealed that Copeland had played for Leeds City throughout the War years as the club had promised to increase his Wages as soon as the Football League restrictions had been lifted. In 1918 the Football League had agreed a general increase in players’ wages of fifty per cent. The wage offered by the club to Copeland provided for £3 10s for thirty-nine weeks and no wages in the thirteen weeks of summer, which meant that he was getting fewer wages per annum than he did pre-war and nowhere near the £4 10s promised under the new Football League guide-lines. The Board refused to discuss the matter with Copeland and so he handed the matter over to his solicitor James Bromley.
The Joint Committee Inquiry was convened in Manchester on 26th September 1919 and Leeds City were ordered to attend to answer the allegations. The Joint Committee was chaired by the Football Association Chairman J.C. Clegg and the Football League representatives were Chairman John McKenna, Harry Keys and Arthur Dickinson. Leeds City were represented by Alderman Clarke. When asked to produce the relevant documents Alderman Clarke stunned the Committee by saying he did not have the power to produce the clubs books. He was ordered to produce them by 6th October 1919 or face the consequencies. It was generally recognized that several clubs had been guilty of illegal payments during the War years and no doubt if Leeds City had complied with the Committee's request they would have been treated relatively lightly, as had been the case when other clubs or individuals had admitted to their indiscretions. It was Leeds City's refusal to do so that incurred the Committee's displeasure and wrath.
Oblivious to the off the pitch events, Herbert Chapman and the players were carrying on the business of playing football and had a game to play at Wolverhampton. There was a rail strike and so the team hired a 'charabanc' for the trip to Molineux. With the game being won in grand style, the City bus started its trip back to Leeds in joyful mood and they gave lifts to several stranded people. Among them, strangely enough, was Charlie Copeland, who had played for Coventry City in their 2-1 home defeat by Leicester City the same day.
The Committee of Inquiry's deadline arrived but the requested documents did not. It was immediately announced that the following Saturday's home game with South Shields had been postponed. On 13th October 1919, the Inquiry Committee announced that Leeds City were to be expelled from the Football League and this meant that the club was now extinct. The official statement from the inquiry read, "After the repeated warnings of the President and the Committee they regard this violation of the financial regulations and the failure to produce documents vital to the full and complete inquiry so serious that the expulsion from the League can be the only fitting punishment." The Football League Chairman John McKenna added, "The authorities of the game intend to keep it absolutely clean. We will have no nonsense. The football stable must be cleansed and further breakages of the law regarding payments will be dealt with in such a severe manner that I now give warning that clubs and players must not expect the slightest leniency. Every member of the Commission was heartily sorry that Leeds had to be dealt with at all. We recognized that they had gone through troubled times before, they were a new club, that they had obtained a good holding in a Rugby area, and that the club had bright prospects, but our case was clear-Leeds were defiant and could only be defiant through one cause-fear of the papers giving away certain secrets."
The Football Association formally closed the club, leaving the Leeds City supporters numb with disbelief and the Leeds City players without a job and the City officials to face further punishment. Although there had been no concrete evidence of the alleged illegal payments, the silence of the Leeds City officials, whether to protect themselves or a misguided attempt to shield the players concerned, was akin to putting the noose around the club's neck. The attempted personal intervention by the Lord Mayor of Leeds did not sway the Committee's judgement and Leeds City slipped out of existence after just eight games of the 1919-1920 season. Five Leeds City officials were banned for life. Chairman Joseph Connor, his help in decision-making J.C. Whiteman, and other fellow Directors Sam Glover and George Sykes together, rather surprisingly, with Manager Herbert Chapman. The Board members promptly resigned, but Herbert Chapman appealed the decision on the grounds that he was not involved at Elland Road, but working at Barnbow, when the alleged payments were supposed to have been made. He was given a reprieve and later became Manager of Huddersfield Town and Arsenal and became acknowledged as one of the best Football Managers ever.
There were complaints from Joseph Connor that the club did not get a fair hearing and the Lord Mayor, Joseph Henry, felt that the team that replaced Leeds City, Burslem Port Vale, had brought undue pressure on the Inquiry Committee, but all to no avail.
Bob Hewison, who had been a guest player in the war period, was requested by the Committee of Inquiry to act as Secretary of the Club in the winding-up process. He had previously helped the club in a similar capacity while recovering from a broken leg he sustained in October 1918. He was helped in his work by Alderman Joseph Henry and Leeds Accountant W.H. Platts.
After due consideration, it was decided that the major item on their agenda was the sale of the players. The Football Association had promised to pay the players' wages until they could find new clubs. It was decided that the best way for the players to find new clubs was to have an auction. It was held at the Hotel Metropole in Leeds on 17th October 1919, and S. Whittam & Sons were the auctioneers. Representatives from thirty League clubs were present to bid for the players they wished to acquire. It was a humiliating experience as the players were sold off along with the club's nets, goal posts, boots, kit, billiard table, shower baths and physiotherapy equipment. The entire squad raised less than £13,000 with fees ranging from £1,250 to £100. The Football League, who organized the auction, insisted that no player should be made to play for a team that he did not want to, but as the players were looking to get back into action as soon as possible, the clubs had the whip hand.
The Yorkshire Evening Post, reviewed the happenings at the Metropole Hotel, in what had been bizarrely described as 'A Sale of Effects', it commented, "The tragedy of the Leeds City FC reached its most poignant step this afternoon when the players, many of whom have been regarded with familiar and ever-increasing interest by the Leeds football public, were called upon to choose clubs from those desiring their services." In what the paper described as 'a melancholy experience' they reported the prices as if it were some livestock auction.
Goalkeeper Willis Walker recalled the events of that sombre afternoon in October 1919, when the whole Leeds City players were sold to the highest bidder, shortly before he died in 1991, in his one hundredth year.
“It was a sad day because we had a fairly good side. There was Billy McLeod - a great finisher – George Law, Jimmy Speirs, George Affleck, John Jackson, Arthur Price, Tommy Lamph, and others. It was a great shame for the City of Leeds.” He said.
The City players had little idea of what fate lay in store for them as the drama unfolded behind the scenes.
“We were told that everything would be all right,” recalled Mr Walker, who lived in Bingley.
But as the situation became more serious, the news was broken to the players that City would have to be disbanded.
Mr Walker was lodging with a policeman in Beeston and he made his way down to the City Centre and prepared for the auction.
“We went to the Metropole. It was during the day, I think the bids were put into sealed envelopes and we were sold to the highest bidder.”
The following players were sold at the auction, to the clubs indicated, in order of generally accepted valuations:
Billy McLeod: Notts County: £1,250.
John Hampson: Aston Villa: £1,000.
Simpson Bainbridge: Preston North End: £1,000.
Harold Millership: Rotherham County: £1,000.
Willis Walker: South Shields: £800.
John Edmondson: The Wednesday: £800.
Thomas Lamph: Manchester City: £800.
Arthur Price: The Wednesday: £750.
William Hopkins: South Shields: £600.
George Affleck: Grimsby Town: £500.
William Ashurst: Lincoln City: £500.
Billy Kirton: Aston Villa: £500.
George Stephenson: Aston Villa: £250.
Herbert Lounds: Rotherham County: £250.
Frederick Linfoot: Lincoln City: £250.
Ernest Goodwin: Manchester City: £250.
Arthur Wainwright: Grimsby Town: £200.
William Short: Hartlepools: £200.
Francis Chipperfield: The Wednesday: £100.
William Pease: Northampton Town:
Walter Cook: Castleford Town:
Robert Wilkes: South Shields:
William Crowther: Lincoln City:
Other players also found other clubs as Mick Foley returned to Ireland and joined Shelbourne in 1920 and Goalkeeper Charlie Sutcliffe restarted with Rotherham County in August 1920.
The remains of Leeds City Football Club were ignominiously scattered in all directions.
Photographs of the Era:
Back Row: A. Stead (Groundsman), Charles Morgan, Jock McDonald, Harry Bromage, Austin, Harry Singleton, T. Thrupp (Director).
Middle Row: Bob Watson, Dick Ray, Gilbert Gillies (Secretary/Manager), Dickie Morris, Bill Clay.
Front Row: Fred Parnell, Fred Hargraves, Harry Stringfellow, Parnell, Jimmy Henderson, Tom Drain.
Back Row: R. Younger (Director), R.S. Kirk (Director), Charles Morgan, D. Whitaker (Director), Parnell, Dooley, Jock McDonald, Austin, Fred Walker, Harry Singleton, R.M. Dow (Director), George Swift (Trainer).
Middle Row: Gilbert Gillies (Secretary/Manager), Fred Parnell, Bob Watson, Fred Hargraves, Dick Ray, Dickie Morris, Bill Clay, Oliver Tordoff (Director).
Front Row: Roy, The City Dog, Harry Stringfellow, Tom Drain, Jimmy Henderson.
Back Row: Gilbert Gillies (Secretary/Manager), Charles Morgan, Fred Hargraves, Andy Clark, Fred Walker, Harry Bromage, James Freeborough, Dick Ray, Jimmy Kennedy, George Swift (Trainer).
Middle Row: Jack Whitley, Bob Jefferson, Stan Cubberley, John Morris, David Murray, Alf Harwood, John Lavery, Harry Singleton, Willie Murray.
Front Row: Fred Parnell, John George, Jimmy Henderson.
Back Row:Bob Jefferson, Stan Cubberley, Fred Hargraves, John Lavery, Fred Croot, Jimmy Henderson.
Middle Row:J. Broad (Trainer), J. Aldred, James Freeborough, Harry Bromage, Billy McLeod, Harry Kay.
Front Row:Jack Whitley, Tom Hynds, Fred Parnell, David Murray, Tom Tompkins, Bill Thomas, James Thorpe, Jimmy Kennedy.
Back Row: A.W. Pullin (Director), Gilbert Gillies (Secretary/Manager), Bob Jefferson, Tom Naisby, Jimmy Gemmell, Harry Kay, Fred Parnell, J. Broad (Trainer).
Front Row: Bob Watson, Fred Croot, Stan Cubberley, Tom Hynds, Billy McLeod, Bill Thomas, Jimmy Kennedy.
Back Row: W. Preston (Director), W.Robinson (Director), Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager), R. Shotton, W. Child, H.Williams, Herbert Pickard, David Murray, Jimmy Burnett, C. Simpson, A. Eagle (Director).
Upper Middle Row: T.Thrupp (Assistant Trainer), John White, Dickie Guy, Billy McDonald, Jimmy Gemmell, Sam McKeown, Harry Bromage, Tom Naisby, Jimmy Kennedy.
Lower Middle Row: David Dougal, Tom Rodger, Jock Watson, Adam Bowman, Tom McAllister, John Hamilton, Dickie Joynes.Front Row: Stan Cubberley, Billy McLeod.
Back Row: A. Stead (Groundsman), Jock Watson, McGowan, Ted Hamilton, Stan Cubberley, Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager), John White, David Murray, Sam McKeown, T. Thrupp (Assistant Trainer).
Middle Row: Billy McDonald, Tom McAllister, Jimmy Gemmell, Adam Bowman, Jock Hamilton, Tom Rodger, Jimmy Kennedy.
Front Row: Dickie Guy, Jimmy Burnett, David Dougal, Billy McLeod, Fred Croot.
Back Row: J. Chapman (Trainer), George Affleck, Tony Hogg, Harry Bromage, Tom Naisby, Tom Morris, David Dougal, C. McGowan, T. Thrupp (Assistant Trainer).
Middle Row: Hugh Beren, Tom McAllister, John White, Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager), Jock Watson, Jimmy Gemmell, Fred Croot.
Front Row: Ted Hamilton, Jimmy Burnett, Billy Halligan, Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, Harry Bridgett.
Back Row: J. Chapman (Trainer), Harry Bromage, John Harkins, Tom Morris, John White, Roberts, Tony Hogg, T. Thrupp (Assistant Trainer).
Middle Row: Fred Croot, Chapman, Tom Mulholland, Stan Cubberley, Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager), Harry Bridgett, Billy McLeod, Alec Creighton, George Affleck.
Front Row: Joe Enright, Mick Foley, Billy Gillespie, George Cunningham, Hugh Roberts.
Back Row:C. McGowan, Harry Bromage, Jimmy Gemmell, David Dougal, J. Chapman (Trainer), Albert Stead (Groundsman),
Back Middle Row:Oliver Tordoff (Director), John White, Herbert Pickard, Tommy Astill, Jimmy T. Horsley, R. M. Dow (Director), Tony Hogg, George Affleck, Tom McAllister, T. Thrupp (Assistant Trainer) J. Oliver.
Lower Middle Row:Haydn Price, Billy McLeod, Fred Croot, D. Whitaker (Director), J.Henry (Chairman), Stan Cubberley, Tom Morris, Jock Watson, Dickie Joynes, Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager)
Front Row:Hugh Beren, Tom Naisby, Jimmy Burnett, Hugh Roberts, Colin Stockton, Tom Mulholland, Harry Bridgett, Bill Halligan.
Back Row: S. Collins (Trainer), John Clarkin, Albert Stead (Groundsman), Sam Johnson, George Cunningham, Frank Heaney, Tony Hogg, Ted McDaniel, Les Murphy, Joe Moran, A. Roberts, Dick Roberts, William Briggs, Mick Foley, Jimmy Fortune, H. Harbourne.
Middle Row: Hugh Roberts, Tom Mulholland, John Harkins, Stan Cubberley, Frank Scott-Walford (Secretary/Manager), Tom Morris, Chris Kelly, Joe Enright, Fred Croot.
Front Row: Alec Creighton, George Affleck, Billy McLeod, Billy Gillespie, Harry Bridgett.
Back Row: A.J. Murrell (Trainer), A. Stead (Assistant Trainer), Mr J.C. Whiteman (Director), Jimmy Robertson, George Law, A. Roberts, Billy Scott, Tony Hogg, Tom Morris, Joe Moran, Billy McLeod, Mr J.W. Stead, Mr C. Hepworth (Director), Herbert Chapman (Secretary/Manager).
Middle Row: Dickie Roberts, Harry Bridgett, Joe Enright, Andy Gibson, Hugh Roberts, John Allan, Mick Foley, Fred Croot.
Front Row: George Cunningham, Jock Ferguson, Sam Johnson, Stan Cubberley, George Affleck.
Back Row: A. Stead (Assistant Trainer), Charlie Copeland, Urwin, Tony Hogg, Billy Scott, John Dunn, George Affleck, A. Stead (Groundsman) Dick Murrell (Trainer).
Middle Row: Herbert Chapman (Secretary/Manager), Ivan Sharp, Evelyn Lintott, George Law, John Hampson, Mick Foley, Divers J.C. Whiteman (Director).
Front Row: Davison, Simpson Bainbridge, Arthur Price, Billy McLeod, James Johnson, Jimmy Speirs, Fred Croot.
Back Row: George Law, J.C. Whiteman (Director), Tony Hogg, Fred Blackman, John Hampson, Mick Foley, Herbert Chapman (Secretary/Manager), Jack McQuillan.
Front Row: Dick Murrell (Trainer), Ivan Sharpe, John Jackson, Billy McLeod, Jimmy Speirs, Ernie Goodwin, Val Lawrence.
Back Row: Harry Sherwin (Sunderland), Charlie Copeland, Bob Hewison (Newcastle United), Alfred Robinson (Blackburn Rovers), Billy Hampson (Newcastle United), Levi Thorpe (Burnley).
Front Row: George Cripps (Secretary) Jimmy Stephenson (Aston Villa), Billy Moore (Sunderland), Jack Peart (Notts County), Arthur Price, Tommy Mayson (Grimsby Town), Dick Murrell (Trainer).
1917-18(Courtesy Keith Ellis)
Back Row: Unknown (Director/Committee Member), Dick Murrell (Trainer), Bob Hewison (Newcastle United), Harry Sherwin (Sunderland), Tommy Hampson, Tommy Lamph, George Cripps (Secretary), Herbert Chapman (Manager).
Front Row: J.C. Whiteman (Director), Unknown? 1, Harry Millership (Kneeling), Clem Stephenson (Aston Villa), John Hampson, Arthur Price, Billy Hampson (Newcastle United)(Kneeling), Unknown? 2, Unknown (Director/Committee Member).