Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Bremner: William John (Billy)

1985-1988 (Manager Details) (Manager Details) (Player Details)

Bremner was born in Stirling on 9th December 1942. He represented Scotland at Schoolboy level and was taken onto the groundstaff of Leeds United in December 1959. He made his League debut for Leeds at Chelsea on 23rd January 1960 as a right-winger with his father-figure and mentor Don Revie as his inside forward partner. It was a partnership that lasted fourteen years and saw Revie become Leeds United's most successful Manager with Bremner his able lieutenant and, from 1966, his captain. Bremner gained three Scottish Under-Twenty-three caps, scoring one goal and fifty-four caops at full level in which he scored three goals. He made five hundred and eighty six starts and one substitute in the League and a total of seven hundred and seventy two starts and one game from the bench. Which ranks him second behind Jack Charlton who started six hundred and twenty-nine League games and seven hundred and seventy-three games in all for United. His trophy cabinet contained a Second Division Championship medal (1964), an FA Cup Losers' medal (1965) and then as the Leeds Captain he led the side and gained two League Champions' medals (1969) (1974), an FA Cup Winners' medal (1972) and two Losers' medals (1970) (1973), League Cup Winners' medal (1968), whilst in Europe he picked up an European Cup Losers' medal (1975), two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Winners' medals (1968) (1970) and a losers medal (1967), and was part of the team that reached the European Cup-winners Cup Final but did not play in the loss to AC Milan. After his illustrious career at Elland Road came to an end he joined Hull City in September 1976 for 35,000, making sixty-one appearances and scoring six goals. In November 1978, Bremner effectively ended his brilliant playing career when he left Hull City to take over as Manager of Doncaster Rovers, where he played only in emergencies. He started twice and came on three times as substitute. Bremner built his teams on the basis of hard-working players rather than expensive talent. Within two years of his appointment, Bremner took Doncaster to promotion, but they were relegated in 1983 only to bounce back the following season as Division Four runners-up. Bremner had several good young players in his ranks, including Ian Snodin, a midfielder whom he sold to Leeds for 200,000 in May 1985. Within months, the pair linked up again when Bremner was appointed Manager at Elland Road, succeeding the loyal Eddie Gray and becoming the third consecutive former Revie player to take the post. He took over in October 1985 and started to dismantle the young delicate and skilled team favoured by Eddie Gray and replace them with robust hard-working players of his own choice. Before the start of the next season he had allowed Denis Irwin, Andy Linighan, George McCluskey, Peter Lorimer, Martin Dickinson, Scott Sellars, Tommy Wright, Terry Phelan and several promising Juniors to leave the club. He brought in Brian Caswell, Ronnie Robinson, Brendan Ormsby, David Rennie and David Harle, and their was briefly threats of relegation but United finished in fourteenth place and no improvement on where Eddie Gray's reign had ended. For the new season Bremner had bought Peter Haddock, Keith Edwards Jack Ashurst, John Buckley, Ronnie Sinclair and Russell Doig and after a steady start had moved up to third place in early November, but a poor spell saw them drop to seventh by early February and lose touch with the promotion contenders. Bremner bought Micky Adams, John Pearson, Bobby McDonald and Mark Aizlewood and fortunes changed for the better and soon First Division Queens Park Rangers had been eliminated in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and a strong League and Cup run started, although McDonald and Aizlewood were Cup-tied. United eventually finished in fourth spot in the League to enter the Play-off stage and were only beaten in extra-time at St Andrews, Birmingham, by Charlton Athletic on 29th May 1987 in the Play-off Final Replay and in extra time at Hillsborough by Coventry City in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Bremner was rewarded with an extended contract but after starting as promotion favourites in 1987/88 United got off to a poor start, winning only three of their first fifteen games and had dropped to eighteenth on the League ladder before a good sequence saw them in the top half by the New Year before improving to seventh by Easter, which was their final position but were never promotion contenders. Although once again ranked as promotion favourites United made a disasterous start to the 1988-89 season winning only one of their first six games and had slumped into the lower reaches of the League ladder only three points above the bottom club and deep in relegation danger. The board took drastic action and Bremner was sacked and once again Peter Gunby took over as Caretaker-Manager until Howard Wilkinson was appointed soon afterwards. So ended Billy Bremner's association with Leeds United and his devotion to the club he served so well could not be doubted. In July 1989, Bremner returned to Doncaster as manager, a job he held until he was dismissed in November 1991. He then earned a living on the after-dinner speech circuit. He died of an heart attack on 7th December 1997. He is honoured by a commemorative statue outside the Elland Road ground and was inducted into the English Hall of Fame in 2004.

CompetitionPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainst
League121502942163155
F.A. Cup7403119
League Cup82241315
Full Members' Cup310243
Play-offs520344
Total144593154195186