OzWhite's 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
2018-22 - The El Loco Era: Back Where We Belong
2022-24 - Marsch back to the Championship
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

Gray: Edwin (Eddie)

1982-1985 (Manager Details) (Manager Details) (Player Details) (Second Leeds Manager Details)

Born 17th January 1948 in Glasgow, Eddie Gray had had a long and illustrious career with Leeds before being appointed Player-Manager in July 1982 to take over from his former teammate Allan Clarke, who had presided over United's relegation to the Second Division in the 1981/82 season. A Schoolboy Internationa, he made his Leeds League debut at the age of eighteen on 1st January 1966 and scored in the First Division game at home to Sheffield Wednesday. He was, in many people's opinion, the most gifted player ever to play for Leeds. Unfortunately his career was blighted by injury, but, injuries apart, he was always a regular member of the United team that swept all before them and had acquired a League Championship medals (1969), although injury robbed him of one in 1974, a League Cup winners' medal (1968), an FA Cup winners' medal (1972) and two losers' medals (1970) (1973), a European Cup Final losers' medal (1975), two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners' medals (1968) (1971) and a losers' medal (1967). He also gained twelve full Scottish caps, scoring three goals and two Under-Twenty-three caps, scoring twice. He had already starred in almost four hundred League games and more than one hundred more in the Cups and Europe. These were the attributes that Eddie Gray brought into his new position, giving a lie to Brian Clough's famous remark that if Eddie Gray had been a horse, he would have been shot long ago. Eddie Gray gave the club many years of service, enjoyment and knowledge after that. His inheritance was a pittance, the club being in severe financial difficulties after the expensive signings of Peter Barnes, his brother Frank, Kenny Burns and the swapping of Frank Worthington for Byron Stevenson. On the positive side he did inherit several experienced players in himself, John Lukic, Paul Hart, Arthur Graham, Kevin Hird and Trevor Cherry as well as the four already mentioned and Gwyn Thomas, Aidan Butterworth, Terry Connor, Martin Dickinson and Neil Aspin were young players with first team potential. However it was the selling of some of the older players and the buying of John Donnelly and the blooding of Mark Gavin, Tommy Wright and John Sheridan that set the tone for his shoe-string budget approach with the accent on promoting young players and open football. It produced an eighth spot finish, but worryingly not one win in the final seven games when at that time they were just seven points out of the promotion spots with a game in hand. The Juniors had won a twelve-team tournament in Italy against some of Europe's top sides such as AC Milan, Roma and Fiorentina. Tommy Wright was the tournament's leading goalscorer, Roger Eli was voted best defender and Denis Irwin best captain and Scott Sellars, Peter Swan and Nigel Thompson were others to shine. gray made only four League appearances in the 1983/84 season and the final one was on the last day of the season as United played Charlton Athletic at Elland Road and he wore the famous number 11 shirt for the final time. At the beginning of that season he had gone north of the border and had paid Celtic 161,000 for striker George McCluskey and Aberdeen 60,000 for midfielder Andy Watson but while they were regulars they failed to come to grips with the English game as United stumbled to tenth position mainly due to a poor start which saw just two wins in their first nine matches. A distinct lack of striking power did not help as no-one managed double figures but George McCluskey and Tommy Wright both notched eight and Andy Ritchie and Andy Watson both got seven. With David Harvey back to replace John Lukic and Tony Brown and Martin Dickinson in tandem in place of the more experienced Paul Hart and Trevor Cherry, the defence was average and with Peter Lorimer rejoining the club in mid-season he provided experience in midfield sufficient to allow the more regular introduction of the less experienced Neil Aspin and Denis Irwin towards the end of the season. The acquisition of the towering Andy Linighan and regular spots for Denis Irwin, Neil Aspin, Tommy Wright, John Sheridan, Peter Lorimer, Frank Gray Scott Sellars saw United off to a flyer in the 1984/85 season, winning their first four fixtures. It gave false hope but with Gary Hamson and Andy Ritchie establishing themselves and Mervyn Day and Ian Baird being bought in the second half of the season, United were inconsistent, with a midseason slump and finished well off the pace in seventh position. While inconsistent, Gray had built the team into a formidable force with the acquisition of the young England Under-Twenty-three International Ian Snodin from Doncaster Rovers for 250,000 and started the 1985/86 season with a team that looked capable of promotion. Unfortunately, after five games they had not produced one win and had only two points to show for their efforts and were almost bottom of the table. Gray had pulled that disasterous start around and had them sitting comfortably in midtable after ten games but still out of touch with the top three. A visit to near neighbours Huddersfield Town brought a 3-1 defeat and saw Town move into seventh place leaving United fourteenth and eight points behind the promotion spot. Gray was shown the door'by mutual consent'on 11th October 1985, along with his assistant Jimmy Lumsden. The move caused outrage among the fans and caused Brian Woodward to resign as a Director after the board reached a 6-2 decision. There were further repercussions as some of the players wept openly when told of the decision and Peter Lorimer gave a letter of condemnation to the board on behalf of the players regarding the timing and handling of the announcement but led the team to a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Elland Road the following day, when coach Peter Gunby was placed in temporary charge. At the game the fans demonstrated and called for the resignation of the chairman Leslie Silver, but to no avail. Gray showed no bitterness and bowed quietly out of Elland Road to end the first chapter of his association with Leeds United. He played for a while at Whitby Town and then in started the 1986/87 season as coach with the Middlesbrough Reserve and Youth sides. He was appointed Rochdale Manager in December 1986 and saved them from near certain relegation before he became Manager of Hull City in June 1988 but was sacked in May 1989. He went back to Whitby Town in September 1989 but quit in May 1990 to concentrate on outside business interests. He started his next chapter with Leeds United when he joined the Leeds coaching staff in the 1995 close season.

F.A. Cup81431012
League Cup125251817