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

Bates: Michael John (Mick)

1964-1976 (Player Details)


Born: Armthorpe, Doncaster: 19-09-1947

Debut v Hartlepools United (h) (League Cup): 22-09-1965

57 10st 7lb (1975)

#67 in 100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever

Born in Armthorpe, he attended Danum Grammar School, becoming a Yorkshire Schools player, who had trials for England. He signed for Leeds in September 1964 after serving his apprenticeship. Maybe Mick Bates was too modest for his own good. A neat and stylish left-sided midfielder, unquestionably of First Division calibre, he spent twelve years at Elland Road in the shadows of Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles, playing as a stop-gap, though often with distinction when called upon because of either injury to his mentors or Don Revie's calculated game plan. However well he might perform, the equable Bates, who played over one hundred and fifty times in all competitions, generally accepted that he would be restored to the Reserves when Leeds United's master schemers were fit. It was not his way to knock on the Manager's door in a fit of pique when up the teamsheet went and he saw his name was excluded. How Bates might have developed if he had chosen to leave Leeds is open to question. He could have commanded a regular First Division spot elsewhere, and United turned down one such offer of 100,000 from Southampton, but he remained loyal to Leeds. While an excellent passer of the ball, he lacked, despite his best efforts, the quality and vision of Bremner and Giles, though the latter helped iron out faults in Bates' game, among them a tendency to chase the ball around the field and become exhausted long before full-time. Mick Bates also scored remarkably few goals for a midfielder. He scored just four in one hundred and twenty-five League appearances. Bates' contentment at merely being part of English football's finest squad and the lack of a mean and hungry streak confined him to the fringes of great things. Not being noted as a goal-scorer, the one he got in the 2-2 draw at Juventus in the First Leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final of 1971 was priceless because with his first kick, he scored an away goal, which eventually ensured that United lifted the trophy on the away goals rule. In the 1973-74 championship season, he missed out on much of the run-in after tearing his cartilage on an icy pitch on 1st December 1973 in a 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers at Elland Road. He finally recovered and was back in the side early in the 1974-75 season, but damaged the same knee in a pre-match warm-up. He played on through that game, but the damage had been done and he was out for the rest of the season. He was poised for a comeback in a pre-season game that summer, but his knee went again and he had a final operation which revealed his cartilage had been split across the middle. So, it was back to the physiotherapist to recover, and he didn't return to the first team until February 1976, two years after the original injury. He served United for twelve years and was a vital cog in the footballing machine that Don Revie had assembled and kept together. However, as Revie's great side disintegrated in the mid 1970's, Mick Bates went with it, transferring to Walsall in June 1976 for 25,000, where, still only twenty-nine, he became captain. He stayed for two seasons, scoring four goals in eighty-five League appearances, including one as a substitute, before returning to Yorkshire and Bradford City in June 1978 for 20,000. After scoring once in fifty-four League starts and two more from the bench, he returned to his hometown team, Doncaster Rovers, in June 1980. He made his debut in the first game of the 1980-81 season, as a substitute, in a 0-3 defeat at Port Vale on 16th August 1980. His first start came in the 2-0 win over Darlington at Belle Vue, three days later. He stayed at Doncaster until June 1981, when after only three League starts and one substitute appearance, he joined former Leeds team mate Rod Belfitt at Bentley Victoria and later played for Worksop Town. He lived in Bentley, working as a steward of a Working Mens Club. He then ran his own Insurance business for twenty-one years and retired in 1999.

League 106/194
F.A Cup 10/41
League Cup 9/81
Europe 26/93