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

Shaw: John

1971-1974 (Player Details)


Born: Stirling: 04-02-1954

Debut v Lierse SK (h): 29-09-1971

6’1” 13st 7lb (1971)

Shaw attended a Rugby-playing school in his native Stirling and had not played many games of football when he joined Leeds as an apprentice straight from school. As a already standing over six foot and a schoolboy basketball International for Scotland, he had all the features that made him a very promising goalkeeper. He turned professional in February 1971 and represented Scotland at Youth level. His only appearances for United were in European ties, and he was substituted at half-time in both. In 1971-72 Leeds faced SK Lierse in the First Round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The Flemish team were not expected to cause Leeds any problems and an understrength Leeds team won the away leg 2-0. Revie was faced with a packed fixture list and he took the opportunity to give Shaw his senior debut in a side. The team still included Internationals, Paul Reaney, Paul Madeley, Billy Bremner and Peter Lorimer, but his future Bristol City teammate, Jimmy Mann, also made his debut at inside right, in a side that was missing the injured Allan Clarke, Mick Jones and Eddie Gray. He also rested Johnny Giles, Jack Charlton and Terry Cooper and left Gary Sprake and Norman Hunter on the bench. The defence was patched up to include Terry Yorath at left back, John Faulkner at Centre-half and Paul Madeley at left-half, while up front Rod Belfitt, Mick Bates and Chris Galvin replaced the injured stars. Things seemed to be progressing according to plan up to the half-hour mark, when Lierse were handed three goals in six minutes to change the whole complexion of the tie. There was little Shaw could do as Paul Reaney deflected an own goal past him one minute after the half hour mark, but a defensive slip-up four minutes later allowed Peter Ressel to make it two. Just two minutes later the shell-shocked Shaw missed a cross and left Frans Janssens with an easy tap-in. His nerves were shot to pieces and though Gary Sprake and Norman Hunter replaced Shaw and Mann at half-time to try and to recover the 2-3 aggregate deficit, Lierse got a fourth with ten minutes on the clock to complete the humiliation. He was not given a chance to redeem himself until the 1973-74 season. Once more Leeds were suffering fixture congestion as they had progressed to the Second Round of the UEFA Cup. Leeds were up against Hibernian and after a 0-0 draw at Elland Road, United faced a trip to Easter Road. Leeds were well served in the goalkeeping department, but after David Harvey had finally won the goalkeeper's jersey, Gary Sprake could see no future at Leeds and had left for Birmingham City. United had signed David Stewart as Sprake's replacement, but they had not been able to register him in time for the game. David Harvey had been carrying a knee injury and Revie decided not to risk him. This left him with just two goalkeepers available, nineteen year-old John Shaw and a seventeen-year-old Glan Letheran. He called up the third choice John Shaw. This time there were no first-game nerves and he had kept a cleansheet but then was unable to continue at the start of the second half as he had broken two fingers in his right hand. Letheren too played his part by preserving the cleansheet through the rest of the one hundred and twenty minutes and then managing to help towards a 5-4 win in the penalty shoot-out. Shaw left United for Bristol City on a free-transfer in May 1974 and gave the Ashton Gate club tremendous service, making two hundred and ninety-five League appearances, and three hundred and fifty-seven in all matches, despite having to wait two years for his debut. It was not until 26th October 1976 that he finally made his League debut in a 0–1 defeat by Birmingham City at Ashton Gate. He was City’s regular keeper throughout their four season stay in the First Division and Jimmy Mann and Norman Hunter soon joined him at Ashton Gate. He played in all nine Anglo Scottish cup ties in the 1977-78 season as City went on to win the cup in a two legged final, winning the away leg 2-1 on 23rd November 1977 and drawing the home leg 1-1 on 5th December 1977 and in a 3–2 aggregate win over St Mirren. He almost repeated it two years later in the 1979-80 season, when he played in eight of the nine ties. But this time it was St Mirren that prevailed in the final, as they won 0-2 at Ashton Gate on 25th March 1980 and 3-1 at Love Street on 16th April for a 1-5 aggregate. He was there through the not so good times too, as City suffered consecutive relegations. They dropped from Division One in 1979-80, then Division Two in 1980-81 and then Division Three in 1981-82. However, he was not the regular keeper in the latter two. He was back as regular keeper for his last three seasons with City including their promotion year of 1983-84. He moved to Exeter City in July 1985 and he made one hundred and nine League appearances for them in his three years at St James’. During the latter part of his career he suffered severe hair loss through a nervous complaint originally brought on by the financial uncertainty at Bristol City in 1982, when eight City players cancelled their long term contracts to save the club from extinction. After leaving Exeter he played with Southern League side, Gloucester City, until 1989, making fifty-six appearances in 1988-89 and twelve more in 1989-90 for a total of sixty-eight. After retiring he lived in Bristol and worked as a painter and decorator.

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