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Leeds United v Man United, 1968-69: Video Flashback

Today’s video flashback is from the late 1960s when two quality teams, Leeds United and Manchester United, faced each other at Elland Road.

The video footage is interesting for several different seasons. It’s in black and white. Plus you get to watch the opening of the show for a program that’s simply titled “Football” with its title music that sounds like it’s going to be the Match Of The Day theme but quickly transpires into a different song.

But for me, it’s not the stars that are on display during this game that are eyeopening, it’s how drab and uneventful the first 10 minutes of the game are and how quiet the crowd is. It just goes to show that even in the late 60s, crowds could be quiet too until Leeds broke through and went on the attack and you could hear the sound of the crowd revving.

Back to the stars, there are a ton on display here including George Best, Bobby Charlton, Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer, Eddie Gray, Johnny Giles, Denis Law, Paddy Crerand, Nobby Stiles and others.

The game was important for several different reasons. Leeds United beat Manchester United 2-1. Leeds, managed by Don Revie, went on to win the league that season. But Man United, managed by Matt Busby, had different fortunes. The above game was played on January 11, 1969. Three days later, Sir Matt Busby quit as coach but agreed to stay on as general manager.

Also of special note is the commentator during the game which was a young Barry Davies.

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  1. will

    September 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Why the straw at the end of the goal line?

    • The Gaffer

      September 8, 2009 at 6:51 am

      Before the days of underground heating or plastic covers for football pitches, clubs used to lay straw over the pitch before heavy snows came — to protect the pitch and prevent it from becoming frozen. Then a few hours before the game was scheduled to start, they would move the straw off the pitch.

      The Gaffer

  2. Stephen

    September 7, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Both teams lined up in a 2-3-5 formation.

    Fantastic talent in their day but makes you wonder how many would make it in today’s premier league.

    Funniest commentator comment re Nobby Stiles “a certain amount of invective coming from his mouth”

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