Through the controversies of his management career seem to have set the tone of posterity’s overly harsh judgement on him, Don was no stranger to acrimony even in his early days at Leicester.
A teenage signing from City’s short lived North East nursery club, who was taken under Sep Smith’s wing and thought the basics of constructive inside forward play. Don was an early victim of the City crowd’s occasional propensity for giving stick to their own players, with his thoughtful style initially deemed ponderous by spectators wanting the ball delivered into the box rather more speedily. That said; he laid on two George Dewis goals on his wartime debut as a 17 year old, the first after only three minutes, to signpost his alertness.
A broken ankle in November 1947 interrupted his still self-confident playmaking progress, but he turned City hero with his efforts in the 1949 FA Cup run, culminating with his two semi-final goals against Portsmouth. It was a hefty blow to both player and club that he had to miss out on the Wembley showpiece after broken blood vessels in his nose almost cost him his life.
After this season it was agreed a move to Hull City with a £20 000 check shifting hands. He build his career further and alongside player manager Raich Carter learning the games finer points. Revie also had the pleasure of turning out as an emergency goalkeeper to concede an Arthur Rowley special in October 1950.
His career took of when he joined Manchester City and played at Maine Road of the next six years. He hit the headlines as the tactical architect of the so called “Revie Plan”, which represented a domestic response to recently rubbed-in lessons from the Hungarians.
Revie played a deep laying forward role in the 1955 and 1956 FA Cup finals, picked up the footballer of the year award in 1955 and won England recognition playing six times scoring four goals.
Revie later moved to Roker Park and Sunderland and from there to Leeds United, but none of those moves worked wonders, facing relegation from the top flight at both clubs. But at Leeds from the day he was appointed player-manager his life in football would again rise to the top.
Don Revie is famously known for restructuring Leeds United from a level two side to become on of the finest outfits of a football team ever to have played in European and British football. From his early joint playing/managing days taking charge in March 1961 until moving into full management in 1963 the progress was seen.
He led his uncompromising side through a lengthy catalogue of successes and near misses in League, Cup and European competitions. He was in 1974 appointed England manager, but shouldered much criticism for his safety first tactical approach and his legendary dossiers on the national side’s opposition, and was then accused of everything short of treason when secretly negotiating himself a move highly-paid coaching job in the United Arab Emirates from July 1977. The last few year of his life were blighted by motor neurone disease. He was portrayed by the excellent actor Colin Meaney in the 2009 feature film, “The Damned United”.
- Full Name: Donald George Revie
- Position: Forward / Midfield
- Date of Birth: 10.07.1927, Date of Death: 26.05.1989
- Birthplace: Middlesbrough
- Nation: England
- Caps / Goals: 6/4
- Major League Career:
- 1944-49, Leicester City (96/25)
- 1949-51, Hull City (76/12)
- 1951-56, Manchester City (148/35)
- 1956-58, Sunderland (64/15)
- 1958-62, Leeds United (76/11)