Leeds United have a long and vibrant history. 2019 sees their 100th anniversary as a football club. On the brink of being promoted to the top flight of the English football league, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to take a look through the archives and the times Leeds United have won the league.
Leeds United have been finished top of their respective leagues a total of 6 times in their 100 years as a football club. They’ve achieved success in every tier of the football league, apart from the Premiere League – their greatest success was winning the top spot of Division 1 three times. First in 1968-69 and secondly in 1991-92, where they were widely considered the best football team in England. As well as league success, Leeds have also won the FA cup once, the league cup once and a number of other less prestigious tournaments.
In this roundup, I’m taking a look at the years where Leeds United have been crowned champions.
Division 2 – 1923-24 – 1st
Just four years after they formed as a club, Leeds United proved they were a team to watch when they came top of Division 2. Although the structure of the English league is unrecognisable in the modern day – it was an undeniable achievement. Even back then, they were getting big crowds with an impressive average attendance of 16,313. Perhaps their most celebrated player in this day was Jack Swan who was top goal scorer of the season with 18 goals. They were promoted to Division 1 for the following year, and although they only spent three seasons there, it helped catapult their average attendance by over 5,000.
Division 2 – 1963-64 – 1st
Quite a few years passed before Leeds would achieve the top position again. However, they did achieve several promotions in the years in between their success. Having been in and out of Division 1 and 2 for some time, in 1963-64, they excited an average attendance of 28,723 week in week out with only three losses throughout the whole season. Albert Johanneson and Ian Lawson tied for top goal scored with 15 goals a piece. The years that followed were some of the best in Leeds’ history and the two seasons after this, after only just being promoted, they had two consecutive finishes in 2nd place in Division 1.
Division 1 – 1968-69 – 1st
After being promoted in 1965-66, Leeds United were on a hot streak, and they didn’t spend a year outside of the top four for 4 seasons. In 1968-69, they achieved the highest accolade in the English football world and won Division 1. Average attendance for the season was a whopping 34,424 – which is more than they achieve in the present day! Only losing 2 games throughout the whole season, the top goal scorer for the season was the now legendary Mick Jones who planted 17 goals in the net. Largely considered as the golden era of Leeds United, it wasn’t long until they achieved the height of success once again.
Division 1 – 1973-74 – 1st
After their last success – Leeds spent the next four years hovering around the top spot. In the 1973-74 season after narrowly missing out a number of time,, they were crowned champions once again. On the squad was lead by Mick Jones who was the top goal scorer of the season with 17 successfully finished goals. Attendance was at record highs in that year, with over 37,000 people regularly filling the stadium in support.
Division 2 – 1989-90 – 1st
After the glory days of the sixties and early seventy’s, Leeds went through something of a dry spell. Falling down the table of Division 1, in 1981 they were relegated back to Division 2. It wasn’t for another 7 seasons until they’d be making football headlines under stable and quality leadership that they were back at the top. Certainly the squad worked hard to get to the top of Division 2 and gain promotion to the top flight, but their rise in such a short timescale is now legendary. That year, Gordon Strachan planted 18 goals to be named top goal scorer and attendance was at an average of 26,865.
Division 1 – 1991-92 – 1st
Shortly after they were promoted to the top flight of the football league, Leeds stunned football fans by only taking two seasons until they were crowned league champions once again. In the 1991-92 season, they only lost 4 games, and the top goal scorer was Lee Chapman. The year after, the Premier league as we know it today was formed. However, over the next 10 years they jumped around the table, reaching a peak of 3rd position in 1999-2000.
Unfortunately, since then Leeds has had a rocky ride – falling as far down as League 1 and playing against teams with far smaller followings and grounds. However, in 2019, it’s looking likely that Leeds might once again be catapulted back into the limelight as they seek to be promoted to the Premier League. I’m watching this space closely and will hopefully have another league win to add to the list shortly!