Posted by sean on March 27, 2009 at 10:16 pm in Leeds United, Movies with No Comments


As a Leeds fan, I thought it was my duty to go and watch the Brian Clough/Leeds United film, The Damned United. So, after work, I went straight to town for a late afternoon screening of the film.

After sitting through half an hour of adverts – most of them horrible, involving bar tenders with split personalities telling you not to drink and drive; people carrying the names of STDs on their underwear; and a man who keeps seeing a run over boy wherever he goes (will someone give that kid a proper burial?), the film began.

The film focuses on Brian Clough’s infamous 44 day stint at Leeds United. Clough had just won the league with Derby and, despite a hatred for the club, joined Leeds, who, at the time, were the biggest club in England – as large as Manchester United are today (how the mighty have fallen).

The film is set in 1974 – before my time, but as a football and Leeds fan, I have been made more than aware of the infamous events of those 44 days. I therefore was very excited to see the film.

To cut a long (or 44 day) story short, Clough didn’t do very well at Leeds – a lot of this down to his own, personal mistakes – strange for a man who would go on to have such a successful career in European football.

Some observations from the film
– Brian Clough was nothing without his assistant, Peter Taylor (who he didn’t bring to Leeds)
– Instead of Lucozade at half time, players would have an orange and a couple of cigarettes
– Clough hated Leeds with a passion. This probably led to his downfall at Elland Road
– Don Revie, who left Leeds to manage England (and failed) should have stayed to build on his success, allowing Clough to get the international job.
– I loved the part in 7-a-side where Johnny Giles went 2-footed, studs up, on Clough – hahaha!
– How many other League One clubs have their own international feature film? Leeds United – just a small club…

I am pleased to say Brian Clough, Don Revie, Leeds United and Derby County, all come out of the film in a very positive light, despite some of Clough’s relatives reacting angrily to the plotline.

I really liked the film. You don’t have to be a Leeds or Derby fan to enjoy it – you don’t really have to follow football, although if you hate the sport, it probably is best to avoid.

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