The true story of Don Revie’s three years as England manager, 1974 – 1977; the follow-up to Dirty Leeds.
July 1974, Don Revie leaves Leeds United to take over the England job from the sacked Sir Alf Ramsey. The departure upsets many Leeds people, he is The Don after all, while his England appointment is not exactly met with universal approval either. Already with enemies within the Football Association, the Football League, the game itself and of course the media, he needs to win over a lot of people, and quickly. Undaunted, he vows to restore the nation’s team to its former heights as well as win over all the doubters and the cynics. But it doesn’t take long for him to realise that there might be too many obstacles in his way to achieve the success he craves, and he can only look on helplessly as his beloved Leeds United slides alarmingly too.
Seemingly forever maligned as being too ‘professional’ and obsessed with money, Revie learns that two reasons for England’s downfall have been the lack of professionalism and the mismanagement of the sport by its penny-pinching and not entirely honest rulers.
Numerous reports and theories abound about Revie’s time as England manager: the players he selected or dropped, the tactics, the dossiers, money, why he resigned and if he was pushed, and the ‘deceitful’ manner of his leaving. DisRepute addresses the myths and rumours and allegations, to paint a clearer, more honest picture. Truth is stranger than football!
The main storyline of the book consists of the trials and tribulations endured by Revie’s England from 1974 to 1977, the High Court in 1979 is revisited too to recount Revie’s appeal case against the FA after their 10-year ban on him from club management after he walked out on England. Revie won the appeal case but took a harsh and unjust verbal beating from the judge nonetheless.
Working from numerous books and biographies, as well as (more importantly) previously unpublished notes written by Don Revie and Les Cocker, DisRepute – Revie’s England tells the truth about his exit from Leeds, his time as England boss and his departure to take charge of the United Arab Emirates national team. The story, which is told from Jimmy O’Rourke’s perspective, sets records straight, corrects myths and rumours and puts right certain ‘selective memories’.
Original review can be found here.