Outside the Box: Private investigators are busy following up some old Leeds

Steve Tongue
Saturday 01 October 2011 20:30 BST

Well-off Leeds United fans risk losing a few pounds this month, with two major dinners taking place in the space of nine days.

The first, on 20 October, is to raise money towards the £90,000 needed for a 7ft-tall bronze statue of Don Revie that is to be erected at Elland Road. Every player who appeared under his management from the dog days at the bottom of Division Two in 1961 to the First Division championship of 1974 are being invited, although it has taken the intervention of a firm of private investigators to locate some of them.

FinderMonkey Ltd, run by a Leeds fan and more accustomed to searching for missing relatives or tenants who have absconded, tracked down several "fringe" players, including Peter McConnell, who played in Revie's first game in charge, 50 years ago, before losing the No 4 shirt to one Billy Bremner; and even an England World Cup player, centre-forward Alan Peacock from Leeds' 1963-64 promotion-winning team, who had also slipped off the radar.

The second dinner is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of winning the First Division in the last season before the Premier League began. The organisers still don't know if Eric Cantona, the hero who became a hate-figure by joining Manchester United, will be attending.

Football's scissors movement

Mention of Peacock and Revie's good ol' boys offers an excuse to recall another former England World Cup striker, Allan "Sniffer" Clarke, who is immortalised in one of our favourite shop names: the barber's in Beeston, not far from Elland Road, called Snipper Clarke.

There is also a hairdresser's near non-League Blyth Spartans' ground called Blyth Smartens and one in Oxted, Surrey called Turnstyles which bills itself "The football barber shop" and trades under the slogan "short back and offsides".

The owners say it has a chart on the wall showing pictures of possible "styles", eg. the Ron Atkinson/Bobby Charlton comb-over, an Andy Gray/Bryan Robson bubbly perm, Jason Lee's pineapple and the Chris Waddle mullet. Customers have included Steve Coppell (now with a very short-back-and-sides), Chris Coleman and Matt Jansen.

Nice to see you, eventually

Following last week's item about clubs whose biggest rivals were in a different country, a Wrexham supporter suggests that Chester, not Shrewsbury, should be considered as his team's longest established enemy.

Our adjudicating committee points out that although Chester's Deva Stadium straddles the Anglo-Welsh border, the pitch is, like Wrexham, in the Welsh bit.

Reader Peter Ingram offers Monaco and Nice, recalling a day when he set off for a game, only to find it being played in a different country: "In 1982 I was working in Monaco and a few days after the death of Princess Grace I turned up at Monaco's ground expecting to watch a European Cup match against CSKA Sofia and discovered that the game had been transferred as a mark of respect to the stadium in Nice in France. After a rapid drive along the Grande Corniche I arrived at the game at about half-time."

He didn't miss any goals: it was 0-0.

Buffalo benefactor pays bills

Back in February we reported on the appropriately named American Bob Rich, one of the 500 wealthiest people in the world, who became a patron of Northern League club Bedlington Terriers after finding ancestors in the area.

His wife then bought him the title of Lord of Bedlington as a Christmas present and he paid for shirt sponsorship, a new pitch and scoreboard. This summer he invited the Terriers to Buffalo to compete in a tournament and learn about family-friendly marketing strategies he has built up with his three minor league baseball teams.

The story of the trip, on which the players become local celebrities, is told, "raging hangovers" and all, in a TV documentary tonight (BBC1, 10.55pm), available in the North-east and also on iPlayer.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; www.twitter.com/@stevetongue

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