Player name in full: Donald George Revie
To/from dates: 1951-1956
Number of appearances: 178
Goals scored: 41
Biography and City Career:
Don Revie was born in Middlesbrough on 10th July 1927. After playing for Newport Boys’ Club and Middlesbrough Swifts as a youth, Revie signed professional forms at the age of 17 for Second Division Leicester City, making his debut for them in 1946.
Don Revie signed for City in October 1951 for a reported fee of £25,000. Unfortunately, City struggled for the next 3 seasons and Revie doubted his decision to join the Blues. Manager Les McDowall and his backroom staff had been working on a new tactic with the Reserve team. This involved playing a deep-lying centre forward and was based on the approach used by the very successful Hungarian national team of the early 1950’s. He considered Revie to be a perfect fit for this role as a midfield schemer who was prepared to roam all over the field. The tactic was a revelation and quickly became known as ‘the Revie Plan’.
With ‘the Revie Plan’ the Blues reached the 1955 F.A. Cup Final but lost 3-1 to Newcastle United.
By the beginning of the 1955-56 season there had been a major fallout between Revie and McDowall resulting in a 14-day suspension for Revie. However, despite only featuring in 23 league games during the season, Revie was selected for the FA Cup final against Birmingham City, which City won 3-1 at Wembley.
However, Revie still did not see eye-to-eye with Les McDowall and on 3rd November1956 played his final game for City before moving to Sunderland for a fee of £24,000.
Don Revie was the first City player to be awarded the Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1955.
Despite McDowall’s tactic being known as ‘the Revie Plan’, Don was the first to acknowledge that it was not his idea!
After several years at Sunderland, Revie became player-manager at Second Division Leeds United in 1961. During his 13-year tenure at Elland Road, Revie led Leeds to the Second Division Championship (1964), First Division Championship (1969 and 1974), the FA Cup (1972), the League Cup (1968) and the Inter City Fairs Cup (1968 and 1971.)
This period of success eventually led to Revie being appointed as the England manager in 1974. However, he struggled to reproduce his domestic success with the national team and with England on the brink of elimination from their World Cup qualifying group, Revie tried to quit his position in 1977. When the F.A. discovered that he had secretly travelled to the United Arab Emirates to negotiate a lucrative, 4-year deal for himself, he was promptly sacked and suspended from domestic football for 10 years.
Revie coached the U.A.E. national team until 1980, after which he took several coaching roles in the Middle East before returning to England in 1985. He never worked in football again before retiring to Scotland.
Don Revie died in Edinburgh in 1989 after battling Motor Neurone Disease for several years.