Six years before I joined Yorkshire Television as a sports researcher the studio that would become my second home for many years, studio 2, was the venue for one of the greatest footballing showdowns in the history of the game.
Brian Clough had been manager of Leeds United for the infamous 44 days. When he was sacked my bosses at YTV had the idea of getting Brian Clough in studio. And to ask his predecessor Don Revie to join him. Cash persuaded them to face off.
Revie was a legend in Leeds. You criticised him at your peril. A decade later I would produce a programme called ‘Standard Bearers’ which featured Don Revie. He stormed out of the recording after presenter Richard Whitely questioned him more than once about the manner in which Revie left the jos as manager of England. Revie called Yorkshire Television Managing Director Paul Fox to say he would never again appear on YTV. He kept that promise. But that’s another story.
In 1974 the soon to be Labour MP Austin Mitchell presented local Yorkshire Television programmes along with Whiteley. In those days Austin was the main man and he got the gig to host this fiery exchange between Clough and Revie. Featured in the movie ‘The Dammed United’ starring Michael Sheen, I think the original showdown is more compelling than the acted version.
It remains one of the favourite clips of sports nut and TV critic Martin Kelner. His new book ‘Sit Down and Cheer’ features this interview. The book is an excellent record of the history of sport on TV. But is much more than that. It is a real page turner. Full of wit and wisdom and containing stories and facts that were new even to me – someone who has watched and produced countless hours of sport on television over many decades.
His book also remembers this 1970 on air argument between Malcolm Allison and Alan Mullery.