Euro Football

Leeds United’s treble chasing season remembered in football fan’s first novel

David Crozier with his book called A Mug’s Game

The freelance journalist describes his novel A Mug’s Game as a family adventure set in the 1969/70 season when United chased a first treble of League, FA Cup and European Cup titles.

Sadly, as Leeds fans know , it didn’t exactly go to plan.

David, 57, said: “All the football facts and figures included are absolutely true, although the basic story is fictional.

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“It came to me some years ago while chatting with a former colleague, Jon Smith, about the superstitions footballers and their fans have.

“Jon is a staunch Leeds supporter and always drank his tea out of a Leeds mug.

“I suggested that it would make a good story if a dad who supported Leeds gave his young son a Leeds mug and told him that every time he drank out of it an hour before kick off, the team would win – and they do.”

“Although the plan gets off to a disastrous start, it’s not long before the power of the Leeds mug begins to take effect and the boy is really sold on the idea.

“But what will happen when the team loses and he begins to realise the mug isn’t magic after all?”

The story traces Leeds’ FA Cup run that season and the more he looked into it, David said, the more fascinating the season became.

He said: “For example, that was the season they last used the toss of a coin to decide a European cup tie. Also, it was the year 136,505 people crammed into Hampden

Park for the second leg of Leeds’ European Cup semi-final against Celtic – still the highest attendance for a European football match.”

Although written with children in mind, the book has proved popular with adults too.

David said: “People who remember that season have told me they’ve really enjoyed reliving those times, even if it didn’t end well. That was not just a great Leeds team, but a great team full stop – one of the best ever.”

Although David admits he wasn’t a Leeds fan when he started writing the book, he’s always had a soft spot for the club and is delighted to see them back in the top tier where they belong.

David said: “Early signs suggest the club is in the Premier League to stay and it’s certainly all the better for them.”

A Mug’s Game by David Crozier is available from Amazon priced £1.99 for an eBook or £4.99 for the paperback.

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Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport.