When the movie of David Peace's novel The Damned United hit cinema screens, it sparked controversy, with the family of Brian Clough and former Leeds players condemning the work of fiction.
Robert Endeacott has no concerns about stirring up such controversy – despite his book being endorsed by Peace.
Endeacott's latest novel, Dirty Leeds, is published later this month by North-East publisher Tonto Books.
The dark and brooding cover features the following quote from Peace: "Without pretension, honest and unflinching. Robert Endeacott has raised the bar to write a history not only of a football club and its manager, but also of a city and its people."
It's not a bad recommendation.
"David's been really supportive. I was asked to review his novel (The Damned United) for a couple of magazines and websites and I honestly think with The Damned United that he wrote a classic, one of a kind. I actually think he created a genre all of its own with the novel, it really is an amazing piece of work," says Endeacott.
Which begs the question, if it's a classic, why write another book which takes a look at the Leeds United time of the Sixties and Seventies, a similar era which Peace placed under such a microscope?
"There's no doubt that I was inspired to write Dirty Leeds after I'd read David's book. It was an idea that I'd thought about looking at before and reading his book reinvigorated the idea for me," admits Endeacott.
"But I wanted to take a really in-depth look at the tag of Dirty Leeds and why that reputation stuck with the team."
The Dirty Leeds moniker came about during the reign of the legendary manager Don Revie through the Sixties and into the Seventies, when the team was not above battling its way to a win through a decidedly physical approach to the game and a slapdash approach to the rules. It's a name the club has struggled to shake off.
It's also a name that die-hards like Endeacott will argue against until they are blue in the face.
He appears to forget that he is being interviewed when I confess football ignorance and ask about the Dirty Leeds tag. He is no longer an author talking about his book, but a Leeds fan who has practised the speech in which he defends his team many times during his lifetime.
"Clough started sniping at Leeds and Revie's record long before he arrived at the club. Revie's record was the best in Europe but you only ever heard about Dirty Leeds – never about that amazing achievement. There was some substance to the tag, but let's be fair – the team had been promoted out of Division Two and even Bill Shankly said it's a league you had to claw your way out of – Liverpool were hardly a team of ballet dancers at the time.
"There was a report done by the FA at the time which put Leeds at the top of a league of worst disciplinary records, which was another reason why we got the tag, but actually there were teams with much worse records."
Endeacott goes on, but the details of FA reports and team disciplinary records are a little wasted on someone with no knowledge of football. What is clear is that this is a man with a serious passion for the game – which appears to have translated on to the page of his latest novel.
Endeacott's debut novel, One Northern Soul, published by Wakefield-based publisher Route, was well received in 2002.
Buoyed by success, he went on to set up his own publishing company, Relish Books, and published his own follow-up to One Northern Soul, No More Heroes. The latest book is published by Tonto.
To get under the skin of the Dirty Leeds tag, Endeacott has immersed himself in research over the past two years, which means the weight of reality pins down the book – but it also means that it began as a much weightier tome.
"Fortunately, I had a brilliant editor, and she has managed to take about 500 pages off the book. It's still fairly substantial, but there was a huge amount in there," says Endeacott.
Although Endeacott, whose father spent 20 years as a groundsman at Elland Road, has written a book about his city's football team, Dirty Leeds also tells two other stories – a personal one, and one which encapsulates the city.
"I wanted to tell the story of this hidden history of Leeds as well as the team," says Endeacott.
He does this by viewing Leeds of the Sixties – the city and the football team – through the eyes of protagonist Jimmy O'Rourke.
Endeacott says: "He's a young boy growing up in the shadow of Elland Road, who worships the players of that era and desperately wants to play for Leeds one day."
Is the character perhaps based on the author?
"Just a little bit," laughs Endeacott.
Dirty Leeds, published by Tonto, Sept 24, is being launched at The Northern Monkey bar, the Headrow, Leeds, at 7pm, tickets from Waterstone's. There is also a signing event at Leeds Waterstone's, Sept 25, 1pm.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Yorkshire
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west