The whole tale about Revie’s ‘dirty’ side

There is a growing list of Leeds writers inspired by the city’s football team. Robert Endeacott explains why his name’s been added to the list.

In 2009 my novel Dirty Leeds, was published by Tonto Books.

My latest novel, published by PDG Books, might be recognised by anyone who read Dirty Leeds.

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After Extra Time (Dirty Leeds Uncut), published this month, is actually the heftily extended version of Dirty Leeds.

I call it the director’s cut. Why am I bringing out this new version? Am I mad or conceited or both?

Well the simple, honest answer is that I always wanted to see my original version in the shops as it contains much more content and is a fuller, more rounded story. I’ve returned 47,000 words to their rightful home in the new version. In technical terms that equates to what we call in the business a boat-load. And to answer my other question, I don’t think I’m mad or conceited, just very keen to get the original work out there in its entirety.

The main protagonist in the story is the fictional Jimmy O’Rourke, a local lad with a passionate ambition to play for Leeds. His ascent coincides with that of Leeds manager Don Revie in the ’60s.

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I wrote Jimmy’s story as if it were my own, though he was “born” in 1950 while I was born in 1965. Writing the life story of a football-mad, autograph-hunting, Beeston-born Leeds fan wasn’t too difficult, of course. For most boys brought up in a similar era, hopes and dreams to play for Leeds were hardly unusual.

It is true to say, though, that Jimmy O’Rourke was a far better player than Robert Endeacott ever has been, much as it hurts to admit.

After Extra Time (Dirty Leeds Uncut) is a mix of fact and fiction, with the story being told from Jimmy’s perspective. In this latest version much of the personal story has returned, together with many controversial aspects surrounding Revie’s Leeds.

I explain why the tag ‘dirty Leeds’ came about (basicially, it stemmed from an ambiguous FA report in 1964 saying Leeds had the worst disciplinary record in the entire League. They didn’t. But then, this is a fairly biased die-hard Leeds United fan writing). There is more detail too concerning Revie’s personality. I go into things like his near obsessive superstitiousness and his tendency to focus on opposing teams’ strengths rather than consider his own team’s super strengths.

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Also, I am careful to make clear I try not to shy away from the various allegations and accusations aimed at Revie and the club. You only ever hear the jibes and digs against the club, from writers and commentators who I think rarely, if ever give, a balanced view.

Never trust the opinion of anyone with a grudge – I’m afraid as a Leeds fan through and through, that’s a motto that I carry with me.

Yes, I am aware that what follows might be a little biased towards my team – but not one single allegation against Revie has ever been proven, but that never stopped the snipers having a go. English football has always been murky and the Leeds players were hardly angelic, but dismissing them as dirty is tantamount to calling the Sistine Chapel ceiling a painting by numbers job.

Another reason for releasing this book is that I wanted to do something for a good cause – 10 per cent of sale price of the book goes to Candlelighters, Yorkshire’s children’s cancer charity. Since the loss of my mother, Moyra, in August 2011, I wanted to do more than just write (hopefully) entertaining books, I wanted to do something good.

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A huge inspiration for writing After Extra Time (Dirty Leeds Uncut) was John Reynolds, a great family friend and former head groundsman at Elland Road, who also died earlier this year. This book would be very different without John’s input, and dare I say it, it wouldn’t be half as good either. I’m glad to get this version out there.

The books Leeds United inspired

The Damned United: David Peace’s internal exploration of what was going through the mind of Brian Cough during his short, tumultuous reign.

Promised Land: Anthony Clavane charts the history of the city through its football club and immigration.

After Extra Time (Dirty Leeds Uncut) £8.99 and 10 per cent of sale price is going to Candlelighters. Available from Waterstones bookshops as well as directly from the author’s website on

£2 off via the website for all YEP readers: visit and quote YEP 170812 when getting in touch.