The day minnows Colchester shocked Revie's mighty Leeds

As Colchester prepare for their visit to Elland Road this weekend, Barry Foster, the Yorkshire Post's football correspondent from 1968-95 looks back at one of the biggest shocks in football history.

WE are, as Frank Sinatra might have put it, in the wee small hours of the morning when the whole wide world is fast asleep. It is Saturday, February 13, 1971, and in around 13 hours little Colchester United of the Fourth Division will be looking to become the biggest giant-killers since Jack was around.

We are sitting in the lounge bar of a comfortable hotel in Clacton-on-Sea. Don Revie has put the jacket of his favoured match day deep blue suit on the back of a nearby chair and has his feet on a low drinks table, waiting. The toe of one of his navy blue socks has worn through but the manager of Leeds United is wearing the outfit he always wears on match days, nothing will change that. Beside him he has a small brandy glass containing his choice drink of Courvoisier.

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We are waiting in his side's overnight headquarters for back-up striker Rod Belfitt to arrive. We do not know it, of course, but it is midway through what is going to turn out to be one of the most testing 36 hours of the season for the team acknowledged as probably the best in Britain and arguably the best in Europe.

Belfitt should be here any moment. He is on his way by taxi from West Yorkshire, urgently summoned by Revie because his most expensive signing Allan Clarke has gone down with a temperature of 105F and as things stand the free-scoring forward is most unlikely to be ready to play this afternoon when the hot favourites to win the FA Cup take on minnows Colchester on their tight and tiny pitch 19 miles or so down the road.

About eight hours ago the Leeds party had flown into nearby RAF Wattisham in their charter aircraft. There was no Billy Bremner on board, an ankle injury had ruled out the inspirational captain, but the rest of the big names were there and they could not have missed the airmen's huge blackboard which announced the upcoming cup-tie would result as follows: Colchester 2, Leeds United 0. Nor could the League leaders, as they walked across the tarmac, miss the two Lightning jets, which somehow emphasised the scoreline as they roared into the sky.

Clarke had been quiet and reserved on the plane and on arrival at Clacton, Les Cocker, the Leeds trainer, had taken the England international's temperature. That resulted in a local doctor being quickly called in and the SOS to Elland Road for Belfitt being put into operation.

In the event Clarke makes it onto the pitch after all and Leeds have an all-star line-up of internationals, Bremner apart, on view. The expected progress should be straightforward. But en route to ground on the Leeds coach I sit beside England right-back Paul Reaney who, though acknowledging the strength of his side, warns: "This match is not as straightforward as it looks." Too true.

Inside the little stadium packed with 16,000 fans the atmosphere is electric. There has been so much media interest, too, that along with a string of colleagues I find myself sat in an "overflow press box" on the touchline just a few yards from Revie and Cocker and, not for the first time at Leeds's big games both in England and on the Continent, parked beside a doyen of the sports writing world in Geoffrey Green of The Times.

By the 24th minute Ray Crawford, Colchester's former England centre forward, has scored twice and when Dave Simmons puts Colchester three ahead 10 minutes into the second half I turn to Green and say: "The's trouble dahn't t'mill now Geoffrey." It is a phrase he is not familiar with but it tickles him enough for him to use in his Monday report.

Leeds, as the record shows, pull two goals back but Colchester write a new chapter of glory for themselves and the little clubs and are worthy winners. It is a real shock to the system for the Goliath of the day but for a team not unfamiliar with superstitions it is the 13th of the month after all. What price Colchester repeating the feat tomorrow?