Born in the Beeston area of Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire Madeley signed for Leeds from non-league Farsley Celtic in May 1962 and made his debut for Leeds in January 1964, following injuries to Freddie Goodwin and Jack Charlton, and became a regular in the team from 1966 onwards.
Madeley was arguably the most versatile of players – in his Leeds United career, he played in every position on the pitch except goalkeeper and wore every shirt from No. 2 to No. 11 (and occasionally No. 12) as a result. His natural ability to adapt to a different role on a frequent basis meant that he was often in the side chosen by manager Don Revie at the expense of a ‘specialist’ in that position, though the majority of the time there was a player either injured or suspended whom Madeley would replace – usually in defence.
However, Madeley was utilised in attacking positions when Leeds won their first major honours under Don Revie; in the 1968 Football League Cup Final, Madeley wore the No. 9 shirt (striker) in the 1–0 win over Arsenal, whilst in 1971 he scored the crucial away goal against Juventus which helped Leeds win the Fairs Cup – in the two legs he wore the No. 11 shirt (left wing/midfield). His versatility led to the nickname “The Eleven Pauls”, which was used in the 1972 FA Cup Final song Leeds United.
Having deputised so well for Paul Reaney at club level, Madeley was asked by Alf Ramsey to take Reaney’s place in the England squad for that summer’s World Cup in Mexico, but Madeley politely refused, saying he wanted to rest and, as a stand-in, was unlikely to kick a ball.
In the 1971–72 season, Madeley again found himself moving round the side as injuries and suspensions to his teammates, and in the end he never missed a League match, though for a third year in a row Leeds failed to clinch the title on the last day of the season. In April 1972, left back Terry Cooper suffered a broken leg, so Madeley switched to the No. 3 shirt for the season’s end and the FA Cup final, which Leeds finally won with a 1–0 win over Arsenal.
Revie signed Trevor Cherry as a replacement for Cooper in the summer of 1972, and Madeley moved across to the centre of defence for much of the next season as Jack Charlton’s distinguished career at Leeds wound down. He wore the No. 5 shirt as Leeds lost the FA Cup final to Sunderland, and the European Cup Winners Cup final a few days later in Salonika, which Leeds lost to A.C. Milan in controversial circumstances.
Leeds won the League in 1974 – Madeley missing just three matches – and even after Revie’s departure that summer to take over the England job, reached their first and only European Cup final a year later, with Madeley in the No. 5 shirt again.
In his autobiography, Right Back to the Beginning, Revie’s successor Jimmy Armfield related a telling story about Madeley negotiating a new contract: “He once actually signed a new contract on what was virtually a blank piece of paper. I called him in to discuss terms and opened discussions by saying, ‘OK, Paul, we’ll give you so much’. He replied that he had no intention of leaving Leeds so he might as well sign the contract and let me fill in the details. I said, ‘What do you want, then, two years or three years?’ He answered, ‘Either way, I’ll leave it to you. I just want to play for Leeds,’ and that was that.
Madeley was granted a testimonial season in 1977, and eventually retired from playing in 1980 with 724 appearances in all competitions to his name.
- Full Name: Paul Edward Madeley
- Position: Defender
- Date of Birth: 20.09.1944
- Birthplace: Beeston, Leeds
- Nation: England
- Full Caps: 24
- Major League Career
- 1963-80, Leeds United (536/25)
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