Focus On; Paul Reaney

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Reaney moved to the West Riding of Yorkshire from London as a child and left school at 15. He was briefly a car mechanic before Don Revie signed him for Leeds as an apprentice. He made his professional debut shortly before his 18th birthday, and went on to make 35 League appearances in his first season, and was part of the team that won the Second Division in 1964.

In the 1964–65 season, Reaney missed just one League game, and scored the first of his League goals as Leeds challenged for both the League championship and FA Cup; however, Leeds lost out on both trophies, with Manchester United winning the title, whilst Liverpool beat Leeds in the FA Cup final.

Reaney quickly earned a reputation as a fiercely competitive, disciplined defender, capable of closing out the most talented of attackers – George Best rated Reaney as one of the two best defenders he played against. In 1967–68 Leeds won the League Cup and the Fairs Cup, and in 1968–69 they won the League championship. Leeds progressed in 1969–70 towards a “treble” of League championship, FA Cup and European Cup, but a broken leg suffered in a game against West Ham United meant that he missed the run-in to the end of the season – a factor that contributed to Leeds missing out on all three trophies.

In addition, the broken leg meant that Reaney missed that summer’s World Cup in Mexico. He eventually returned in the 1970–71 season to make 18 League appearances and be part of the team which won its second Fairs Cup, but which missed out on the League championship again.

In the 1971–72 season he was part of the team that won the FA Cup, but which missed out the League Championship yet again. The following season saw more disappointment for Reaney as Leeds lost the FA Cup final to Sunderland and a controversial European Cup Winners Cup final to A.C. Milan. Reaney’s career at Leeds passed 500 appearances in 1973–74 as Leeds embarked on a 29-match unbeaten start to the season to earn the League title for the second time under Revie, who then left to take over the England job. Reaney was in the team which duly progressed to the European Cup final the following season in 1974–75 but was controversially defeated 2–0 by Bayern Munich.


  • Full Name: Paul Reaney
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 22.10.1944
  • Birthplace: Fulham
  • Nation: England
    • Full Caps: 3
  • Major League Career
    • 1962-78, Leeds United (750/11)
    • 1978-80, Bradford City (38/0)
  • More Facts
  • Photo Gallery

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