CITY v LEEDS: SHEP'S SHORTS
Club Historian Richard Shepherd begins the build-up towards Saturday's clash at Elland Road with the following Cardiff-Leeds teasers...
JOINT LEAGUE START: Cardiff City and Leeds United were both elected to the Football League on May 31st 1920 at the League’s Annual General Meeting. At the start of the previous season Cardiff City had been in the Southern League First Division while Leeds United did not exist. But when Leeds City were disbanded by the Football Association in October 1919 for war-time financial irregularities, Leeds United were then formed and took over the Elland Road ground that had been Leeds City’s home. At that time there were two divisions in the Football League but Leeds United began in the Midland League. In February 1920 Cardiff City decided to apply for admission to the Football League’s Second Division and were elected at the end of the following May, half an hour before the rest of the Southern League Division One became Division Three of the Football League. Leeds United were also elected to Division Two and therefore played Cardiff City in 1920/21. Both matches took place in late-March 1921 and City won both games – 1-0 at Ninian Park on Monday 28th in front of 25,000 and 2-1 at Elland Road the next day before 25,000, going on to win promotion.
TOP LEVEL MEETING: In the 1924/25 season, both City and Leeds met in Division One following Leeds’ promotion. City were 3-0 winners at Ninian Park on September 1st with goals from Welsh International Len Davies (2) and Scottish International Denis Lawson. A 30,000 crowd saw that game. The return took place at Elland Road on January 3rd (a 0-0 draw) and in goal for City was Joe Hills who had been signed from Northfleet in September 1924 after a trial period. He was also a Glamorgan County Cricket Club wicket-keeper/batsman who had been qualifying for the County with Barry Cricket Club. He later became a well-known umpire on the County circuit.
A MEMORABLE DAY: The final game of the 1951/52 season against Leeds at Ninian Park was one of the most memorable days of Cardiff City’s history. Out of the old First Division since 1929, we had to beat Leeds on May 3rd to finish in second place (only two promotion positions in those days). Despite heavy rain, and the F.A. Cup Final second half between Arsenal and Newcastle United being televised live, a 51,000 crowd packed Ninian Park to see us win 3-1 with goals from Wilf Grant (2) and Ken Chisholm.
THE FAMOUS F.A.CUP SEQUENCE: In the mid-1950s there was a remarkable series of F.A. Cup meetings between Cardiff City and Leeds United. On January 7th 1956 First Division City were 2-1 winners against Second Division Leeds in a Third Round tie at Elland Road, Gerry Hitchens and Johnny McSeveney our scorers in a game seen by 40,000. On January 5th 1957 First Division City were 2-1 winners against First Division Leeds in a Third Round tie at Elland Road, Ron Stockin and McSeveney our scorers in front of 34,237. Could it happen again ? Yes indeed – on January 4th 1958 Second Division City were 2-1 winners in a Third Round tie against First Division Leeds, Alan Harrington and Cliff Nugent our scorers before an attendance of 30,374. The chances of such a sequence – same round, same venue, same score in three consecutive years - were over a million to one!
OVER 49,000 AT NINIAN PARK: On February 26th 1972, Cardiff City, then struggling in Division two, met First Division Championship challengers Leeds United at Ninian Park in an F.A. Cup Fifth Round tie. A 49,180 attendance saw the game and Ninian Park would never again accommodate a crowd of such proportions. Leeds were 2-0 winners with goals from Johnny Giles (2), and went on to win the F.A. Cup and to be League Championship runners-up.
KAVANAGH AND YOUNG – WE WIN 2-1: We were a third tier (Division Two) club when we played Premier League leaders Leeds at Ninian Park on January 6th 2002 in an F.A. Cup Third Round tie. A capacity crowd of 22,009 saw Leeds take a first-half lead through Mark Viduka, but Graham Kavanagh soon equalised with a stunning free-kick. And just before full-time defender Scott Young scored our dramatic winner to give us 2-1 victory. Within four years both Leeds and ourselves were in Division One (the second tier, and now the Championship).
SUCCESSIVE DOUBLES: In seasons 2005/06 and 2006/07 we did the double over Leeds in each season. In that latter season – on February 17th 2007 – we had both Michael Chopra and Simon Walton sent off, but managed to win 1-0. Leeds went down that season, and when they returned to the Championship for 2010/11 we again did the double, winning 4-0 at Elland Road and 2-1 at Cardiff City Stadium.