The O'Leary Years: Football's Greatest Boom and Bust

Last updated : 25 January 2022 By .

When David O'Leary took the managerial reins from taskmaster George Graham, he promoted a gifted crop of youngsters into the first team, transforming a well-oiled machine into a free-flowing bundle of joy.

This often-scorned club enjoyed popularity like never before, but things are never straightforward at Elland Road.

Criminal charges against star players, the tragic murders of fans, a perpetual injury curse and a 'spend, spend, spend' attitude eventually brought the club to its knees - but not before it was one match from reaching its holy grail: a European Cup final rematch with Bayern Munich.

The journey lasted four seasons, each one a rollercoaster, and the story is told through the memories and match reports of the author, from a 14-year-old travelling the country with his dad, to an 18-year-old on the bus with his mates, with nostalgic tales of the good old days along the way.


Rocco Dean is a passionate football fan who has been obsessed with Leeds United since he was eight years old. He spent his childhood writing match reports, fact and fiction, and took to writing after a 20-year hiatus during the first lockdown of 2020, documenting Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds career, which became his debut release, Marcelo Bielsa vs The Damned United. Rocco became resident writer for the Leeds That podcast in 2021.