I am standing next to the Billy Bremner statue outside Elland Road talking to Mark Lawson about the three Rs: recession, riots and relegation. That’s the three Rs of 1986 not 2011. 25 years ago, our beloved Leeds United languished – as now – in English football’s second tier. The Radio 4 presenter has returned to his home city as part of the BBC's Domesday Reloaded project. We are both exiles in the South, but our frequent pilgrimages to the stadium prove – as I point out in my book ‘Promised Land: A Northern Love Story’ – that you can never really let go of the past. Like me, Mark grew up with the legendary Don Revie side, the Greatest Team In Football The World Has Ever Seen. That was in the 1960s and 1970s, before it all went horribly wrong. We recall the mazy dribbles of Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer’s thunderbolt of a shot. I used to see Gray and Lorimer at barmitzvahs, but Mark goes one better. “They went to my church,” he smiles. “It was like being in heaven.” Supporting the Mighty Whites – even back in the miserable 1980s – is undoubtedly a religious experience.
Radio 4 man takes his mob back to Elland Road for some heavy religious action. Just a warning like.