Leeds City F.C.

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Leeds City
The badge of Leeds City, also the coat of arms of Leeds before 1924
Full name Leeds City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Peacocks
The Citizens
Founded 1904
Dissolved 1919
Ground Adel War Memorial Association
West Yorkshire
League West Yorkshire League Premier Division
2015–16 West Yorkshire League Premier Division, 3rd

Leeds City Football Club is a non-league football club that was the leading professional club in Leeds, England, before World War I. The original club was dissolved in 1919 due to financial irregularities and current club was founded in 2005.[1]


1904-1919: Foundation of first club[edit]

The club was formed in 1904, taking the crest of Leeds as the club badge[2] and adopting blue, yellow and white as the club's colours.[3] With the demise of the Holbeck Rugby Club, Leeds City moved into Elland Road stadium. They were elected to the Football League in 1905. The original secretary, a role that then also carried the modern responsibilities of manager and coach, was Gilbert Gillies (1904–1908) who was followed by Frank Scott-Walford before in 1912, they appointed Herbert Chapman who guided the club to their highest position in the league (4th in the Second Division).

Leeds City's whole league career was in the Second Division. However, during the First World War there ensued a sequence of financial irregularities, including breaking the ban on paying players during the war, that led to the club's dissolution in 1919. They were expelled from The Football League eight games into the 1919–20 season. The harsh punishment was handed down mostly because of the behaviour of the club's directors, who refused to co-operate in an FA inquiry, and refused to hand over the club's financial records.[4]

Port Vale took over their remaining fixtures (as well as their results up to that point).[5] Leeds City remain the only club to be expelled from the League mid-season, and the only ones to be expelled from the League due to financial irregularities (ironically enough their successors, Port Vale nearly lost their League status for similar reasons in 1968, although they ultimately managed to retain it in an end-of-season vote among the other clubs). On 17 October 1919, an auction was held at the Metropole Hotel in Leeds, where the playing staff was auctioned off along with other assets of the club. The 16 members of the playing squad were bought by nine different clubs for a total of £9,250.[6]

Player Destination Bid
Billy McLeod Notts County £1,250
Harry Millership Rotherham County £1,000
John Hampson Aston Villa £1,000
Willis Walker South Shields £800
Tommy Lamph Manchester City £800
John Edmondson Sheffield Wednesday £800
William Hopkins South Shields £600
George Affleck Grimsby Town £500
Ernest Goodwin Manchester City £500
Billy Kirton Aston Villa £500
William Ashurst Lincoln City £500
Fred Linfoot Lincoln City £250
Herbert Lounds Rotherham County £250
Arthur Wainwright Grimsby Town £200
William Short Hartlepool United £200
Francis Chipperfield Lincoln City £100


In the wake of their demise, Leeds United were formed, and entered the Football League the following year.

None of the players auctioned ever played for the new Leeds United, but winger Ivan Sharpe, who had scored 17 goals in 65 appearances for City between 1913 and 1915, spent 2½ years at United between 1920 and 1923 (but only played once) and right-half Harry Sherwin, who left City just 5 months before their dissolution, went on to score twice in 107 games for United between 1921 and 1925.

1924-1927: Second Club[edit]

The club did re-form in 1924 as an amateur club, taking part in the Yorkshire Football League. They finished 6th, 4th and 11th in the three seasons they took part. The club however dissolved in 1927 and no other club was formed or played under the title of Leeds City.

2005-present: Current club[edit]

Currently there is a men's senior team under the name of Leeds City which formed in 2006 and plays in the West Yorkshire League. Leeds City were promoted from the West Yorkshire League Second Division as champions of the 2006–07 season, and from the First Division as runners-up in 2007–08. They finished West Yorkshire Premier Division as runners-up in 2008–09, 2012–13 and 2014–15; 3rd in 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14 and 2015–16 and 7th in 2011–12.

Leeds City won the West Riding County Challenge Cup in 2011-12 and finished runners-up in 2014-15. City also won the Leeds & District Cup in 2012-13 and finished runners-up in 2014-15. They won the West Yorkshire League Cup in 2014-15 and have finished runners up in the Northern FA National Cup in 2012-13.

There is also a female team using the Leeds City name; Leeds City Vixens L.F.C., a local women's football club. They play in the Northern Combination Women's Football League, 1/4 of the women's third division. Neither the current Leeds City or Leeds City Vixens L.F.C. are recognised as an official continuation of the old club and are in fact only a continuation of the name. Neither club plays in Leeds City's traditional colours either, both playing in white shirts with a shade of blue trim along with shorts and socks in the same shade of blue.


City's attendances were among the worst in the league, and the club was never particularly well financed. This is mainly attributed to the area being traditionally a rugby league area. Until the relegation of Luton Town, however, the club were nevertheless, along with Bradford PA, the highest placed former League team in the all-time average attendance figures for the Football League & Premier League having an average attendance of 10,234 and a total attendance of 1,944,365 for all matches played.[7]


  1. ^ http://www.leedscityfc.org/content/view/100/51/
  2. ^ "1905–06, Where it all began...". Dave Tomlinson. mightyleeds.co.uk. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  3. ^ "Leeds City". Dave Moor. Historical Kits. August 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  4. ^ What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
  5. ^ Butler, Bryon (1998). 100 Seasons of League Football. England: Queen Anne Press. p. 392. ISBN 1852915951. 
  6. ^ a b "Review of 1919–20 – Disaster strikes". Dave. MightyLeeds.co.uk. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  7. ^ "All Time League Attendance Records". Niall Mackenzie. Newcastle's Unofficial Fans Collaboration. 4 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 

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