The Importance Of Being Scottish TSS February 27, 2012 Leeds United 14 Comments Against Portsmouth on Saturday, Robert Snodgrass became Leeds’ 32nd permanent captain and the tenth man to be awarded that honour since Rio Ferdinand left the club in 2002. Leeds United have a proud history of Scottish captains. In the 93 years since the club was founded, The Whites have played in 15 major finals and won 3 league titles, all of which came with a Scotsman leading the charge. Most successful of all was of course Billy Bremner. The fiery Scotsman led Leeds United to two league championships and twelve major finals, including the 1975 European Cup final, two UEFA Cups and Leeds United’s first and only FA Cup final success in 1972. However, the reign of dominance Leeds United enjoyed under Don Revie actually started with Bremner’s predecessor, Bobby Collins. Also Scottish, Collins was awarded the captain’s armband in 1962 and repaid him with promotion to the first division in 1964 and Leeds United’s first ever major final appearance in 1965 – an FA Cup encounter with Liverpool that The Whites would go on to lose. Nevertheless, Bobby Collins was named Footballer Of The Year 1965 and with that first sniff of success he’d provided, set Leeds on course for an era of unparalleled success. It all came to an abrupt halt however when Billy Bremner left Elland Road in 1976, a decade after picking up the captains armband. Relegated in 1982, it wasn’t until another diminutive, red-headed Scotsman was awarded the captain’s armband in 1989 that Leeds United would see a return to glory. Ending Leeds United’s eight year lull in the Second Division was impressive enough, but when Gordon Strachan followed up with the First Division title only two years later (1992), the parallels with Billy Bremner were impossible to ignore. The second era of dominance so desperately craved in West Yorkshire never did follow, but in bringing Leeds United their third league title, Gordon Strachan forever consigned his name to the history books as the second greatest captain in the club’s history – not a bad position to be in,.when the only man in front of you has a statue outside the ground. The last major final appearance for Leeds United was the 1996 League Cup against Aston Villa. Despite an absolute mauling at the hands of the Brummies, Gary McAllister became the fourth Scotsman to take Leeds United to Wembley. In awarding Robert Snodgrass captaincy, Neil Warnock has returned to the tried and tested formula for success at Elland Road. Considering Warnock is our most superstitious manager since Don Revie, you have to wander whether the pattern of Scottish captains and Leeds United success was taken into consideration by our new manager? The shadow of those that went before him will no doubt play on Robert Snodgrass’ mind, but he’s the kind of player that only grows in stature when the pressure is on. A great captain leads not only on the pitch, but carries himself well off of it, interacting with the fans, keeping spirits high and becoming a spokesman-like figure to the press. The fans need a captain they respect and are proud to have representing the club, and in Robert Snodgrass, that’s exactly what they have. If he can bring one tenth of the success those that went before him have, he’ll never be forgotten in West Yorkshire. Good luck Snoddy!