Leeds United’s latest manager Neil Warnock shares a superstitious personality similar to that of the great Don Revie.

On an unbeaten run, Neil Warnock’s matchday routine follows the exact same sequence of events as the week previous. From following the same route to the ground, wearing the same lucky suit and living in constant fear of seeing a solitary Magpie, Warnock told The Sun in 2007 that “I won’t even visit the toilet until the players are on the pitch. There are 300 different superstitions”.

Perhaps the most bizarre of Warnock’s reported superstitions is a fascination with traffic lights, whereby he’ll stop at them all on the way home following a win – regardless of whether or not they’re on red!

Warnock will also try to replicate everything he did before the next game, once admitting he’d been using the same razorblade for three and a half weeks. During his time at QPR, the Leeds United manager also refused to give press conferences during an unbeaten run in fear of “jinxing” his team.

Don Revie was perhaps the most famous of football’s great superstitious minds with his threadbare lucky suit and Gypsy curses, but such irrational thinking is not uncommon. Former England striker Gary Lineker revealed he never shot on goal during pre-match warm-ups in fear of losing his “good shots” whilst Jermaine Defoe admitted he always has his hair cut before games.

Sports psychologist Dr. Richard Lustberg reveals that superstitions are no bad thing for sports stars. They can provide a huge boost of confidence, and help individuals deal with the inherent pressures involved;

“Superstitions are a coping mechanism to deal with the pressure to succeed,

“Athletes begin to believe- they, in fact, want to believe- that their routine of choice is enhancing their performance. In reality, it is just practice and confidence that make them perform better.

“If a player has success in sports, it’s more than likely because of practice and skill.

“But if the player attributes his or her success to some type of different act, such as wearing a certain article of clothing or repeating some kind of routine, the player will repeat the act. As a result, the player’s confidence will rise, and this increased confidence allows the player to perform at a higher level.”

Superstitious Neil Warnock video clip taken from Sky One documentary “Warnock” which you can view in full here.

9 Responses

  1. Colin

    David Beckham is another famous OCD sufferer. He has different fridges for food and drink and all the cans in his fridge have to be an even number and facing the same way, and if there’s too many cans he’ll take them out and put them in a cupboard.

    • TSS

      The most successful players and managers all seem to have some strange quirks. They probably consider to be as ridiculous as we do, but persist with them all the same. 

  2. Bubionwhite

    If he can emulate only a few of Don Revie’s achievements before he decides to retire or move on he’s more than welcome, superstitions, warts and all … despite the fact that he wasn’t my choice. However, I am surprised to see that the negative brigade are already spouting their drivel before he’s even managed to get his feet under the table.

    • Colin

       @Bubionwhite To be fair Bubion, I think there are some negative posts from some people but they tend to congregate on other forum sites. I think everyone on TSS are more intellectual and are generally more positive posters.

      • number1inyorkshire

        have you read some of your recent post colin or do you have a ghost writer lol??
        where Warnock is concerned you have been mr negativity

      • Colin

         @number1inyorkshire Right, for that you’re going on my Bad Person chart.
        1. Andros Townsend
        2. Simon Grayson
        3. Kevin Blackwell
        4. number1inyorkshire (NEW ENTRY)
        5. Dennis Wise
        I’m joking of course.
        In all honesty though, I don’t think I’ve been too negative though, just counter balancing some of the optimism that some have of a new dawn. I do think we are on the skids, I do think we have a weak squad, made stronger by short term contract old timers, I do think we’ll lose Aidy White & Robert Snodgrass next season, I do think we will lose further season ticket holders next season versus this season and I don’t think the club will invest millions (which is what is needed) to replace the likes of Beckford, Johnson, Howson and Snodgrass/White. Now that sounds very negative, but I don’t think I’m too far off the mark.

      • Bubionwhite

         Just don’t get the continuing point that the club need to spend millions to replace Beckford, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass and White … between them they probably only racked up approximately £1m in transfer fees. What’s really needed is someone who can recognise untapped talent and bring it in ala McAllister for Snodgrass … hopefully, NW and his team can ala Taraabt at QPR and linked with some backing from KB, not necessarily millions, on one or two quality players. Incidentally, Johnson, who keeps being quoted had his chance and wasn’t good enough, despite the fact that he is now in the premiership … running around in aNorwich ala a headless chicken.

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