Tuesday, 1 December 2015

1992, The Old Peacock And The Last Champions

It may surprise some football fans to learn that the game existed before 1992. Sky Sports have spent billions of pounds since then trying to airbrush history and convince us otherwise. Leeds fans on the other hand know very well that football existed before the Premier League turned the game into a vehicle through which to exploit, extract and exhibit unsavoury wealth, because that was the last time we won anything.

Football was a very different game in 1992. Footballers themselves were not far removed from you and me, at least in terms of living on the same planet, and phrases like “image rights”, “pre-contract agreement” and “loyalty bonus” were reserved for the Hollywood stars that footballers would effectively soon become. Furthermore, the fact that Leeds United’s 1992 title-winning team trained every day on pitches behind the West Stand car park meant that Elland Road was their home, the place where unbreakable bonds were formed, and their playground; the surrounding area was a big part of their lives and the football club and its everyday comings and goings was, by its very nature, an integral part of the local community.

A natural by-product of having such a strong and identifiable entity on your doorstep was that places like United Fisheries (now Graveleys) and the café next to it, were routinely frequented by first team players and staff, and needless to say, the Old Peacock was no stranger to the Leeds United squad either.

Dawn Oates started working at the Peacock in 1986, aged 18, and is still pulling pints for the swarms of Leeds fans passing through the pub today. But the Elland Road landscape is very different in 2015, and rather than routinely mingling with the rank and file fan, a supporter would do a double take today if they spotted a Leeds United squad member strolling around LS11, a Chris Wood penalty miss away from the cotton wool protection of the Thorp Arch bubble. For Dawn and the Old Peacock in the mid-1980s, however, visiting Leeds United first team players were as regular as draymen.
“Funnily enough the first person I ever served behind the bar was Mickey Adams,” Dawn begins “and at that time he was my hero and I was shaking. He asked for a Coke and I couldn’t pour it. I can’t remember what my first game was but I started going when (John) Sheridan and (Ian) Baird were playing. I was working in the markets then and in the pub part-time. So on a Saturday I would work in the mornings on the market, come here for 1pm and work the match, then go to the match and work after as well.”

Professional footballers have always been larger than life figures of course, but before the Premier League elevated them to an untouchable status, they were still at ease with the working class roots of the game, and their match day routine wasn’t far removed from the basic trappings of a traditional spit and sawdust Sunday League team.

“It was regular,” continues Dawn “they all used to come in, John Sheridan, Gordon Strachan, David Batty, Vinnie Jones, Bobby Davison, Chris Fairclough, Rod Wallace. They wouldn’t come in so much after training, usually after an away game, because the coach used to go from Elland Road, when that was the training ground, and dropped them off again because their cars were there. And you knew ten minutes after the bus had gone past they would all be driving in and stop for a good hour, or whatever. We quite often ended up going into town with some of them to Mr Craigs nightclub and there were some drunken nights, some very drunken nights…..”

And incongruously the Old Peacock became a refuge for the players, despite being one of the most prominent and identifiable Leeds United landmarks. “They all came in here, but they liked it in here because nobody messed them about with photos and autograph hunting. It was a natural occurrence and regulars just took to it, you know ‘oh Batts is here, alright mate!’ that kind of thing.”
“Some of the young lads used to stay in digs around here, so in an afternoon you would sometimes get the likes of Gary Kelly coming in and he’d just have a drink of pop and talk to me in the afternoon, because at one point he was really, really homesick.”

At this point you wonder whether unsung heroes like Dawn have perhaps been a significant but unrecognised influence on Leeds United’s modern history. Some compassion, a homely reception and the lending of an ear on a lonely afternoon maybe resurrected Gary Kelly’s career and turned a timid and undistinguished trainee about to return to Ireland into a veteran of over 500 first team appearances and two World Cups.

"I remember when Vinnie Jones signed for us,” recalls Dawn with a grin “he used to sit outside the pub and eat his Fish & Chips before he came in. I looked out of the window once and thought to myself ‘who’s eating their own food?’ I shouted at him, and it was Vinnie Jones. I thought nothing more of it, then that night we were out in town in Madison’s and he was in there and he said to me ‘You caught me eating my Fish & Chips outside the pub today didn’t you?’ and I said ‘well you don’t bring your own food in then do you?’ But whatever the papers said about him, he was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. A real gentle giant.”

In some ways it is comforting to know the players of the 1992 title-winning era treated Elland Road and its surrounding area as their home, but at the same time it perhaps explains why the players today might feel detached from it and ill at ease. Back in the early-1990s, it appears the players were drawn to Elland Road even when they didn’t need to be there.

“They used to play pool a lot,” says Dawn “I remember a Leeds game that was called off due to snow in the morning, and I was due to go but I was walking past the pub in these massive moon boots and I called in and Batts and his Dad and Gary Speed were in. So we spent all afternoon playing doubles at Pool. Me and Speed v Batts and his Dad all afternoon.”

“But they were all nice lads, they had no airs and graces about them, you just took them as normal people. We used to go out a lot together with a few of them, going for an Indian that sort of thing, and we went to a cricket club quite a lot that Noel Blake used to play for, on sunny afternoons we’d just sit on the grass drinking beers, it was great. We went to a Quiz Night somewhere, and we were in a car driven by David Rocastle, and (Eric) Cantona was there. He always pretended he couldn’t speak very good English, but he spoke perfect English that night……….”

In 1996 a major part of Howard Wilkinson’s 10-year plan drawn up when he became manager in 1988 came to fruition, when he moved the club’s training ground to Thorp Arch near Wetherby and built the academy structure that has furnished Leeds United’s first team with a steady supply of quality players ever since, albeit the club has not always utilised such resources to their fullest. Back at Elland Road, a somewhat bleak and blustery landscape developed, some of the life and the recognisable, everyday face of Leeds United had gone from the area and certainly some of the soul of the football club was taken away. While office, ticketing and retail staff still frequent the area, it was no longer a place to go star-spotting and for the players to call home.

“The atmosphere in the pub didn’t really change,” recalls Dawn “but if I was bored on a morning I sometimes used to go and watch them train for an hour. You could just stand by the fence and watch them. But it’s all changed now and you can’t mingle with the players, it’s just autographs and photographs, you never get the one-on-one chats like you used to.” 

In a world rife with fear, suspicion and mis-trust, much of which, let’s be honest, is well-founded, it is sad that professional footballers are now so detached, in most cases at least, from the regular fan base. And while the Old Peacock is still a home from home for thousands of Leeds United fans, and always will be, it no longer reverberates to the laughter of Leeds United players and their post-training or post-match recreation, like it did in the early 1990s and like it did right back to the birth of the club in 1919 and Leeds City before it. Life moves on of course, and we move with it, but while it does, let’s cherish the memories of a fantastic past within the walls of the Old Peacock, and raise a pint to them.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with events on our Facebook page also.

All the best,
Jon Howe

Monday, 2 November 2015

Floored Genius

Uwe Rosler, Neil Redfearn, Brian McDermott, even Steve Evans, they all may feel under-appreciated. Certainly they will feel they don’t get the credit they deserve and nobody really notices the countless hours of hard work they have put in to Leeds United. But then that’s the nature of football; a cut-throat business, particularly so at Leeds United, of course.

In other walks of life we probably all have our own stories about our best work perhaps being ignored or not being given due credit. Be it at home, at work or on the five-a-side pitch with your mates, it’s always nice to get a slice of the glory. Save a thought then for local artist Leyla Murr, creator of the elegant and refined floor mosaic in the refurbished Old Peacock. Yes, that’s it, the one that thousands of you walk all over and probably never notice on a match day, but when the pub is a little quieter it is a feature that radiates the homely, yet polished and sophisticated feel that is the very essence of what Ossett Brewery wanted to create at this most special of football pubs.

Leyla’s creation is the centrepiece that effortlessly complements the yellow and white floor tiles and the understated Leeds United styling in and around the pub, but essentially it displays with due reverence, the famous Peacock motif, and as such is perhaps the central feature of the 2013 refurbishment of the pub.

A mutual friend working in the pub introduced Leyla to 
joint managing director Jamie Lawson when the idea of a dominant artistic feature was first discussed.


“I am a 
full-time artist and paint mostly in my studio,” explains Leyla “so when Jamie asked me to do a mosaic I was very excited about doing something different.” The mosaic is based on Ossett Brewery’s re-designed but hugely popular Peacock motif, also showcased in stained glass above the back door.

“He gave me a small image to use as a guide,” continues Leyla in explaining how the design became a work of art “the mosaic was a one metre diameter circle so I had to transpose the image onto a large piece of paper, then cover it with the transparent piece of plastic cover. On top of that I put a fine mesh and then glued each individual tile onto the mesh with a special glue and a set of fine pliers.”

In a painstaking process involving a level of patience that most of us couldn’t imagine, the mosaic took 45 hours altogether to complete, using around 8,000 tiled pieces.

“It was July 2013 and we had a very hot summer then and I sat in the garden at home every day for two weeks working on the mosaic. I was instructed that the colours had to be predominantly yellow and blue as those are the colours of the Leeds United Football Club, the Peacock being an important part of the history of the club etc.”

With the wholesale refurbishment at the pub almost complete, Leyla’s hotly-anticipated creation was one of the final pieces to be put into place, with the precise nature of the creation bearing witness to the eye for detail involved in all areas of the pub’s new look.


“I completed it at home and transported it to the pub,” Leyla recalls “there was a hole in the ground when I brought the completed mosaic. I was aware of the colour of the surrounding tiles as I was provided with some samples and Jamie wanted the band around the peacock to be blue rather than yellow, so that had to be changed at the last minute, as you can see from the images.”

The words ‘proud as a peacock’ have something of a double meaning in the case of Leyla’s spectacular creation. The completed mosaic sensationally fulfilled the brief in projecting the dignity and honour of the famous peacock image, but on the flipside, there was no tolerance for the mosaic to stand proud of the floor surface. Leyla’s precise measurements ensured her artwork sat flush on the floor with no danger of the hordes of Leeds fans shuffling through on a match day tripping over a protruding edge, or sadly, even knowing it was there.

Leyla’s work is there for all to see, a durable emblem to the pub’s heritage but a feature that rightly instils great pride in the artist. Leyla, who now lives in Bradford, explains “I was very happy doing something important for a place like the Peacock and felt very honoured to be given this opportunity. My son, who is 29 now, was at a Thorpe Arch Youth Academy aged 12, he was a goalkeeper and I used to drive him for training sessions three times a week, where he used to also see the senior team having a kickabout, including stars like Jonathan Woodgate, Alan Smith and Lee Bowyer!”

Names from the past perhaps, but Leyla’s floor mosaic is an enduring piece of art that should outlive many Leeds United stars of the present and the future. So next time you are in the pub take a close look at it, nobody will bat an eyelid if you are on your hands and knees bowing down to the peacock!

Of course we enter November with another head coach in the extremely hot seat at Elland Road. Welcome to Steve Evans and good luck in what has somehow become one of the most difficult jobs in football.

Football doesn’t pose us too many problems at the Old Peacock; it’s a pretty simple concept. When Leeds United are at home we are open and welcoming as many Leeds fans as we can through our doors. It makes it a bit more difficult for everyone when these games are midweek, and after October’s Thursday night oddity, we have another midweek game very quickly in November.

Cardiff are the visitors to Elland Road on Tuesday the 3rd, before two Yorkshire derbies at Huddersfield and then back here on the 21st for the visit of Rotherham United and the return of Neil Redfearn. In between those games is another frequent irritation of the modern game; the international break, where we are left kicking our heels and dreaming up ways to avoid shopping at B&Q. Be assured we will be open at the Old Peacock if you need some respite and a substitute for your pre-match fix.

We are not far from the mad Christmas period now, so if you haven’t got your plans sorted for family, work or celebrations with friends, let the Old Peacock look after all the hassle for you. We have two menus for Christmas parties in the lead up the 25th and for the big day itself. Places are being booked up fast so contact the pub direct on oldpeacock@ossett-brewery.co.uk or by phone on 0113 2715962 to secure your place.

In the meantime, come and visit us for lunch or dinner when our fantastic menus are on offer six days a week.
Finally, for special competitions, announcements and promotions follow us on Twitter and Facebook where all the latest information is posted.

All the best,

Friday, 2 October 2015

A Story Within Our Four Walls

There were times last weekend when people the whole world over were looking through their TV screens at our little patch of LS11. If you watched closely you could see the staff at the Old Peacock waving gleefully in the background, or more likely sweeping up the debris from the rugby hordes who invaded the pub prior to their respective World Cup games, and did so again after the final whistle on both Saturday and Sunday.

Of course the staff are used to Leeds United match days, safe in the knowledge that every Leeds fan knows the pub is there and that it has been in the fabric of the match day experience for many decades and for many generations of fans. We weren’t sure whether the visiting rugby fans from Scotland, USA, Italy and Canada would be quite so wise to the hospitable surroundings of Elland Road, and whether the natural magnetism of the Old Peacock would draw as many fans in as for a Leeds United game. But it quickly became apparent that rugby fans suffer from the same hollow leg syndrome as our Leeds United friends, and they swarmed all over the pub on both days to create a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.

Sunday for the Scotland game was particularly lively, but on both days it was strange to see so much colour – particularly the Canadian Red! – and also to see rival fans happily chatting, drinking and, yes, dancing together. All in all it was a great weekend and a big success for the city of Leeds, and we were as Proud as a Peacock to play a part in it.

We receive a lot of comments about the refurbishment that took place in 2013 when Ossett Brewery took over the pub and changed the style, outlook and ambience, we think, for the better. People love the ‘Leeds United’ styling with the white and yellow floor tiles, the Peacock floor mosaic and the black and white framed photos on the wall. What people seem to comment on most, however, is the Leeds United memorabilia wallpaper that adorns the main room and the toilets.

First things first, it cost £400 a roll to produce and no, it can’t be bought commercially. The idea for the wallpaper was the brainchild of Ossett Brewery’s joint managing director Jamie Lawson who worked with a designer to create the sepia-tinted montage of Leeds United history. Of course this required obtaining hundreds of different artefacts to display on the paper and the main supplier of those was Dave Gaertner, who at the time was Publicity and Media Officer for the Leeds United Supporters' Club.

Dave recalls: “We were just chatting in the car park one day and Jamie told us of his plans, and I said ‘well I’ve got a shedload of stuff at home you can use’ half-expecting him to say he had plenty, but no, he grabbed the opportunity. This was during the refurbishment. We have a football programme trailer which we park in the car park on match days and we’d gone up there to have a chat about whether we could still park there when Ossett Brewery re-opened the pub. ”

The chance conversation planted the seeds to the production of the wallpaper, which contains images from programmes, trading cards, ticket stubs, stickers, rosettes, badges, and cigarette cards. “I gave him two or three of my files,” Dave continues “and said ‘use what you want out of there’ I gave him some programmes too but other people must have supplied the rosettes because I don’t have any of those.”

From a mountainous collection Dave has put together over many years, the Ossett team selected their favoured images and shot them in a design studio. “They had my stuff for about a month I think, everything was there when it was returned, there was nothing missing or damaged.”

The result is a striking concept in which you see something new every time you look at it. The wallpaper is like the Leeds United version of the Bayeux Tapestry and soaks up every drop of Leeds United culture. What we particularly like is that it portrays not just the obvious, famous and celebrated Leeds United personalities, but also less-revered players like Carl Harris, Andy Williams and Neil Aspin; as if to say ‘this pub is part of the Leeds United story and so are all these people, whether they played 700 trophy-laden games or 25 pretty average ones.’

What also strikes you about the wallpaper is that it is subtle, understated and refined, with a style that doesn’t pummel you square between the eyes like the garish, uncultivated décor you find in some football pubs. The Peacock is a football pub with a difference, and that is how we like it.

Dave didn’t see the finished product until he walked into the pub shortly after it opened, but his first impressions were the same as anyone else’s, despite kind of knowing what to expect: “I thought it was superb,” he beams “absolutely superb, and I love the framed pictures they have put up as well.”

Who knew that the production of a few rolls of wallpaper would create such a talking point, and certainly it is to be hoped that there are some spare rolls knocking about somewhere, just in case of mishaps. Although if there’s one way to ensure drinkers don’t knock chunks out of the walls and throw beer about, this is undoubtedly it.

After the Rugby World Cup bandwagon rolled out of town, the ever-ready Old Peacock staff soon turned their attentions to the welcome return of Leeds United home games, and a couple of 3pm Kick-Offs in October. It would have been three of course, but Sky Sports in their wisdom have turned a traditional Saturday afternoon occasion versus Blackburn Rovers at the end of the month, into an awkward Thursday night rush; thus probably shaving about 5,000 off the Elland Road attendance. Evening Kick-Offs are a necessary evil and a bit of a pain for everyone, but you accept them as part of the furniture. To be presented with another one purely to satisfy Sky Sports leaves a bitter taste, but as football fans we will take it on the chin as always.

September was a sticky month for Leeds United; with one win, one draw and two defeats. Home form is the real issue now with no win at Elland Road since last March, but alas after losing 3-0 at high-flying Middlesbrough last weekend the games don’t get any easier; with in-form Birmingham City and top-of-the-table Brighton visiting Elland Road in the next two games this month.

Still, we will be opening our doors as normal, and of course the traditional Old Peacock pre-match build-up involves all of us drinking a couple of pints and swiftly believing Leeds can pretty much beat anyone. It’s all part of the service. So until next time, enjoy the home games, visit us during the week to sample our fantastic menus and stay informed via our social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

All the best,

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What Happened To August?

What happened to August? What happened to summer? A whirlwind of two home games at Elland Road, the end of the transfer window, Leeds Rhinos winning the Challenge Cup and before you know it September is upon us, and it’s chilly mornings, nights drawing in and arguments about putting the heating on.

Last month saw us launch our new match day marquee in the Old Peacock beer garden and it proved to be a massive success. We managed to entertain and lubricate capacity crowds in the pub for both home games against Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday, and while there may have been two score draws on the pitch, it was two home wins for the Old Peacock punters.

The weather was pretty kind to us and despite the lunch time kick offs for both games, Leeds fans proved they have an insatiable thirst whatever time of the day it is. Thanks for all those who came along and supplied pics and videos of the crowds in the beer garden and marquee. We hope you agree that the marquee has added a new dimension to the legendary Peacock match day experience, and allows you all to get served much quicker and spend more time building up that special pre-match atmosphere.

September has arrived with a further two home games for Leeds United, this time in quick succession. This coming weekend we have our first 3pm kick-off of the season when Brentford come to visit, followed by our first midweek game against Ipswich Town on Tuesday 15th.
Every football fan prefers a 3pm Saturday afternoon kick-off - it is what generations of football culture was built upon - and there are precious few for Leeds fans in particular, thanks mainly to Sky Sports.

A 3pm kick-off allows you to do something worthwhile in the morning, definitions of which will vary wildly depending on your age, relationship status and Friday night antics. But you will maybe have a bit of lunch and still have time to get down to the Old Peacock for plenty of pre-match frolics. This is far more relaxing than dragging yourself out of bed, eating when you don’t necessarily want to and rushing down for a lunchtime kick-off, where everybody looks ill and miserable and would rather be feet up on the sofa and hence, the atmosphere within the ground is never the same. And that’s just for home games. Sky Sports; disturbing the football fan’s body clock since 1992.
Away from football, there is something unique and very special that we are looking forward to at the Old Peacock in September; the Rugby World Cup, with two games being played at Elland Road towards the end of the month, and every game live on our big screens.

Leeds has been chosen as a host city with Millennium Square staging the 'FanZone' throughout the tournament, which more than likely will be a pretty lively place during the six-week long extravaganza. But the weekend of 26th and 27th of September will see Rugby Union fans from various corners of the globe converge on Elland Road to taste some of the rugby heritage of Leeds, and most importantly, the hospitable match day experience of the Old Peacock.
Rugby was played on Elland Road long before football was on a regular basis, when Holbeck Rugby Club were residents between 1897 and 1904, prior to Leeds City’s formation. This was Rugby League of course, as the split of League and Union codes had occurred shortly before in 1895. Rugby Union has only actually been played once before at Elland Road, this was a friendly between England North and South Africa in November 1992. But Saturday 26th September sees Rugby Union return with the world watching, as Italy play Canada in Pool D, while Sunday 27th has more of a local flavour with Scotland facing the USA in Pool B.

Both games have a 2.30pm kick off and while Rugby Union has plenty of differences to football, one thing that unites fans of both, and particularly Leeds United fans, is a raging thirst on match day, so we are getting ready for a busy double-header of a weekend.

Throughout the tournament we will have the Greene King IPA Inflatable in the Old Peacock beer garden, to entertain fans seeking that unique photo opportunity pre and post-match. We expect the inflatable rugby posts and crash mat will be hard to resist even before fans have had a beer, so it is likely that dignity will be in short supply as kick-off approaches. But attempt a try-scoring swallow dive, share your photo and you may win some prizes.

Getting back to football, and we think it’s been a pretty good start to the season for Leeds United, with head coach Uwe Rösler appearing to get his ideas across and instilling the kind of organisation into the team that we expected he would bring. It’s taking a bit of time for the side to look really dangerous in an attacking sense but that will come, particularly with some of the signings made beginning to bed themselves in. Meanwhile, we have seen goals, and some of them have been absolute crackers.

The scenes in the pub when Chris Wood launched his 20-yard rocket into the net at Derby for the 88th-minute winner showed what a crucial victory it was, and hopefully there will be plenty more of that to come.

Before I go, just a quick word about Archies, the new bar opened by Ossett Brewery in Granary Wharf this month. Archies is open all day for breakfast through to dinner, and even for cutting a rug late into the night. There is definitely a merrymaking vibe to the latest venture, which joins The Hop and Candlebar to form a little something for all tastes along the scenic Leeds waterfront, and even a variable pub crawl for those of you who can handle a little slice of everything.

Hope to see you in the Old Peacock during September. Don’t forget we have our normal food menus and quiz nights in operation in between home games and you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on via our new and improved social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

See you soon,


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Home Again

Football is back and it’s time to steady ourselves for nine months of ritual chaos, joy and agony as we navigate another unstable voyage on the good ship Leeds United.

Welcome to my first official blog post for The Old Peacock; that bastion of refuge, inspiration and consolation for generations of match-going Leeds United fans.

I’ve been spending match days in the Old Peacock for over twenty years, pretty much since I was old enough to make watching Leeds United more pleasurable and bearable, via a few pints. The role of the match day pub has grown increasingly significant as Leeds United have put us through the ringer in recent years, and undoubtedly now it is a pretty much essential part of the 23-times-a-season experience. Home; a place of comfort and belonging.

Suffice to say, all the hardy souls that enter the Old Peacock on a match day are following in the footsteps of literally every generation of Leeds United fans. The Peacock has stood on Elland Road since 1826 – 93 years before Leeds United even existed -  and is perhaps, therefore, as much in the very fabric of the club as anything else; be it a player, manager, owner or fan.

Which is why Ossett Brewery are so dedicated to maintaining the success and prosperity of what is an institution to Leeds United fans; the embittered, often-forgotten but unflinchingly loyal body of people that breath life into the football club. 

To solidify that commitment, the management of the Old Peacock have not sat idly by as they count the proceeds of a guaranteed packed-out pub for every home game. They have invested this summer in making the match day experience far more comfortable for the legions of fans that walk through their doors.

This season Old Peacock regulars will see a new marquee in the beer garden with a full bar and the addition of four attentive staff. Capacity of the pub’s entire site on a match day is 1100 people, and the marquee won’t change that. What it will change is to ensure that those 1100 people can get served quicker and easier and can then relax in more spacious surroundings.

Other than that, Ossett are sticking to a winning formula; 1919, Yorkshire Blonde and Silver King, the full range of lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks as before, and the hearty goodness of the ‘Match Day Menu’ fresh from the kitchen.

August looks to be an enticing introduction in terms of Elland Road home games, with two meaty ones on the agenda. This coming Saturday (8th) sees newly-relegated Burnley as the season’s first visitors before Sheffield Wednesday (22nd) arrive for a Yorkshire Derby fixture. Both games are scheduled for a lunch time kick-off and are live on Sky Sports, factors which routinely affect the attendance and atmosphere.

But early-season optimism is rife and if Uwe Rosler’s promise of ‘heavy metal football’ offers us one thing, it is that a few beers pre and post match sound like the perfect accoutrement. I’ve a feeling that life will not be dull under Rosler, and a gung-ho approach and talk of instilling a ‘top six mentality’ offer reminders of better times, and I’ll certainly raise a glass or five to that.

Life at the Old Peacock goes on between home games of course, and the range of menus remain in place during the week as usual. Following the success of the recent Norman Hunter and Duncan McKenzie nights, early September sees league title-winning goalkeeper John Lukic make a rare appearance (Wednesday 9th September at 7.30pm) for a Q&A session and autographs.

Lukic is a veteran of 431 games for Leeds and is member of an exclusive club, not just for winning a championship medal, or for having two spells at both Arsenal and Leeds, but also for skilfully maintaining the same hairstyle for over forty years. Come along in September to see if he still has it, hear some unique stories and meet a title-winner into the bargain.

All the best for now, enjoy the two home games in August and follow us on Twitter @oldpeacockleeds for news on what’s happening at the pub, match day competitions and plenty of photos, videos and posts on the history behind what makes the Old Peacock unique to Leeds United.

Jon Howe