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24 September 2014

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Leeds Utd

Gary Sprake in action (Empics)
Gary Sprake in vintage United action

Gary Sprake speaks

After 33 years former Leeds Utd goalkeeper Gary Sprake breaks his silence to speak to teamate Eddie Gray and Adam Pope on BBC Radio Leeds.

Gary played over 500 games for United and is trying to restore his reputation. During the interview he explains why he had to play a part in the allegations of match fixing against his Leeds boss the great Don Revie. A decision that saw Sprake alienated from his former teammates.

Gary Sprake (Empics)
Gary in his hey-day

In this interview Eddie Gray speaks with Gary Sprake for the first time since 1973.

Sprake first joined United back in 1961, an era when fellow Welsh great John Charles was at the club. in the interview he talks of Don Revie's defensive tendencies for the bigger matches.

"I think we played a bit defensive at times, but he was a great manager. If he let us off the leash, like when we beat Southampton 7-0 and Man United 6-1, then it was one of the best seasons we ever had."

"We always trained with the ball - it was a great time."

"I seem to have got all the flak"
Gary Sprake

The interview reveals that Revie was concerned with his player's diets and the United players would line up in front of the boss to consume milk, sherry and eggs! Then the team would be given steaks to eat back at the players' digs.

Gary Sprake talks about the infamous  incident at Anfield which led to his recent book being entitled Careless Hands. The goal keeper threw the ball into his own net because he changed his mind about rolling the ball out to start an attack and tried to draw the ball back into his body.

"It went over my shoulder right into the net in front of 30,000 people and right in front of the Kop."

Later on in Sprake's time at Elland Road there would be allegations of attempted match fixing involving Leeds United, and Gary Sprake explains why he spoke out publicly  about it. A decision which has led to criticism of the keeper.

"I seem to have got all the flak."

In a revealing and emotional hour make your mind up as to whether there can, or should be, reconciliation between Sprake and those with whom he helped make Leeds the dominant force in English football three decades ago.

Listen to:
audio Interview: Gary Sprake >
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last updated: 09/03/06
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