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Leeds Utd

Gary Sprake inside Elland Road
Gary Sprake inside Elland Road

Sprake back at Leeds

Gary Sprake, former Leeds United goalkeeper, has returned to Elland Road despite the controversy following his allegations of 'bungs' during the hey-day of Don Revie and Billy Bremner.

Gary Sprake played over 500 games between the sticks for United, joining back in 1961, and was a member of, possibly, the best ever side to play for the Whites.

Don Revie
Don Revie, a LUFC stand bears his name

Relations with the rest of the team were broken off following allegations by Sprake of match fixing against his Leeds boss, the revered Don Revie. It was alleged that club captain, Billy Bremner, was used by Revie to bribe opposition players.

Now BBC One's Inside Out programme looks at the match-fixing allegations and also follows Sprake during his first visit back to Elland Road on a match-day following the bust up three decades ago.

Gary Sprake in Leeds
audio BBC Radio Leeds talks to Gary Sprake (March 2006) >
video Inside Out: Gary Sprake >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer
Billy Bremner
Billy's statue stands outside the ground

The programme also surprises several long-term Leeds United fans by confronting them with Gary Sprake. Despite the intervening years it is clear the fans are still hostile to Sprake's allegations and worried about the effect it has had on the club.

Inside Out was broadcast on BBC One at 7.30pm on Monday 2 October 2006.

last updated: 02/10/06
Have Your Say
What do you think of Gary Sprake's allegations?
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Kevin Wilson
I think it is absolutlely disgusting that Sprake has crawled out of his hole to make these allegations again.It is noticeable that he only makes these allegations against the two people who are no longer with us and cannmot answer back.I have two questions for Mr Sprake; 1)Who were the other players involved in the so called 'bribes' (let's here the allegations against people who can answer back). 2) How much was he (Sprake) paid by the Daily Mirror?

colin phippen
I well remember the time and how it hung over the club for years. Cold and should this not be left in the past now, we have a club to save and support in 2006- that is a miracle in its self.

Jonathan Wood
The principle of making scurrilous, unproven & unprovable allegations against people who can no longer defend themselves, for me, stinks the house down. Sprake should consider what others might say about HIM after he's gone. I remember for years that the football world thought Grobelaar was talented but terribly inconsistent- he was later proven to be involved in match-fixing. Against this backdrop, watching key moments of vital United games ultimately thrown away by Sprake's "inconsistency" might result in some eyebrows being raised. It must be tough for Gary to know that in many folks' eyes, he was the weakest link in an utterly fabulous side which still compares favourably with any post-war UK club side- and was undoubtedly one of the main reasons that THAT side didn't win as many trophies as their skill, power and hunger deserved- but even so, give it a rest, Gary!

Ian Andrews
The Panorama programme on bungs featured a load half truths featuring so caled agents trying to come across as the "big I am" which was badly editted by lazy journo's. And now another BBC hack tries to make this load of tosh fly. Sort yourselves out Aunty Beeb!!! And Sprakey, go back to Wales you sad embittered has been.

Lex Hanford - York
How easy to make allegations against people who are unable to defend themselves. Shame on you Sprakey. If these events happened why did you not speak up at the time? Shame on you BBC. A thoroughly pointless feature and a programme I shall certainly never bother watching again!

Peter Collins,London
Although I do not believe the allegations are justified,the real point is that in making the allegations at all,he has shown appalling disloyalty to his former team-mates and the club as a whole.My guess is he acted out of spite because he did not get the testimonial he said he had been promised by Don Revie.

mark stephenson
I find it appalling that the bbc have opened old wounds with this matter when two of the greatest EVER men to grace elland road are not here to A, DEFEND THEMSELVES and B,PUT THE RECORD STRAIGHT. sprake will be remembered for the blunders where he himself was subject to countless rumours of backhanders then when his time was up chose to cash in on utter nonsense,he was paid to say it and the cretin journo on the programm called revie a cheat. The leeds team was both feared and hated throughout football so these parasites get the digs in whenever possible,what about the ref from the european cup final v munich admitting robbing leeds because of the back hander from beckenbaur why are"nt the bbc witchhunting him? or the cup final ref v chelsea bent again nothing said we were the most cheated against team yet you the bbc dig this rubbish up!! we are leeds and we are proud with clear concious and great history R.I.P. DON AND KING BILLY .

Tony - Leeds
This is old hat - why are the BBC bringing this up again. Sprakes allegations were never proved, if they where true why wasn't Don Revie brought to book about them.

Maureen H Robinson
If Gary Sprake believes that raking up old alligations that he made years ago is going to sell him more books up here then he is even more out of touch now than when he was playing. If any alligations of bungs and match fixings should be investigated then surely as the last line of defence against goals being scored for the other teams, he should be the one being investigated, as it doesn't matter who agrees what it was his responsibility to stop the goils going in. He didn't get his nickname for nothing. Go back to Wales and leave us in peace.

Pete Smith
The sad thing is that we didn`t need to bribe anyone, we could have beaten anyone if Revie had let the team off the leash instead of being over cautious. Gary was a suberb goalkeeper that made a few mistakes, Paul Reaney and Jack Charlton made far more mistakes but are never villified for them. I can believe that Revie could well have done these things, he had a win at all costs attitude, of course he cared for those around him, he was fiercly loyal to his "sons" but that was the greatest club side i have ever seen, shame it was stifled by the ultra superstitious and almost paranoid Don Revie, if he had let us just play, we would have won everything for a decade.

Steven Emsley (Perth WA)
Well what a load of old bull! Sprake say's he is just letting everyone Know what was going on. Funny it has taken so long for an old player to step forward with this sort of news. Sprake would be beter off talking to the press down in London and keeping away from Elland road.Some of the mistakes he made might might be worth a look at careless hands springs to mind. The late Billy and Don did not need to pay off any one you only have to see the that old Leeds team play to come to that way of thinking.

P Walton
It's hard to say really. The whole affair was subject to a lot of speculation at the time. Rumour going round in the 70s was that Sprake fancied himself too much and was a bit of a narcissist. People used to try to pick fights with him if they saw him in public and he wasn't one to turn the other cheek. I think the fans were already prejudiced against him before the bungs affair broke out.

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