Leeds United's top 30 players of all time - Number 8

Elland Road pitchside

At 8 in the countdown is a midfielder whose career at Leeds started with the team in the Second Division and ended with a European Cup final.

When Johnny Giles arrived at Leeds from Manchester United in 1963, few would have anticipated that he would remain a key member of the side for the next 12 years before bringing the curtain down on his time at Elland Road by featuring in a European Cup final.

The Republic of Ireland international had just been a part of the Red Devils team that won the FA Cup - with Giles playing a role in two of the goals as they beat Leicester City 3-1 - but decided to drop down a division to join Don Revie's team.

He made an immediate impact for the Yorkshire side, making 40 appearances as United clinched the title and promotion to the top flight.

During the club's time at the top table, they would win the First Division title twice, FA Cup, League Cup, and Fairs Cup on two occasions with Giles playing an important role in all of their success.

His partnership with Billy Bremner was a key reason why Revie's men did enjoy so much success. The pair both had the fighting spirit to deal with the physicality of the game but also had bags of technical ability.

Giles, in particular, could thread sensational passes, whether that be during open play or at a set-piece, and was certainly a threat in front of goal. He would score 115 goals - coincidentally the same number Bremner managed during his time with the club - in 525 appearances, including 13 league strikes in both the 1969-70 season and the 1970-71 campaign. 

While he would begin to be relied upon slightly less in the latter years of his time at Elland Road, he was still able to make 17 appearances in their title-winning campaign in 1973-74 and would be in wonderful form during the next season to inspire United to the European Cup final.

Defeat to Bayern Munich would certainly not have been the way that Giles would have hoped to bow out - and if the Leeds board had taken Revie's recommendation to make him manager when Revie departed for the England job in 1974, he may have been there longer - but it would not have been right for a player with his class to depart on any other than the biggest stage. 

Countdown so far: Number 30, Number 29, Number 28, Number 27, Number 26, Number 25, Number 24, Number 23, Number 22, Number 21, Number 20, Number 19, Number 18, Number 17, Number 16, Number 15, Number 14, Number 13, Number 12, Number 11, Number 10, Number 9

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