Despite the failure of Allan Clarke, the board offered the
chance to rebuild the club to another one of Revie's squad - youth
team coach Eddie Gray. Gray continued to play until the end of the
1983-84 season and with the steadying influence of an aging Peter
Lorimer, he brought many of the youngsters he had been coaching in
to the first team - Dennis Irwin, Scott Sellars, John Sheridan and
Tommy Wright all coming through under Gray.
As Howard Wilkinson was later to show, what you need to get out
of Division Two is a bit of experience and steel rather than raw
youngsters, and despite some good showings, the board finally
pulled the plug on the popular Gray in October 1985. The players
were devastated, one of the board resigned, and the fans made their
displeasure clear, staging a massive demonstration in the car park
after the next home game that left the board cowering inside the
ground. Gray coached at Whitby and Middlesbrough before managing
Rochdale and Hull City before returning to Elland Road more
recently and working once again with the youngsters, bringing on
another successful crop of talented players.
After being edged out by David O'Leary in favour of Brian Kidd,
and remaining on the sidelines under Venables Eddie found himself
initially sacked by Leeds when Peter Reid took over and appointed
his own coaching team. But the Prof took him back on as a general
ambassador for Leeds, and when Reid found that he couldn't motivate
his decimated and makeshift team to produce the necessary results,
Eddie was brought back in as caretaker manager.
Andy Watters says: I hope Eddie gets the job full-time. Good
luck Eddie and come on Leeds!