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David Batty

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David Batty - click for larger image  David Batty - click for larger image  David Batty - click for his website  David Batty - click for larger image

Position Central midfielder
Born 02 Dec 1968, Leeds (England)
Height 172 cm
Weight 76 kg
International Caps England: 42 full, 5 B, 7 U21

Club From To Apps Goals Sold for
Leeds United 03 Aug 1987 26 Oct 1993 256 4 £2750000
Blackburn Rovers 26 Oct 1993 02 Mar 1996 71 1 £3750000
Newcastle United 02 Mar 1996 09 Dec 1998 114 4 £4400000
Leeds United 09 Dec 1998 30 Jun 2004 126 0  

Leeds Career League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1987 - 1988 22(1)1 1  0  0  2 
1988 - 1989 25(5)  1  3  0  1 
1989 - 1990 39(3)  1  2  0  4 
1990 - 1991 37  6  6  0  4 
1991 - 1992 402 0  4  0  1 
1992 - 1993 301 3  2  4  0 
1993 - 1994 8(1)  0  0  0  0 
1998 - 1999 10  0  0  0  0 
1999 - 2000 16  0  2  4  0 
2000 - 2001 13(3)  2  0  7(1)  0 
2001 - 2002 30(6)  1  1  5(1)  0 
2002 - 2003 0  0  0  0  0 
2003 - 2004 10(2)  1  1  0  0 
Total 280(21)4 16  21  20(2)  12 

Jabba's Comments

The archetypal combative midfielder made a welcome return to Elland Road in December 1998. Having played for Leeds for 6 years as a professional (after being a ball-boy and a member of the youth team) and helped them to promotion back to the top flight and then the League Championship, he moved on to Blackburn where he played in his second Championship-winning team - but declined a medal since he felt that there were others in the team who had contributed more who would otherwise miss out. From there he moved to Newcastle and now he's back at Leeds.

His contribution on his return was initially somewhat limited - with a rib injury picked up in his first game keeping him on the sidelines for some time. However, by the end of 1998-99 he was in the side as a regular and key player - and that continued into the start of the 1999-2000 season. He wasn't scoring a hatful of goals - but that's not the sort of player he is: his passing and movement creates many opportunities for the front players but it's his solidity and experience that has made such a difference so far. He picked up an injury against Southampton, and after a month off came back in a League Cup game against Leicester. He lasted barely 20 minutes and was out for a year and a day with successive injuries caused by an achilles problem and made worse by some of the drugs he had to take for the heart problems he suffered as a result of the rib injury.

After his return to the side in December 2001, he steadied the team and played a key part as the team's league form was turned around and the Champions League run extended.

In 2001-02 he became a central part of the team again - and by steering clear of injury lent some stability to the midfield. Early in the season he looked a bit off the pace, but he seemed to be back to his best, dominating the opposition and closing down any attacking options.

In his autobiography he states his intention to retire at 34/35 and to go out at the top - so that should make 2002/03 his final season. He failed to travel out on the energy-sapping pre-season tour to the Far East - his noted hatred of flying being one factor that kept him at home - and he remained on the fringes of the pre-season games with Eirik Bakke preferred in the defensive midfield role. El Tel decided that he didn't have a future in the Premier League - and with that in mind, and with the odd injury, he didn't even make it into the reserve side before February.

Under Peter Reid, he's taken the chance to force his way back into contention. Some impressive performances in the 2003-04 pre-season games pushed his name back up the pecking order and he was clearly the best player in the middle of the park although the team's results started to slip badly. After being out for a spell with an injury, it looked like he was about to come back into the side, but rumours of a split with Eddie Gray spread like wildfire as Gray made it clear that Batty would take no further part in the first team's games this season. Batty issued a statement denying any suggestion of a personal split with the manager, and wishing the first team good luck in its battle against relegation.

David Batty: The Autobiography

Buy this excellent autobiography of David Batty at Amazon now!

Judy Batty says: I am a Batty by marriage and have enjoyed watching David since his Newcastle days. He looks so much like my father-in-law it is uncanny. I started playing soccer when I turned 40 so I am quite a novice. I have learned a great deal from watching David's play.

Pun says: David will be one of my best ever midfielders.

Kelly Binns says: I haven't really got any comments. I would just like to say I think he's great and I always watch him play even though he plays for Leeds now, could you tell him I'm his biggest fan ever!! I play footy too for Chester-le-Street and I go to Durham Academy. Could u please e-mail me some more gos on David Batty. thanxs.

Jennifer says: I was totally in love with David when I was about 13, now 18. I still look back on the day that I met him as being the best day of my life. I cried in his arms and told him I loved him....the most emotional moment of my life.

Woody says: I'll get him back for all those bloody tricks he's played on me!!!!!!!!!!!

Woody says: where shall i start? the dead rat in an envelope trick? me n batts a bucket of water and swifty...... use your imagination. the tricks r endless wiv him around!

Alan says: Have nearly finished reading his autobigraphy, and found it very interesting and a great insight into the world of professional football. David Batty reminds me of a typical Yorkshireman. Another interesting fact was that he met Alan Smith, out of the same Batty mould, when he was just a youngster starting out. David has had a beneficial effect on the Leeds team since returning at the end of 1998. Many of the young players have come along leaps and bounds and I am just waiting for him to score again, whenever he goes near the goal you can expect me to be screaming SHOOT!!!

Simon Wood says: I live in Toronto, Canada and in 1993 I travelled to Pontiac, Michigan USA to watch England play West Germany in a friendly. England lost 2-1 and David Batty was on the bench. That night the England team turned up at the bar we were at for a special ceremony. The England team was reserved the top section of the bar which was closed to the general public, but I did get a chance to speak to David and he even tried to get me and friend upstairs to join the players. Tony Dorigo was also there and was playing for Leeds at the time.

laura says: I met batts last month at a footy tournament his sons were playing in. Having worshipped the guy for ages i was over the moon to meet him, i got him to sign my england shirt, which has 'Batty 4 england' on the back - one of a kind! He was a top class bloke and so friendly. I even share me bday with him, coincidence or what!!!

Peter C says: The best goal David Batty scored was for NUFC against Wimbledon, about five metres in from the half way line. Just one week after Beckham's goal against the same club. So Sullivan should have known better.

I also had a silly fiver on him to score the first goal against Tunisia in the 1998 W C finals, he hit the bar, I was devastated.

P.S. I'm a Mag. but have a great respect for David Batty as a true sportsman

Donna smithys number 1 babe leedsutd rok! says: David batty the Elland rd ledgend what can i say? except ure a star uve dun so much 4 us n theres a lot of u in our young smithy hes dedicated and so loyle just like u!! I know ure nicky Byrnes idol n i can see y! ure gr8!

Gavin says: I am a big fan and also join in the chorus of "shoooooot" whenever near goal.He had a shot last season at Charlton that must have gone 18 feet over the bar---but the reaction from the terrace was akin to a goal of the season. I wish he would shoot more and don't know why he is reluctant.He has stopped playing forward balls--is that because Viduka is so fast he would over run them? I hope he does not retire this season but comes back into the team and prolongs his career at Leeds as the hero and legend he is.That just leaves me to say "Batty for England"

Delia Armstrong says: I soon fell in love with David Batty when he started playing for my beloved Mags, every match you were guaranteed 100%. When he missed that penalty for England I could have wept for him, I sent him a card telling him how proud I was of him and I couldn't believe it when very shortly afterwards I got a hand written note of thanks from him! Then when he was out for ages with his achilles injury I sent him another card telling him to keep his chin up - again to receive a little note on a Leeds U complementary slip! What a top bloke. Leeds have long since been my second team even before Batts played for them but - and I know I'll upset some Leeds fans here- since the arrival of El Tel and his treatment of David I'm not bothered anymore. I've still got a picture of Batts on the wall at work - in his Mags strip of course !!!! Love the site , long may it continue.

jmedcalf says: I know every team has 11 players on the field but when Batty plays there is an air of expectancy- he seems to give the team heart. I've followed him from Leeds to Blackburn to Newcastle and back home again and it was with him wherever he played- I've just returned from 4 months abroad where I followed Leeds's fortunes (misfortunes). I couldn't understand why he wasn't being picked- even Dacourt's appearances were spasmodic. Batty and Dacourt were awesome together- What's El Tel's problem? Venables does not care about Leeds- Some say he's only in it for the money and will leave quite happily next year to work for the next club desperate for a "name" to front their team-(Providing the price is right) I followed Leeds's fortunes (misfortunes). I couldn't understand why he wasn't being picked- even Dacourt's appearances were spasmodic. Batty and Dacourt were awesome together- What's El Tel's problem? Venables does not care about Leeds- Some say he's only in it for the money and will leave quite happily next year to work for the next club desperate for a "name" to front their team-(Providing the price is right) "When I came here I had a look at the squad and spoke to David three or four times. I know he is a legend at this club and I know he has been a great player here and elsewhere: there is no doubt about that. But you also have to respect the fact that, as unpopular as it may be, I must have the right to make the decision on who I choose." I take exception to Tel's comment"I know he HAS been a great player here" HE STILL IS IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY! Maybe Tel doesn't want anyone who is prepared to question his tactics in the team- even if they could solve the midfield crisis he has created- Batty and Decourt in midfield were tremendous . No decent manager would let personal preferences destroy a team the way that Venables has but then there are not many like Tel- thank God! Too egotistical to admit he's made a mistake- or not really bothered either way- he'll still have his lucrative TV contract to return to- when Leeds slip further down the table.

jmedcalf says: After hearing the news today of why Batty is not playing- He didn't figure in Tel's plans from the start!! and having watched the game yesterday not recognising the majority of players on the pitch due to their lack of spirit, heart and general lack of cohesion as a team. I and a number of people around me decided we'd had enough. Tel is the reason we're going down and if our now silent chairman can't see that maybe the only way to get it through to the powers that be is via the turnstiles. When the crowds diminish the badly needed money diminishes! Then they'll sit up and take notice of who controls the purse strings- WE DO!! The ever present loyal fans.-We'll see!

BATTY4ENGLAND AND BATTY4LEEDS says: David Batty is an all time great. I love it when he plays for leeds cos he is so quality. Why that stupid cockney wont pick him is beyond me. He is world class, and if bakke is playing, why isnt super batts player. Keep up the work batts and finally terry might come to his senses. I feel that if batty doesnt figure in the next couple of games, then its VENABLES OUT.

Eddy Claydon says: My Hero - I have always been Leeds though and through and when I play football I try and play the same type of defensive midfield role which is typical of David. He shows exceptional committment. It is a shame Leeds United management do not treat him with the same consideration as he has shown the club over the years. A true Yorkshire man.

Jon says: David Batty may have had some unjustified critisism over the years,but the clim by Venables that Batty is "not mobile" just shows how out of touch Venables is with the moden game. Arguably the best part of Batty's game is his unbelievable workrate, which was still very evident on the last occasion that we had the pleasure of seeing him play.His example of "workrate" combined with his accurate short passing game is what has desperately been missed in the totally lightweight midfields that Venables always prefers to field. Dispite the current injury list, the likes of Batty and Dacourt (prior to his injury) have both been available for most of the season but neither seem to form part of Venables plans.

Ewie says: David Batty went to my school and his Mum and Dad live in my street Chapel Allerton, which despite its triviality makes me proud.That is not the real reason i have written to you its to vent my anger, frustration and sheer disbelief at the treatment of a legend by a man who has no affiliation to Leeds United or the city,also the people and their attitude towards lifelong to the bone 100% Leeds people like David. What the **** is Ridsdale sitting and watching this for if he really is a True Leeds fan? Are Burns, Mcphail or Bakke better than Batts?..NO. I'm upset for him and so are 99% of fans that discuss the subject. With 11 first team players missing Venables, like many football managers, is so arrogant that he will now not admit he's wrong. Batty would have been a much better option all season than the pretenders he's been dabbling with, who again don't care about the club.I am sorry if i have rambled a bit but the current form and the treatment of real Leeds people like Gray, Batts ,Smith is even more of a disgrace. If Woodgate has to move from Teeside to stay in touch with the direction Of Leeds United why doesn't Ridsdale take a leaf out of his book and do the same He lives in F****** Lancashire doesn't he? Probably a plant to ruin the club from Scum. He's doing a good job. I conclude the best Leeds midfield since the good old days was Batty and Dacourt and he should be playing both of them every week. We love ya Batts keep your chin up and your heart pure Leeds. None of the real fans have forgotton what you have done for us and seeing you play in a white shirt still gives us more confidence than 9 or so who are starting now put together. I conclude the best Leeds midfield since the good old days was Batty and Dacourt and he should be playing both of them every week. We love ya Batts keep your chin up and your heart pure Leeds. None of the real fans have forgotton what you have done for us and seeing you play in a white shirt still gives us more confidence than 9 or so who are starting now put together.

Chris says: David Batty is the greatest midfielder since Billy Bremner. Now hes been forgoten. But not by the faithful who can see how much the team need him!

Steve H says: Leeds needs a player with skill and unreserved commitment to the club. David Batty and Alan Smith are Leeds through and through. Get 'Tel' out back to Tv, and get someone with in drive, enthusiasm and good old common sense.

Matthew Denton-Hitch says: Batty is my favourite player and wish he was playing week in week out like he should be.He gives me,has a player,confidence and someone to look up to.I adore Batty and wish him best for the future.

Rachel Ludlam says: batty is leeds through and through and should be in leeds every game

Debbie says: Debz from harrogate, i remember watching you and Garry speed diving into mud puddles on the training pitch at elland road, talk about glastonbury festival! thats nowt. if you get to read this david i hope you enjoyed the miniature glenfiddick i handed to you xmas of 1991?.... cheers buddy!

Liverpool fan says: I support Liverpool, but all I can say is Venables has been a fool to say what he said about Batty. If Batty was in Leeds team then you'd be doing a lot better than you are now....that's for sure. Bring back Batty I say on behalf of the premier league

Alfonso Geraci says: I spent almost every single Nineties summer in Boston Spa where - I gather - David Batty also lives, but never met him in the flesh. Batty is possibly the most underrated player EVER: provided he's granted his place in midfield, the side he's playing for cannot fail to finish the season among the first four in the League - correct me if I'm mistaken.He can go on footballing indefinetely because reads the game beautifully.

ben frith says: best player i have ever watched.you can stick your pele

johnb says: I can't beleive what venables is doing. Anyone who witnessed his goal against Notts County in 92 would know he's really a natural finisher. He's just a bit shy that's all - needs a little coaxing.

Donna says: O terry BRING BATS BACK! wots rong wi ya? batty is a flammin legend! we all luv im! hes dun the batty name proud n all! (thnk u batts) tell ya what tel seen as our bakke is owt n paul okon dus well nuthing bring david back hes strong big bold intimidating 2 the opposition and respected by every1 in the game!!! with him alan james danny paul harry n marco in the team wed b unstoppable! bring him bk plz do the rite thing!!!! Batty's a legend WE WANT BATTS!!!!!

mark leonard says: bring back batty the ROCK

Mark Ash says: Whilst Batty has been discarded I have stayed away from Elland Rd as a matter of principle. I know the PLC won't miss the gate money generated by a bloke from Stoke and his missus but they would if more people voted with their feet. It's not even as if the team has been doing well without him. I don't agree with getting rid of Dacourt either.The pair of them would do a good job for any side but the Batty issue particuarly gets me really angry.

Anon says: David david david, what can i say?? you were the first person i had a crush on when i was 12, and now i'm 23, and still think you're the sexiest thing i've ever set eyes on!!!!!!!!

Danny Borz says: david batty should be playing hes like a rock in midfield and protects the back four.terrys got to go the sonner the better we need a fresh start get batty back playing

Antony Palourti says: I've not met David, but having followed his career from early days at Leeds and read his book, several times, I feel I know him. One of Leeds and Englands finest ever midfielders - a true great. What I would give to see him anchor Leeds' midfield again in place of the woeful Seth Johnson.

Steve Bell says: Get Batty back in the 1st Team immediately. If there was one player in the Premier League I would pick to play in my team to help avoid the possibility of relegation it would be Bats! I would have a lot more respect for Mr Venables if he were to give him his rightful place in the team back.

Emma says: Batts is the best an all rounder and down to earth, when i was younger I supported leeds for yrs and used to go to watch leeds train religiously every week for 3 years this was now 10 years ago or more. i met donna ward on those cold afternoons and believe me they were cold batts used to bring me out them oversize umbro coats and cups of coffee, what a gent. i've got hundreds of photos with all the players especially batts and speedy, batts was my favourite player and i was madley in love with speedy, boy did donna and I have some laughs back then. As all good things do eventually come to an end batts was sold to Blackburn and did I cry the night he left bucket loads, my dad said it was ridiculous and stopped me going to the football for a while! I have only watched leeds play once since speedy left but my photos are tucked away in the loft and now and then I get them down for a quick look and have a good old giggle! I read batts autobiography last yr and thought it was great, I love davids approach to life and how he sticks by what he believes in regardless of the cost. Well I just wanted to write and say that I support you batts you are a great football player and a good bloke too! Even though I don't watch the footy anymore I will always have a soft spot for you and speedy for all the memories from yrs ago. I'm far too old for all that now!

David Goodbody says: Batts is s great player and his style gives him at least another 2 years in the game. the constant chants of 'batty batty' show how highly he is rated. him and Dacourt were the reason for our great spell. how on earth is okon better than batty. Come on Reidy, play him and watch us win 7 out of 7. Batty Batty.

AidenD says: I met david in the Captains lounge in 1990. He was with Vinny Jones. Both great blokes who had time for a geeky 14 yr old as I was back then. We all hoped we'd see him play with Tel gone but with his injuries and only 2 games left it looks like we're gunner have to wait. I just prey he doesnt retire or owt daft cos i badly wana see a few more games out of him yet. Surely he has a few years left in him?

Gemma says: David Batty is the best defensive midfielder ever. He has a great presence on the pitch and never fails to give his all. What El Tel thought he was doing when he chose to drop him out of the squad is one of life's great mysteries. It was an absolute crime to the glorious game. I have followed his progress throughout his career and feel that he has contributed immensely to all Blackburn, Newcastle and Leeds, and indeed England in a way that very few players can. His persistance and unelievable talent and aggression for the game is an asset that many footballers lack. A living legend who should never be forgotten. Absolute brilliance. Bring back Batty!

lakey and trev head say: david batty is the best defensive midfielder i have ever watcthed he always gives 100percent and is the most loyal player at leeds aswell as smithy give the bloke a chance reidsy bring back batty and watch the differance hell make to the team.the mans a legend.

Toddy says: batty u r a leeds ledgend u kno tht u r 2much of a goodman 2 openly say wat u think of hell tels reingn but dont worry belive me leeds fans r slaggin him off worldwide 4 u. i dunno wat players like Okon was like as ppl but i kno summet on the pitch they rnt in David Battys league cum on do it for the fans

andy says: david is one of the greatest midfeilders and captains leeds have ever had so please peter reid give david a chance dont waste ure greatest asset.

Toddy says: OMG this just rips it Batty back in the side n wat happens? we win! El tels a fool and 2day against man u he was easily Leeds best player if u dnt belive me check on www.lufc.com hes a true ledgend!

Max Harlow says: I have to be honest, I'm not a David Batty fan - I've always thought of him as, at best a non-entity and at worst a liability (esp. in terms of discipline). And the fact that Peter Schmeichel has scored more goals (10) in his career than Batts (9) is laughable. So when Ell Tel dropped him, I wasn't too bothered. But having seen how dreadful Leeds were at times last season, and given Leeds' recent performances now he's back in the side, my opinion of him is slowly rising. But I'll still never understand what possessed him to take England's penalty in France 98 (or why no-one tried to stop him)!

Anonimous says: I used to live across the road to David Batty. And i used to get on so well with his sons. Tell him he is great.

ashleigh and adam say: we used to live across from mandys parents house and knew david and mandy.me and my brother adam used to play with jack and george.we even went to davids house to play.he and mandy was always very kind to us,we moved to spain about five years ago and have not seen them since but have kept intouch with davids career.we wish all the family well.

Laura says: wat can i say bout Batts that aint all ready bin sed??!! the mans fantabulous!

Rick Haywood says :What can I say but probably one of the best midfielders if not the best in the world. I have met my football hero twice and what a guy, it's nice to be compared to Batts when I play football for my local team at the weekends. I dont know what Leeds will do when he packs in because there is no players left like him.

batty4eva says: im gutted for ya batts were gunna miss u so much ure a complete legend n well never ever 4get everything you've done 4 us its so gutting to have it end this way and i cant say im happy with the decision because im not and id much rather have you in the squad! ure a brilliant player you always have been and always will be and were gunna miss ya the spirit the passion and the skill just dnt ever forget we love ya 2 bits ure always goin 2 b number 1 and ure an inspiration. when they talk of the greats youll be top of the list along with bremner charles Jones n one day a certain Mr smith1 ure a star dave a legend and we hope tht ull carry on being as much of a supporter as we are we know tht if u cud ud b helpin us stay in the top flight n if anything we need ure help mre thn ever now im not sayin eddie nos best cos he dsnt but im sure hes got his reasons even if we dont agree so thnx batts uve given us sum very special memories! thnk u god bless!

Paul says: without a doubt david batty is the best midfielders in the world. It is a great shame that he has been dropped but you will still be a lengend at leeds no matter. you are one of the only players this season at leeds that is proud to wear a leeds shirt and you play your heart out for leeds. everyone is gutted about the way you have been treated this season but you have given us great memories. you will always be my hero! thanks for every things batts!!!!

rachel says: researching my family history, my gt gt aunt was Jane (Ginny) Batty nee Donovan born c1871 in everton liverpool, is David connected to her ? He is the image of my grandfather.

Murllien Mayne (neé Batty) says: I have followed David from his time at Leeds to Blackburn to Newcastle and back to Leeds and I can only say that they are poorer for the star Yorkshire terrier they lost. Their loss!

Ross says: Can someone please tell me why Radebe & Matteo are being preferred to Batts in midfield?????? No disrespect to either of them but they are centrebacks, probably our best two & should be played at the back. Batts could still do a job for Leeds.

Gino says: Lack of players in mid and we keep batty in the cold wat a joke!!!!!!!

Simon Lynch says: best battler that ever steped on a football pitch

samantha smith says: is david into superbike racing? i would like to be able to get in touch and ask if he would consider sponsoring?

Ste says: A LEEDS legend - a REAL Leeds player - BATTEE! BATTEE! BATTEE!


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Did you see David Batty play? Did you meet him in a pub, go to school with him, decorate his house or buy a motor from him? If you've got any comments or stories about David Batty on or off the pitch, just fill in the form below and (provided they're not blatantly libellous) I'll add them to this page. And just a quick note to the spammers who try to add their links to this page by attempting to get round the client-side validation: don't bother - the server side does similar checks and throws your garbage straight into the bit bucket.

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