Although Leeds United are not the European powerhouse that they once were, the club's historic rivalries are still as bitter as ever. Find out their top 5 rivals here.

Last updated: 20/06/23 at 12:27

Leed's United FC was founded in West Yorkshire in 1919. The club has spent almost every season since its conception playing in the top two tiers of English football and have won 3 league titles, one FA Cup, and one League Cup in that time.

The team's last honours were in 1992, and in recent years, the club has faded out of the circle of big clubs in the English game. However, the rivalries that they formed over the years still continue and are as hostile as ever. ‌‌

Leeds United's rivals are not limited to local clubs and even include some of the game's biggest teams. Keep reading to find out who they are.

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Derby County

Games: 125 | Wins: 58 | Losses: 38 | Draws: 29 ‌‌

The rivalry between Leeds United and Derby County is one that has stretched for over half a century. It began in the 1960s when both teams competed for the top honours in the English game. Leeds won the 1969 and 1974 First Division Title and Derby took the top spot in 1972, marginally ahead of the Peacocks. ‌‌

The focal point that began the fierce rivalry between these two clubs, is the famous feud between the club's managers. Brian Clough (Derby) and Don Revie (Leeds) made no secret of their dislike for each other, with Clough repeatedly tearing into Revie and his players in his press conferences.

Video: The history behind Leeds and Derbys rivalry

Over the next 45 years, the rivalry simmered just below the surface until 2019, when two new managers re-ignited the feud that began with their predecessors from half a century ago. The feud began when a Leeds official was spotted spying on Derby’s training sessions just before a game between the two sides, which Derby lost. After the game, Derby manager Frank Lampard furiously blasted the Leeds camp much to the disdain of the Peacocks fans.‌‌

With Leeds now playing back in the Premier League, the two teams will not meet in league competition, but the animosity will never go away and will likely come to a head again soon.


Games: 80 | Wins: 32 | Losses: 29 | Draws: 19

‌‌‌‌With both teams hailing from West Yorkshire, this is a natural-born rivalry between two clubs clashing for local superiority and bragging rights. ‌‌

In the 1920s, Huddersfield became the first team in English football history to win three consecutive First Division titles, solidifying their dominance in West Yorkshire. However, in the ’60s and ’70s, Leeds became one of the top sides in Europe, winning numerous accolades under legendary Manager Don Revie.

Video: Leeds fans chanting vs Huddersfield

With Leeds establishing dominance over many of England's best teams, Huddersfield were forced to watch their local dominance diminish into nothing, creating a bitter rivalry between the two neighbouring clubs.


Games: 107 | Wins: 40 | Losses: 37 | Draws: 30‌‌

With Leeds being situated 200 miles north of Chelsea, this rivalry is a peculiar one. The great rivalry between these two clubs is not born out of location, or even competition for titles.

Video: The most brutal football match in history, between Chelsea and Leeds

The hatred between Chelsea and Leeds all stems from one game that took place at Stamford Bridge in 1964. In this game, a Leeds player left the pitch on a stretcher thanks to a wild challenge by Eddie McCreadie. Many X-rated tackles were seen flying all around the pitch during the heated match.

The action of the match sparked equal amounts of on-pitch altercations each time the teams met over the 10 years that followed. The rivalry was really solidified in the 1966/67 season when Leeds had two goals controversially ruled out in an FA cup loss to Chelsea. The hostilities have continued ever since.


Games: 40 | Wins: 17 | Losses:18 | Draws: 5

The rivalry between Leeds United and Millwall is a relatively new one compared to some of the others on this list, but perhaps also one of the most volatile.

The two teams both entered the official football league in the 1920/21 season but were in different divisions. Being from different parts of the country, and being in different leagues, neither saw the other as a rival.

Video: Leeds United and Millwall's heated rivalry

That all changed in the 2007/08 season, 3 years after Leeds were relegated from the Premier League. The games between the two teams quickly became heated due to a fierce rivalry for promotion back to the Premier League.

Both Millwall and Leeds are known for their passionate fans. Couple that with a battle for the Championship top spot, and you have one of football's most notorious rivalries.

Manchester United

Games: 111 | Wins: 26 | Losses: 49 | Draws: 36

Leeds United's biggest rivalry of the lot is with Manchester United. The rivalry between these two clubs stems from the 15th Century ‘War of The Roses’ between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, with the derby often being dubbed ‘The Roses Derby’.

Video: Leeds vs Manchester United's rivalry

The rivalry started to grow between the two clubs when Leeds were promoted to the English first division in 1964, and were locked in a rivalry for English dominance with Manchester United and Chelsea.

The rivalry is undoubtedly one of the biggest in English football and was labelled by The Daily Telegraph as "English football's most intense – and inexplicable – rivalry". The two teams haven't met that often since, but the fierce rivalry still remains.

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