Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We are the Champions, Champions of Europe!

A lot of fans of opponent teams have always asked me why we chant and use WACCOE, which stands for 'We are the Champions, Champions of Europe' as we have never won the European Cup(now known as the UEFA Champions' League). Some people even call us a deluded lot claiming we have no rights to use such a chant. So when did the term  WACCOE get used first?

The prelude was in the 1972-73 season where we played in the Cup Winners Cup after winning our only FA Cup in the 1971-72. We more or less eased our way to the Cup Winners Cup final, without losing a single game on the way through. After beating Croatian giants Hajduk Split, we were all set for a show down with Italian powerhouses AC Milan in Greece for the final. Milan ended up winning the game 1-0, but only after several dubious calls by the referee Christos Michas, who was later convicted for match-fixing by UEFA. As recent as 2006, the then Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Richard Corbett had send a letter to UEFA to investigate the match in light of corruption in Italian Football arising through the Calciopoli scandal which broke out in Italy in 2006.

Moving on the season of 1974-75. The first season of football for Leeds without the legendary Don Revie, a season that included Brain Clough's infamous 44 days at the club. Jimmy Armfield took over the reins after Clough's departure and guided the club to the European Cup Final and then, it all happened once gain.

Again, we ended up on the losing side. Again, we played better than our opponents., Again, we felt cheated by the match officials. The fans rioted but the game had been lost on the pitch. The game was refereed by Frenchman Michel Kitabdjian.

After the European Cup final, most Leeds fans certainly felt we deserved to be crowned European Champions on that night in Paris. That fuelled the thought of the fans and we began considering ourselves as the 'Unofficial Champions of Europe' which gave rise to the term WACCOE and the iconic terrace chant.

We are the champions,
Champions of Europe,

We are the champions,
Champions of Europe!

1 comment:

  1. we only won through a simple horrible catenaccio that's true; but nothing more than that; we didn0t offer any beautiful show from the point of of view of football I cam agree, but we only won according to italian style of catenaccio and as you english didn't like thatat all you said that we bought the referee, put some feet out of Britain and try to realize trhat th world doesn't finish with britain and when there is a defeat it must be accepted not following the bubbles of thievish politician who robbed your incomes of work