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At the very end of 2019, as the UK was getting ready to welcome in a new year and a new decade, reports emerged from China about the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Nobody could've imagined the impact it would have on the world. After spreading across five continents, a pandemic was declared, and earlier this week Boris Johnson placed the country in "lockdown".

Shop tills are not ringing, schools are closed, pubs are dry, cinemas are empty, businesses are grinding to a halt and the full, devastating scale this will have on the worlds economy remains to be seen but far more tragically, thousands of lives have been lost across the globe.

In these unprecedented times our daily routines are massively impacted, we can no longer do or enjoy the simple things in life that we have always taken for granted. One of those things, that me as the author and you as the reader have in common is our love of Leeds United and/or football in general - you may support another team but the impacts are the same.

From August to May supporters travel the length and breadth of the country following their team. Plans are made weeks in advance. Tickets are purchased, buses, trains and hotels are booked, meeting points and pick-up times arranged and the journeys home are often quiet, filled with disappointment following a defeat. We'd take that disappointment this weekend, wouldn't we?

When Oliver Langford blew his whistle for the final time at Elland Road on the 7th of March, we had no idea that the lads wouldn't take to the field again for (what could well be) months.

In the clubs 100 year history, the only interruptions we have had to the season (WWII aside) have been the unpredictable nature of the weather and, in modern times, international breaks.

Back in 1962, the coldest winter for 200 years was about to hit the country and on the 22nd of December many fixtures were postponed but Leeds' game, away at Sunderland, went ahead despite the fog. United left the field at a frozen Roker Park after suffering a 2-1 defeat. A Billy Bremner goal, from 25 yards out, on the hour had levelled matters after George Mulhall had opened the scoring for the hosts but eight minutes later, Charlie Hurley grabbed what proved to be the winner. 

Leeds' next game was Boxing Day, away at Scunthorpe United and the Iron were due at Elland Road for the return fixture two days later. Neither game went ahead as snow and ice covered the country. Out of the 46 scheduled Boxing Day games, 19 were postponed and three were abandoned. After 36 minutes, referee Jack Pickles needed a police escort, to avoid angry supporters, as he took the players off the field at Mansfield Town who were entertaining Bradford City, with the scores at 1-1.

The first Saturday in January 1963, Leeds were due to play Stoke City at Elland Road in the Third Round of the FA Cup. On the Thursday before the game, the ground staff cleared snow from the pitch and despite the pitch being hard in places, the club were hopeful the game would go ahead. 

The following day, 24 of the Third Round ties had already been called off but Leeds remained confident the game would go ahead but after an 8:30 pitch inspection on the morning of the game, referee Ken Seddon declared the surface unplayable with the tie being rearranged for the Wednesday. Between the 22nd of December 1962 and the 5th of January 1963, 121 out of 180 games, up and down the country, had been postponed.

Bizarrely, with so many postponements, the FA continued with the Fourth Round draw on Monday the 7th of January and Leeds or Stoke City were drawn away at Blackburn Rovers or Middlesbrough. 

The rearranged game would need rearranging and the weather got worse to the extent that temperatures fell below minus 20 and the sea water in many UK harbours was frozen. Roads were blocked, telephone lines were brought down and many areas were cut off. Farmers could not get to their cattle and animals froze to death. 

Leeds did not return to action until the 2nd of March against Derby County, 70 days since the defeat by Sunderland. The Elland Road surface resembled a barnyard, covered in mud and straw but the conditions did not prevent Leeds running out 3-1 winners, thanks to goals by Don Weston after 12 minutes, Jim Storrie after 64 minutes and a Jack Charlton penalty with just six minutes remaining.

The Third Round tie against Stoke was eventually played four days later (after 12 postponements) in conditions that Stoke's legendary Stanley Matthews refused to play in. Leeds won the game 3-1 in what was the clubs first FA Cup victory for 11 years. Grenville Hair, who scored the third goal, was the only player who had featured the last time Leeds had triumphed in the Cup, a 2-0 win against Bradford City in 1952.

As a result of the abysmal winter, the season finished on the 18th of May with Leeds playing an incredible nine games during the month of April.

Who knows when football will return in 2020? Will football ever be the same again? At the moment, these questions don't really matter - we need to stay safe and rid the world of this terrible virus first and then begin to pick up the pieces.

Stay indoors, stay safe and look after your loved ones. Marching on Together.