‘Shoes Off If You Hate Man U’ – Why Do Leeds Fans Take Off Their Footwear And Chant About Manchester United?

The supporters performed the unusual song before their Premier League clash with Manchester City on Saturday – but why do they do it?

Some football chants have strange backstories – and the one involving Leeds United fans removing their footwear as they sing their dislike for Manchester United is one of them.

The song is often heard at Leeds games, regardless of who they are playing – for example, a loud chorus was performed on Saturday before their Premier League meeting with Manchester City.

So why do Leeds United fans take their shoes off if they hate Man Utd?

What are the lyrics of the chant?
They are very simple: “Shoes off, if you hate Man U”, repeat ad nausea.

Where do the “Shoes off” chant come from?
It has its roots in Middle Eastern culture, where showing the sole of a shoe is considered an insult, as the sole is constantly in contact with dirt on the floor.

It became better known in western culture when a reporter threw his shoes at former US President George Bush in a show of disgust over the invasion of Iraq and has since been co-opted into football fandom.

Leeds fans have used this custom to their own ends on a few occasions, including a “shoes off if you hate Ken Bates” chant directed at their unpopular former owner.

The first time the Man Utd version was heard was in 2013, and it has regularly done the rounds in the stands at Elland Road since.

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