Bates spent 12 years at Leeds during the 1960s and 70s when they regularly challenged for major honours, making a total of 191 appearances and scoring nine goals.
A statement on Leeds’ official website read: “Leeds United are saddened to learn of the death of former player Mick Bates at the age of 73.
“His 12 years as a professional with the Whites were the most successful in the club’s history, as the legendary side won two league titles in 1969 and 1974, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice in 1968 and 1971, the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and the Charity Shield in 1969.”
Bates was never able to hold down a regular starting place due to the presence of skipper Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles at the heart of midfield, but was a hugely popular figure at Elland Road.
Leeds added: “As part of the club’s centenary celebrations in 2019, Mick, alongside fellow members of the Revie team, was granted the Freedom of the City of Leeds by Leeds City Council.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mick’s wife Jill, son Paul and the rest of his family at this difficult time.”
Bates showed great loyalty to the club, never looking to move away in order to gain regular first-team football and although he started most games on the substitutes’ bench, he proved his versatility in several positions.
Bates’ longest run in the side came during the 1972-73 season when he played alongside Giles and Bremner in the absence of the injured Eddie Gray.
He was a late replacement for Mick Jones during the 1972 FA Cup final against Arsenal and scored in the first leg of the Fairs Cup final (later the UEFA Cup) in 1971 when Leeds beat Juventus.
Leeds won the old First Division title twice during Bates’ time at the club (1968-9 and 1973-4) and his 10 appearances during the latter season were enough to earn him a winners’ medal.
His winners’ medals also included the 1972 FA Cup and two Fairs Cups (1968 and 1971).
Bates was born in Armthorpe, Doncaster, in 1947, and signed professionally for Leeds in 1964 after completing his apprenticeship.
He made his senior debut in September 1965 and played his final game in March 1976, in a 1-1 home draw with West Ham at Elland Road before joining Walsall at the end of that season.
Following further spells with Bradford and hometown club Doncaster, Bates retired as a player in 1981.