Former player raising funds in memory of Speedo...
Former United star Matty Jones is back at Elland Road on Saturday morning in hia bid to keep raising money in the memory of fellow Welshman and United legend Gary Speed.
Matty has taken up the challenge of running a series of half-marathons, which started with one at Leicester last month before he clocked up a full marathon ahead of the Gary Speed Memorial Match between Wales and Costa Rica at the end of February.
Matty has also taken part in the Llanelli half-marathon and after completing over 50 laps of the Elland Road pitch on Saturday he has a further challenge lined up at Swansea before tackling the London Marathon in May.
Matty is also planning on sky-diving from Snowdon in north Wales as he looks to raise money for the Bobby Robson Foundation, the John Hartson Foundation, and the Spinal Injuries Association.
Matty first met Gary at Leeds United and told us: "When I was 12 years old I went to Leeds hoping to become their next big thing. It was 1992, the year that Leeds famously won the league. The only other Welsh man at the club when I arrived was Gary. I was 300 miles away from home and the only thing I knew was football.
"It was a lonely and daunting feeling as I arrived at the famous Elland Road but honestly.. as if he'd arranged it himself Gaz was waiting for me on the training ground which was then right beside the stadium!
"In his training gear, ready to train, he approached me and said 'Hiya Matthew, I'm Gaz…What are you doing up this neck of the woods coming from Llanelli? You should be playing rugby surely.' I
"I remember I shyly smiled and didn't know what to say but at that age having all the confidence inside I was thinking to myself 'you haven't seen me play yet.. most of my tackles are like rugby tackles…'
"It has only been since I matured and grew into a young man I realised the effort Gaz had gone through finding out those few little things about me knowing how much of an impact that would make on a young nervous wreck from south Wales walking onto a training ground with the likes of Gaz himself, Gary McAllister, David Batty, Gordon Strachan, and Lee Chapman among many more."
That first meeting sowed the seeds of a friendship between the two that was to last until Gary sadly passed away in November last year. Now, using Gary as his inspiration, Matty is hoping to raise substantial monies for the three charities, and we would urge all Leeds fans to show Matty your support.
You can support Matty by donating here www.justgiving.com/mattjones7 or by texting a message to: 70070, including his code, Matt 73, plus the amount you wish to donate.