Willy Gnonto named PFA Community Champion for 2023/24

Willy Gnonto named PFA Community Champion for 2023/24

Forward recognised for work in the community.

Willy Gnonto has been recognised for his hard work and commitment to off the pitch activities in and around the community and has been named as Leeds United’s PFA Community Champion for the 2023/24 season.

The forward has been involved in a number of key initiatives across the current campaign and has been especially dedicated to educational programmes focused on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I). The 20-year-old has willingly shared his own experiences to help and support students with their learning around important topics, never shying away from open discussion and showing a real passion for ensuring young students are engaged in their schoolwork.

Aside from educational activities, Willy has also shown support for local charitable organisations, including the club’s official charity of the year, Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm. The Italian international has always made time for youngsters associated with the local charity, whether that has been at the training ground or at Elland Road on a matchday, whilst also taking part in a special visit to Lineham Farm ahead of Christmas with teammate Crysencio Summerville.

Our number 29 makes time for anyone he comes in to contact with, whether that be supporters, special guests, participants, coaches, or staff, engaging in conversations, asking questions, having photos taken and signing autographs. Across the season, it has been clear to see Gnonto’s willingness to be involved in activities away from the pitch, and no matter the project he attends or the people he meets, he always does it with a big smile on his face.

After receiving the PFA Community Champion award for 2023/24, he said: “It’s a big privilege for me to receive this award. I come from a humble community so it means even more to me because I know how hard people work, how difficult it can be and how many sacrifices some people make, so making time for people is really important to me.

“Growing up in different environments and coming from different cultures and backgrounds, it’s something I love to share and talk about. I’ve always looked up to my idols and now I love to be in a position where I can influence people in a positive way.

“I really like doing these types of activities and even if it might be a small thing for me, I realise how much it can mean to other people.”