Good evening and a warm welcome to Elland Road where our remarkable home crowd will once again be well over 30,000.
The great results against Middlesbrough and Barnsley have reinforced our collective belief that we can compete with both the most fancied and most physical sides in the Championship. The underlying performances were particularly pleasing, combining character and ability in equal measure, and demonstrate that the squad and coaching staff have the capability to learn quickly from previous performances and ensure our football philosophy is suitably flexible when required.
Both results also illustrated the importance of your commitment. The display of unity and vocal support at both fixtures was the foundation for the team's victories. Whilst we were all disappointed by our form leading into the games we are back on track to achieve our season’s objective and Thomas and the team’s belief has not been dented.
At the Middlesborough match I had the pleasure of meeting and presenting an award to Karen Glencross who had accomplished the remarkable feat of attending 1,250 consecutive home and away matches dating back to 1993. Karen perfectly encapsulates the unswerving loyalty and passion of our fan base. If you know of any other supporters who can lay claim to similar feats of dedication please let us know so we can recognise them.
On the Academy front I would like to congratulate Jack Clarke on signing his first professional contract with the club. Yorkshire born Jack has already impressed at both Under-18 and Under-23 level and we are confident he can be another home grown talent that can be part of the exciting future of our club
As we enter the festive season the club’s position at the centre of our community is reinforced. In addition to the players traditional hospital visit and our annual Leeds United Junior Members Christmas party, this year we have team up with Holbeck Elderly Aid to host and fund a Christmas Dinner for many of our more senior neighbours who reside in Holbeck and Beeston. This is another step in forging closer relationships with our local community and making our immediate vicinity the focus of our Foundation’s work.
We announced this week the much needed renovation of the Billy Bremner statue which has been combined with the opportunity for supporters to secure an engraved granite stone around the base in what will become an Elland Road landmark fittingly named ‘Bremner Square’. For supporters stuck for Christmas present ideas the gift of having your name enshrine at the feet of one of our favourites sons is worthy of consideration. Alternatively you could choose to give a loved one the opportunity to join 20,000 other Season Ticket Holders by securing a Half Season Ticket. These will remain on sale until January 1st and still represent the best value way to watch Leeds United in what I’m confident will be an exciting and eventful run in.
Enjoy this evening and please give Thomas and the team your usual unrivalled vocal backing.
You can pick up our 100-page matchday programme on Friday for £3.50 at the Elland Road Superstore and around the ground ahead of kick-off with Aston Villa.