Heartfelt tributes pour in for lifelong Leeds United fan

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Heartfelt tributes have poured in for a lifelong Leeds United fan who died aged 28.

Whites-mad James Dixon, from Woodlesford, died last week after a long illness.

PIC: James Hardisty

PIC: James Hardisty

And in memory of the popular supporter, friends and family are donning Leeds shirts with his nickname printed on the back.

They plan to wear the shirts, printed with “DICKO” in Mr Dixon’s honour, at his funeral as a special tribute to the Whites fan.

Close friend Richard Jackson, 30, said: “A lifelong friendship cut short. I have a genuine love for this boy.

“He was such an amazing person and a stronger person than I could ever be. I’m proud to have been able to call him my friend and will continue to be proud of him all my life.”

PIC: James Hardisty

PIC: James Hardisty

After being diagnosed with renal failure as a baby Mr Dixon’s father, Steven Dixon, donated a kidney to him in a live transplant in 2006.

Unfortunately, the kidney was rejected by his body after just 14 months. Mr Dixon had since attended hospital three times a week to undergo dialysis.

A promising footballer, he played for Leeds City Boys during the 1999 season as a striker. He developed a passion for Leeds United, and regularly attended games with pal Mark Atkinson.

Mr Dixon is also known among friends for buying his friend Kyle Addison’s son, Jax, his first Leeds United football shirt as a newborn baby.

In his memory, friends, family and loved ones joined together on Facebook after he died, and changed profile pictures to past photographs with Mr Dixon.

Friends have paid tribute in special messages to the YEP about him.

Kyle Addison said: “He never let his illness get to him he lived his life the best he could always having a laugh with the boys.”

Matthew Benson said: “People see the best in people when they’re gone. Dicko (Mr Dixon) was always there for me.

“When I was struggling he stood by me, when I was at my lowest, even though my issues weren’t as big as his. He was never down over his illness.”

Daniel Butterfield said: “Known him 20 years had some awesome times with him.”

Mr Dixon’s close friend Nathan Butterfield, who now lives in Kuwait, is also flying home for his funeral, which is expected to take place later this week.

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