Hundreds turn out to remember life of Leeds United president Lord Harewood

Eddie Gray at the thanksgiving service for Lord Harewood.
Eddie Gray at the thanksgiving service for Lord Harewood.
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Leeds United and England legend Jack Charlton joined club owner Ken Bates and seven hundred others at a ceremony to remember the life of Lord Harewood.

A memorial service was held at All Saints’ Church in the grounds of Harewood House yesterday.

George Henry Hubert Lascelles, the seventh earl of Harewood and first cousin to the Queen, died aged 88 at his home, Harewood House, in July.

Lord Harewood was founder and vice-chairman of Opera north and president of English National Opera and president of Leeds United Football Club for almost 50 years.

Former Leeds United defender Jack Charlton made a speech during the service which was also attended by Eddie Gray and title-winning manager Howard Wilkinson.

He said: “When I was asked to say a few words about George I thought it would be easy, having known him for 55 years.

“But I realised if I said all there was to say about such a man I would be here for hours.

“He was more than president of Leeds United to me - he was a friend.

“The first thing I would do when I arrived at the ground was I would seek out George and talk as long as possible with him before a match.

“Don Revie had to come and find me several times to remind me that we had a game to play.”

He added: “George was an exceptional man and 50 years as president at Leeds United must be some sort of record. We were all treated as friends and anyone who knew him will remember him with fondness and miss him dearly.”

The ceremony also included performances from the Opera North orchestra, Colne Valley Male Voice Choir, Simon Lindley, Leeds Parish Church organist Simon Lindley, and one of the earl’s sons, James.

Eldest son David said: “This is an occasion of thanks giving. My father always preferred a celebration rather than solemnity.”

The Queen was represented by Princess Alexandra and representatives for the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York and the Princess Royal also attended.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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