WHEN IT comes to dedication to supporting Leeds United, birthday girl Edna Newton is almost in a league of her own.
Edna, who turns 90 on Tuesday, first attended a match at Elland Road way back in the late 1930s.
She has also been the proud holder of a season ticket for more than 60 unbroken years and still takes her seat in the West Stand for every home game.
And although the Whites have had their fair share of ups and downs through the decades, Edna says she has enjoyed every minute.
She told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I want to keep going to games for as long as I can.
“I go by myself these days but get on really well with the people I sit next to.
“They don’t have any idea how old I am – although they will when they read this, of course!”
She went on: “Someone once asked my brother how I managed to afford a season ticket every year.
“I told him, ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t have a toy boy and I don’t back slow horses, that’s how I do it’.”
Edna, whose Wesley Street home is a stone’s throw from Elland Road, originally started going to matches with two of her uncles and a family friend.
One of the first season tickets she bought cost her the princely sum of £4 – a far cry from the prices she pays today. She has also clocked up many miles following United away from home, with her foreign jaunts including a trip to Paris to watch the Whites in the 1975 European Cup final against Bayern Munich.
Asked who her favourite players have been down the years, Edna said: “John Charles, of course. I knew John, he was a smashing fellow.
“I used to think Carl Shutt was great as well – if you needed a goal he would come on and get you one, like he did [in the European Cup] against Stuttgart.”
Edna, who used to work as a manager at a food factory, also admitted she wasn’t pinning her hopes on Leeds winning promotion this season.
“I don’t think they’ll do it,” she said. “Or at least they’ll only do it if they frame themselves. That result last week [against Rochdale] was a shocker.”
Edna’s nephew, Colin Newton, today described her as a “stalwart of the family and the whole community”. He went on: “She’ll do anything for anyone. We’ve all grown up thinking of Leeds United almost as part of the family.”
WHITES APPLAUD LOYALTY
EDNA’S devoted support for United has been applauded by club bosses.
A Leeds spokesman said today: “It’s great to hear Edna’s story.
“She must have some brilliant memories of all the years she has spent as a supporter.
“We have tens of thousands of dedicated fans and Edna typifies the loyalty they show.”
* Can you beat Edna’s long years of service as a United supporter?
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