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Superfan’s final words were about his beloved Leeds United

Rory Embling pictured with Massimo Cellino.

Rory Embling pictured with Massimo Cellino.

  • by Mark Lavery
 

A LEEDS United superfan’s last words were about his beloved club before his sudden death aged just 26.

Leeds Metropolitan University law graduate Rory Embling, of Ackworth near Pontefract, died on Saturday afternoon – soon after falling ill and collapsing while chatting about his beloved club.

Mr Embling, who worked as a paralegal for Heptonstalls Solicitors in Pontefract, was a lifelong Leeds United supporter and season ticket holder.

His family said he had a vast knowledge of the club and watched the majority of United’s pre-season friendly matches this year.

Mr Embling’s father Chris, 59, said: “Leeds United was a big part of Rory’s life. I would call him Leeds United’s biggest fan.

“He only missed one home game in the last 20 years, and that was because of a wedding.

“He recently attended the Leeds United awards dinner where he met Massimo Cellino, Brian McDermott and a lot of the players.”

Rory’s friend Martin Sixsmith, 26, of Pontefract, was driving the pair to a WWE wrestling event at Nottingham Arena on Saturday afternoon when Rory collapsed close to Woodall Services on the M1 near Sheffield.

He was taken to hospital in Chesterfield where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Sixsmith said: “He was absolutely fine when we set off. He was the picture of health and had no history of illnesses. He was saying he was enjoying playing five-a-side football.

“We had been talking about the fact that we were disappointed Leeds player Michael Brown was not getting a new contract at the club and at that point, Rory collapsed.

“We were going to have a good day and do something we both enjoyed and he never came back.”

Rory’s father Chris said: “He was a very fit and healthy lad. He did some gym work, we weren’t aware of any health issues.”

Paying tribute to his son, he added: “I was so proud of him as a person.

“He had a wonderful personality. He was not just a son, he was also my best friend.”

Tributes have been paid on Facebook, including one from Rory’s sister Francesca, 23. who wrote: “I love you so much Rory. I will miss you every second of every day.”

Rory’s mother Anne, 55, said: “I just want to say how much I loved him and how proud I was of him. My life will never be the same again without him.”

Rory was a former student at Crofton High School, Wakefield, and New College, Pontefract.

An inquest in to Rory’s death is expected to be opened later this month.

 

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