Love Leeds: Heroes who show spirit of their city

Danny Freeman.

Danny Freeman.

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The YEP is celebrating all that is good about its home city with a new campaign called Love Leeds. PAUL ROBINSON looks at some of the heroes most closely associated with the city.

FROM footballers to fundraisers, Leeds has produced more than its fair share of heroes over the years.

And today, as part of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s new Love Leeds campaign celebrating everything that is great about the city, we take a look at four of the finest.

Alan Bennett, George Edwin Ellison, David Batty and Jane Tomlinson have each, in their own different ways, contributed to the rich history of Yorkshire’s unofficial capital.

But however remarkable their individual achievements, it should not be forgotten that hero status can also be attached to the people of Leeds as a whole.

It was Leeds people who collected more than £9m to pay for a replacement Ark Royal after the ship was lost at sea in 1941.

It was Leeds people who made the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal the longest-running newspaper charity campaign in the country.

And it was Leeds people who took adopted Loiner and street singer Danny Freeman to their hearts as he raised more than £250,000 for local charities before his death aged 83 in 2004.

Love Leeds - Tragic last victim of the Great War: Click here for more

Love Leeds - The author who has a perfect way with words: Click here for more

Love Leeds - The midfielder who was just champion for Leeds United: Click here for more

Love Leeds - The brave mum who kept on running: Click here for more

Leeds boxing champ Josh Warrington is in no doubt about the qualities exhibited by the good folk of his home city. Speaking in yesterday’s YEP, he said: “The Leeds people are something else, they have a character all of their own. I’m not saying people from other cities don’t have that but there is just something about Leeds people that is special.”

YEP readers are being asked to take a vital role in the new campaign.

We want to hear your views on why the city is one of the best places in the UK to work, rest and play.

Is it the people? The shops? Its sporting heroes? Its thriving nightscene? And what needs to be done to help keep the city at the head of the regional pack? E-mail paul.robinsons@ypn.co.uk or tweet us @LeedsNews.

Explaining the thinking behind the campaign, YEP editor Jeremy Clifford said: “Sometimes it is all too easy to dwell on what is not right with the city. We want to take the lead in celebrating the good and as part of the campaign call for improvements to make things even better.”

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