Football fans pay respects to war heroes at Elland Road

PIC: Tony Johnson

PIC: Tony Johnson

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MILITARY HEROES took to the pitch at Elland Road at the weekend as thousands of football fans paid their respects.

Leeds United’s game against Yeovil Town on Saturday was attended by more than 500 service men and women, including members of the Yorkshire Regiment, Paras and Royal Dragoons.

Army, Navy and RAF personnel did a lap of the pitch ahead of the kick-off before forming a guard of honour for both teams as they walked out onto the field.

A minute’s silence was also held to remember those who have lost their lives in the service of their country.

A Leeds United spokesman said: “It was great to be joined by so many members of the military who got a great response and gave the fans a chance to show their appreciation.

“It was a terrific day and the atmosphere was incredible.”

Leeds United players wore shirts bearing poppy emblems during the match, which will now be donated to help raise money for military charities.

Auctions and other initiatives generated more than £25,000 the last time Leeds made poppy emblem shirts available in this way.

At half-time, Leeds legend Norman Hunter was presented with a cake on the pitch, having turned 70 last week, and the Elland Road crowd serenaded him with a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

The spokesman added: “We were delighted to have Norman join us. He is a genuinely nice man and it was clear that he was touched by the support of the crowd.”

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