Leeds United stars have thrown their weight behind the city’s bid to become European Capital of Culture.
Whites players Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi have spoken of their pride of wearing the famous club shirt and highlighted the city’s wealth of culture.
The pair are the latest in a string of high-profile stars to back Leeds’ 2023 bid for the title, ahead of the submission deadline in October.
Leeds-born Phillips, who broke into Leeds United’s first team in 2015 after coming through the club’s academy, said: “I would be really proud if we did win the bid.
“Leeds is my city - I have lived here all my life. My family are from here and I’ve always supported Leeds. It would be a great achievement to win.”
The midfielder, 21, said the diversity of cultures across Leeds was a strong point for the city.
Phillips added: “Wherever you go there is always a Leeds fan and you always hear people talking about Leeds.
“It’s also good to see the city of Leeds developing as a whole, a lot of parts have changed.”
Phillips’ team-mate, Swiss-born defender Gaetano Berardi, who arrived at Leeds from Italy in 2014, also supported the bid.
He said: “Compared to Italy and Switzerland, Leeds is much different - the atmosphere in the city centre.
“I’m really proud to be in Leeds and my wife is also proud to be here.”
Their support comes after high-profile backing for the culture capital bid from Leeds Rhinos player Jamie Jones-Buchanan, musician Corinne Bailey Rae and the city’s Olympic stars Alistair and Jonny Browlee.
People in Leeds are being encouraged to pledge their support for the bid by using the hashtag #makeleeds2023 on social media.
For more details of how you can pledge your support to the Leeds 2023 bid, or to download a Maker’s manual, visit www.leeds2023.co.uk