Leeds United: 1980s ‘casual’ movement remembered

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Leeds United fans who were part of one of the biggest youth movements of the 1980s are set for a starring role in a new photo exhibition and book.

Dozens of pictures chronicling life as a United supporter during the decade’s ‘casual’ era will be on display at Leeds’s White Cloth Gallery next weekend.

The same photos are among more than 100 which feature in a book that also celebrates the football and fashion-obsessed casual years in Leeds.

The book – which, like the exhibition, has the title Wish You Were Here – has been produced in partnership with sportswear giant Adidas.

One of the organisers, Leeds fan Andy Pye, 40, from Wortley, said: “The pictures are going to bring back a lot of memories.

“This is not about hooliganism – what it’s about is the camaraderie that existed between Leeds fans going to matches and on other days out during what was a bleak decade for many people.”

Proceeds from the exhibition and book are being donated to cancer charity Candlelighters and Moortown-based St Gemma’s Hospice.

A previous Leeds casuals exhibition, held in Holbeck’s Temple Works arts space in 2011, raised £800 for Candlelighters. It was also taken on the road to New York and Paris.

Andy said: “There are so many photos in the new exhibition and book that people won’t have seen before.

“The previous events opened a lot of doors for us and gave us access to collections with some fantastic images.”

Andy’s fellow Wish You Were Here organisers are Simon Gosling, Richard Cusworth and Karl Skirrow.

Contributors include ‘Wugie’, Steven Farrar, Carl Ryan, Michelle Hands, Mick Tobin, Craig Gill and Karl Rafferty.

* The exhibition is on at the Aire Street-based White Cloth Gallery from 7-11pm next Friday, February 15.

It will then run from midday to 11pm on the Saturday and from noon to late on the following Monday and Tuesday.

Copies of the 132-page book will be available at the event.

It can also be ordered via: wishyouwereherebook.com

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