Leeds United's promotion is huge boost for city's businesses, tourism and investment - Coun Judith Blake

As a fan for over 50 years, I’m elated and very proud that Leeds United are back in the Premier League after an absence which has been far too long for the club, its wonderfully loyal supporters and the city as a whole.
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Some of my best childhood memories revolve around Leeds United.

Whether that is standing as a child in the Scratching Shed and trying desperately to watch the match, or joining friends at the side of the training ground and waiting to get an autograph from superstars of the famous Don Revie team.

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Of course with the unforgettable moments of great success, there have also been many disappointments and heartbreak along the way.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake.Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake.
Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake.

Never have the Marching on Together lyrics ‘and we’ve had our ups and downs’ suited a club as much as Leeds, and it’s fair to say that for the most part, the last 16 years especially have been painful.

But that thankfully, after an amazing season, is now firmly in the past, and we have finally returned to where we belong in the Premier League.

This is a truly fitting tribute when in the club’s centenary season, we also remember the sad deaths of legends Norman Hunter, Trevor Cherry and Jack Charlton.

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The players of course deserve all the credit in the world for what they have achieved, and what can I say that has not been said already about coach Marcelo Bielsa?

He has led the team with such grace, passion and commitment and championed a brand of football which is truly fantastic to watch.

We are extremely lucky to have him.

Also deserving of special praise are owner Andrea, chief executive Angus and his team who have provided the leadership and vision which the club has lacked for so long.

From a council perspective, we very much welcome their commitment to ensuring that the club is placed where it should always be - right in the heart of our city and communities and look forward to this positive relationship continuing in the future.

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From a city perspective, we should also not underestimate the wider positive impact that Leeds having a Premier League team will provide.

Not only will it deliver a huge boost to Leeds in terms of its global profile and to tourism and local businesses, it will also support our continued work to attract future investment to the city.

We know as Leeds fans that we should never look too far ahead, but it’s impossible not to be very excited at seeing us back in the top-flight once again.

Let’s hope it is not long until we are celebrating even more success.”