How this teacher copes with Leeds United's ups and downs through poetry

Being a Leeds United fan certainly has its ups and downs.

By Alison Bellamy
Monday, 27th December 2021, 11:45 am

But for one life-long supporter, who was feeling disillusioned with real life as well as LUFC and lockdowns, poetry was where he sought solace.

Read More

Read More
Kalvin Phillips makes fresh Leeds United contract claim amid assessment of seaso...

Dewsbury teacher Mike Keddie, has written a book of poems on life, love and Leeds United.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Dewsbury teacher Mike Keddie, has written a book of poems on life, love and Leeds United. Picture: Jim Fitton

He found writing down his thoughts about his beloved team helped him to cope with what he calls a ‘mid-life crisis’ plus the deaths of two close family members, losing his job and his overall mental health.

Marathon runner Mike, 53, also a keen Parkrunner, has self-published ‘The Poetry of Pain – Following Leeds United and Other Tales of Woe’.

Mike, who lived in Seacroft as a child when his dad Tony was vicar at St Richard’s Church in the 70s, said: "The creation of the book has not happened quickly. It has in fact taken 16 years of musings, ramblings and writing things down, to come to this.

“Aspects of my life were not always as easy or enjoyable as I would have hoped and this is an attempt to make sense of it all and to draw a line under a difficult period in my life.

Marathon runner Mike, 53, also a keen Parkrunner, has self-published ‘The Poetry of Pain – Following Leeds United and Other Tales of Woe’. Picture: Jim Fitton.

“Like a lot of people, I have struggled personally with a few things including grief after the death of my mum and young nephew, plus a career crisis. I also know lockdown has been tough for lots of people.

“Added to this, I am also a lifelong Leeds fan, which in itself can be painful; yet also glorious at times. “I went with my brother Dave when we were kids and it was always the best of times, whatever the score.”

Mike added: "Life can be tough. But thanks to a certain person, life as a Leeds fan is looking up. Maybe my next book will be called 'How Marcelo Bielsa saved my life'."

Mike, who is studying for an MSc in Computer Science alongside teaching, has two children Mariella and Raph and is married to Marie-Claire, a teacher at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds.

He said all proceeds from the book will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, which looked after his nephew Joe Collins, also a huge Leeds fan, who sadly died at the age of 23 from a rare cancer.

The book is available to buy from Truman Books in Farsley, Leeds and Read Books in Holmfirth, where it can also be bought online.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.