'Is that Victor Orta?!': Community football club stunned as Leeds United director of football visits team

A community grassroots football club has been left stunned - after Leeds United director of football Victor Orta attended their training.

Saturday, 24th July 2021, 4:45 am

Jonny Nixon, 47, was among a group who first set up Saxton FC in Richmond Hill three years ago with the simple goal of giving children in the LS9 area the chance to get involved in football and make new friends.

Starting with just eight players, support from the LUFC Foundation has seen numbers skyrocket in recent months and now more than 60 players train up to three times a week in Leeds.

The LUFC Foundation also provides coaching for the club and have been "brilliant" with supporting the team, Jonny told the YEP.

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From left, Tom White , Leeds United Foundation Coach, Victor Orta and Jonny Nixon, founder and Lead volunteer at Saxton FC cc Steve Riding

To the astonishment of Jonny and the players, on Wednesday night this week, the director of football for Leeds United Victor Orta arrived in an Uber taxi to watch the team training.

Jonny said his visit was "totally random" and stunned the club - with many of the team huge supporters of Leeds United.

The players recognised Mr Orta straight away and many rushed over to take photographs with him.

Jonny said his visit was inspirational for the players and couldn't thank Leeds United enough for all of their support.

Starting with just eight players, support from the LUFC Foundation has seen numbers skyrocket in recent months and now more than 60 players train up to three times a week in Leeds. Steve Riding

He explained: "Leeds United have been absolutely brilliant throughout.

"Someone from the foundation told me they had been speaking to Victor Orta about all of the work we had been doing.

"I jokingly said 'ah yeah, is he going to come down?'.

"The foundation member said 'I'll give him a ring now!'

"I couldn't believe it."

Just minutes later, Mr Orta arrived in an Uber and greeted the team.

Jonny said one member of the team shouted "is that Victor Orta?!" as he approached.

He added: "Victor said we could take any pictures we liked as groups or on our own.

"He was such a lovely guy.

"It really does show that those at the top of the club care about the community.

"They will put their hand to anything and it meant a lot."

Jonny posted pictures from the club's social media accounts, which have since gone viral with Leeds United fans.

Many praised Mr Orta for appearing at the training session.

Jonny added: "The foundation members who have helped us including Richard Foye and Micheal Kinnsey and the coaches Tom White and Rod Christopher have been amazing.

"I really want to push the praise we have for everything the club has done for us."