YEP Says, May 21: Proof that English football is alive and kicking at grassroots

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Passion and dedication help local leagues to thrive.

WE may be counting down to the World Cup, but closer to home the trophies are already being handed out as our local leagues wrap up for the summer.

The celebrations are captured in today’s Goals pull-out – the most comprehensive round-up of all the end of season action you will find – while our roll of honour details the winners of every piece of local silverware.

It’s a reminder of the passion and dedication of those who pull on their boots every week to turn out for their clubs and make West Yorkshire’s amateur leagues some of the most competitive in the country.

But it’s not just the players who contribute to the strength of grassroots football in the area. Without those who give up their time to organise the fixtures and prepare the pitches, the teams wouldn’t be able to battle it out for honours.

From West Yorkshire League stalwart Kevin Parkinson, who is retiring after nearly a quarter of a century as general secretary, to the unsung heroes at every club, the contributions they make are priceless.

They play a vital role too when it comes to nurturing the next generation of local talent. Without them James Milner wouldn’t have gone from turning out for junior teams in Horsforth and Rawdon to preparing to take on the world’s best in Brazil.

And while the vast majority won’t hit such heights, they will gain much from playing football and ensure the future of our leagues looks bright.

City farm gets even more appealing

LEEDS is unlike most major cities in that you only have to travel a short distance to enjoy the delights of the countryside.

But not everyone can make that journey, which is why places like Meanwood Valley Urban Farm are so important, teaching youngsters about animals, food production and life outside the city.

Something of a hidden gem, it’s not only a working farm with a wide variety of animals, but also a major centre for community and environmental work.

Now it’s brand new children’s playground will only add to its appeal as a great day out for the whole family that is both educational and enjoyable.

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