City shows pride in Whites as Leeds United net hat-trick at Leeds Sports Awards
LEEDS United have rightly been lauded all around the globe for their superb efforts upon their Premier League return.
The national and international acclaim is richly deserved for a team and a head coach who stormed their way to a ninth-placed finish in their first season at the top level for 17 years.
But whilst wider praise is always welcome, the city of Leeds is also richly proud of their own and the Whites were quite rightly left celebrating something different at the 2021 Leeds Sports Awards.
The Leeds Sports Awards have grown out of all recognition in recent years but the current climate meant something different had to be in store for this year's event.
The bash has been held at First Direct Arena in recent years, welcoming hundreds of guests and the city's sporting stars across a huge spectrum of events.
With the coronavirus pandemic firmly in mind, this year's event was held remotely on Thursday evening but instead televised and once again hosted by the BBCs Tanya Arnold.
The Awards look at the full spectrum of sport across the city and not just your obvious headline makers such as Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos.
Yet United's achievements during the 2020-21 campaign were impossible to ignore and led to a hat-trick of gongs for the Whites.
In what must have been the shoo-in of the century, Marcelo Bielsa took the coach of the year award whilst his side also took the best team award.
After a season which saw him break into the England fold, the club's Yorkshire Pirlo Kalvin Phillips was also named sportsman of the year alongside thriving cyclist Tom Pidcock.
The awards quite rightly recognise athletes such as Pidcock who would never gain the same column inches as the Whites, even when the club were down in the Championship in League One.
When they were, Leeds United did not really feature heavily when it came to the Leeds Sports Awards.
But times have definitely changed and it was great to see the club honoured three times at this year's version.
Leeds is a first class sporting city that regularly excels across a full spectrum of events, hence why the awards have become so popular.
But nobody is more popular than Bielsa or the Whites at present and Leeds is rightly proud of their stellar achievements.
It's only a shame that the event couldn't have been held in its usual guise this year.
He's a busy man but it wouldn't have been the biggest surprise had Marcelo have been there.
He might have been born in Rosario, Argentina but 'El Loco' has fallen in love with Leeds and the feeling is mutual.
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Thank you Laura Collins