Devastated family pay tribute to lifelong Leeds United fan grandfather-of-six who tragically died on way home from Sheffield Wednesday match

A man has paid tribute to his lifelong Leeds United supporting dad who tragically collapsed and died on the way home from the Sheffield Wednesday match.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:47 pm

Leeds United season ticket holder Harold Hawson - who celebrated his 73rd birthday on January 3rd - was on his way home from the 2-0 loss on Saturday with his son Waynn, 50, when he suddenly stopped speaking mid sentence.

Waynn - who said he was having his 'usual match debrief' with his dad - described the moment he stopped the car near Elland Road and ran to help Harold.

He said: "After the match we got into the car near Old Lane after walking up the "Leeds hill", dad and I were stuck in the post match traffic chaos whilst listening to radio Leeds having our usual match debrief when dad stopped talking mid sentence.

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Harold Hawson

"I looked across the car to see dad in obvious distress, I stopped the car in the middle of the road, ran over to dads side and opened his door.

"I ripped his shirt open to listen to his heart which was beating so fast I couldn't count the beats.

"A man came to my side and asked if we needed help and I asked him to call an ambulance.

"Two women in plain clothes approached and helped me get dad out onto the pavement, at least one was an off-duty nurse and they began CPR immediately."

Harold Hawson

Waynn said a nurse in plain clothes also assisted with the resus efforts.

He added: "There was a short delay in the ambulance and police getting through the post match traffic but they arrived together.

"The women doing the CPR continued and worked with the ambulance crew and both police officers for over 20 minutes trying to save dad.

"I was at dad's side throughout but after no response the decision to stop was reached and I wanted to get dad off the street and regain him some dignity.

Harold's stone at Elland Road

"The ambulance crew cleaned dad up and allowed me to stay in the back of the ambulance with dad whilst his wife was brought from Thorne by car to see him before taking him to Leeds General infirmary.

"We went home straight after the ambulance pulled away with dad."

Waynn wanted to thank everyone who assisted in the attempts to save his dad.

He added: "Can I just say that everyone who assisted, they were like angels, the chances of having two trained nurses assist in a street collapse are so remote that I take comfort for the fact dad had such quick help.

Harold and Waynn Hawson

"One of the nurses (Emma Sutton) was tagged in the Leeds post so we got the chance to personally acknowledge her help."

Harold, from Thorne, 'loved Leeds United' and his home and car were adorned with Leeds United memorabilia, Waynn said.

He added: "There was never a birthday or fathers day when dad did not get something Leeds United related."

"It would be impossible to put a number on matches attended as dad was a life-long Leeds fan and we both attended home games together since I was seven years old."

"There was never a birthday or fathers day when dad did not get something Leeds United related."

Harold's family have been left devastated and shocked by the sudden loss of Harold.

Waynn said: "We can expect it to be another week before we get some answers from the post mortem.

"Dad was the absolute heart of this family-everything a dad should be and more."

Harold - a retired glass-maker - leaves behind a wife, four daughters, a son and six grandchildren.

Waynn said: "My family and I can never repay the gratitude and sincere condolences from everyone who has taken the time to comment.

"I feel this support will give me the strength needed to return to Elland Road without dad at my side.

"The fans have mentioned they will chant my dad's name at the next home game.

"I will thank the fans again later tonight- such genuine acts of kindness from so many fans really is a tribute to the amazing camaraderie of the Leeds Utd family, I am so proud to be a part of it and my dad would have loved it!"