'I daren't go home tonight if I wasn't associated with these remarks' - Leeds United fans turn council meeting into Stuart Dallas appreciation party
A district council meeting in Northern Ireland became a Stuart Dallas appreciation party when a number of Leeds United supporters put on record their appreciation for the Elland Road star.
The recent Mid-Ulster District Council monthly meeting, held over Zoom, heard a proposal from Ulster Unionist Party councillor Trevor Wilson that they should formally recognise Dallas' achievements after a stellar first season in the Premier League.
Cookstown native Dallas picked up a hat-trick of awards at Leeds' official end-of-season ceremony, taking home the Player of the Season, Player's Player of the Season and Goal of the Season prizes, having played a huge role in the club's ninth-place finish on their top-flight return.
The Northern Irish international played all but nine minutes of the league campaign for Marcelo Bielsa's side and scored eight goals, including both in Leeds' 2-1 win at the home of champions Manchester City.
Coun Wilson said: "I would propose that this council recognise Stuart Dallas from Cookstown who this year won three of the top football awards at Leeds United.
"This is the first year that Stuarty has played in the Premiership and indeed Leeds for quite a number of years. To win three awards at the Leeds dinner is a remarkable achievement for a young fella from Cookstown and I propose that, because we still haven't got anything through yet on the civic awards, that we follow that up with a letter from the council."
Fellow UUP councillor Walter Cuddy seconded the proposal.
"I'm a Leeds supporter and I know there are a few other Leeds United supporters around the room as well," he said.
“I have a son and a nephew who both support Leeds and they have never seen them in the Premiership before so it is great to see someone from our area, Cookstown especially, and he's an awful nice fella from what I can see as well, being such a great ambassador for this area. Hopefully he will carry on internationally and with Leeds so I've great pleasure to second that."
Democratic Unionist Party councillor Wilburt Buchanan added: "I'm a Leeds man too. I also want to congratulate Stuart Dallas. He's a great ambassador for Cookstown and for the whole Mid-Ulster area."
And councillor Frances Burton, also of the DUP, added her congratulations, albeit not as a football fan but the wife and mother of Whites fans.
"Whilst I don't take much interest, I'm forced to at home because my husband and two sons are all Leeds United men," she said.
"In fact sometimes I have to leave the house because you'd hear them shouting from here, and I'm in the council chamber right now.
"I think the person we speak about is an amazing ambassador for this area. I daren't go home tonight if I wasn't associated with these remarks."
Dallas captained his country last week in their pair of summer friendlies against Malta and Ukraine, before a well deserved summer break begins.