Luke Ayling admits Leeds United centenary pride and reveals which Whites items he's had framed

Leeds vice-captain Luke Ayling has spoken about his pride following last month's centenary celebrations

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 16th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Leeds United defender Luke Ayling. (Getty)
Leeds United defender Luke Ayling. (Getty)

Leeds United full-back Luke Ayling has revealed his pride at captaining the Whites during the club’s centenary celebrations last month.

Ayling led out United at Elland Road ahead of the 1-0 Championship victory over Birmingham City in LS11 amid the club’s 100th birthday celebrations.

The 28-year-old took over from injured club captain Liam Cooper for the afternoon, and has now spoken out about a moment that he will hold close to his heart for the rest of his playing days.

“It is a great honour to captain this club,” Ayling revealed.

“Especially in the centenary game, it was a really special moment for me and my family.

“It was probably the first time in my career that I have stopped and thought, ‘Wow! I am actually captaining Leeds through its 100th birthday and for the centenary match.’

“It was a real pinch-me moment. I went home, took the shirt, armband and jacket and it is all going to go up in a frame.

“I never frame shirts or anything, this is going to be the first one that I have up in the house. It was definitely the first moment in my career where I have stopped and just been wowed.”

Whites academy product Kalvin Phillips was a fitting scorer on the day as United toppled the Blues in front of a packed out stadium to cap off a week of celebration in fine style.

Former club legends were remembered on the hallowed turf before kick-off and at a special centenary dinner in which the senior squad attended, but Ayling has admitted that the Whites current day heroes were always focused on their task at hand.

“There was a lot of pressure on us that week,” he said.

“All week it was about how great the club has been and with all the legends coming back. We still had a job to do. In the huddle I said the only thing that matters to us boys in the team is the three points.

“We wanted to make it a special day for the club, but also a special day for us boys as well and one that we will always remember.

“If we’d have lost the game, it wouldn’t have been a happy day for us on the pitch, despite it being a great occasion for everyone else.”