Winning combination as Leeds United announce new link-up with the Parachute Regiment

Leeds United have been saluted for their "fighting spirit and will to win" after kicking off a proud new partnership with the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 3:04 pm
Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani and chief executive Angus Kinnear with representatives from the Parachute Regiment.

United say they hope the link-up with 4 PARA - based at Thornbury Barracks, near Leeds - will prove "mutually beneficial" during the club's centenary year.

The battalion will be given regular opportunities to promote its work via United's matchday programme and the big screen at Elland Road.

Leeds, for their part, will have the chance to hold staff workshops, team-building days and Leeds United Foundation events at 4 PARA's headquarters

A bugler plays the Last Post before Leeds United's Remembrance fixture last year.

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And the partnership got off to a winning start when soldiers from the battalion attended Elland Road for United's match against Millwall on Saturday.

Lt Col Andrew Wareing presented Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani and chief executive Angus Kinnear with a framed painting before the game, which saw the Whites twice come from a goal down to secure a vital 3-2 victory.

Lt Col Wareing said: "Leeds United, supported by their amazing fans, display the same resilience, fighting spirit and will to win that embodies that of the Parachute Regiment.

"We look forward to a strong and exciting relationship developing between the two parties."

Sailors from HMS Ark Royal give Leeds United and Bristol City's players a guard of honour in 2010.

The new arrangement strengthens the already impressive links that exist between United and the armed forces.

Members of the Yorkshire Regiment, Royal Dragoon Guards and Royal British Legion were invited to attend Leeds's final home match before Remembrance Sunday last year, with a bugler sounding the Last Post before kick-off.

United's players have in recent seasons also regularly worn shirts embroidered with poppy emblems for games during the lead-up to the nation's Remembrance commemorations.

Auctions of the matchworn shirts have helped raise thousands of pounds for military charities over the years.

One of the most emotional Remembrance fixtures played at Elland Road was a game against Bristol City in 2010, when sailors from the soon-to-be decommissioned HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier gave both teams a pre-match guard of honour.

A previous Ark Royal ship was adopted by the city of Leeds in 1941 as part of a drive to encourage people to raise money for the Navy.

She was lost at sea days later but, undeterred, the city then collected more than £9m - close to £270m in today's money - to pay for a replacement.

4 PARA is recruiting in Leeds now, for further information ring 01904 664566.