Leeds United fan who waited for three hours in pouring rain invited inside to player awards by Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani

A Leeds United fan who waited outside Elland Road for three hours in the pouring rain to try and get the signature of his hero Gaetano Berardi was left astonished after being invited into the player awards by owner Andrea Radrizzani.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 3:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 3:05 pm

Jack Brown, 17, was determined not to leave the Elland Road site without getting Berardi's signature after his final game for Leeds United.

However, after waiting outside the ground for almost three hours with his dad Matt, Jack almost gave up hope and the pair were ready to make the 300 mile trip home to Weymouth, Dorset.

To their amazement, just minutes before they were going to leave, club owner Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta came outside with a matchday shirt to thank them for their support.

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To their amazement, just minutes before they were going to leave, club owner Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta came outside with a matchday shirt to thank them for their support.

In a further unbelievable act, the pair were then asked to follow Andrea Radrizzani who led them inside into the player end of season awards - where they were given food and had photographs with most of the Leeds United players.

The pair spent the rest of the night as guests at the awards ceremony and had "the best night".

Matt was astonished at the act of kindness.

He told the YEP he had not seen his son so happy "in a long time" and it was something "he deserved for everything he has been through".

To their amazement, just minutes before they were going to leave, club owner Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta came outside with a matchday shirt to thank them for their support.

Speaking to the YEP, Matt said: "We were there for about two and a half hours unaware it was the player presentation night.

"We were waiting around for Jack to try and get Berardi's signature as it was his final game.

"I didn't expect anything to happen at all, we were just hoping for the signature.

"Jack's face lit up all night.

To their amazement, just minutes before they were going to leave, club owner Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta came outside with a matchday shirt to thank them for their support.

"I haven't seen him this happy in a long time.

"It is something he deserved for everything he has been through."

Amazing pictures taken from inside Elland Road show the moment Jack met Berardi and had pictures with many of the players.

Matt said the players were "absolutely amazing" with his son.

To their amazement, just minutes before they were going to leave, club owner Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta came outside with a matchday shirt to thank them for their support.

He added: "We met some great people in there, not just the footballers."

Jack has a lot of complex medical problems that he deals with "so well" - including having no mobility and limited use of his upper limbs, his dad Matt said.

Matt told the YEP that football was Jack's "release".

He wanted to personally thank Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas for all of their efforts with his son on Sunday night.

Matt added: "He takes everything in his stride, and never lets his disabilities define him.

"He is currently awaiting spinal surgery but again is dealing with this so well.

"Football is Jack's release, the one place he can go and his disabilities aren’t a barrier.

"We travel from Weymouth to all home games as well as most of the away games.

"On top of his physical disabilities, Jack was diagnosed with PTSD after his sister died in an accident at home in 2015.

"This has had a massive impact on Jack and again going to football has helped him deal with his bereavement, he says it takes his mind off things for a while as he’s so engrossed in the football.

"He was sent a signed card from Leeds United shortly after which is one of his most prized possessions.

"Everytime he goes to Leeds he always feels like the players make an effort to greet him, which to him means everything."