Sunday 14th December saw Leeds Ladies FC host Mossely Hill in the final league game of 2014. It turned out to be quite an emotional day so I apologise in advance for the more personal than normal tone to this weeks match report. Its only been 7 months since news broke that Leeds United had decided to disband Leeds United Ladies FC and while on paper that seems a very small amount of time, In reality it feels like a lifetime away.
We have come a long way from that inaugural meeting in the Peacock to discuss the future of woman’s football in Leeds to actually travelling a “long way” to and from away games. As the fans rallied around to ensure the future of the club all we asked of the players in the upcoming season was to go out week in week out and enjoy football again. These girls gave so much more than that….Pride, determination, grit, heart, soul, fight, courage, laughs, fun, a sense of family and togetherness.
I have been apathetic towards football over the last decade and more due to the Bates/Krasner/GFH *insert crisis here* debacle at Elland Road but these amazing women have rekindled my passion for the game. They know football they understand it, they live and breath it, everyone one of us grew up hoping and wishing that one day maybe just maybe we could pull on a Leeds shirt and play for our beloved club. These girls don’t just wear that shirt, they live that dream and share it with every fan at every game. They understand how important football is not just to themselves but to everyone watching and supporting them, they know how long the drive home from Tranmere is when you lose compared to how short it is when you win.
They don’t get paid ludicrous salaries or have over inflated sponsorship deals. They love football and they love Leeds. It’s that simple. If just one player in the men’s team played 10 minutes of a game like these girls play a full 90+ he would win every fan award going and finish the season with a statue on Elland Road or part of the ground named after him. We like to convince ourselves that the Jermaine Beckford’s, Alan Smith’s and Ross McCormack’s love Leeds and will never leave us, with these girls there is no doubt. They are Leeds, they are the embodiment of Billy Bremner’s spirit and they bleed blue white and yellow.