" WE ALL LOVE LEEDS, WE ALL LOVE LEEDS.....". Well, at least a small band of brothers, sisters, dads and mothers do, as I witnessed on Sunday afternoon at Station View, the home of Harrogate Railways AFC, just round the cornet from the Harrogate-Knaresborough road and the local Starbeck train station.
A few weeks ago new Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino withdrew the LUFC Ladies the right to use the name and the logo and told the Leeds United Foundation to disband the club. Evidently the volatile Italian wants to rebrand his new possession in the next 12 months. RED BULL LEEDS, RED BULL STADIUM ??... there are many rumours being circulated in West Yorkshire,
A few years ago I watched the Ladies lose in the FA Women's Cup Final at Nottingham Forest's City Ground in front of 24,000 spectators, I have watched them in League Cup Finals at Scunthorpe and York, and the last two seasons at the end of May play league matches at Elland Road. For a time they played under the Leeds Carnegie label, until that fiscally irresponsible university dropped them, and Sean Harvey, the LUFC GM brought them back into the fold. Harvey has since departed to an executive role at The Football League
Before Sunday's opening match of the season I spoke with a few loyal enthusiasts who would not give up. Chairman Gary Cooper, Secretary/Treasurer Nico;a Bright and others had a month or so to act and reform under Leeds Ladies FC. www leedsladiesfc.org.uk. THESE PEOPLE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH,,, as are other such enthusiasts the world over !!! Many people have rallied round to sponsor players including fans from Norway, South Africa, USA and Australia. More are needed so contact the web site.
It was a nervous start as the white uniformed new team.. with luminescent football boots of orange,lime green,red,yellow,white... started the league season against visiting Stockport County Ladies, kitted out in all purple. Two goals down early in the match they fought back with goals from Sophie Varley and a pk from captain Emma Bentley for 2-2 at half time. In the 79th minute Varley put the All Whites ahead and just before the end Jemma White made it 4-2,and refereed by Ashley Mallett from Rotherham, and they now top the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division...for the time being at least.
Their next home match will be on Thursday 4th September at Station View against Guiseley AFC Vixens, before they move to the Manse Lane ground of Knaresborough Town not far away,