One of the proudest days of David’s life was when he took on the Chairmanship of the then Leeds United Ladies FC in 2013. He was determined that the Ladies should get the support and recognition they deserve as a fantastic group of players competing at the highest level in the Women’s Premier League. For David it was never simply a question of some sort of token equality. These amazingly skilled and dedicated players merited proper recognition and so David set about investing time and money in trying to help them achieve this goal. David spent much time trying to persuade the then Leeds United owners to give the Ladies the support they deserve – including getting them playing at Elland Road.
David had so many exciting plans for the Ladies’ team and was very proud to be the Chairman with Gary Cooper as Vice Chairman (then also chairman of the 9000 strong Leeds United Supporters Trust). Regrettably, when David rather unexpectedly left Leeds United in April 2014, the Ladies club was disbanded by the Leeds United Foundation, leaving years of history, hard work and a hard-won place in the WPL seemingly counting for nothing.
Luckily Gary and many others got together and saved the team under the new name of Leeds Ladies FC in which guise they have achieved many successes. Headline writers have dubbed their revival ‘Phoenix Rises’. In this case it surely did from the ashes to which their dream had been reduced by those who didn’t care much for sport.
Leeds Ladies FC, with Gary as Chairman and a fantastic manager and support team of fans and volunteers, will be at the forefront of great advances in the future of women’s football in Leeds and Yorkshire as well as further afield as the Phoenix continues to rise, confounding the doubters and those who did so little to help their cause.
One day the whole amazing story of Phoenix Rises could make a wonderful movie follow-up to the blockbusting Bend It Like Beckham and you can read more about them here. www.leedsladiesfc.com
Update: In early July, 2017, Leeds Ladies reunited with the Leeds United family and are now once again known as Leeds United Ladies. This move came as a result of a change in ownership at Leeds United. David is extremely pleased at the news and will continue to follow the Leeds United Ladies on and off the field.