To say the last few months have been a real challenge and true test of the city’s collective strength would be an understatement.
We have seen our city come together in a way like never before in the face of anxiety and uncertainty during the coronavirus crisis.
The pandemic put the world of football on hold as fans were left wondering whether the dream season would be played out on the pitch.
Another devastating blow was the tragic death of Norman Hunter who succumbed to the virus.
His wish was to see the club he cared so deeply for return to the top flight of football.
And the heartache sadly didn’t stop there for Leeds United and its fans.
Within weeks of mourning the loss of Norman Hunter, the news then broke of the sudden death of Trevor Cherry.
And this past fortnight, we saw the sad passing of Leeds United hero Jack Charlton.
To have seen their club back where it rightly belongs would have been a moment those three lost legends would have held on to and cherished. But it is something their families can take great comfort in.
Winning promotion and sealing the Championship title during the club’s centenary season is the perfect tribute to honour each of their memories.
Leeds United’s return to top flight football means so much.
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The club is deeply woven into the very fabric of our city. And the passion for the Whites is undeniable – the fans have felt every single moment through thick and thin.
They’ve experienced the highest of highs right through to the depths of despair.
And their messages of celebration and pride remind us all just what it means on a personal level too.
That feel-good factor will ripple far beyond the surrounds of Elland Road too as the Leeds United effect is felt by the wider city economy.
Business experts predict that the club being in the Premier League could give the city’s overall economy a cash boost of up to £3m per home game. Overall, the club’s promotion could be worth in the region of £78m for each year that Leeds remain the Premier League.
Martin Dickinson from Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) says the knock on effect of the club’s success in returning to top flight football after a 16-year absence will be “phenomenal”.
It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of Leeds as we take great pride in reminding the world that our city is once again home to a Premier League club.
And if ever there was a sign that those greats we have loved and lost are keeping a watchful eye over the city, the rainbow shining over Elland Road on Friday night must surely be proof of their good wishes and many other positive things to come.
After all, at the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold.
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