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      « Leeds United Supporters Trust welcome Walk the 92 to Elland Road | Main | Leeds United Supporters Trust - Member Survey Results »

      Message from the Chairman  

      There are a few days in your life you never forget: your wedding day, the birth of a child, and the day we beat the red half of Manchester in the FA Cup at Old Trafford are a few of mine. Today is another one of those days for me and for that I have the support shown to me by our members and the wider Leeds United fan base to thank, following the publication of an article in The Daily Mail which had no purpose other than to discredit me personally, and the very good work that we as volunteers have done on your behalf as LUST.

      When I was contacted yesterday by Neil Ashton of The Daily Mail and he told me of his intentions to print the article I asked him what his motivation was for doing so, and he couldn’t answer other than to say he felt it was in the public interest. The intimation was that I had upset someone enough for them to take the time to look at my background and my family history, investigate my personal financial affairs and publish a story that doesn’t tell even a quarter of the facts or have any moral consideration for the innocent people it would hurt - namely my wife and children who have done nothing to deserve private family matters being made public for all to see. That didn’t matter to Neil Ashton, nor did it matter to his ‘source,’ but it mattered to me not because of any hurt or embarrassment to myself but because of what it could do to my family, and to the loyal members of LUST for whom all of the work the board and I have done has been for and about.

      Today I have read the replies to the email I felt it was vital we sent out yesterday, firstly to be honest with our membership and secondly to give you all the option to decide if you have confidence in me. You did just that in your thousands and overwhelmingly you decided I should stay on as Chairman. Not only that but some of the kind words in the replies, on the social media and the forums and in the texts, emails, PMs and DMs I received right the way through the night have made me feel so lucky to be part of a family as proud, as dignified and as supportive as the Leeds United supporters are. In my hour of need you did not let me down, at a time when I desperately needed your support, to know you had confidence and believed in me and what we are trying to achieve as a Trust, you came forward in your thousands and offered your support.

      I will never forget today. I will never be more proud to be Leeds and I will never be able to thank you all for your kind words, and it will always remain a fact that whoever I have upset enough for them to take the time and effort to become the ‘source’ for such an article, they will never ever know what it feels like to be Leeds and Proud.

      On behalf of my family and myself I offer my genuinely heart felt thanks to you all and a promise that your faith in me will never be forgotten. The Trust will continue to work for its members and a better future for all Leeds fans regardless of the ups and downs life throws at us.

      It's therefore fitting that on the day our members have united behind their Chairman that our club faces an old foe, and I would ask all Leeds fans to unite and get behind the team on the pitch: this is a game we can win. Let's be the 12th man. Let's beat Chelsea. MOT.


      References (5)

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        Leeds United Supporters Trust | One Voice, Your Voice - Blog - Message from the Chairman
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        Leeds United Supporters Trust | One Voice, Your Voice - Blog - Message from the Chairman
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        Leeds United Supporters Trust | One Voice, Your Voice - Blog - Message from the Chairman
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        Leeds United Supporters Trust | One Voice, Your Voice - Blog - Message from the Chairman

      Reader Comments (11)

      Absolutely fantastic Gary,
      My father always had a saying for me in life "Don't let the bastards grind you down" and you didn't,Also we wouldn't let them either!
      Chin up, Let's ALL March on Together!!!

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Hywood

      Well handled, Gary. Reeks of Bates but well done for rising above his pathetic attempts to shame you. You have nothing to be ashamed of and I'm proud to have someone like you representing the fans. Hope things are on the right track in your personal life. MOT.

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

      That certain owners of football clubs see Supporters' Trusts as threats to their gravy train is indisputable. It is demonstrated by this despicable behaviour. Similar underhand tactics; lies, smears and sockpuppets have been used at Pompey. Take heart - it shows we are getting to them. Keep up the fight to take football back where it belongs - with the fans.

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSJMaskell

      Well done dont forget there is more than 1 way to skin a cat.keep up the good work, upset one the upset us all
      South Wales Leeds.

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergary price

      A very humble and thought-provoking statement Gary. With the way that you've conducted yourself over these last months none of us would have had the first idea that you were going through such personal difficulties and this is testament to how professional you've been. I just hope that whoever is responsible for the underhand, cowardly and despicable behaviour that led to the article, understands that such futile attempts to discredit a good man will always backfire. We are Leeds, and when the chips are down we are even more United.

      MOT Gary

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

      well said and well handled gary. I think i speak for the majority when i say you.ve done an amazing job as chairman and may it long continue. MOT forever

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpaul willow

      You have my trust Gary! Link to the story?

      December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMorten Varøy

      Top Man Gary, you kept your dignity once again, when in truth Nobody would have blamed you had you not. I have nothing but respect for you. I dont often post on Forums etc but I had to take a few minutes to thank you for all the hard work you have done for our club! MOT Gary.

      December 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphil currie

      For me this article proves exactly why Gary should be chairman of LUST. It shows that he isn't some stuck up, rich idiot who sits in an ivory tower. It proves that he is just like the normal working class Leeds fans. It proves he can relate to the majority of Leeds fans who have 'ups and downs'. Keep up the good work Gary, keep your head held high and lets all stick together and march on together!

      December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig Boldy

      One Gary Cooper, there's only one Gary Cooper!
      One Gary Cooooooooooooper, there's only one Gary Cooper!

      December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTony Walker

      these last couple of days have left me lost for words, just thank you all for the kindness and the support from me and my family.

      December 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary Cooper
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