On 17th November 2018 we lost our dear friend Des Yates.
His funeral will be on Thursday 6th December at 11.40am at Stonefall and his wake will be at the 1919 venue at Harrogate Town.
Des has been a Leeds United fan for all his life. He followed us home and away, whenever he could, wherever he could for 55 years. Many of the older branch members will remember him from the days of travelling with Pynes and Murgatroyds, and then with Wrays of Harrogate once the branch was formed in 1982.
As many people have already said, Des never had a bad word to say about anyone, apart from the referee and linesmen! He was Leeds United through and through and always got behind the team, whoever the manager, chairman or players were. As long as they played for Leeds, they got his support.
I remember when they were raising money for Don Revie’s statue and Des and Nicky came along to an event at The Old Peacock with Allan Clarke and a few of the other old League Championship players. Allan Clarke came round to some of the tables and shook Des’s hand. Des was absolutely made up that Allan Clarke had asked to shake his hand. He got a couple of autographs etc. and one of them signed his 1972 replica shirt but just the fact that that Allan had shook his hand was enough for him that night. That’s how much Leeds United mattered to Des.
Most of us will remember Des getting straight off the bus at the pub stop and lighting up the roll up that he had been meticulously rolling on the bus. That’s called getting your priorities sorted! After that, quick one in the pub before a walk to the nearest bookies to put on a couple of quid on a horse or two, and then back to the pub. He loved football and the social side of football, having a drink in the pub and catching up with everyone. In the old days before social media, that’s what we did, talked to each other about the game the week before and what were thinking the game would be like that day. Des knew his stuff and was a constant source of Leeds United stories. Then of course, he was last on the bus, getting the last ciggie in before the trip back home.
We all have our own memories of Des, most if not all will be fond thoughts. Our condolences go to Nicky Horsman, who he called his soul mate, Paul and Andy and the rest of the Yates family.