January 2020 update

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in News and Events | 0 comments

Apologies for lack of correspondence since October. There have been lots of long away trips etc. to deal with. Once again, if anyone in the branch can help out with this website to keep it up to date, any offers greatly appreciated.

Monthly Branch Meeting.

Monthly branch meeting was held on Sunday January 5th 2020. Thanks to all who attended despite the Christmas run in of Fulham, Birmingham and West Brom away, with Arsenal in the FA Cup imminent, it was a good turn out. The branch had donated some alcohol free (yes such things exist) beer etc. to Harrogate Fire Station for their Christmas Day open door event. Bruce Reid who has been a branch member for quite a while, works there and was happy for us to share the event on social media etc. The branch also donated some memorabilia which may go towards fund raising in the future. Hopefully, there will be a piece about this on the LUSC programme page in a future Leeds United programme. The Club have got back to us about our Hospitality places. A vote was taken at the meeting and we have gone with either Reading or Luton as our chosen game. See AOB below.


Healthy numbers for this season. The Membership Secretary is returning all the forms to The Secretary as soon as he can and any membership cards will be sent out as soon as possible if there was a stamped addressed envelope provided. If no envelope was provided, you will have to wait until we see you at a home game or on the bus at an away game for your card and free LUSC white Centenary wallet.

Away Games

We will be trying for QPR but as it is a free for all sale, we are not holding our breath. ***Update failed to get any in the season ticket holders sale, managed a few gold members tickets on Weds*** . There will not be any transport arranged for QPR due to lack of tickets. Forest is the next away  game and once we know the ticketing arrangements, we will sort transport accordingly. Brentford, frankly is a non starter. The members who qualify for the tiny amount of available tickets will be informed. Future travel will depend on what Leeds United decide re tracker v free for all. Any decisions re transport will be done on a match by match basis. If we end up getting promoted, next season will be a nightmare. We will have to see what happens when that situation arises.



If anyone can please order their own away tickets when it comes to the free for all sales, PLEASE do so. It is a tremendous help and judging by our luck when it comes to free for alls, it is probably the only way to guarantee your ticket. I know the broadband signal in North Yorks is patchy but some branch members have been extremely lucky with their efforts this season, so keep up the good work. Also, do not disturb us anytime between 10.30 and 11.30 on ticket selling day. Messenger and facebook really do not help at all in these moments of crisis. If you are lucky to get your own tickets, let us know lunchtime-ish or at least after the red sold out bar comes up on the Leeds website.

Since we have been doing better, home tcikets are selling out very quickly. We can TRY to order you tickets on your numbers, but can you please give as much notice as possible. If you are trying to order your own, please remember that it won’t let you order in the family stand unless you are ordering two adults and two children at the same time. The only ones you can get are at the top of the East Stand and they won’t let young children sit up there.

Hospitality package

We will confirm whether it is the Reading or Luton  game for the hospitality package in the Gary Speed Suite. There are four places available and we will raffle them as two pairs of tickets. It will be free food and tea/coffee, free programme and then seats in the East Stand. The view is excellent and the prize is well worth it. We will be selling the raffle tickets, same as last year, at £1 per ticket to branch members only. Tickets can be purchased on the bus, in the pub (Golden Lion) if you see us on matchday, at the next branch meeting or you can email/message us and pay us by BACS for the tickets. The winning tickets will be drawn at the nearest monthly branch meeting to the game. Hopefully, this will be the Reading game and therefore will be at the NEXT monthly branch meeting. all money raised will go towards branch funds and hopefully the continued sponsorship of Ryan Edmondson. There has been no information yet regarding the Thorp Arch event, as soon as I know, we will let you know.

LUSC Programme Page.

If anyone has anything that they wish to have on the page, please get in touch. Hopefully Bruce Reid will be on the next one. Text has to be about 220 words long and a picture would be great. It publicises the LUSC  and the branch, so all good. The branch has done several articles. the MPO can help out if you need any further advice.

Centenary Merchandise

Still have some stock, especially the wristbands and car stickers. Any proceeds go back into the branch, so get in touch if you can help sell any of the items please.

Social Media

Just a reminder that the Harrogate Whites facebook page is PUBLIC and where we post any old rubbish that happens to be interesting at the time. The Harrogate & District LUSC page is the CLOSED group for paid up branch members who have filled in a form. If you haven’t filled a form in, you aren’t in it and this is where we post departure details etc. If I have missed anyone, I will add you to the group eventually with a reminder. If you aren’t a branch member, soz.


Any help appreciated, especially if you know how to put photos in the gallery section. It is still getting sufficient views to continue with it, so even though it is yet another thing to do, we are persevering with it.

Football Cards

Just like to thank Ripon Mark and Bev for helping to do the football cards on the bus. Everything helps!


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Cooking with Stella

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

We’ve all done it.

You’ve packed your football bag for the day. You’ve got on the train, stacked everything on the table and posted the obligatory photo of your efforts on social media along with your train and match tickets. Got your cards out and settled down with the two Stella four packs that you bought for a bargain 8 quid at Asda. These might see you through the long trip to Barnsley, along with that crate of Dark Fruit your mates’ mate brought along. You pull the first can off those genius plastic rings,which David Attenborough will kindly show you again six months later, decorating the neck of a baby dolphin, crack it open – job done.

The equivalent in Scotland, is you’ve packed your bag, drunk all you can on the train, got off the train, stashed your bag with the leftovers behind the big bins, in the usual spot to pick up after the game (austerity hurts) you know who you are Inverness One(!) ….. and the day begins.

Anyway, you get home 16 hours later, unpack your bag and in the bonus gift that just keeps giving, after that two -one win that day, you find two tins of Stella stuck to a Mars bar wrapper and covered in crumbs from that lonely packet of the multipack mini cheddars, that was attached to the inside of the pack, and burst when you opened it.

It’s happened to us all. Probably to everyone who has ever bought a multipack of mini cheddars, blasted glue gun sticking the top one to the packet, but a rare treat for someone to find two cans that got missed though.

So what to do with the two cans? The discussion on Saturday was not led by The Chairman. He was too busy trying to get comfortable on (and off) his seat whilst singing along to “Linger” by The Cranberries intermittently. He appeared at one point to be, what can only be described as, scaling the mountainous peaks of row 2 which he was sharing with Ex Secretary Dave Rowson. After all that effort, which was basically the equivalent of consecutively conquering Everest and K2, The Chairman finally got sorted and fell asleep. It was deemed too harsh to disturb him after that momentous feat.

The answer? Harrogate’s equivalent to The Jamie and Jimmy Friday Night Feast on the Pier –

Sunday Morning Leftovers Club with Mick and Johnathon.

Q: What would you do with two cans of warm Stella then?

A: Have ’em for breakfast.

Q: Probably make your cornflakes at bit soggy?

A: Try them with your Weetabix then

Q:  It’d make a right mess, fizzy Weetabix, bits floating everywhere.

A: No, put the Weetabix in a bowl, crack open a Stella, chuck the Weetabix, drink the Stella

Q: You could try and cook with the Stella?

A: It’d explode if you put it in the oven

A: No, cook with it, like in a recipe, with food. Bet Mary Berry could do it.

Q: Can you imagine, Mary Berry’s next cook book, Cooking with Stella? Best seller, that one. And then do it on Bake Off

A: Eh?

Q: Can you imagine? ……. and for your showstopper today, Mary and Paul would like you to create a masterpiece with a crate of Stella, a four pack of Dark Fruit, two bags of peanuts and a multipack of mini cheddars. You have four hours. Begin.

A: That would be one to watch. Plus the Dark Fruit would be part of your five-a-day.

A: Dark Fruit does NOT count as your five-a-day. It’s never been near a fruit. The nearest it’s been to fruit is the word “fruit” written on the outside of the tin.

Gourmet dining with Stella not Vesta

Q: What could you cook with it?

A: Anything

Q: Like what? Coq au Stella – doesn’t have the same ring to it. Beef and Stella pie?

A: Beef pie with a Stella

Q: No, like a beef and ale pie, but with Stella instead of ale

A: Can’t chuck a can of Stella in with stewing steak, it’d all go fizzy. Taste bloody awful as well.

Q: Surely, there must be something you could do with Stella?

A: Yeah, crack it open and drink it.


Q: Best thing to eat on Sunday morning?

A: Leftover kebab. Got to be cold, straight from the box, on the floor by the telly, where you left it

Q: What if the dog has been at it?

A: Must have been alright then, if the dog’s ate it

Q: Nothing worse than waking up on the sofa, covered in takeaway from the night before

A: Better than waking up and finding a full KFC untouched.

Q: Eh?

A: When you wake up and find a garlic pizza bread with cheese, 10 piece bargain bucket and a mega mix tikka naan kebab that you ordered but fell asleep before you ate any of it.

Q: How does that happen?

A: If only I knew. Must have been a good night

Q: What do you do then?

A: Crack open a Stella

thanks to the gruaniad for the picture, which was the only place I could find a picture of those plastic rings!


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The Curious Case of Leeds United’s Number 9

Posted by on Jan 4, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

If the current Leeds United’s Number 9, Patrick Bamford had the looks and charisma of Brad Pitt, together with the magic and mastery of Messi and a sleeve on one arm depicting St George defeating a dragon and the other arm saying “I heart my mum”, he would STILL be facing mass chastisement by a certain element of Leeds United fans.

And it’s not just Patrick either. I’ll take the time, Pop Pickers, to give you a countdown of a few names who make up our last top ten lambasted Number 9s of the decade;

Pierre Michel Lasogga – hero to zero in one game (Millwall) as he ran and scored and ran and scored… but ran out to tired legs before the 90 minutes was up. Chris Wood – couldn’t hit a barn door allegedly but still did 30 goals in his last season with us. Matt Smith – still a “Leeds and you know you are”  favourite – pity then so few sang his name when he was with us though and most told him he wasn’t fit to wear the shirt. Brazilian hopeful Adryan- whose playing career didn’t even last as long legendary Roque Jnr. Then, the famous Warnock’s Warchest Quartet of Dexter Blackstock, Connor Wickham, Jerome Thomas, Steve Morison, and…….. Billy Painter, of course. That’s a list and a half to forget, isn’t it?

In fact, it’s really only Jer – maine (remember the date) Beckford who is our last memorable Number 9 of the first decade of the 21st century. Even then, and this is controversial and I know it, even then, poor Beckford used to get a right slating from most, if not all, four stands for being a temperamental, lazy git who couldn’t jump to win a ball and then wouldn’t hit a ball unless it was passed straight to his feet. Jer – maine is now selling his wares as a dapper football pundit and holds the title of full on Leeds legend.

But, he did put the ball in the Man U net …… but then so did David Wetherall…

So, what is it about that Number 9 shirt?

500 mile walk David Healy aside and Brett Ormerod (!) , we did have a reasonable run of favourites in that shirt for a while. The Duke, Jimmy Floyd Piggybank, Ian Rush (??), Yeboah, Deano and my personal favourite, Chappie. They all got the plaudits and accolades they deserved, and remain in a happy place in most fans’ minds. I am sorry to say, it has been a uphill slog for the last lot to try win any praise of late.

Is it because the bar was set so high because of these illustrious legends? Are the Golden Age goal scoring elite boots of Lorimer, Clarke, Gray, Terry Connor and Tony Currie too big to fill?

Given that the median age of the Leeds United fan, certainly in the Cheese wedge and the South Stand is lower than that of the average stalwart in the Revie Stand (and definitely the Captains Corner),  it cannot be down to the fact that Bamford and Wood are being harkened to those players of yesteryear. Seeing as most of these younger ones weren’t around when Chappie was at his poaching best, surely none of them can even think about using them as a comparison.

No, I can only conclude the level of criticism aimed at our Number 9 players over the last decade or so is a symptom of far too much expectation of instant glory.

Don’t get me wrong, Chapman used to get a ton of abuse for being a donkey. To be fair, Chappie was far from our most elegant player. What with his gangly legs (similar to a baby goat at times), occasional lack of depth perception and his inability to know where and what his arms and legs were doing at the same time, he would never have made a ballerina. But Chapman knew where the net was and he managed to get the ball in the back of the it by hook or by crook. Or rather by managing to hit the ball with his head, shoulder, knee, foot, eyes closed or eyes open … as long as it went in, I wasn’t bothered how it got in. It got us promoted as Champions!

When Patrick Bamford ended his goal drought at that Blackburn game, he ran to the crowd and gestured to the baying hounds. The fact that he felt he had to do that was bad enough. I felt terrible for him but the naysayers in the crowd deserved that. I preferred the Mark Aizlewood salute myself, but given how upset people are getting nowadays with everything, it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea. Bizarre how in the old days things were so censored, some of the old films that were in the 70s and were given an X certificate are now on TCM without a care in the world. But nowadays even though music videos and songs are streamed with really explicit content (lyrics and violent scenes) etc. people get offended by the odd F word so easily? Go figure that one out then.

I digress, back to Patrick. They are still going on at him, even now. Especially now. When he came on at West Brom his impact was immediate and although the Football League have now taken two goals off him, the one at West Brom and the other one at Luton, he is still up there as our top goal scorer. His work rate during the game is immense. The barren spell he had in front of goal bears no reflection on what he has been doing for the team when he hasn’t scored. Yes, he needs a more consistent service to score. I really wish Kiko would actually hoof the ball up to him when he is actually on the pitch, instead of waiting til Bamford gets subbed before he starts giving the long balls to someone who doesn’t stick a chance in the air. But, Bielsa rates him and that is enough for me. I couldn’t care less about the 25,000+ other football managers at Elland Road.

Maybe I’m being a little too harsh to our current fan base. I remember when Viduka came to us. It took quite a few games for him to find his goal scoring boots too. There was always that element who cursed him when he missed an open net and condemned him for not being able to get more than an inch off the ground for a cross. I suppose it has always been the same for our fickle fans. It perhaps seems worse now with the onset of the social media age, where in August everyone suddenly becomes the greatest football manager and tactician since Cruyff, and don’t we know about it!

The game has changed in the last 20-30 years. The old fashioned Number 9 out and out striker has long departed. The days of the Di Stefano and Cruyff, and in the more recent times, the Shearers and the Fowlers of this world don’t really exist any more. In a way, probably Ronaldo (the fat one rather than the cheating one) was the last of the proper Number 9s to grace the field. Players don’t seem to be bothered with their numbers anymore either. Whether that is just a reflection of the times, as in the demise of the standard 4-4-2 as opposed to the vanity of players wanting to put their own stamp (for however long they stay depending on money!) on the team, I’m not sure about.

The game has definitely changed, all you hear about now is the “high press” and “clever game management” aka cheating. The ball is “rounder” and designed to fly through the air quicker. The players are fitter yet less hardy and tend to fall over at the slightest touch. The pitches (apart from in Scotland and in Histon) tend to be grass as opposed to mud baths. The 4-4-2 traditionalists amongst us are now in the minority and the infamous Mike Bassett Christmas Tree is now actually taken seriously! Even though the changes are massive, the crowd’s expectation for a player to play as a Number 9 hasn’t really lessened at all. In fact, it has become more vociferous if anything. Not content with the fact that goals are coming from all over the pitch, you still hear the phrase “we need a proper striker up front”. Last season this phrase was followed by “like Vydra or Rhodes” – er hmmm. However, we should have learnt by our mistakes last season. We shouldn’t be putting all our eggs in one basket, in case we get injuries like last season, we should be happy that Harrison, Dallas and even Ayling etc. are getting on the scoresheet.

Patrick Bamford WILL score more goals and I hope he gets his 30 goals this season, because he deserves to. Just give the lad a chance and pipe down you miserable lot.

photo courtesy of pinterest, and yes, that is Brad Pitt not Patrick!

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Hasta La Vesta – baby

Posted by on Jan 3, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

It’s been a while but The Chairman was back on form at West Brom – or should that be Vesta Brom?

I think the discussion started when we were talking about how tasty ready meals used to be until the horse meat scandal broke, and how Ex Branch Secretary Dave, now doesn’t eat ready meals, because they don’t taste as good as they used to do.

For further info –  also see Dave’s video

Gourmet food in your cupboard

The Chairman: They were a classic them Vesta meals in the 70s and the 80s.

Q: ?

The Chairman: Remember? You could experience all the different types of food in the world, in the comfort of your own home? Vesta meals. What more could you want?

Q: Literally – EVERY type of world cuisine?

The Chairman: Yeah, you needn’t waste time travelling the world to eat good food. Every type of food under the sun. Just get it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Like what?

The Chairman: All sorts of food you could want. Curries, chow mein, paella, risotto. They did beef and chicken curry. Gourmet food in your cupboard. That’s why I ate paella in Spain, because I’d tried it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Not because that’s what you get in a bar in Spain then?

The Chairman: No! I was shown the way by that Vesta paella. All these people who haven’t had a Vesta meal – don’t know you’ve lived until you’ve had a Vesta meal.

Q: Can you even still get Vesta meals nowadays?

A: Amazon have them at £15, just checked.

Q: Fifteen quid for a Vesta dinner? Jesus! Better be good for that

The Chairman: Told you – classic meals worth their weight in gold

A: Hang on, Vesta beef curry £1.99 at Poundstretcher, easy cook, add water and simmer. Have you got a Poundstretcher in Harrogate?

The Chairman: Gourmet dinner coming up then


Find us the Crispy pancakes

Q: My favourite was those Findus crispy pancakes

The Chairman: Another classic, minced beef Findus crispy pancakes

Q: Did you grill them or stick them in the chip pan?

Q: Deep fry them? Who deep fried crispy pancakes?

A: You were meant to deep fry them in the chip pan, everybody had a chip pan in them days. That’s how you did your noodles in the Vesta chow mein.

Q: Really?

A: Unless you were posh and grilled them.

Q: I wonder if they still do them? Need to find some of them for my tea

A: No, they stopped doing them ages ago

Mr Rowson: Probably because of that horse meat that was making them taste so good.

photo courtesy of poundstretcher website





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