Leeds United and Yorkshire Cancer Research will mark their second season working in partnership by inviting supporters to nominate someone special for the chance to win hospitality tickets.
In association with the Yorkshire Evening Post, the two organisations will ‘give back’ to the fans who have continued to support the club during the pandemic as crowds return to Elland Road.
Supporters are being asked to nominate a deserving friend or family member with a personal experience with cancer, or a medical or healthcare professional who has had a lasting impact on their cancer treatment or care.
Striker Patrick Bamford said: “We’ve seen the devastating effect that cancer can have on the Leeds United family and the wider public as a whole. By partnering with Yorkshire Cancer Research, we can do a lot of good. There’s more that we can do - not just on the pitch but off the pitch - to help people, especially after the past 18 months.
“It’s been tough for everybody, especially those working in the NHS or people who have either had delayed treatments or have missed out on treatments and have been impacted by the pandemic. It’s all about giving back to the community, and offering people the opportunity to enjoy a match in hospitality is a great way to do that.”
Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Leeds United cult hero Dominic Matteo, The Athletic's Phil Hay and Yorkshire Evening Post editor Laura Collins.
Judge Dominic Matteo, who is recovering after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2019, said: “The partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research is massive for me. I love living in Yorkshire and it has a place in my heart. People in Yorkshire helped me through my illness, and I want to give as much help as I can in return.
“I’m honoured to be part of the panel for this great give back. So much happened for the club while the fans were away from Elland Road and we missed a lot of key moments. It made the 16-year wait to return to the Premier League feel even longer. So it’s great to be able to say thank you for the support by offering this opportunity to those affected by cancer.”
The hospitality packages will include a pre-match meal in a hospitality suite with complimentary drinks, executive match seats, complimentary copies of the matchday programme and team sheet for every guest, and access to the lounge at half time and full time.
Juliet Glendinning, Director at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to offer supporters this amazing experience after such a difficult 18 months since the pandemic hit. We know it’s been hard for both the footballers and the fans, and we can’t wait to give people the chance to finally see Leeds United play in the Premier League.
“The partnership with Leeds United is so important to the charity. We’re looking forward to finally being able to put all our plans into action now that restrictions have been lifted. With the support of Leeds United fans, we will save more lives in Yorkshire.”
Paul Bell, Executive Director at Leeds United said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Yorkshire Cancer Research as our charity partner for another exciting season in the Premier League.
“Our aim is to continue making a difference in the local community by helping to raise awareness around the incredible work being done by the local charity among our supporter base. This collaboration can continue to make a huge difference after what has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone.”
Throughout the season, Leeds United and Yorkshire Cancer Research will continue to work together to raise awareness of cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms and screening, and funds raised will help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in Yorkshire.
Since 2000, Yorkshire Cancer Research has funded over £40 million of research in Leeds. One of the charity’s flagship programmes is the Leeds Lung Health Check, a multi-million pound clinical trial which is helping people in Leeds benefit from life-saving scans designed to find lung cancer at the earliest possible stage.
The charity is also funding Cancer Wise Leeds, which aims to improve screening participation in the city in partnership with Leeds City Council as part of the Leeds Cancer Programme.
For more information and to make a nomination, visit www.ycr.org.uk/lufc.