Thursday, 16 July 2009

Leeds United legends to kick off new football exhibition

Caption: The oldest surviving version of the FA Cup will be on public display for the first time in 95 years

Two Leeds United legends will be guests of honour at the launch of a new football exhibition at Leeds City Museum this week.

Former Whites stars Norman Hunter and Brendan Ormsby will be in attendance as the official opening of ‘A Game of Two Halves’ takes place at the new museum off Millennium Square from 6pm on Friday 17th July.

Split into two parts, the exhibition organised by Leeds City Council, the National Football Museum and Leeds United charts the history of the most famous club cup competition in the world – the FA Cup - as well as telling the story of Leeds United through the years.

Open to the public from 11am on Saturday 18th July, part one of the exhibition entitled ‘Saved for the Nation’ focuses on the legendary FA Cup, the world’s oldest and best-loved cup competition. Featuring an amazing collection of rarely seen memorabilia, the exhibition charts the players, goals, glory and controversy which make up the rich history of the competition known all over the world.

The centrepiece is sure to be the oldest surviving version of the trophy, which is now on public display for the first time in 95 years. This version was presented to the winners every year between 1896 and 1910, and was donated to the National Football Museum in 2005 after being bought by Birmingham City Chairman David Gold.

The exhibition also displays memorabilia from some of the great teams that won the cup in that period, such as Manchester United, Newcastle, Sheffield United, Spurs, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Everton and Wolves. Another eye-catcher is sure to be a collection of shirts worn by some of the heroes of the FA Cup in some of its most memorable finals at Wembley. These include Allan Clarke’s for Leeds in 1972, Frank McLintock’s for Leicester in 1961 and Jimmy Stewart’s for Newcastle United back in 1911.

The second half of ‘A Game of Two Halves’ is ‘Marching on Together’ which is entirely devoted to Leeds United, telling the story of the club through the years. With amazing photography, familiar faces and many unseen items of memorabilia from the club’s recent and distant past, the exhibition charts significant dates and events including Leeds’ adventures in Europe, making it a must for all aficionados of The Whites.

‘A Game of Two Halves’ is not just the chance to look at memorabilia, however, there will also be the chance for fans to create their own dream team, re-live some glorious moments watching the 100 greatest FA Cup goals or show off their own skills by taking on the keepy-uppy challenge.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“This is going to be a fantastic exhibition and we are delighted that these great players from Leeds United’s past will be there to help us launch it.

“I’m sure ‘A Game of Two Halves’ is going to be massively popular as all football fans will find it fascinating to see the amazing memorabilia like the FA Cup itself being on display, while Leeds United fans are going to love their own part of the exhibition especially. We are all really excited to be hosting it at Leeds City Museum.”

Leeds United manager Simon Grayson said:

"This is a great opportunity for the people of the city to learn more about the history of the FA Cup and, of course, about the great history of Leeds United."

The exhibition is part of the Summer of Fun in Leeds, with details of all the council-managed free or low-cost events and activities going on around the city able to be accessed through the new web portal at

‘A Game of Two Halves’ starts at Leeds City Museum on Saturday 18th July and runs until January 10th 2010. Admission is £2.20 for adults, £1.20 for Under-16s, NUS and Senior Citizens, while a Family Ticket (2 Adults 3 Children) will be priced at £5. Under-5s are free.

LEEDSCard, Breezecard, Leeds United season-ticket holders and Club Members can also benefit from a 20% Discount (this cannot be used in conjunction with the Family Ticket).

As well as ‘A Game of Two Halves’, Leeds City Museum features four floors of exciting galleries and exhibitions and free family activities Tuesdays to Thursdays to enjoy. Entry to Leeds City Museum is free and is a full day out. For further information visit the website


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Leeds set to go Dutch for Olympic stars in 2012

Caption: (left to right) Olympic champions Marleen Veldhuis, Femke Heemskerk, Inge Dekker and Ranomi Kromowidjojo will train in Leeds before defending their title in London

Leeds is to play host to Olympic champions in 2012 as the Dutch Swimming Federation have chosen to use the city as their training base ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

The team from Holland which includes reigning Olympic Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay Champions Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Femke Heemskerk and Marleen Veldhuis will be based in Leeds in the weeks leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games following an agreement between the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation and Leeds City Council.

The team, which is expected to be made up of approximately 25 swimmers competing in London, will use the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport to complete their final preparations. The team are also expected to visit Leeds in late 2011 or early 2012 for an initial training camp.

The announcement is the second such agreement to be sealed with a nation competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games, following the decision by Serbia to also send its athletes to Leeds and Sheffield which was confirmed in May.

The Dutch team had 19 swimmers take part in the Beijing Olympics last year, and are aiming to have approximately 25 qualify to compete in London. Aside from the swimming squad, other Dutch aquatic athletes may also be coming to Leeds including Olympic 10km Open Water swimming champion Maarten van der Weijden, who overcame leukaemia to triumph in Beijing, and the women’s water polo team who claimed a surprise victory over the USA in the Olympic final to take the gold medal.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“This is fantastic news that a second country has chosen Leeds as the perfect place to send its athletes in preparation for London 2012. Following on from the agreement with Serbia it is clear that the facilities we have here in Leeds are of the highest standard so it is wonderful to be able attract a team which includes current Olympic champions.

“We hope they have a really enjoyable time in our city and look forward to hopefully having some more countries choose to come to Leeds.”

Team Manager of the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation Aad van Groningen said:

“The Royal Dutch Swimming Federation are very pleased to have been able to agree with Leeds the training programme and facilities for our swimmers. London 2012 is a great opportunity for Dutch swimming to build on our Olympic success from Beijing last year.

“I am confident that the Aquatics Centre and the support Leeds can offer will provide us with the perfect training environment for us to succeed at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee Sebastian Coe said:

"This is great news for Leeds who I know will give a warm welcome to the Dutch swimming team. Leeds has high quality swimming facilities and this will help the swimmers prepare well for the London 2012 Games. It also provides a great opportunity for Leeds to get involved in our plans."

Kate Auld of Yorkshire Gold, the region’s London 2012 Committee, added:

“The Dutch are a swimming force to be reckoned with; winning a clutch of gold medals at Bejing and smashing world records in 2009. We’re thrilled to have signed them up so far ahead of 2012 and look forward to welcoming more teams and sports to come and enjoy our world-class facilities and warm Yorkshire welcome.”

For further information on Leeds’ Olympic project go to, or to see how the Yorkshire region is gearing up to London 2012 visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

FA delegation sees the best of Leeds during World Cup visit

A delegation from the Football Association has toured Leeds as the city continues its bid to be a host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The seven-strong delegation were in town today and saw the very best of what Leeds - and Yorkshire - can offer as part of their nationwide tour of 15 cities bidding to be hosts.

The party visited Elland Road - where matches will be played - as well as Leeds United’s Thorp Arch facilities, the John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds Metropolitan University’s Headingley Campus and the University Of Leeds’ Weetwood facilities which are all candidates to be used as training facilities for countries based in the city.

It also took in potential FIFA Fan Fest sites - which will show live matches to thousands of football fans - at Roundhay Park, Woodhouse Moor and Millennium Square as well as some of the city’s leading hotels and media facilities.

If the bid is successful, other towns and cities within the 11 local authorities which make up the Leeds City Region* will also be used as locations for training grounds, Fan Fest sites and team bases.

The visit followed last week’s official launch of the Leeds City Region bid which was attended by footballing legends Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Nigel Martyn and Gordon McQueen.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“If successful, this bid will bring a slice of world football to the Leeds City Region.

“It is an opportunity to build on the region’s rich and proud sporting heritage and show the rest of the world what Yorkshire can offer.

“Yorkshire has some of the most passionate football fans in the world and we need every single one to vote for Leeds at - and help us bring football home to Leeds.”

Shaun Harvey, chief executive of Leeds United, said:
“The Leeds City Region has the facilities, passion, fans and ambition to be a magnificent host city.

“The FA’s delegation saw some of the best of what Yorkshire can offer today including an internationally recognised football stadium, world-class training facilities and some of the best outdoor spaces in the country.

“What we need now is for everybody to show their support for this once in a lifetime opportunity and vote for Leeds at”

Leeds is one of 15 cities across the country which have declared an interest in hosting World Cup fixtures in nine years time if the overall England bid is successful.

The bid is being prepared by Leeds City Council, Leeds United and Marketing Leeds with the help of many other organisations.

If Leeds secures host city status, games would be played at Elland Road. It’s proposed that improvements would be made to the stadium so it would be capable hosting matches up to and including quarter final.

To vote for Leeds to be one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup visit


Notes to editors:

*The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the eleven local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council.

For more information contact:
Jon Crampton
Leeds City Council
0113 3951577

Paul Dews
Leeds United
0113 3676170

Andy Carter
Leeds City Council
0113 3950393

Eager Deaver coming to Leeds

International best-selling crime writer Jeffery Deaver will be visiting Leeds Art Gallery this summer to launch his new novel.

Deaver’s profile rocketed when his first Lincoln Rhyme novel, The Bone Collector, hit the silver screen in 1999 in a feature film starring Hollywood superstars Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The riveting mystery introduced legions of new fans to Deaver’s trademark twists and suspense-filled plotlines in a gritty psychological thriller.

With over 20 million books now sold worldwide and the winner of numerous prizes, he will be launching his much-anticipated new novel, Roadside Crosses, with a special visit to Leeds Art Gallery on Wednesday 29th July at 7pm. The visit will see Deaver speaking about the novel, answering questions from the audience and carrying out book signings.

Deaver’s new page-turner Roadside Crosses marks the return of Kathryn Dance, an expert in the science of body language, who first appeared in the 2007 bestseller The Sleeping Doll. Roadside Crosses will be published on 23rd July and Deaver is heading to Leeds to promote it as part of a short UK tour.

Executive Member for Leisure, Cllr John Procter, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome such a high profile author to Leeds Art Gallery. The talk by Jeffery Deaver should provide a fascinating insight into his work and give fans the chance to meet him face-to-face. Leeds Library Service regularly organises these kind of events, and book lovers should keep checking our website for more information.”

Deaver was born outside of Chicago in 1950. After receiving a degree in journalism, he worked as a magazine writer before enrolling at Law School. After graduation he worked for several years as an attorney for a large Wall Street firm. It was during his long commute to and from the office that he began writing the type of fiction he enjoyed reading: suspense novels. In 1990 he gave up his day job to write full time.

Tickets to the author event are just £3 and are available from the City Centre Box Office at the Carriageworks Theatre on 0113 224 3801 or from Borders, Briggate on 0113 242 4400.

For more information about upcoming library events in Leeds visit

For media inquiries please contact:
Dominic Burton, Marketing Officer, Libraries Arts and Heritage
Leeds City Council
0113 2478391


Residents have their say on new conservation area for Pool in Wharfedale

People from Pool-in-Wharfedale are being asked for their views on the proposed conservation area in the village; what they think is special about it and how they think it could be enhanced.

The historic settlement of Pool currently has no conservation area to safeguard the special architectural and historic character of the village and protect important buildings from demolition.

It is proposed that a new conservation area would include the village’s historic core, along with Old Pool Bank, Pool Bank New Road and much of Arthington Lane and Avenue Des Hirondelles.

Members of the public who are interested in the future of the conservation area are being asked for their comments on the proposed alterations, which will be available to view at the Upper Room at Pool Memorial Hall Monday 6 July until the consultation period ends on Wednesday 12 August from 3pm until 7pm daily. A Leeds City Council conservation officer will also be on hand at the library on Saturday 18 July 10am to 2pm and Wednesday 22 July from 3pm to 7pm to answer any questions people may have on the review.

Buildings within a conservation area are protected from unauthorised demolition, and new development has to meet higher standards of design than elsewhere. Other planning rules are slightly different and permission is needed from the council for certain activities such as tree felling.

Councillor Barry Anderson, lead member responsible for development, said:
“Pool has a number special architectural features and an historic character so it is important that we are able to safeguard these and protect buildings from demolition. The best way to do this is by designating a conservation area.

“The opinions of local people are an integral part of the process and this public meeting is an opportunity for people to speak to a conservation officer and make their views on the issue known to the council.”

The outer west area committee have made this work a priority and allocated money from their ‘Well Being Fund’ to ensure Pool-in-Wharfedale has conservation area protection.

The public consultation began on Monday 6 July and will run until Wednesday 12 August and posters will be on display across the village to inform people of their opportunity to comment. The document is hoped to be approved by council officials in August.

During the consultation period there will be a display in the Upper Room at Pool Memorial Hall and the draft appraisal document will be available on-line at:

People can also request a copy of the draft appraisal from the Conservation Team at: Sustainable Development Unit, Leeds City Council, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713