Leeds United

Leeds United promotion: Fans react to return to Premier League – BBC News

Fans at Elland Rd on Saturday

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Fans gathered outside Elland Road again on Saturday as the club won The Championship

Leeds United’s return to the Premier League has been likened to Christmas Day by jubilant fans celebrating the club’s promotion.

Thousands gathered at Elland Road on Friday as a return to the top-flight was confirmed when West Brom lost to Huddersfield Town.

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who will have a street named after him, was cheered in to the stadium earlier.

Leeds took the Championship title earlier as Brentford lost to Stoke.

Countless fans watched the historic moment from home and shared their joy online as promotion was sealed for the first time in 16 years.

Former player and BBC commentator Noel Whelan – known for his shouts of “Get In!” after each time Leeds scored, paid tribute to the fans.

Mr Whelan, who played as a striker for Leeds from 1993-95, said: “To every single Leeds fan thank you for every single bit of support you have given our great club through the good and the bad you all deserve this and our great club are so lucky to have you.”

Leeds captain Liam Cooper said: “With this group of players behind me I feel unstoppable, that’s how they make me feel.

“I didn’t get off to a great start with the club but since Marcelo’s come in, it’s changed me as a person and it’s taken my playing to a whole new level.

“Everyone involved it’s been a massive effort. Andrea came in and he had a plan, and they have allowed us to go and achieve our dreams. This smile is going to take some wiping off my face.”

Boxer Josh Warrington was with the players when the news broke.

He said: “I got a call from some people at the club saying get yourself down and be part of the celebrations, so I was able to congratulate them personally, which was an honour.

“I’m still wired, it’s kind of like the feeling after a fight. I don’t sleep and I’m full of adrenaline.

“That’s how I’m feeling this morning, I hardly slept a wink last night.”

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AFP/Getty Images

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The club is celebrating its return to the Premier League after 16 years

Adam Pope, BBC Radio Leeds

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A street in the city will be named after Head coach Marcelo Bielsa

A year on, a centenary has been celebrated and amidst a pandemic the passing of legends mourned. A new one now lives.

Marcelo Bielsa has led United out of exile and swept the stables along the way. Cleaner, fitter, smarter a team has been coached to greatness. He has restored pride and improved all around him. With his back against the wall in the Leeds style he did it his way, the right way.

Leeds United are back and football is better for it. The edginess and “nobody likes us, we don’t care” swagger will return too.

But remember, its all because, just for once, the nice guy won.

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The Billy Bremner statue in front of the stadium was adorned in scarves on Saturday morning

On twitter, fanzine The Square Ball wrote: “YYYYYEEEESSS! It’s like Christmas Day, but one we’ve waited 16 years for! And we got Marcelo Bielsa! Bueno. #LUFC”.

Club owner Andrea Radrizzani tweeted: “I feel very happy and proud to be a leader of such an amazing club, our fans, our players, Marcelo and all staff, our management and everyone involved have worked very hard showing an unconditional love for @LUFC and an endless commitment to achieve our goal and dream. #WEAREBACK”.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Under the expert and meticulous eye of Marcelo, Leeds have proved without doubt that they are a truly outstanding team and more than worthy of promotion this season.”

A Leeds street is also to be renamed Marcelo Bielsa Way to commemorate the promotion.

The street, which connects Trinity Leeds shopping centre to Commercial Street, will have a sign installed next week.

A BMW car was seen parked in front of the ground with a damaged windscreen after the celebrations, and fan Gareth Cundall set up a campaign to help pay for the damage.

The Go Fund Me page had raised £1,697 raised of its £20,000 goal at midday on Saturday.

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Dom Smith

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Hundreds of fans gathered outside Elland Road on Friday night

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