WHEN IT comes to dedication to supporting Leeds United, birthday girl Edna Newton is almost in a league of her own.
Miss Newton, who turns 90 on Tuesday, first attended a match at Elland Road way back in the late 1930s.
She has also been the proud holder of a season ticket for more than 60 unbroken years and still takes her seat in the West Stand for every home fixture. “I want to keep going to games for as long as I can,” she said. “I go by myself these days but get on really well with the people I sit next to.
“They don’t have any idea how old I am – although they will when they read this, of course!”
She went on: “Someone once asked my brother how I managed to afford a season ticket every year.
“I told him, ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t have a toy boy and I don’t back slow horses, that’s how I do it’.”
Miss Newton, whose home is a stone’s throw from Elland Road, originally started going to matches with two of her uncles and a family friend.
One of the first season tickets she bought cost her the princely sum of £4. She has also clocked up many miles following United away from home, with her foreign jaunts including a trip to Paris to watch them in the 1975 European Cup final.
Asked who her favourite players have been down the years, she said: “John Charles, of course. I knew John, he was a smashing fellow.
“I used to think Carl Shutt was great as well – if you needed a goal he would come on and get you one, like he did [in the European Cup] against Stuttgart.” Edna, who used to work as a manager at a food factory, also admitted she wasn’t pinning her hopes on Leeds winning promotion this season.
“I don’t think they’ll do it,” she said. “Or at least they’ll only do it if they frame themselves.”
Miss Newton’s nephew, Colin Newton, described her as a “stalwart of the family and the whole community”.