Leeds United tickets are a gift for homeless

LEEDS United have pitched in to help the city’s homeless this Christmas.

United managing director David Haigh, who spent a day helping out at St Georges Crypt earlier this year.

United fans who hold on to their tickets after Saturday’s game at Elland Road against Barnsley are being encouraged to hand them over to anyone they see sleeping rough.

Recipients will then be able to exchange the ticket for a hot meal at Leeds’s St George’s Crypt homeless charity.

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The initiative is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the country.

United managing director David Haigh, who spent a day helping out at St George’s Crypt earlier this year, said: “As a football club we believe we have a real and continuing responsibility to the wider community.

“The problems of homelessness are always with us but they are thrown into even starker relief at Christmas time.

“We urge all our fans to buy a match ticket and then find a homeless person who will get a free meal simply by presenting it at St George’s Crypt.”

The tickets will be redeemable until January 31, except on December 25, 26 and 30 and January 1, when pre-arranged events will be taking place at the crypt.

Cheryl Harrington, lead fundraiser at the charity, said she was “delighted” by the club’s backing.

Meanwhile, United have announced that Saturday’s match will be another of their themed tribute fixtures.

More than 1,000 members of the emergency services have been invited to the game so the club and its supporters can say ‘thank you’ for their work during the year.

Previous themed matchdays run by Leeds this season have included a tribute to the armed forces ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Fans can also strike it lucky on Saturday as United owners GFH Capital mark the first anniversary of their takeover of the club.

A pre-match quiz, fancy dress competition, superstore offers and the chance to win back the cost of a season ticket will all form part of the celebrations at Elland Road.