Young heart disease sufferer meets Leeds United players during day to remember

A brave teenager has been given a champion morale-booster by Leeds United as he prepares to undergo open heart surgery.

United fan Tom Atkinson, 14, who was born with congenital heart disease, was treated to a surprise day out at Leeds's Thorp Arch training complex thanks to the club's partnership with the Leeds General Infirmary-based Children's Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

Tom Atkinson and family meet Leeds players Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez, Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas.

Tom Atkinson and family meet Leeds players Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez, Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas.

Tom was joined by dad Ted, mum Steph and his twin 12-year-old brothers Rory and Alex for the Thorp Arch visit.

Tom, who has already had two rounds of open heart surgery during his young life, was presented with a United shirt by Whites striker Kemar Roofe before meeting the rest of the Leeds first-team squad.

The youngsters were also presented with signed football boots by United players Liam Cooper and Leif Davis.

Ellie Brown, fundraising manager at the CHSF, said: "Leeds United have once again pulled out all the stops to make it special for the family and a big thank you to the players for spending so much time with them, it's been perfect.

"The way the fans have got behind the partnership so far has just been amazing to see and it really is what makes this partnership so special to us as a charity."

Leeds are aiming to provide new equipment such as life support and dialysis machines on the back of their work with the CHSF.

Other funds raised will go towards the refurbishment of the CHSF family unit at the LGI.

A range of heart-themed United T-shirts was recently released as part of the link-up, with £5 from each one bought being donated to the charity.