Leeds United captain Liam Cooper shows support for World Autism Awareness Week

He has been one of the driving forces behind Leeds United's push for promotion this season.

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper with members of the disability team.
Leeds United captain Liam Cooper with members of the disability team.

And now United captain Liam Cooper has shown he's also a winner off the pitch by lending his support to World Autism Awareness Week.

He joined a coaching session for one of the Leeds United Foundation's disability teams at the club's Thorp Arch training ground on Thursday afternoon.

Led by first year scholars at United's academy, the two-hour session was designed to help the players - some of whom are on the autism spectrum - hone their skills through a series of drills and activities.

Liam said: "I’ve not personally come across people with autism when I’ve played football but it’s great that our academy has come together with the foundation for World Autism Awareness Week, putting these coaching sessions on.

“It’s good for everyone involved, ever since I’ve been at the club it’s getting bigger and bigger every year the work we are doing with the local community and fans – they really do integrate with the disabled part of the community.”

Liam heard how the pace of disability football works well for people with autism, as 'information overload' might be a problem for them in a mainstream game.

Speaking to United's in-house LUTV television station during the session, Leeds United Foundation disability officer Antony Hall said: “The players here today are part of one of our pan disability teams, and what I mean by that is there are multiple disabilities all playing together, and you get to learn that those who have autism are very different to each other, it’s very interesting and very rewarding at the same time.”