‘Once a Featherbanker...’ Ed Miliband returns to the Horsforth school that fostered his love of Leeds United

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband visited his old infants school in Leeds today, saying it was there that he began to support Leeds United.

Mr Miliband, 41, asked the youngsters at Featherbank Primary, in Horsforth, if they knew when he was at the school and laughed along with all the staff when one after another offered a date in the 1950s.

After telling a special school assembly he was there between 1974 and 1977, the Leader of the Opposition joined in with the reciting of the school motto - “Once a Featherbanker - always a Featherbanker”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After he was greeted by head Kathie Rhodes, head boy Daniel Richardson, eight, and head girl Holly Anderson, seven, Mr Miliband listened to a concert in his honour.

He told the children he was four years old when he arrived at what was then Featherbank Infants.

He said: “It was fantastic then. I have got fantastic memories of the school.

“It’s an even more fantastic school now.”

He congratulated the pupils and staff on three successive “outstanding” Ofsted evaluations.

Mr Miliband opened a new wing of the school, which is in the Horsforth area of Leeds and has recently expanded to become a full primary school, rather than just an infants school.

He put his handprint on a wall, joking with photographers that the school had rightly chosen red paint.

Touring the building, he laughed as one little girl told him it was a brilliant school and she wanted to come in at weekends too.

After his visit, he said: “It’s been fantastic. It’s quite an eerie feeling.”

Asked about his memories of that time, he said: “Great memories, but quite distant memories because I was between the ages of about four and seven.

“I remember my teachers, I remember the school as being a very happy place.

“It certainly seems a happy place now and a great school.

“And it hasn’t changed that much, really, so a lot of it looks very, very familiar.

“As always, I remember it being bigger than it was because I was much smaller then.”