Leeds United super fan to give up

Leeds United fan Eric Drummond, pictured at his home at Scarcroft, Leeds....25th April 2012...Picture by Simon Hulme

Leeds United fan Eric Drummond, pictured at his home at Scarcroft, Leeds....25th April 2012...Picture by Simon Hulme

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Pensioner Eric Drummond has been a fixture at Leeds United matches for more than 70 years but the final game of the season against Leicester City will see him take his seat at Elland Road for the very last time.

Arthritis and the fact that the Scarcroft widower has to catch two buses there and back means that getting to matches is a struggle.

Leeds United fan Eric Drummond, pictured his 1972  Fa Cup Final ticket at his home at Scarcroft, Leeds....25th April 2012...Picture by Simon Hulme

Leeds United fan Eric Drummond, pictured his 1972 Fa Cup Final ticket at his home at Scarcroft, Leeds....25th April 2012...Picture by Simon Hulme

But his loyalty, since the age of eight, has seen him go the distance for his team.

When Mr Drummond and his late wife Betty moved down to Dorset for several years he regularly made the 12-hour round-trip to watch his beloved Leeds.

And even suffering a heart attack outside the ground after a match 14 years ago failed to keep the decorated war veteran away.

Eric said: “It will be a sad day. I get a welcome when I walk on there, so I will miss the many friends.”

While Mr Drummond, who describes himself as “100 per cent football”, is finally surrendering the seat in the John Charles West Stand that he has occupied for the past 30 years, his passion for United still burns brightly.

The former train driver’s love affair with Leeds United Football Club began aged just eight, when his dad Irvine took him to his first match.

He said: “At that time The Kop was railway sleepers and cinders and there was a boys’ enclosure behind the goal.

“He plonked me in there and said, ‘You sit there until I come back’.

“That was my first introduction to Leeds United.”

He added: “I have been hooked on football ever since.”

Mr Drummond, who served as a radar operator in the Navy in the Far East during the Second World War, has seen managers come and go, from Raich Carter and Don Revie right through to Neil Warnock.

He said: “The glory started with Revie but I went through it all. We had our ups and downs, our disasters.”

He has collected a host of souvenirs, from his 1948 scarf to his £1 ticket to the FA Cup Final at Wembley in 1972.