Friday, 18 May 2012

The Day Ken Bates Called Me

So I had an idea, I wanted to raise awareness of my condition and also the dedication of Leeds Utd Fans, me being one of them.

I went on to write an article that was published by RITGK and that was supposed to be it.  I aimed at sitting back and seeing what people thought. Maybe I was expecting one or two comments…

It has been an amazing week! I have been inundated with Facebook replies, Twitter messages and e-mails from all over the place. There have been messages of support and so much, er, appreciation that I’m really humbled by what’s been said to me or about me.

There’s more. On Wednesday it got a bit overwhelming. First up, I received an e-mail from Shaun Harvey CEO of Leeds United Football Club Ltd. He had read the article (it’s good to know that Right in the Gary Kelly’s gets through!) and he was very pleased with it in respect of the loyalty, dedication and commitment that is, in my mind, all about being a Leeds fan.  This was fantastic! The article had reached the top and somebody had taken time out to read a little bit about me and my condition.

Then on Thursday things got a little surreal. Out of the blue, I received a phone call from Ken Bates who had also read the article (with his wife Susannah). It appears that they decided they had to speak to me… and speak they did! Ken tracked down my number and rang me up. Simple as that. He spoke to me for about twenty minutes asking me everything about myself and my family. He was very selfless and also used some extremely colourful language (which honestly made me laugh out loud). After that conversation ended, and I pinched myself for a reality check, the phone rang again. This time it was Susannah Bates. She wanted to tell me that she reads ALL correspondences (good and blooming awful!) and when she read mine she had said to Ken “We need to speak to Martin”.  So we spoke, again for about twenty minutes, again completely about me and my family, wanting to know everything about my condition and also all my girl’s names, and where they are in there lives (school, jobs etc)… After this I was simply blown away and my legs were even more unsteady. I was trembling. Both Ken and Susannah had said they wanted me and my wife to come to Leeds as guests and also that the article would be published in a match day programme and a copy would be given by hand to Neil Warnock and every member of the squad after the (re)construction during the summer. The message, my message, has gone on to find itself sitting on other club’s message boards.

This started with me wanting to write a piece about a day at a Leeds Utd game and I hoping to put the emphasis on two things; my condition (to raise awareness not beg for sympathy) and also to show people that we are LEEDS and supporting OUR team is what we do best. It is proving to be quite a journey. Everything that has come from this has been positive and all this simply makes me feel better in every way. I hope the story gives hope to others. I honestly find things easier to deal with and see them going from strength to strength.

I cannot thank you all enough MOT!

Please see original article:-

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