Young Leeds fan told he will be a MASCOT after 'snub' from players

The heartwarming moment Dylan, 8, is told he will be a MASCOT at Leeds’ next match after viral video appeared to show players snubbing him before Bournemouth game… but his dad insists they DID interact with him amid ‘arrogant’ accusations

  • Leeds players were labelled as ‘arrogant’ for seeming to ignore waiting fans
  • Dylan was seen waving to members of Whites squad and appeared to be blanked
  • But his father insists the video was merely a ‘tiny snapshot’ of what played out 

A young Leeds supporter has been invited to walk out with the team as mascot after footage which appeared to show players ignoring him and other children went viral on social media.

Dylan, 8, was one of several fans seen waiting to meet Leeds stars as they walked out of their team hotel before Sunday’s 4-1 defeat away at Bournemouth.

Yet in the controversial clip, players instead seemed to trudge past the expecting supporters – most with headphones in – and fail to interact as they headed for the Vitality Stadium.

After the footage garnered widespread attention and criticism on social media, Leeds issued an apology on behalf of their players on Monday, admitting there was ‘no excuse’ for blanking children as they stood hoping to greet them.

However, Dylan’s father John has leapt to the defence of United players over the video, insisting it was not an accurate representation of what actually occurred on the day. 

Young Leeds fan Dylan (centre) has been invited to be a mascot after footage which appeared to show players ignoring him went viral on social media

The eight-year-old (second from left) was one of several fans who appeared to be blanked 

Despite this, Leeds are still desperate to make amends and have invited Dylan to be a mascot at their next home match, with the youngster told as such in a heartwarming moment on ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain.

When informed of the news, a shell-shocked Dylan sat with his mouth open in disbelief before saying: ‘That’s insane!’

Before being told he will be a mascot, Dylan said that certain members of Leeds’ squad waved at him and others failed to, before John doubled down on his recent defence of the players.

‘What you’ve got to remember is that the video was just a tiny snapshot of what happened,’ he said. ‘In actual fact, in the video you can see Max Wober looks like he’s blanking him but he isn’t – he actually smiled.

‘We’ve got a list of players that actually smiled, fist-bumped and waved; Adam Forshaw, Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas smiled, Joel Robles smiled, Sam Greenwood smiled, Max Wober smiled.

‘Willy Gnonto did a little side glance and said “hi” – it looks like he doesn’t do anything at all. Javi Gracia, bless him, bent down and tickled Dylan’s chin. 

‘Brendan Aaronson signed [an autograph] and Pascal Struijk, who’s on the video and looks like he’s ignoring, he actually said hi to someone else a little bit further along the line.

‘So what they’ve shown in that video is just a tiny snapshot of what actually happened.’

When told the video appears to show Leeds players blanking his son, John continued: ‘That’s not the case at all, and if there were a couple of players that were in the zone, they were in the zone because of the importance of this match.’

He then added: ‘The top and bottom of this is, he had a fantastic day, Dylan had a wonderful day and we woke up yesterday absolutely gobsmacked.’ 

But Dylan’s father said players including Willy Gnonto (centre), Max Wober (right) and manager Javi Gracia personally said hello, high-fived his son and ensured the boy had ‘a fantastic day’

Before his clarification, Leeds players came in for heavy criticism from many on social media, including former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and Mail Sport columnist Simon Jordan 

Prior to John’s clarification, Leeds stars came in for heavy criticism on social media, including from ex-United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny. 

Kenny, who played 81 games for Leeds, condemned the players’ lack of respect for their fans after the incident, called the incident ’embarrassing’ before adding: ‘[I] can’t believe what I’ve watched with this and Arsenal recently, it’s a joke and they all should be ashamed.’

Simon Jordan added that ‘Players have got to do better. I think they forget where they’ve come from,’ while while Piers Morgan called the players ‘selfish arrogant p****s.’

Leeds were quick to apologise over the footage, writing in a statement entitled ‘A Message From the Players’: ‘As the first team squad at Leeds United, we wanted to reach out to the fan base regarding yesterday’s game and subsequent posts on social media.

‘Firstly, the performance was not good enough. There is no other way to look at it and the only way to respond is on the pitch. Leeds fans travel up and down the country in huge numbers and deserve more than this.

Leeds lost the game against Bournemouth 4-1, leaving them a point above the relegation zone

‘Words can’t express how sorry we are that the youngster in the video wearing the Leeds kit is not shown more love from the squad.

‘On a matchday we do an activation walk, before and after this we stop for photos and autographs to ensure we interact with fans, but also that we are on time when leaving for games. 

‘However, there is no excuse for not acknowledging fans and if the parents of the fan wearing the Leeds kit in the video could make themselves known to us, we would be grateful.

‘We do not believe that this fight is over and we will keep going until the last ball is kicked this season. Thank you again for your support.’

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