tct exclusive: simon grayson & david batty: leeds united behind josh warrington – part twoBack
Josh Warrington’s European Title fight against Davide Dieli was a big day for sport in Leeds.
United took on Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on Saturday lunchtime, and then on Saturday night at Leeds First Direct Arena The Leeds Warrior went into the ring for the big fight.
As part of the build up, The City Talking brought Josh together at Oulton Hall with two men who have seen and done it all at Leeds United – Simon Grayson and David Batty – we posted part one last week here.
In part two of our exclusive video interview, the guys discuss the power of the Leeds support – which is demanding, encouraging, and enough to make a difference.
Josh has fought at the Arena before, and remembers walking out to the stands full of “nutters” singing Marching on Together and thinking, “Bloody hell. I’m going to have to perform tonight!”
David Batty remembers that feeling well, as a local lad playing in front of local fans, and knowing he had to turn it on. “That’s what Leeds fans want,” he says. “They want a little bit of effort, and then they go off that. It’s just that thing of character, fightback, that Leeds people love to see.”
The talk of football turns to Simon Grayson’s time as manager, and he talks about the opportunities that were missed when Leeds were flying high and instead of building on success, successful players were sold off.
“The players didn’t want to leave, because they loved playing for the club,” says Simon. “Yeah, they saw the extra money they could get at other clubs, but it was more the people above wanted to sell them and do what they wanted to do with the money.”
Some of Simon’s best memories as Leeds manager were of late finishes, against Bristol Rovers of course, but also away at West Ham, something Batty says doesn’t come about by accident – “It’s not coincidence always is it? It’s keeping going” – and Josh knows is important.
“Definitely, you’ve got to deliver right to that final whistle. It’s just like boxing, you can get knocked out in the last minute of a fight if you’re keeping your hands up and keeping on the ball.”
Keeping going, and keeping on the ball, and keeping fighting right to the end, is inherent to Leeds sport, and with the crowd behind him , there’s no doubt it’s something Josh Warrington will always deliver at the Arena.