After a number of Brazilians failed to impress in the Leeds United shirt, Raphinha’s performances have brought out Ben’s poetic side.

Valentine’s Day is upon us once more and, around my household at least, love is in the air. Well, that and a lot of snow.

Alongside the regular heartfelt, romantic and (depending on whether’s she’s reading this), expensive display of affection I’ll be showering on my other half this year, I’ll also be sending love in a few other important directions. Firstly to my wonderful friends and family, many of whom I’ve not seen for a year; next to the key workers, NHS heroes and all those who’ve sacrificed so much to make sure life as we know and cherish it has a hope of someday returning; and lastly, to the first great love of my life, Leeds United.

Like many, my love affair with the club began at a tender age; it wasn’t difficult for a wide-eyed seven year old to fall for a team that had just won the First Division Title. This wasn’t just any team either, it was a squad packed full of dashing, romantic players that cried out to be coveted. Sure enough, I found myself being seduced by Strachan, charmed by Chapman and beguiled by Batty.

Even as times changed and championship winning dominance gave way to mid-table mediocrity, my passion never dimmed. The playing staff might have become notably less glamorous, but I still went a bit silly for Derek Lilley and was a suckerby for Darren Huckerby.

Despite my near-unwavering adoration of these footballing demi-gods (a term stretched to its very zenith by certain members of playing staff employed in recent years – I’m looking at you, Steve Morison), there has long been a note of lingering disappointment hovering over my hero-worshipping; our abysmal Brazillians.


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