On the 5th of April, Leeds United lost a six-decade spanning servant of the club.

Most of you probably didn’t know John Reynolds and I suspect the vast majority of our supporters don’t give a second thought to the hard work the Elland Road ground staff put in every week to ensure Leeds United play on a pitch worthy of the clubs reputation.

At the time of John’s passing, I tweeted that it stood testament to his hard work that whenever the rest of the country is postponing games due to bad weather, Leeds United always seem able to overcome severe conditions with no impact on our schedule.

John’s connection to Leeds United started in 1948, arriving as a trainee alongside the great John Charles. Unfortunately, injury put an end to Reynolds’ playing career but he still maintained a career in football, working as a groundsman for Leeds United for the rest of his life.

Paul Dews wrote on the official Leeds United website that “John was a familiar face to all who have passed through the doors of the club and will be sorely missed by all who knew him” so it is extremely disappointing to hear that Shaun Harvey rejected the request for the club to hold a minutes silence in his honour.

As explained in a letter published on Clarke One Nil, Shaun Harvey has decided that if the club agreed to honour John Reynolds then “everyone” connected with the club would want similar tributes. If, by “everyone”, Shaun Harvey means hard-working individuals that have dedicated their entire life to Leeds United then I should damn well hope so.

A Leeds United fan posting on the ever-popular WACCOE forum summed the situation up perfectly;

“The whole minutes applause/minutes silence has been devalued and I for one didn’t clap for Muamba. It wasn’t because I didn’t wish him well it was because it had nothing to do with Leeds United. Fast forward to John Reynolds, a man who has worked and supported the club for 60 years, surely he deserves a minutes applause? The club is being ran by muppets and this is yet another PR disaster.”

The real crime here is that Shaun Harvey has no right to make decisions for the Leeds United fanbase, and the arrogance of the man to think he can speaks volumes to how massively out-of-touch the current regime is with the supporters of this club.

Whether we knew John personally or not, six decades of hard work and commitment to Leeds United means more to our fans than Shaun Harvey will ever understand. Leeds United is a club built on working-class heroes, and John Reynolds epitomises that spirit.

There’s no real shock here though I suppose. The whole business plan of our current ownership sums up how poorly they understand their customers. Corporate hospitality, executive boxes and ridiculously over-priced tickets are as much “Leeds” as David Cameron is a pasty-munching “commoner”.

But Shaun Harvey’s ignorance needn’t dictate the actions of our fans. I’d love nothing more than to hear a roof-lifting chorus of “stand up, and sing for John” or a minutes applause immediately following kick-off during our final home game of 2011/12 against Leicester City this coming Saturday. It would also be nice to hear Shaun Harvey issue an apology. admitting he was wrong and reversing his decision, but I suspect an “unofficial” attempt from the fans is the more likely outcome.

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