Yorkshire RadioLeeds United surprised everyone today by shutting down their in-house radio station, Yorkshire Radio.

The air went silent at 6pm after Yorkshire Radio ended their broadcast with I Predict A Riot by Leeds band, The Kaiser Chiefs, the same band they launched the station with in 2006.

News of the stations closure seemed to take staff completely by surprise. Recorded just 24 hours before the station ceased broadcasting, Thom Kirwin and Eddie Gray can be heard below discussing plans for the new season.

Dubbed “Radio Bates” by fans, the DAB-only station was launched seven years ago and featured interviews with Leeds United players and management, alongside regular news updates and exclusive matchday coverage.

The station was famous for controversial interviews with Ken Bates, in which the former Leeds United owner answered pre-scripted questions (without challenge or follow-up) on a whole range of subjects such as Chinese Olympians setting up base in Leeds and the latest special offers at his now closed down Howards’ restaurant.

On matters relating to the club, Bates used the station to put across his own point of view. It gave the former Leeds chairman the freedom to write his own version of history while avoiding the harder questions he would have been asked by independent journalists, leading some fans to dismiss the radio station as nothing more than a propaganda machine for Bates’ unpopular regime.

But when Ken Bates wasn’t using the radio station to attack fans and former directors, or to spread his lies and propaganda, Yorkshire Radio was a service that Whites fans across the world used to keep up on events here in Leeds. Thom Kirwin and Eddie Gray became a treasured part of the matchday experience for many Leeds fans and their presence will be greatly missed, as is clearly evident from the hundreds of tweets fans have been sending to the station and its staff all day.

In a statement earlier today, David Haigh described the closure of the radio station as one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make. Bringing an end to a loss-making radio station may make good business sense, but it’s a shame the new owners couldn’t find a place for the staff on LUTV or elsewhere at the club, particularly Kirwin who is clearly a die-hard fan who seemed to genuinely love working for Leeds United.

Below you can hear highlights of Yorkshire Radio’s commentary from Leeds United’s promotion clash against Bristol Rovers.