Leeds United superfan Edna Newton died after fall: Family's tribute following inquest

Leeds United superfan Edna Newton.
Leeds United superfan Edna Newton.

THE family of 94-year-old Leeds United superfan Edna Newton paid tribute to the  "inspiring" woman  after an inquest heard she died after a  fall outside her home.

And Edna's family thanked Leeds United and the club's fans for honouring the devoted supporter who held a season ticket for 64 consecutive seasons.

An inquest at Wakefield heard Edna suffered a fatal spinal injury after falling in the back garden of her home on Wesley Street near Elland Road, last October.

The inquest heard Janet Morin, Edna's neighbour of 36-years, alerted emergency services at around 9am on October 19 after she saw Edna laid on the floor at the foot of steps leading the back door of her house.

Janet Morin wrote in a statement read by assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff: "I believe she may have been putting the washing out."

Paramedics attended and Edna was prounced dead just before 9.30am that morning.

The inquest heard washing was found on the steps near where Edna was found.

Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

Dr Azzam Ismail conducted a post mortem and concluded Edna, who had suffered three falls in the previous 18 months, died as a result of a spinal fracture.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Longstaff said: "She had a very full and fulfililng life...the impression I get is that she will be sorely missed."

Edna watched her first United game in the late 1930s and always sat in the West Stand.

The Leeds United family joined together to show its appreciation of Edna with a minute’s applause at United’s home match against Nottingham Forest on October 27.

After the inquest, Edna's niece Gill Slight, 62, of Beeston, said: "The tributes from Leeds United and the fans were lovely. It was wonderful, Edna would have absolutely loved it."

Mrs Slight said Edna started work at sauce and relish manufacturers Goodall and Backhouse and Co in Leeds city centre aged 14 and retired as a supervisor aged 61,.

Mrs Slight said: "She was an inspiring lady with lots of character. She was very independent, generous and outgoing. She volunteered in Oxfam shops in Leeds for more than 25-years."

Mrs Slight said Edna also volunteered at Beeston Primary School where she would read to children, adding: "She even got caught playing football with them when she was in her eighties."

Edna's first Leeds United season ticket cost £4, she was in the crowd for the 1975 European Cup final in Paris and her favourite player was John Charles.

Twitter was flooded with tributes following her death.

Simon Harper tweeted: "Her seat was next to mine for a while. She was a character and will be missed."

Chris Collinson: "Just informed my dad, his season ticket was next to her in the West Stand and he’s devastated, he’s sat next to her for last four seasons, what a lovely women. RIP Edna."

Michelle Edwards: "This breaks my heart, I only saw her a few games ago and she was full of life, smiling and joking. She is a true fan, and she will be hugely missed. RIP Edna."

Chris Lake: "Wow, season tickets holder for longer than many of us have been alive. The term 'through thick and thin' really is appropriate. RIP Edna, you make us proud to be Leeds."

Charlie Phillips: "Gosh I remember her from the 80s and 90s. What a ride she went on. Amazing. All the best to her family and friends."

Edna was interviewed by the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2014, aged 90. She told us: "I want to keep going to games for as long as I can.

"I go by myself these days but get on really well with the people I sit next to. They don’t have any idea how old I am - although they will when they read this, of course!

"Someone once asked my brother how I managed to afford a season ticket every year. I told him, ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t have a toy boy and I don’t back slow horses, that’s how I do it’.”

"I knew John Charles, he was a smashing fellow. I used to think Carl Shutt was great as well - if you needed a goal he would come on and get you one, like he did [in the European Cup] against Stuttgart.”