n The American Leeds fan traveled all the way from Detroit to watch their youth team play after two Premier League games he was due to watch were postponed.
Chris Garcia, 26, booked his trip from Michigan to the UK – more than 3,500 miles – back in November with the intention of taking part in Leeds’ home game against Chelsea and their trip to Crystal Palace when he stayed with his friend and fellow fan Daniel Deacon in London.
But the match against Chelsea, originally scheduled for last weekend, was postponed as the west London side entered the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Saturday’s match at Selhurst Park was postponed to Thursday night. Two because of the TV schedule.
It sent Mr. Garcia and his friend Akshaay Ramanujam flying from Chicago, with the prospect of flying thousands of miles and not seeing their dear Leeds compete.
But instead of canceling the trip, they decided to go and watch Leeds’ Under-23s meet their rivals from Manchester City in Premier League 2.
And after a tweet about his journey went viral, he and his friends were even given VIP status by the club when he was invited to watch the match from the directors’ box. and had the opportunity to meet the Leeds manager – and fellow American – Jesse Marsch .
Mr Garcia told the PA news agency: “It’s extraordinary that they even offered to organize us like that.
“Yes, I have made the long trip here but I did not expect anything like that, anything at all.
“And it’s been a dream come true for me, for any sport that I really support – just being invited into an atmosphere like that is absolutely surreal.”
The trio met Leeds first team goalkeeper Ilan Meslier and former striker Jermaine Beckford, who recognized Mr Garcia from his viral tweet and introduced themselves.
And he was able to discuss American football with Marsch, who asked Garcia about the recent upset national cup win for his local team, the City of Detroit.
“I told him ‘you have my support from the United States and I support you as an American,'” Mr. Garcia said.
“Just having the experience of meeting a few Leeds personalities is what I look forward to.
“The way they treated me, the way the club treated us yesterday was like a dream come true and it’s not something I’m going to forget.”
Leeds lost the match 3-1 as the away team won the championship.
But to make the night even sweeter, Mr Garcia joined in on a record as 21,321 spectators were the biggest ever for a U21 team game, beating the previous high. is 17,525 for the match between Liverpool and Everton in 2017.
“That’s really neat,” he said.
“It’s great to be a part of the record-breaking.”