Abuse survivor to lead Leeds and Ipswich on to pitch

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Alex Stkeel (left) and Jordan WorthImage source, sbna
Image caption,
Alex Skeel started going out with Jordan Worth when they were 16 years old

A Leeds United fan who shared his story of domestic abuse in a BBC documentary has been invited by Ipswich Town to lead both teams out on to the pitch.

Alex Skeel, 23, from Bedford, Bedfordshire, was said to be 10 days away from death after being abused by former girlfriend Jordan Worth.

Worth admitted grievous bodily harm and coercive controlling behaviour and was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Mr Skeel will lead the teams out when they meet at Portman Road on 5 May.

Ipswich Town said in a Tweet that it admired his "courage" in raising awareness of male domestic abuse, and invited him to lead the teams as a "Community Champion".

Image source, sbna
Image caption,
Jordan Worth (left) was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for coercive control and violence against her former boyfriend Alex Skeel

Mr Skeel told his story in the programme "Abused By My Girlfriend" which aired in February and is available on BBC iPlayer.

Worth, 22, became the first woman to be convicted in the UK of coercive controlling behaviour in April last year.

During her trial the court heard she would tell him what he should wear and attacked him physically.

Worth subjected her partner to multiple physical injuries, often requiring hospital treatment. She also denied him food and isolated him from his family.

It came to a head when she threw boiling water over him, leaving him with second and third-degree burns.

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Leeds United are currently third in the Championship and are chasing promotion to the Premier League.

Mr Skeel said it was an "amazing feeling" to have been asked to lead out the teams.

"Unexpected, but the best feeling in the world," he said.

"Hopefully I will be walking the champions out. Honestly, I'm just lost for words. Both Ipswich and especially the Leeds fans have been amazing. They've made me love my club even more."

An Ipswich Town spokesman said: "Alex's story has touched a lot of people and with Leeds here at the end of the season, it seemed the perfect opportunity for Ipswich Town to show our support for him by offering him the chance to be our Community Champion for the day and lead both teams out."

BBC Radio Leeds' Adam Pope said that he could be walking the teams out ahead of a "thrilling encounter".

"If Ipswich Town manage to take their battle against relegation to the final day then it could be against a Leeds United side looking to clinch promotion to the Premier League," he said.

"It may be that there is nothing riding on the game itself, but for Alex to lead out his beloved side and to be recognised for his efforts to raise awareness of a cause he believes in, will be memorable whatever the significance of the game itself."

A Leeds United spokesperson said: 'We are thrilled that Ipswich Town have reached out to Alex and given him this wonderful opportunity.

"The reaction to Alex's story has been superb and we look forward to him joining us at Elland Road as soon as possible.

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