A LIFELONG Leeds United Football Club fan is ‘living the dream’ after signing a major deal to provide all filter coffee to a range of outlets at LUFC.

Alec Upton founded vending machine company Upton Group above a sweet shop run by his wife in Selby in 1966, and has now secured a contract to provide the Elland Road complex about 4,200 kgs of filter coffee a year and 15 coffee machines.

The deal equates to about 270,000 cups a year, driven by sales, and is Upton Group’s first contract with a major league football club.

Chairman Mr Upton, 76, said: “Winning any large contract is great news. However, as LUFC supporters and with any chance of a football-playing career now long gone, this is the closest we can come to living the dream.

“We believe Leeds United is developing strongly again with promotion possible this year and we will be very proud to be associated with this success in our own small way.”

The initial contract was secured on a five-year deal by the refreshments systems company’s business development manager, Sam Britton, with help from York Emporium representative, Lauren Perkins. It includes decaffeinated coffee and beans for LUFC, the 14th largest football stadium in England.

LUFC representatives visited Upton Group’s artisan coffee roaster, York Emporium, to sample coffees and chose its Mocha Java blend.

It is now being served in all hospitality suites and boxes in the ground, including all non-match day events, weddings and VIP dinners.

Mr Upton now aims to work alongside LUFC catering staff to increase the volume of coffee and number of dispensing machines supplied.

Leeds United general manager, Rob Smyth, said: “There is no doubt that people’s expectations about the quality of coffee they wish to drink has changed and this is why we are delighted to work with a Yorkshire-based top-quality supplier.

“We visited York Emporium for a coffee tasting and were taken by their tremendous enthusiasm for what they do. The Mocha Java blend ticked all the boxes.

“The coffee will mainly be served at conferences, events and match day hospitality. We want to be different and quirky and I believe York Emporium and Upton Group can help us achieve this.”