Jonas Gahr Støre was sworn into office on the 14th of October as Norway’s new Prime Minister as the leader of the Labour Party.
Away from the politics, though, the 61-year-old is said to be an ardent football fan and grew up supporting Leeds United.
This seems curious on the surface and there’s an interesting story as to why the future PM of Norway fell in love with a relatively unfancied club from Yorkshire.
In an interview back in 2020, Støre spoke about his start with Leeds. He grew up in the 60s and 70s and most of his friends supported popular clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United except for his best friend Ola, who supported the Elland Road team, which prompted young Jonas to do the same.
He recalls being a 12-year-old sitting with his father and watching football matches on the television and idolizing the likes of Pele and Beckenbauer but they were international stars and only got to see them during the World Cups.
His native Norway did not have a local superstar to speak of and Støre’s only source of regular football was watching the English league matches on weekends.
Leeds were a force to be reckoned with in the late 60s and early 70s as their legendary manager Don Revie guided them to two league titles, a FA Cup and a European Cup semi-final.
Støre’s adored their star players like Billy Bremner, Joe Jordan, Allan Clarke, and Peter Lorimer and he got to see them in person when Leeds travelled to Norway to play Strømsgodset in 1973.
Jimmy Armfield guided the club to a European Cup final against Bayern Munich in 1975, which they lost courtesy of some dubious refereeing. Støre recalls being made fun of at school the following day and described it as a bad atmosphere.
Since then, he has confessed that while not being unfaithful to the club, he has not followed them as passionately as he used to. Leeds’ recent return to the Premier League, however, has sparked a newfound love in Støre for his childhood team.
Upon discovering his allegiance to the club, Leeds fans have taken to Twitter to express their rather cheery feelings –
Leeds’ redemption is comparable in a way to the Prime Minister’s triumph in the recent elections –
Leeds fans have also discovered that Norway’s wealth fund is larger than the main entity funding Newcastle United, and they’re getting some outrageous ideas –
Interesting fact: Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is bigger than Saudi Arabia’s. 👀 https://t.co/ffgbFTZOIl— Tasker (@Mr_Tasker) October 14, 2021
Now that is a takeover I could endorse!— Chris Rider (@ThatMcRider) October 14, 2021