X Factor winner Leon Jackson says he “could not live without” closure threatened Meadowbank Stadium.
The West Lothian teenager, who found national fame last year when he won ITV talent show X Factor, made his admission in a local newspaper. When asked to name three regular haunts in Edinburgh that he could not live without, he named Meadowbank Stadium first, followed by Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street.
He said: “Meadowbank Stadium. I used to train for karate there. Edinburgh Castle is really pretty and whenever I see a picture of it, it reminds me of home. Princes Street is also somewhere I couldn’t live without – the shops are brilliant. I love shopping there.”
Leon, who has a karate black belt, is just the latest to sing the praises of the international sports centre, which hosted the Commonwealth Games in both 1970 and 1986. The city’s Lib Dem/SNP administration, backed by the Tories, have voted to demolish the hugely popular Council-run site. They want to replace it with housing and a scaled-down leisure centre that will lack almost two thirds of the existing facilities.
Thousands have lodged objections with the Council and a high profile campaign to save the site has attracted support from many local personalities including The Proclaimers, Radio One DJ Edith Bowman and triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy, who recently fronted a campaign video.
“It’s high time the Lib Dem/SNP administration listened to what people are telling them,” said Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor. “Our campaign has been backed by people all over the world, from the Cayman Islands to New Zealand.
“Elite athletes realise its importance. Those who coach there think it must be saved. People from all over Edinburgh and beyond want to keep the site. Meadowbank is an iconic site synonymous with sport and we should be doing all we can to retain our facilities.”