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Double hand transplant patient claps Leeds Rhinos on to pitch

The first person in the UK to have a double hand transplant has celebrated the success of his operation by clapping his beloved Leeds Rhinos on to the pitch for a rugby league clash.

Chris King, 57, made his first visit to Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds to watch the Rhinos play cross-Pennine Super League rivals Widnes Vikings.

In July last year, both his hands were replaced in a pioneering operation at Leeds General Infirmary.

Mr King, from Rossington near Doncaster, clapped from the stand when the teams ran on to the pitch.

And he was applauded himself at half-time when he went on to the pitch and pulled out the winning ticket for the golden gamble draw.

Mr King lost his hands in a work accident when they were caught in an industrial cutting machine.

He was the second patient in the UK to have a hand transplant operation by Professor Simon Kay but the first to have both done.

After the match, Mr King said he enjoyed every minute of the Rhinos' 42-22 victory.

He said: "It's been absolutely exhilarating. It's my first game I've come to and it was absolutely brilliant. It's picked me up no end.

"It's nice to have a 42-22 win against Widnes. But the day overall has been absolutely fantastic. A lot better than I imagined. There's more atmosphere with the live match than there is at home.

"We got there in the end. That's why I've got a smile on my face. It's a good home win for us."

He added: "I've cheered and clapped like everybody else. It's been a tremendous day for me. Thank-you to Leeds for that. Leeds Rhinos - number one."

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