Leeds United's return to the Premier League after 16 years has delighted lifelong fan Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe

London (AFP) - Leeds United’s return to the Premier League after a 16 year hiatus has pleased no one more than Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe.

The 56-year-old star has followed the club since he was a boy growing up in New Zealand.

Crowe – whose love of rugby league led him to buy Aussie side The South Sydney Rabbitohs – has been able to play a role too of sorts in narrating a documentary on the club.

The first season in 201819 ended on a low note as Marcelo Bielsa’s side lost in the play-offs.

However, in a fairytale Hollywood ending two further episodes followed this past campaign and saw Bielsa guide them to the Championship title and the riches of the Premier League.

“I’ve loved Leeds all my life,” said Crowe, who won the Best Actor Oscar in 2001 for blockbuster Gladiator.

“I used to come home from playing sport when I was a kid to sit down and watch Match of the Day with my brother, and I was just hooked.

“After years of pain, seeing the white army marching on together back to the Premier League where they should be has given me nothing but pleasure.

“To be able to help tell the incredible story of the past two seasons through Take Us Home has been a real honour.”

Leeds began their campaign in a thrilling 4-3 defeat to champions Liverpool which like many of Crowe’s films kept the spectators on the edge of their seats to the end.