Abbott was an Under-14 coach at Leeds United when he first set eyes on Lennon, 25, and made it his mission to sign him for the club.
He said: “We were playing Everton, who were all over us, yet we won 3-0 with this little kid from Chapeltown scoring a hat-trick. I knew then he’d go on to play for England.
“From that day, I set out on a personal crusade with Aaron, his dad Winston and brother Tony to get him to sign a contract and we managed it.
“The club used to give me two hundred quid to take his family out for a meal and, every time, they’d politely decline and ask me if we could go to McDonald’s instead.
“The biggest bill I ever spent was £9.80 – and that included my own Big Mac. All Aaron ever wanted was burger and coke, while his dad had coffee.”