Leeds United pay tribute to Christopher Loftus, Kevin Speight and Peter Lorimer in Sheffield United clash
LEEDS United have paid tribute to fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight to mark Monday's 21-year anniversary of their tragic deaths.
A minute's applause was held ahead of kick-off during Saturday's clash against Sheffield United at Elland Road while players wore black armbands for the Yorkshire derby as the Whites also paid their respects to club legend Peter Lorimer.
United's players and staff also laid flowers at Elland Road in the run up to the fixture while fans left cards and messages with tributes.
A fan-funded flag was also on display at the club's home ground as part of the memorial after supporters rallied to raise money for charity in their memory.
United's players also paid their respects to recently passed club legend Lorimer by warming up wearing White shirts with the no 7 on the back and a tribute to United's record scorer on the front.
"While we are custodians of the club, you have our solemn promise that this date will always be appropriately respected," managing director Angus Kinnear wrote in his programme notes.
"Today, we will be wearing black armbands in remembrance of Chris and Kevin, along with Peter [Lorimer].
"The first team will be visiting their plaque at the gates of Elland Road to lay a wreath. It makes me proud that our fans have so much passion to ensure that Chris and Kevin will never be forgotten and while their deaths were both heart-breaking and senseless, I believe that the unity all our supporters show in wanting to remember them would have made them both proud."
Loftus and Speight were both fatally stabbed the night before United's UEFA Cup semi-final first leg against Turkish side Galatasaray in Istanbul in April 2000.
Leeds' Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas added: "It's 21 years on and never to be forgotten. I think it's important that as players and as a club we come here to show our respects.
"Nobody should go to a football game and never return and it's important that we always remember them.
"Our thoughts, as they are every year, are with Chris and Kev's family at a difficult time for them."
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Thank you Laura Collins