Minute's silence for Margaret Thatcher: Hillsborough group says tribute would be 'insult to fans'; former sports minister warns silence would backfire; Saracens and Exeter to mark death of former Prime Minister

Football clubs will not mark the death of the former Prime Minister

The decision by the Premier League and Football League to not formally ask clubs to mark the death of Baroness Thatcher is receiving overwhelming support, including from the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

There had been suggestions that a minute's silence could be held around football grounds for the former Prime Minister, who died on Monday, although such a move has been rejected by the Premier League and Football League.

The weekend's FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, which come under the jurisdiction of the Football Association, will not make any reference to Thatcher either, it has been confirmed.

However, Aviva Premiership rugby sides Saracens and Exeter have announced they will hold a minute of silence before their games this weekend.

What do you think? Take part in our poll by clicking here

The decisions from the football authorities have been supported by the Hillsborough Family Support Group who have said any silence in honour of Thatcher would be "a disgrace and an insult to all fans".

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the HFSG, spoke out amid growing pressure for some sort of mark of respect during this weekend's games. The Football Supporters' Federation has also voiced its agreement with the stance taken by the football authorities.

"The FSF backs the decision made by the football authorities not to impose a minute's silence across all fixtures this weekend to mark the death of Margaret Thatcher," read the statement.

"Should individual clubs wish to hold a minute's silence or commemorate the passing of Margaret Thatcher in their own manner that is a matter for them."

Reading are due to hold a minute's silence ahead of their game against Liverpool at the Madejski stadium on Saturday, however this will be a mark of remembrance for the 96 fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster. The 24th anniversary of the tragedy is on April 15.

Hillsborough also featured in the FSF statement, which added: "We would expect that most fans' thoughts this weekend will turn to the friends and families of those 96 fellow supporters who lost their lives at Hillsborough 24 years ago."

A statement on the club's website confirmed: "Supporters of Reading Football Club and Liverpool Football Club will hold a minute's silence before Saturday's fixture at Madejski Stadium as a mark of respect for the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Reading's statement read: "With the game falling two days before the 24th anniversary of the tragedy, plans began last week for a fitting tribute to the 96 supporters who lost their lives. The Royals contacted Liverpool FC; spoke to the Premier League and they of course agreed it was absolutely correct to pay respect on such an occasion."

Madejski had earlier heralded Thatcher's achievements and spoke in favour of making a gesture on behalf of the football world.

"We have got to appreciate that Margaret Thatcher was a world leader who did so much for this country. So much that she deserves a minute's silence," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The funeral's going to take place at St Paul's (Cathedral), attended by the Queen and Prince Philip, so I think it would be a fitting tribute from the world of football to Margaret Thatcher, one of our greatest leaders."

The likelihood of Liverpool fans, hardly Thatcher's greatest supporters as a group, observing such a moment appeared remote, but Madejski argued in favour of respect.

Reflecting on the possibility of a silence being spoiled by dissenting factions, Madejski added: "Obviously I can appreciate that perhaps some people won't pay attention to it, which is sometimes the way at football, but I just think she was such a colossus in terms of the world stage that she deserves that respect from the whole nation.

"No colossus like that strides the world's stage without disenfranchising people at some stage or another, however the positive things that Margaret Thatcher achieved for our country speaks volumes and I think that outshines things that might not be considered so brilliant like the poll tax and so on."

Former sports minister Richard Caborn said Thatcher had "not been forgiven" in many communities and that any attempt to hold a minute's silence at football matches would backfire.

Caborn is quoted as saying: "In many places, especially in the north, Margaret Thatcher has not been forgiven for what she did to industry, to the miners and their communities which suffered immensely under her.

"To then ask for a minute's silence at a game of football is the wrong thing to do.

"I think the FA and Premier League have acted pragmatically and correctly.

"It's a pragmatic decision they could not control the fans if they decided not to respect the minute's silence, as would almost certainly happen at some grounds."

Aviva Premiership rugby club Saracens have announced they will hold a minute of silence to "respect the memory of Baroness Thatcher" ahead of their game against Worcester at Allianz Park on Sunday. Exeter Chiefs will also hold a minute's silence ahead of their game against London Irish.

What do you think? Take part in our poll by clicking here

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices