LONDON – Manchester United led English football’s tribute to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of their 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad in the Europa League, while Roma coach Jose Mourinho mourned the monarch’s death on Thursday.
Players from United, West Ham and Arsenal – the Premier League sides who were in action in Europe’s second and third tier tournaments – all wore black armbands following the Queen’s death earlier today at the age of 96 years old.
A somber atmosphere reigned at Old Trafford and the London Stadium as United and West Ham each observed a minute’s silence before kick-off.
“God save the Queen” sang West Ham fans during their 3-1 win over Romanian club FCSB in the Europa Conference League.
The death of the country’s oldest monarch was announced after Arsenal kicked off at FC Zurich, allowing the Gunners to observe their 2-1 Europa League victory in a minute’s silence before the start of the second period.
Former United, Chelsea and Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has paid a somber tribute to the Queen after Roma’s 2-1 Europa League defeat to Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
“I’m really sorry. I lived in England for many years, my family is there,” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italy.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t appreciate this great woman, I’m sorry.”
In an impeccably observed minute’s silence in Manchester, United players folded their arms as Sociedad did the same on the other side of the center circle.
Several United fans cried in the stands as Sociedad fans waved their blue and white scarves in tribute during the minute’s silence.
There was no music before the match and digital notice boards were switched off as flags flew at half mast at Old Trafford in a sign of the club’s “utmost respect” for the Queen.
“Manchester United shares the sadness of the whole nation following Buckingham Palace’s announcement of the death of Her Majesty The Queen,” the club said in a statement.
“The club recognizes their immense contribution to community life, including sport, both here in the UK and across the Commonwealth and around the world.”
- Editor/ additional report by AFP