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Watch: ‘Spine tingling’ moment as Elland Road pays tribute to ‘Chris and Kev’

Leeds United played Hull City in the Championship on Monday night and despite the match being a high-stakes affair with both clubs chasing promotion, Elland Road still made time to remember Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight who were tragically killed in Istanbul 24 years ago this week.

Both men were in Istanbul to watch Leeds take on Galatasaray in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup but never returned home after being caught up in violence involving both sets of supporters. Both men were stabbed to death in the incident and Leeds United have made sure to remember both men each year since.

On Monday night, a banner was unfurled that read ‘RIP Chris and Kev never forgotten' and a minute's applause took place in the 24th minute of the match. However, unlike with similar one-minute applauses, the referee elected to pause the match during this time period to allow the players and staff to join in with the tribute in a heartwarming gesture.

Fans react to Elland Road tribute

Josh Smith, the match referee, has been heavily praised online by football fans for his decision to temporarily pause the match during the tribute.

One fan took to social media platform, X, to post: “Incredible really, it was one of those spine-tingling/ emotional moments that brings out the best in football. Credit to Hull City and the match officials – completely unplanned.”

Another added: “Refs sometimes make a name for themselves for all the wrong reasons and get slated. But this fella should be proud of what he did today and not only showing his own respects but allowing everyone else to do so too. Not a Leeds fan but well done lads.”

A third posted: “A great deal of respect all round from the players, the fans and officials.. no virtue seeking just utter human empathy.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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