Good article Martin. Before our (Manchester City's) home game against Brighton, we had a minute's silence for the victims of the events in Israel/Gaza, then a minute's applause for Francis Lee and then the players took the knee.

Even the observance of Remembrance Sunday has become more and more elaborate over the years (and I only remember it being observed at all at football games at all in relatively recent times). And barely a game goes by without applause for a recently deceased fan during the match itself. I recall when George Best died there was a minute's silence mandated at all matches, which didn't go down particularly well at the Etihad (although it was reluctantly observed).

I know I'm in danger of sounding like Victor Meldrew but football's intrusion into politics and shared grief is, in my opinion, completely unnecessary and becoming more problematic. It's fair enough, however, if a club legend like Lee or Charlton passes away, for the fans of the clubs they were associated with to commemorate them. City also use the last match of the calendar year to commemorate all fans and former players/staff who have died during the year. But that should be as far as it goes.

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Great article and I wish I had the answer. As soon as anything happens now, the clock is running to make a comment, or not (which as you say can be equally problematic). I

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