Belfast Telegraph

Reading announce minute's silence for Liverpool match as Margaret Thatcher tributes ruled out

By Sam Wallace

The Premier League and the Football Association have ruled out any possibility of a minute's silence in remembrance of Baroness Thatcher at the weekend's games.

Last night Reading, who play Liverpool at the Madejski stadium on Saturday, announced that they will observe a minute's silence in memory of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, the 24th anniversary of which falls on Monday. Earlier in the day, the club's chairman John Madejski said that Premier League clubs should observe a minute's silence for Thatcher.

In light of the feelings of many Liverpudlians towards the late former Prime Minister that was always going to be unfeasible, even if the Premier League had sanctioned it. There has been no appetite from the league to mark her death.

Madejski said: "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." The Wigan Athletic chairman, Dave Whelan, also said that he supported the idea.

Privately, the Premier League acknowledge that a minute's silence for Thatcher was never a possibility. Reading said last night that they had spoken to Liverpool and the league itself over the Hillsborough minute's silence. A club spokesman said: "They of course agreed it was absolutely correct to pay respect on such an occasion."

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