Comments at odds with genuine fans' feelings

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 April, 2000, 12:00am

I was saddened to read the letter by I. F. McNicol headlined, 'Troublemakers were English' (South China Morning Post, April 13).

At a time when all involved in the game are mourning the needless deaths of two innocent football fans, I found Mr McNicol's comments somewhat at odds with the feelings of genuine football fans. The suggestion that one should be ashamed of being both a Leeds and English football fan is deeply insulting to both categories of supporters.

Neither Leeds nor English fans in general have anything about which to be ashamed. On the contrary, they have a great deal to be proud of - a great club, playing in a great league which is currently the envy of all. The vast majority of Leeds and English supporters are genuine fans who have pride in and passion for their club, country and league. It was that passion that took Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus to Istanbul and their untimely deaths. It has become clear that neither man was an 'English soccer hooligan'.

Let us not forget that a large Leeds contingent went to Rome for the previous fixture without incident.

Let us not forget the reports arising out of the incident suggesting that the actions of both Galatasaray and the Turkish authorities appear to have fallen far short of that normally expected. Least of all, in a week that will see the return fixture, let us not forget these two men who died in this horrible incident, doing nothing more than following a club and a game they loved.