Sport: Tribute to Mandela at Old Trafford

Players @ Old Trafford observing A minute silence for Mandela

Players @ Old Trafford observing A minute silence for Mandela

There was a minute’s applause before Manchester United’s game with Newcastle United on Saturday as the English Premier League honoured former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday.

Prior to kick-off, the players from both sides and the match officials stood around the centre circle at Old Trafford to applaud, with the crowd of around 75,000 spectators following suit.

Similar tributes are planned for the remaining six Premier League matches on Saturday, as well as fixtures in Scotland, the English lower leagues and the FA Cup.

Banners honouring Mandela were held aloft during Celtic’s Scottish Premiership game at Motherwell on Friday, which was also preceded by a minute’s applause.

A statement from the Scottish Professional Football League said: “We recommend that a minute of applause is held before all SPFL fixtures this weekend as a mark of respect for and to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.”

There will also be tributes at rugby union matches in the European Cup and European Challenge Cup taking place in the United Kingdom this weekend.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first black president, died at the age of 95.

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