From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.
FURTHER to the debate on football and respect, D Webb questions the sincerity of fans’ observance of the two minutes’ silence (The Yorkshire Post, November 21). “Fans playing with their mobile phones”, he claims, “and thinking about God knows what for two minutes is hardly a true sign of respect”. This is unfair and presumptuous. Many fans will have relatives or ancestors who perished or served in world wars. My experience is that any tribute involving the Armed Forces – or any tragedy for that matter – is conducted with impeccable dignity.
I do agree with Mr Webb that managers’ behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. However, football has put its house in order in many ways, the most recent being the mandate for referees to treat dissent more seriously. The Respect campaign is working: manifestations of racism are outlawed. Handshakes are exchanged at the final whistle and I have seen substituted players acknowledged by opponents as they leave the field. In a recent match at Barnsley, a visiting player accidentally struck a young home spectator with a fierce clearance. At the final whistle, the player checked to see if the lad was all right and gave him his boots. This was despite the home team having scored a last-gasp equaliser.