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Crewe and Sunderland pay tribute after deaths of two football fans

Crewe Alexandra and Sunderland pay tribute after the deaths of two football fans who were much loved, were confirmed at the weekend.

The EFL community have come together to send their heartfelt condolences after the news was announced.

Crewe said a fan passed away at the club’s Gresty Road Stadium after falling ill while his side were playing Grimbsy Town in a League Two fixture.


The Club are deeply saddened to report that Chris Hagyard has died after falling ill at the stadium yesterday (Saturday).

Chris was a loyal fan and valued member of the Crewe Alex family. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with Chris’ family and friends at this difficult time.

Lee Bell says the sudden passing of Crewe Alexandra supporter Chris Hagyard has put football in perspective.

The lifelong fan sadly died after falling ill at the stadium during Crewe’s game against Grimsby Town on Saturday.

The Manager said the Club will be there to support Chris’ devastated family.

Bell said: “It’s so sad. It stopped us in our tracks when we heard the news, and put things into perspective.

“Chris was a lifelong Crewe fan who had been coming for many years, and immediately our thoughts went out to his family.

“I can’t imagine how they are feeling. Everyone will rally around the family; we’ll reach out to them. It must be really tough but the football community is there for them.”

Crewe Alexandra are in touch with Chris’ family and will provide support wherever possible.

Chris’ daughter, Jennifer Hulmes, wrote in the comment section of Crewe’s Facebook page: “Thank you to the club Crewe Alexandra Football Club and everyone that has offered their condolences and support. My Dad loved watching Crewe, along with my brother we have watched hundreds of games together at Gresty Road and have great memories of trips to Wembley (especially the times we won!). We take huge comfort from the kind words and support shown ❤️”

Sunderland have also paid tribute to lifelong fan and British Army captain major Chris Collier who passed away suddenly.

During his military service, he served with the Parachute Regiment.

After his retirement, the Black Cats fan established a large supporters page. He also did some photography.

He was also a dedicated charity activist, and became involved in many campaigns and even saved the life of a woman who had collapsed during 2015’s Great North Run.

Chris died from cardiac arrest on Sunday morning in his 40s.

Sunderland’s official twitter account uploaded a photo showing Collier wearing a jacket and beanie hat while giving his thumbs up towards the camera.

Among many messages of support, the Bradley Lowery Foundation commented: “Yesterday we received the devastating news of the passing of SunderLad, Chris Collier.

“From everyone at BLF, we send love and condolences to all of his friends and family.”

A minute’s applause is being planned for one of their upcoming matches.

Twitter users gave their support as Crewe and Sunderland pay tribute after the death of two football fans was confirmed at the weekend…

@twitspvfc: Really sorry to hear this. To go out to do something you love and not come home after it doesn’t bear thinking about. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the wider Crewe Alex family.

@RejectedBook: RIP Chris – very good that the club have recognised this sad news 😢😢😢😢

@Mariner92: So sorry to hear this, RIP from a Grimsby fan ❤️

@sihodo: Terrible news. Thoughts are with his family. I was there with my son waiting for the players to come out, when the emergency services arrived. We knew it was serious but you always hope for a good outcome. #footballfamily

@The_Fenners: Really sorry to hear this. RIP

@j_batess_: Chatted to a few times and was an absolute gent. Rest easy ❤️

@gtfc1967: Thoughts are with the family, died watching his club, true fan

@jasesherratt: Sincere condolences to Chris’s family & everyone connected with Crewe Alex who knew the fella. From Vale ❤🩶🤝🖤🤍

@KirstyRedding: Sad news… I hope the gentleman’s family find some comfort in these responses. Sending my thoughts, from a Grimsby fan. All fans are as one in such sad times ❤️ Rest easy Chris x

@AndrewR43441645: Very sad news. Deepest condolences to his family from a Grimsby Town fan.

@JohnDefoe1990: RIP Chris, always enjoyed the banter before and after the games on twitter

@clow_evan: @SunderlandAFC we need a minute applauding before kick off this guy was true sunderland fan till the end 😞

@marcwallace: 🙏 So sad. Needs a minutes applause on Wednesday please.

@CharxRafc: Devastating news, so sorry to hear this! Sending my condolences to Chris’ loved ones and you all at Crewe Alexandra at this sad time 💙

EFL issue an important advice to fans on dealing with medical emergencies at matches.

“With over 20 million supporters attending EFL fixtures each season, there will be occasions where a supporter will require medical treatment during a match.

“The health and safety of everybody attending matches at EFL Clubs’ stadiums is of paramount importance, so fans can be reassured that all Clubs have a Matchday Medical Plan with dedicated crowd medical teams in stadia, ready to assist at any point during the match.

“If a supporter becomes unwell at an EFL Club’s stadium and requires medical assistance, then we strongly advise that the nearest steward is made aware, who will ensure that the crowd medical team is notified and that appropriate care is provided. It is important to note that the responsibilities of the crowd medical teams are separate to club medical support teams for players.

“This season, a number of EFL matches have been paused while medical treatment has been provided to supporters. On several occasions, the usual Matchday Medical Plan has been bypassed with members of the Clubs’ on-pitch medical teams called in to assist.

“Supporters are asked not to alert players or staff on the pitch as in most cases the crowd medical team will be able to provide medical care as the match continues. Should a situation arise where there is a need for the match to be halted, a decision will be taken between the crowd medical team, the ground safety team and the match officials with the information relayed to the supporters at the ground.

“This is in line with the briefing note produced by National Events Medicine Advisory Group (NEMAG) in conjunction with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority’s (SGSA) and football authorities. Again, it is important to remember that if you have any concerns or need assistance while at the match, then please notify your nearest steward.”

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