Blades and Owls put rivalries aside to back tribute for Sheffield football fan

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans are united in their support for the family of Nigel Goodinson
Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans are united in their support for the family of Nigel Goodinson
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Football fans from both sides of Sheffield have backed a campaign to honour a Wednesday fan at a United game.

In today's Star Kevin Gascoigne appealed to his fellow Blades to put rivalries aside and hold a minute's applause for his friend Nigel Goodinson, who died at Hillsborough on Saturday.

He was backed by Nigel's son Ryan, also a Wednesday fan, as well as Sheffield United officials.

And despite the often fierce rivalry between the city's two great clubs, Star readers were happy to support Kevin's call.

Reacting to today's story, Kevin said: "I'm astounded and can't thank people enough for the brilliant comments from both Wednesday and Unitedites.

"I have not had a single detractor, either on Facebook or Twitter, and every one of the hundreds of posts are saying that they will join in as we applaud a lovely guy.

Kevin Gascoigne and his friend Nigel Goodinson

Kevin Gascoigne and his friend Nigel Goodinson

"I know that Nigel's wife Julie is really touched by the very kind things people have had to say about him and it means a lot to the family that true football fans from both sides of our great city have joined together to honour him following his tragic death in the prime of his life."

On The Star's Facebook page, Terence Timmins said it was 'how it should always be', adding: "Banter is good, its a bit of fun. But life is far more important.

"We're all Sheffield aren't we - the best and biggest village in Britain."

Mark Lowe said: "I'm a Wednesday fan and I also love the banter between my Sheffield United friends - and it never ceases to amaze me at times like this how everyone comes together.

"Well done to the Sheffield United fan who suggested this."

Natalie Stansfield said what Kevin had done was 'fantastic', adding: "Massive respect to you from all the family."

Matt Hyland called it a 'brilliant gesture' from both sets of fans and said: "Respect to both clubs here."

Christian Fletcher said: "Rivalries aside, it proves that football is a family."

And Gary Adams added: "You put football rivalry to one side at sad times like this."

Nigel suffered a bleed on the brain just before the Owls kicked off against Derby County. He was given emergency first aid and taken to hospital, but later died.

He was well known in Sheffield due to his involvement in amateur football, helping to run Handsworth Junior Sporting Club and Handsworth Parramore FC, and managing a number of junior and adult sides over the years.

His family have asked the Owls to pay tribute on the 58th minute of the next home match against Fulham.

A Sheffield United spokesman said the club was happy to back fans if they wanted to pay tribute to Nigel at Sunday's match against Chesterfield.

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