In the Premier League match against Southampton on Sunday, every Manchester United player wore a black armband in the tie that ended goalless.
Black armbands are predominantly worn by players in football as a mark of respect and remembrance in the aftermath of a tragedy.
It’s for that reason that the Man Utd squad wore them against Southampton in response to the death of Ian Stirling, a founding member of the club’s Fans’ Advisory Board who has passed away aged 57.
Stirling was also a member of the Fans’ Forum and served as Independent Supporter Liaison Officer for the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
For the work he did in these roles, he was loved throughout the Man Utd fanbase and widely praised for protecting the interests of supporters.
Specifically, he helped numerous fans in dealings with the club and other authorities, and used his positions to make their concerns heard.
“This is truly devastating news for all of us at the club who knew and worked with Ian,” said Man Utd chief executive Richard Arnold.
“He was a towering figure within our fan community, loved and respected in equal measure. Ian was a relentless and unflinching advocate for the interests of fans, particularly match-goers, and we highly valued the plain-speaking advice he provided.
“We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Lynn, daughter Lucy, and other loved ones. The best tribute we can pay to Ian is to continue strengthening the club’s commitment to fan engagement via the Fans’ Advisory Board and Fans’ Forum, and preserving the lines of communication and advocacy which he opened in his role as Independent Supporter Liaison Officer.”
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