Carlisle United and Leyton Orient were set to use Tuesday night as an opportunity to say farewell to Captain Sir Tom Moore who passed away last week having captured the hearts of the nation as he raised over £33m in the run-up to his 100th birthday in April last year.
The funds raised went to NHS charities to help to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and donations flooded in with the former war veteran completing 100 laps of his garden watched by the world’s press and TV cameras.
The Blues and the O’s were set to hold a minute of applause ahead of kick off at the midweek fixture in appreciation of this remarkable man, but a frozen pitch scuppered those plans as a late morning inspection confirmed that the game couldn’t be played.
“Along with other Premier League and EFL clubs we took the decision to say a fond farewell to Captain Tom, because he came to mean so much to so many people through a very tough period,” chairman Andrew Jenkins explained.
“I’d like to say thank you to the referee James Bell and to everyone at Leyton Orient because they agreed immediately that it was something we all should do.
“We were going to hold a minute of applause before kick-off, with a picture of Captain Tom displayed on the scoreboard, but obviously the way things panned out on the day meant we weren’t able to do that.
“Thank you to captain Nick Anderton and the players for taking the time to say goodbye to Tom on behalf of everybody connected to the club with the picture they’ve had done this morning.”
And looking ahead to a time when fans will be back with us in the stadium, the chairman added: “We’ve said farewell to some good friends and some loyal servants of the club over the past 12-months and we’re aware that we haven’t had a chance to collectively say goodbye and pay our respects.
“I can assure fans that we’ve discussed this and we’ve decided that, at the earliest opportunity, and when restrictions are lifted on the number of fans we can have at games, we will take the time to remember all of them.
“We’ll have more details on that as soon as we get through the other side of this virus situation.”