Sport stops to pay its respects as the Queen dies

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Sport joined the nation in mourning after the death of the Queen was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Elizabeth II, 96, was the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, serving as head of state for more than 70 years.

The Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother.

In a statement, the Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Play at the ongoing BMW PGA Championship was immediately suspended for the rest of the day after the news broke, with racing at Southwell and Chelmsford going the same way.

In Arsenal’s Europa League game at FC Zurich, both sets of players emerged for the second half and gathered around the centre circle for a minute’s silence.

Manchester United’s home clash with Real Sociedad will go ahead, with the club saying in a statement: “Following direction from the FA and UEFA, tonight’s UEFA Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford.

“A minute’s silence will be held before kick-off which will allow the teams, match officials and everyone in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen. Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast as a sign of our utmost respect.”

West Ham will also play FCSB in their scheduled Europa Conference League match, with players wearing armbands and a minute’s silence to be held before kick-off.”

The Premier League said it was “deeply saddened” by the Queen’s death.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty,” the league said.

Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled with a minute’s silence planned before practice on Friday and another expected before the Formula One race.

The Rugby Football Union posted its own tribute which read: “On behalf of the rugby union community in England, all at the Rugby Football Union are very saddened to hear of the death of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and offer our condolences to the whole Royal Family at this time.”

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