FOOTBALL fans will put their rivalries aside for two minutes during this weekend’s East Lancashire derby.
A minute’s applause will take place in each half to honour two fans who have died, after hundreds showed their support on social media.
Blackburn fan Daniel Slater set up a Facebook page, which has received 313 ‘likes’, calling for 60 seconds’ applause on the 13th minute in memory of Burnley fan Henry Tattersall.
The 13-year-old was found hanged at his Newchurch home after running up more than £400 on his mother’s credit card for Xbox games.
Mr Slater said: “This page has been respectfully growing in number and both fans have been very honourable to join this page.
“We would like to let Henry’s family know that he and his family are all in our thoughts during the Lancashire derby.”
Meanwhile, Rovers fan Steven Howard, 29, has helped organise an applause in honour of his father, also called Stephen, as well as Henry.
Steven has also taken to Facebook to encourage fans from both sides to clap for Henry and then for Rovers’ fan Stephen, who died aged 65, in the 65th minute. His event page has attracted 137 members.
He said: “It’d be fantastic if everyone takes part. I do think we’ll pull it off. It will be awesome. My dad was absolutely football mad, Rovers mad, so it will be fantastic.”
Henry’s mother, Eve Tattersall, gave her blessing to the tribute, and expressed her gratitude to the fans who will be temporarily letting go of their rivalries. She said: “Last week, the inquest brought everything back up, and I’m touched by this. It’s just absolutely unbelievable, the support from both sets of fans.
“What a nice gesture it is for some of the fans on both sides to want to do this. I know not everybody wants to do it. It’s a massive game for both sets of supporters, and I don’t think there’s rivalry like it anywhere else but it’s a nice, positive spin on it. It’s one thing to applaud your own team’s fans respect and show respect, but it’s another thing to do it for your rivals, and I can’t thank them enough for it.
“I personally would like both applause to be for all fans on either side who have passed away and are missing this game.”
No-one from Blackburn Rovers was available for comment.