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Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 01:26 GMT 02:26 UK
Sport falls silent for Holly and Jessica
Players for Man City and Newcastle bow their heads in memory of Holly and Jessica
Maine Road led Saturday's tributes to the girls
All football matches in the UK held a minute's silence on Saturday in memory of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Manchester City and Newcastle United led Saturday's show of respect for the two murdered girls as the crowd, players and officials fell silent prior to the 1215 kick-off at Maine Road.

The bodies of the 10-year-old schoolgirls were found last Saturday, almost two weeks after they went missing from their home town of Soham, Cambridgeshire.

Before the afternoon session of the Test match between England and India at Headingley, players bowed their heads in memory of the best friends.

All Premiership, Nationwide League, Conference and supporting league fixtures repeated the silent tribute and similar memorials were held at Rugby League fixtures.

Manchester United's David Beckham during the minute's silence
Beckham dedicated his goal to the girls
People in Soham also held a minute's silence at 1500 on Saturday.

Scores of wellwishers are still travelling to the Cambridgeshire town from every corner of the country to pay personal tributes.

Among the estimated 10,000 bouquets to be laid was a spray sent by Australian prime minister John Howard.

England cricket captain Nasser Hussein and coach Duncan Fletcher sent cards to the Wells and Chapman families expressing their sympathies.

Another poignant tribute had been left by a group of boys unable to afford a bouquet of flowers.

Instead they left their cherished football, covering it in messages of condolence for Holly and Jessica's families.

Many wellwishers had left Manchester United shirts identical to those worn by the girls on the day they disappeared. Others simply wore the shirt themselves as a mark of respect.

Woman cries on seeing the floral tributes
Many visitors to Soham have been overcome with grief

An inquest on Friday was adjourned after hearing that further analysis of the bodies was needed to determine the cause and time of their death.

A minute's silence was held in memory of the two girls just before kick-off at the Premiership game between Chelsea and Manchester United on Friday.

David Beckham scored one goal during the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, which he later dedicated to the girls' memory.

Plans for a special memorial service for the girls, to be attended by 2,000 guests at Ely Cathedral, were also announced on Friday.

During the inquest opening Detective Chief Inspector Andy Hebb of Cambridgeshire Police, told the court the girls' bodies had been identified using DNA.

He said they were killed somewhere in Cambridgeshire, before being taken to near the RAF base at Lakenheath in Suffolk where their bodies were found in a ditch.

Open in new window : Holly and Jessica
Maps showing focus of the investigation

He said the location and timing of the deaths, and they way the bodies were taken to their final destination, were still matters for investigation.

Coroner David Morris severely criticised the offer of huge rewards made by some national newspapers to find the girls.

He said people from far afield had gone to the Soham area explicitly with the hope of finding the bodies and claiming the cash.

Caretaker Ian Huntley, 28
Caretaker Ian Huntley, 28, is charged with murder
The inquest was told Jessica's parents wanted their daughter to be cremated, while Holly's parents wanted their daughter to be buried. Neither of the girls' families attended the hearing itself.

It is expected that the bodies will be released for burial and cremation next Tuesday.


The Ely Cathedral service next week will be ticket only and those invited will include relatives, friends and Soham residents as well as those who helped in the police investigation.

Holly and Jessica's families have asked the public not to gather at the cathedral.

Maxine Carr
Maxine Carr is in custody
It has also emerged that Ian Huntley, the man held in Rampton secure hospital accused of murdering Holly and Jessica, has been sacked from his job as a school caretaker.

The governors of Soham Village College have also said they hoped Mr Huntley's house could be demolished once legal proceedings were completed.

Mr Huntley's girlfriend, Maxine Carr, has been remanded in custody, accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The coroner said further charges against her could not be ruled out.

The BBC's Sarah Lockett
"Young and old stood and paid their respects"

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See also:

23 Aug 02 | Eng Prem
22 Aug 02 | Education
20 Aug 02 | Technology
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