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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Flag tribute to US terror victim
The new flag of the Seagulls' supporters
It will be named the Robert Eaton Memorial Flag
A dedicated fan of Brighton and Hove Albion who is missing presumed dead after the terrorist attacks in New York has been honoured by his fellow supporters.

Robert Eaton, who was working for financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald (CF) when the World Trade Center collapsed, had the new supporters' flag dedicated to him.

The flag, which measures 64ft by 32ft, was unveiled on Saturday at the start of Albion's official centenary match against Bournemouth.

Mr Eaton, 37, had been working for CF in the World Trade Center for two years, but regularly came back to Britain to see the Seagulls in action.

Robert Eaton, with his wife Jacqui, at their wedding eight years ago
Mr Eaton regularly travelled back to Britain
The flag, which could cover up to 600 fans in the stands at the ground, was delivered to the club on Thursday.

Supporters were originally due to name the flag after the fans' website "North Stand Chat".

But Andy Heryet, a Seagulls fan, said: "Because of what happened to Robert in New York, it seemed appropriate to call the flag the Robert Eaton Memorial Flag.

"He also used to regularly contribute to the chatroom from New York, which made it even more appropriate."

Silent tribute

The move comes after the club held a minute's silence in memory of Mr Eaton, prior to the Seagulls' game against Stoke City on Tuesday.

A feature about him also appeared in the match programme.

Mr Eaton used to go to the games with his father Douglas, who, with wife Laura, has supported the fans' tribute.

Mr Heryet said: "We got in touch with Robert's parents to let them know what our plans were, and they said they were touched by the gesture."

Safety checks

"Subject to checks by the club's safety officer, the flag will be unfurled on a grass bank at the football ground, on Saturday.

"We also hope that we will be able to pass it between all fans of the club at future games, both home and away."

Mr Eaton had been working in the US for 10 years, and was employed as a merchant banker, for CF.

On the day of the terrorist strikes, Mr Eaton was working on the 105th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center, when the first hijacked plane collided with the building.

On Saturday Brighton beat Bournemouth 2-1 to go four points clear at the top of Division Two.

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17 Sep 01 | UK
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