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Tuesday, 18 April, 2000, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Hundreds salute Leeds fan
funeral
Clergy lead the funeral procession
More than 1,000 people have attended the funeral of Leeds United fan Christopher Loftus, who was stabbed to death in Turkey.


relatives
Relatives wept as they entered the church
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale, manager David O'Leary and defender Gary Kelly were among the mourners at Leeds Parish Church.

Mr Loftus, 35, was killed, along with Kevin Speight, 40, on 5 April in violence between rival supporters on the eve of Leeds' Uefa Cup semi-final match with Galatasaray.

Father of two Mr Speight's funeral was on Monday in his home town of Farsley, near Leeds.

The Rev Paul Hunt, vicar of Richmond Hill, said in his address on Tuesday: "Chris would never have said football was more important than life and death - that famous saying of Shankly's that was never meant to be taken literally.

"Yet how hollow it rings at times like this."



Chris and Kevin should not be dead and we should not be here

Rev Paul Hunt
Outside the church, members of the public lined the streets to pay their respects, wearing Leeds United shirts.

Mr Loftus's mother and father Stuart and Moira, his two sisters, three brothers and girlfriend Catherine all wept as they entered the church.

Pop songs played at the service included Why by Annie Lennox, Fly by Celine Dion and If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time by R Kelly.

Rev Hunt told the mourners that he went to Leeds' Elland Road ground to look at the tributes last week.



Leeds players remember the two fans on 9 April
"It was an astonishing and a moving place to be.

"There were the football shirts and the messages, the scarves from across Leeds and from all over the country. From Sheffield, Barnsley, Huddersfield, Sunderland, Everton, Wolves, Swindon, Arsenal, Liverpool, most particularly from Liverpool.

"Chris and Kevin should not be dead and we should not be here."

Four men have been formally charged with the murders of the two fans.

Up to 1,500 Galatasaray fans are expected to attend Thursday's return fixture, but last week Uefa announced that only officials from the Turkish club would be allowed to attend due to fears of reprisals.

Galatasaray are bringing 11 anti-terrorist squad officers with them for the match.

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See also:

13 Apr 00 | Football
Leeds shock at Uefa charge
10 Apr 00 | UK
Uefa delay Leeds decision
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Passion of Turkish fans
11 Apr 00 | Football
We want to play - Galatasaray
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