Premier League pays tribute to The Queen as action returns on Friday night but minority of Forest fans interrupt silence

    THE QUEEN was remembered on Friday night as the Premier League returned.

    A minute’s silence in honour of Her Majesty was held at Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

    Fans sang God Save the King while applauding The Queen ahead of kick-off

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    Fans sang God Save the King while applauding The Queen ahead of kick-offCredit: Reuters
    Villa Park went dark as players observed a minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty

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    Villa Park went dark as players observed a minute’s silence in memory of Her MajestyCredit: PA
    Nottingham Forest also paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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    Nottingham Forest also paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth IICredit: PA

    Several fans at the City Ground shouted during the tribute.

    But their protests were drowned out by applause before fans at Forest and Villa Park sang God Save The King.

    The Queen’s image was broadcast on the big screen as a minute’s applause rang out around the two grounds.

    As part of the Premier League’s new protocol no pre-match music was played while the pre-match handshake was also abandoned.

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    Players, managers and match officials also wore black armbands – just as English clubs did in European matches this week.

    Villa Park descended into darkness for the moment of remembrance – Villa’s match programme also featured a photo of The Queen.

    Fans at both stadiums also applauded on the 70th minute to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne and once again sang the national anthem.

    It was Villa and Fulham fans signing after the full-time whistle as Steven Gerrard’s side beat Southampton 1-0.

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    Meanwhile, a five-goal thriller at the City Ground ended with a 3-2 Fulham win over Nottingham Forest despite the Cottagers going a goal down.

    Five other Prem games are set to take place this weekend and all will follow the same protocol.

    But three matches have been postponed including Manchester United vs Leeds.

    Villa boss Gerrard hoped Friday’s victory brought some cheer to fan Prince William after revealing the royal sent a pre-match message despite losing his grandmother.

    An emotional Gerrard revealed William had been in contact and said: “He messaged through the week to the club. It was along the lines of: ‘I would love to be there’.

    “But obviously everyone understands his own personal situation.

    “It is really impressive his knowledge and how much he is into it. For him to message in the situation he is in is impressive.

    “It certainly took me back and surprised me. He is very much involved in Villa.

    “That shows what he thinks about this club and how much he wants to give.

    “He is consistently in touch. He’s very supportive of the boys individually. I have spoken to him about them all.

    “It was a special emotional night. The club did an extremely good job to pay our tribute.

    “To sing the song, the hairs on your neck are standing up. It felt special, I felt proud. I was reminiscing about my England days – about the MBE and meeting the Queen.

    “I was going back to my personal engagements with the Royal Family.

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    “So it was very special from a personal point of view and credit to the club for putting on a wonderful show before the game. I thought it was very fitting.

    “Hopefully we have rewarded that with a clean sheet and a win. I’m sure he will be very proud.”

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