The Debate: should a minute's silence be held for Margaret Thatcher? - Live coverage - The Independent

The Debate: should a minute's silence be held for Margaret Thatcher?

Sport is divided over how to mark the death of the former Prime Minister


by The Independent on Apr 10, 2013 at 3:06 PM


The death of Baroness Thatcher has led to a debate over whether the former Prime Minister's passing should be marked in the world of sport.

The Premier League, Football League and FA have said they will not formally ask clubs to mark her death.

However, rugby union sides Exeter and Saracens have both announced their weekend Premiership matches will be preceded by a minute's silence.

But what did you think?

We asked you to take part in our poll asking whether you though a minute's silence was appropriate.
Over 1,200 of you took part with the following results.

Yes - there should be a silence: 3 per cent
No - there should not be a silence: 97 per cent.

You can see a range of views and all the best reader comments on the subject below...


Thanks for joining the debate.
  • 4/10/2013 2:03:08 PM
  • 4/10/2013 2:06:32 PM
  • The Independent's Ian Herbert...

    The best story about Margaret Thatcher’s relationship with sport is told by John Major and provides a little insight into why the Premier League has informed clubs that they will not be needing to hold a minute’s silence to mark her death.

    Major relates in his autobiography how Thatcher’s occasional attempts to display an interest in sport – a field of life in which she had none – led her to attend the 1988 Scottish Cup final, at the conclusion of which she “held forth at length on the performance of a player”. That individual was listed in the match programme but “had not in fact played on the day”, Major tells. “Amid much embarrassed shuffling of feet and gazing at the ceiling, no one told her.” Such was the absence of any kind of empathy between Thatcher and the world of those in sport.

    To read the full article -  'A minute's silence? Margaret Thatcher was not one of us when it came to sport' - click here.
    4/10/2013 2:12:39 PM
  • There will be a minute's silence held out the Madejski stadium this weekend, however not for Baroness Thatcher. Instead it is being held for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Despite that, Reading owner John Madejski says the former PM is deserving of respect....

    We have got to appreciate that Margaret Thatcher was a world leader who did so much for this country. So much that she deserves a minute's silence.

    The funeral's going to take place at St Paul's (Cathedral), attended by the Queen and Prince Philip, so I think it would be a fitting tribute from the world of football to Margaret Thatcher, one of our greatest leaders.


    To read more, click here.
    4/10/2013 2:15:49 PM
  • Wigan chairman Dave Whelan thinks a tribute is needed...

    It is not my decision, it is for the FA to decide, but I would be in favour of wearing an armband out of respect to Mrs Thatcher.

    We have to say thank you very much for the services the former PM has given us.

    4/10/2013 2:17:37 PM
  • A selection of views from Twitter...
    @TheIndySport no no no no no Rin via Twitter at 3:45 PM
    @TheIndySport If it is. I will end a lifetime of support for my Prem team. This woman is owed nothing from people. Sickening! Kieran via Twitter at 3:39 PM
    @TheIndySport Absolutely not. Kieran via Twitter at 3:35 PM
    @TheIndySport. No way, she took the jobs from working class fans, football is for communities. Thatcher destroyed those communities . waffles via Twitter at 3:33 PM

    @TheIndySport only if you want it to be seen to be broken at every ground in the country Rev. Paul Farnhill via Twitter at 3:32 PM






    4/10/2013 2:51:01 PM
  • It would show just what people think of her boo boo boo I admire the queen I don't think she should atttend the funeral very disappointed
    4/10/2013 3:42:51 PM
  • No, she doesn't deserve it at all
    4/10/2013 3:42:54 PM
  • The views on Twitter...
    @TheIndySport If anyone wants to be silent for a minute there are more obvious places to go than a football match Michael Johnston via Twitter at 4:48 PM
    @TheIndySport right decision not to. Imagine the reaction at Newcastle v Sunderland on Sunday. Lots of hurt over what she did. Tom Lynch via Twitter at 4:03 PM
    @TheIndySport Quite wrong for FA to impose minute's silence for any political figure on fans & players Dave Peck via Twitter at 4:00 PM
    @TheIndySport No, she was far too divisive. IAN PYKE via Twitter at 4:44 PM
    @TheIndySport minutes applause would be more fitting... Steven Colangelo via Twitter at 4:05 PM
    @TheIndySport a minute where everyone stops talking about her? Heaven...;) Zombie Grrrrrrrrrrrl via Twitter at 4:21 PM





    4/10/2013 4:04:55 PM
  • We've had nearly 300  votes in our poll asking: Do you think football matches this weekend should mark the death of Margaret Thatcher with a minute's silence?

    So far, just 5 per cent of you think there should.

    You can keep on voting by clicking here. We want to hear your view as well - Tweet @TheIndySport or click 'Make a comment' below.
    4/10/2013 4:07:59 PM
  • It would be very interesting at Reading's Madejski stadium, where every Liverpool supporter would regard it as his duty in honour of the 96 not to keep the silence.
    4/10/2013 4:22:57 PM
  • craziest idea I've ever heard. A large number of people will not be quiet during it. She was, whatever your opinion of her, deeply unpopular with many people. It takes someone who unites people to keep people quiet at a football match. MT hardly fits that bill.
    4/10/2013 4:23:09 PM
  • Yes, As long as the one minutes silence at football matches is in the memory of the school playing fields that were lost!
    4/10/2013 4:23:13 PM
  • If they decide to impose a one minute silence at football matches, they run the risk of fans singing "Ding dong the witch is dead".
    4/10/2013 4:53:20 PM
  • The atmosphere at St James Park this weekend will be on a knife edge without a minute's silence. You have Di Canio, teams fighting releagation and if you throw a tribute to Thatcher into the mix there is a strong likely hood there would be widespread public disorder.
    4/10/2013 4:53:33 PM
  • Absolutely not. Sport and politics do not mix , she was not noted for being in the slightest interested in sport what so ever.
    4/10/2013 4:53:42 PM
  • We have has nearly 400 votes on whether a minute's silence should be held. So far, just 5 per cent of you think it's a good idea.

    The poll remains open - you can vote by clicking here.
    4/10/2013 4:54:56 PM
  • Her reign as PM split the country, damaged the lives of thousands. She represented all that is destructive about 'the establishment'. The idea of a minute silence is at odds with what she represented to so many. The divisiveness she wrought lives on and is not honourable.
    4/11/2013 1:08:01 PM
  • Irrespective of your political view, a majority of football fans will show no respect whatsoever to the death of one of the great leaders this country has had. Therfore to save embarrasment and us showing the world how there is little or no respect, do not have the silence. Black armbands yes as the terraces cannot influence that sign of respect.
    4/11/2013 1:08:12 PM
  • It is a mark of how out of touch some football chairmen are that they think that a minutes silence would work for a woman that had no interest in sport whatsoever and destroyed the communities of a huge number of football fans. I suppose it might work ijn Chelsea, but in Wigan? Whelan, wake up.
    4/11/2013 1:08:32 PM
  • No No No No No. Stop the funeral as well, she was too divisive and still hated by many many people. Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!
    4/11/2013 1:08:39 PM
  • please have one at st.james park so that NEWCASTE and SUNDERLAND SUPPORTERS can unite and ignore it
    4/11/2013 1:08:46 PM
  • I suspect it may turn out similar to the reception Osborne got at the Paralympics.
    4/11/2013 1:08:49 PM
  • Totally undignified scenes likely to result. No No NO
    4/11/2013 1:08:52 PM
  • They should have a minute booing her. Then again with the price of tickets only bankers and MP's can afford it.
    4/11/2013 1:09:21 PM
  • Absolutely not. Whilst anyone's death is to be regretted, why should she be singled out for such honour and respect?
    4/11/2013 1:09:37 PM
  • I think a minute's laughter would be more appropriate.
    4/11/2013 1:09:39 PM
  • She had no interest in sport and why some managers are contemplating this is beyond belief. My big fear is that the funeral will be hijacked by those in society who perhaps understandably feel forgotten. I am a patriot and see the Queen as a figurehead nothing more but I genuinely feel this iconization of Mrs T will be something we, asa country live to regret
    4/11/2013 1:10:38 PM
  • Why would sport want to hold a minute's silence for the death of a politician? One who retired several years ago at that!
    4/11/2013 1:10:43 PM
  • We've had well over 1,000 votes in our poll asking: Do you think football matches this weekend should mark the death of Margaret Thatcher with a minute's silence?

    So far - just 3 per cent of you think it a good idea.

    You can continue to vote - and offer your view. Click here to take part in the poll and click 'Make a comment' to submit your thoughts.
    4/11/2013 1:12:50 PM
  • Saracens have announced they still plan to hold a minute's silence this weekend despite opposition from their own fans. Defending the decision, chief executive Edward Griffiths said...

    We are not going to be discussing the Falklands War or the Poll Tax and we're certainly not going to beasking people to vote in a particular way in the next election. What we are doing is we are just showing respect for the passing of Britain's longest serving Prime Minister for 150 years.
    To read more, click here.

    4/11/2013 1:15:16 PM
  • Ok, so do politicians have a minute of silence in the house of commons when a footballer dies? Thats silly football and politics should be kept separate. I understand that she was important to the history of UK, but dont forget that their are still people who dont like her, having a minute of silence in a match will make those against her to make noise. Leave football out of politics. Its enough having to deal with Blatter and Platini.
    4/11/2013 1:21:43 PM
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