Sport pays coronation tribute to King Charles III

Sport has paid tribute to King Charles III on the day of his coronation.

Players lined up as the national anthem was played before football and cricket matches throughout the country.

Similar tributes were also held before Saturday’s final round of games in the rugby union Premiership, which were put back to a 16:00 BST start so fans could enjoy the celebrations.

And there were special ceremonies held at the Newmarket horse race meeting, as well as at the Badminton Horse Trials.

Football’s tribute to King Charles III started with Friday’s Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Leicester at Boreham Wood, when players surrounded the centre circle to observe the national anthem.

On Saturday, Chelsea forward Sam Kerr, an Australian international, was chosen to carry her country’s flag to lead the Australian delegation as they made their way into Westminster Abbey in London before the coronation ceremony.

The national anthem was later observed before four Premier League matches that kicked off at 15:00 BST, which included Manchester City v Leeds, Bournemouth v Chelsea, Tottenham v Crystal Palace and Wolves v Aston Villa.

Manchester City’s game at Etihad Stadium had originally been planned for an early televised kick-off but was moved to avoid a clash with the coronation ceremony after the Premier League agreed to relax broadcast blackout rules.

Liverpool will also play the national anthem before their match against Brentford at 17:30 BST, despite the club saying they know some fans “have strong views on it”.

A section of the club’s support booed ‘Abide With Me’ and ‘God Save The Queen’ before last season’s FA Cup final.

Cricketers stood while God Save The King was played before games in the County Championship and Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy, which started on Saturday morning.

Former England captain Alastair Cook, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2019, joined his Essex team-mates and opponents from Surrey, including England players Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes and Will Jacks, as they lined the boundary edge at Chelmsford.

Similar scenes played out at Headingley, Derby, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street, while rain delayed play at Taunton, allowing spectators to watch the coronation ceremony on big TV screens at the ground before the start of Somerset’s match against Northamptonshire.

All five matches in the final round of the Premiership, which included games at Bath, Bristol, Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Sale, featured a pause for the national anthem before the action began.

Events in London also had an impact at the Badminton Horse Trials, where the day’s dressage started at 08:00 BST and paused at 10.15 BST to allow spectators to watch the Coronation on big screens, with competition beginning again from 12:45 BST.

And racing at Newmarket was put back, starting at the later time of 13:40 BST, due to the Coronation. meaning the featured 2,000 Guineas, the first classic race of the flat season, has been put back to the later time of 16:40 BST.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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