Leeds United Remembers Chris and Kev: Always in our Thoughts – by Rob Atkinson


In Memoriam Chris and Kev 5.4.2000

In Memoriam Chris and Kev 5.4.2000

Fifteen years ago today, two of our number – two brothers in White – were brutally murdered by cowardly thugs in Taksim Square, Istanbul. Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight travelled abroad to support their heroes of Leeds United play in a UEFA Cup semi-final against a team representing a club that glories – still to this day – in generating an atmosphere of evil and murderous hatred. UEFA themselves were ineffectual back then and have largely remained so, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to repeated instances of this awful club’s “fans” disgracing the name of football.

That’s the background that we’re all too well aware of. But today is about remembering two lads who loved their football club but had their futures stolen from them in a manner that has nothing to do with the Beautiful Game. As has often been said since, nobody should ever set off to a football game, only to lose their lives. The tragedy and poignancy of that bleak sense of loss weighs our hearts down still.

The poem below expresses far better than I ever could this sadness – which is yet tinged with pride that Leeds United has such support, that we are a massive global family which suffers together over such a tragedy and that we will never forgive or forget. Justice has dragged its heels, but the Leeds family has always been there to remember those two lads who never came home.

I came across this poem just yesterday, and was blown away by it. Sadly, it was written by someone who has since passed away himself – I know only his first name, Dennis. But it expresses what we have all felt ever since that terrible day in 2000 when we lost two members of our Leeds United family.

These beautiful verses seems to me to say it all – so I reproduce them here, with thanks and much respect to the late Dennis, who wielded a pen, not a knife – and proved himself a true fan of football and Leeds United. Just like Chris and Kev.

I dreamed I saw Chris and Kevin 
Down at Elland Road today 
Said I but lads, you’re some years gone 
We never left said they 
We never left said they

Still stunned and dreamy I asked of them 
Why do you linger still? 
Your love and kindness is our bread 
We stayed to eat our fill 
We stayed to eat our fill

Is this just one last show from you 
Then forever you’re away? 
It’s true you may not see us here 
But here we’ll always stay 
But here we’ll always stay 

So tell us what’s your darkness then 

Pray tell us where’s your light 
It’s darkest when your heads go down 
When you sing our world is bright 
When you sing our world is bright

But are we not just mortals, lads 
Whose time will pass us by? 
Our kin and Leeds are part of us 
A part that will not die 
A part that will not die

I dreamed I saw Chris and Kevin 
Down at Elland Road today 
Said I but lads you’re some years gone 
We never left said they 
We never left said they

R.I.P. CHRIS LOFTUS and KEVIN SPEIGHT

Taken from us far too early 5.4.2000

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10 responses to “Leeds United Remembers Chris and Kev: Always in our Thoughts – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Gone but never forgotten RIP

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  2. Heartbreaking even now.

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  3. Thanks Rob, a fitting gesture. I guess we all think there but for the grace of God go I. Keep keeping it real Rob.

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  4. It’s beautiful and bleak and poignant all at the same time. The line ‘We never left, said they’ is adapted from a great folk song called ‘Joe Hill’, a left-wing organiser for the Industrial Workers of the World union who was executed in Utah in 1915.In the original it was ‘I never died, said he’ – in other words you can kill the people but their spirit and ideas live on. RIP Kev and Chris.

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  5. touching words rob
    RIP LADS

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  6. oldcomrade

    Great tribute to Chris and Kevin yesterday and thanks to the Blackburn fans for observing the silence and applause after. RIP Lads.

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  7. Yeah R.I.P Chris + Kev

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  8. wetherby white

    R.I.P Chris and Kev

    Could I add to this a comment on one of the biggest morons in world football-step forward Wesley Sneider. Apologising certainly aint enough and more to the point, in this day of massive footballer wages, what was this clown promoting a knife set for, in the colours of the worst set of football fans in the world?
    A club who would and should have been banned for ever and would have been if they were an English club – but theyre not – so they weren’t.

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  9. Always Proud to be Leeds but yesterday was special. You could hear a pin drop. RIP Chris & Kev , forever Leeds , forever in our thoughts. Football was secondry . M.O.T

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