Tributes from the world of sport have started pouring in following the death of Queen Elizabeth II aged 96.
The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday.
During her 70-year reign, the Queen maintained her passion for horse racing throughout and attended major sporting events across the country.
The Queen was present at Wembley to hand Bobby Moore the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966, frequented Ascot, and made a famous entrance during the London 2012 opening ceremony.
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
There was a minute’s silence at half-time of Arsenal’s Europa League match against FC Zurich after the news had broken just before half-time.
Manchester United’s Europa League game with Real Sociedad and West Ham’s match with Steaua Bucharest went ahead as planned with minute silences planned for both.
A statement from England read, “It is with profound sadness that we received the news that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
“Her Majesty the Queen will be forever linked with some of our most memorable moments – including presenting the Jules Rimet Trophy to our 1966 World Cup-winning side.”
Former Nigeria basketball captain, Olumide Oyedeji, told The PUNCH, “Her loss is so sad. The lives she impacted are a lot, her leadership was nothing to be compared. It’s a tragedy to not only the United Kingdom, but to the whole world because she was well loved, a peacemaker and a great woman.
“She will be missed, I am sure we are all going to miss Queen Elizabeth.”
British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua, tweeted, “Rest in Peace,” with a white heart emoji. Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted: “Rest in peace Your Majesty.. thank you for everything.”
Nigerian Everton midfielder Alexander Iwobi showed his condolences by tweeting a prayer emoji.
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Boxer Tyson Fury wrote, “Thoughts & prayers with my Queen tonight, may God be with you.”
Sports journalist, Piers Morgan tweeted, “RIP Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 96. The greatest Monarch in history, and the greatest of Britons. Dignified, humble, wise, stoic, and dedicated to duty & service to the country she loved. Thank you for everything, Ma’am. We will be forever indebted to you.”
England captain Harry Kane said, “My thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very difficult time. The Queen was an amazing inspiration and will be remembered for her incredible years of service to this country. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”
Kane’s teammate Raheem Sterling added, “My deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.”
Gary Lineker tweeted, “Such a terribly sad day. Her Majesty The Queen has died. A truly remarkable woman who served her country with dignity, loyalty and grace. A comforting ever present in the lives of most of us. Rest In Peace, Your Majesty.”
Rio Ferdinand said, “My thoughts and condolences are with the members of the Royal Family. Rest In Peace Your Majesty.”
“The Queen dedicated her life to the service of this country,” said Alan Shearer. “For a boy from Newcastle it was an honour to be in her presence. Thank you Ma’am. For everything.”
England and Chelsea midfielder, Mason Mount wrote, “Thank you for your service. Rest in peace Your Majesty.”
It remains to be seen whether this weekend’s fixtures will be postponed.
The English Football League said in a statement: “Consideration in respect of EFL fixtures will be discussed with the Government and the wider sport sector during the period ahead and an appropriate announcement will be made at the earliest opportunity.”
“The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty.”
A message on Twitter from Wimbledon read, “We wish to convey our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to The Royal Family on the sad passing of Her Majesty The Queen.”
The WTA and ATP added their tributes, saying: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are grateful for her contributions to tennis, and our thoughts and condolences are with the British Royal Family.”