The city of Manchester is known for many things: music from The Smiths to the Stone Roses, beautiful old Victorian buildings and a rich cultural history. And as the British city reels from the horrific suicide attack during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena which claimed the lives of 22 and injured 59 more, its most treasured institution, football clubs Manchester United and Manchester City, have reacted to the tragedy.
As Manchester United prepares for its upcoming UEFA Europa League Final match against Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden, the squad took a break during practice to pay tribute to the victims of the bombing for which the Islamic State is now claiming responsibility.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 23, 2017
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, including our supporters, club staff and members of our community such as the children from our Manchester United Foundation partner schools who were attending the concert at the Arena,” the team said in a statement.
“Club staff are ready to help the police and other emergency services in any way that may be required at this challenging time for our city.”
Recently appointed team manager Jose Mourinho noted, “We have a job to do and we will fly to Sweden to do that job. It is a pity we cannot fly with the happiness that we always have before a big game … I know, even during my short time here, that the people of Manchester will pull together as one.”
Meanwhile, team captain, and captain of England’s national team, Wayne Rooney, tweeted:
Devastating news this morning. Thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) May 23, 2017
David Beckham, arguably the team’s most famous alum, released his own statement, saying, “Heartbreaking news from Manchester. As a father & a human what has happened truly saddens me. My thoughts are with all of those that have been affected by this tragedy.”
While United said the stadium would be closed to the public today, Manchester City clarified in a statement that Etihad Stadium is being used as a support center after the attack. City captain Vincent Kompany tweeted, “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims. It’s a sad day for the great city of Manchester. #Unity’.”