Carlisle United will pay tribute to their former captain Nigel Saddington with a minute's silence before tomorrow's game against Exeter.

The Blues had initially said a minute's applause would be held in the fourth minute of the game, reflecting the defender's shirt number during his popular spell at Brunton Park.

That, though, has since been changed to a pre-match minute of silence, which the club say will also be used to pay respects to Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala.

That followed the tragic news earlier today that police had confirmed it was Sala's body which was removed from a crashed plane.

Carlisle say fans are still welcome to applaud Saddington in the fourth minute but that will no longer be part of the club's official tribute.

The club's media officer Andy Hall said: “Having spoken to the EFL, we felt it would be nice to combine an act of remembrance for both players and the pilot [David Ibbotson] in this way. 

"Nigel's loss came as a huge shock, and he was a big favourite here at Brunton Park. You knew every week that his name would be beside the number four on the team sheet because he was arguably the most consistent performer in the team at that time.

"I'm sure people will understand the decision to now hold a minute of silence, and I expect we will also still see fans applauding Nigel's memory at 3.04pm.”

Chairman Andrew Jenkins added: “It will be nice to say farewell in this way to a man who made so many friends through his time with the club."

Saddington, who played for United from 1988-91, died two weeks ago aged 53.

His funeral will be held at Sunderland Crematorium next Tuesday.

The father of two and grandfather died suddenly on Thursday, January 24. His family said any donations can be made to Diabetes UK.

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