English Premier League fixtures postponed after Queen Elizabeth's death
The English Premier League has postponed this weekend's round of fixtures as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Premier League chief executive officer Richard Masters said: "We and our clubs would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty's long and unwavering service to our country.
"As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves behind an incredible legacy following a life of dedication.
"This is a tremendously sad time for not just the nation but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join together with all those in mourning her passing."
A statement from the Premier League added: "Further updates regarding Premier League fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course."
The world of sport reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday with a raft of cancellations across cricket, golf and rugby, while others paid tribute by holding a minute's silence.
The queen, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland aged 96.
The second day of the third and deciding cricket Test between England and South Africa at the Oval on Friday was suspended as a mark of respect, while matches in the domestic Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy were called off.
At Wentworth, which is hosting golf's BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of Europe's DP World Tour, play was suspended on Thursday, with the organisers later cancelling Friday's second round.
"She was truly an inspiration to people the world over... no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed," the Tour said in a statement.
Peter Forster, captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said the queen's 70-year patronage was a "great honour".
"Following her accession in 1952, Her late Majesty graciously accepted the Patronage of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews... although not a golfer, Her late Majesty's 70-year patronage of the club was a great honour for its members," said Forster.
Saracens' game against Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup later on Thursday was postponed while Scottish Rugby has suspended all domestic watches this weekend.
The British Horseracing Authority has also suspended all events for two days.
A minute's silence was observed before Europa League football games featuring British teams on Thursday, while the US Open tennis championships and motor racing's Formula One will also hold a period of silence.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe hailed the queen for her role in the successful staging of the 2012 London Olympics.
"In the most demanding of roles, she has shown exceptional leadership, grace, wisdom and fortitude, touching us across the full fabric of society, including sport," the British middle-distance legend said.
"I will never forget her total commitment to the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games." - REUTERS