Leeds United fans’ deaths in Turkey 20 years ago ‘feels like yesterday’

Chris Loftus and Kevin SpeightImage copyright
Varley Picture Agency/PA

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Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight were killed in Istanbul, Turkey, in April 2000

The brother of one of two Leeds United fans killed in Turkey 20 years ago says his death is “still fresh in my memory”.

Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed in Istanbul on the eve of Leeds’ Uefa Cup semi-final tie against Galatasaray in April 2000.

After a long legal process in Turkey, four men were jailed in 2010.

Mr Loftus’s brother Andy said: “I know it may seem a long time but it’s still very much like yesterday really.”

“It’s still fresh in my memory.”

After travelling to the Turkish capital to follow the club, Mr Speight and Mr Loftus were attacked with machetes when a row broke out between rival fans.

Andy Loftus had flown to watch the match with his brother.

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PA Media

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Their deaths had left a “lasting impact” on their families, a former Leeds United chairman said

On the 20th anniversary of their deaths, he said: “I suffered quite badly after it happened.

“There’s a lot of anger. I think you just go into a downward spiral.

“I did go through a bad patch.”

He said getting involved in charity work and fundraisers, including running half-marathons in memory of his brother, had helped him to deal with his sibling’s death.

“It’s just a bit of a rollercoaster ride really but we get by,” he said.

Former Leeds United Chairman Peter Ridsdale said: “The lasting impact has been to see the devastating effect it’s had on Christopher and Kevin’s families.

“Kevin had two young children. Christopher’s brother was there [at the time of the incident] and I think that the impact on those two families can never be underestimated.”

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