We at Eastbourne Borough Football Club are deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

A long life, most richly lived. Today we put aside all partisanship, all politics, all rivalries, and we join with everyone in Association Football and with our friends across both non-League and local sport, in respect and gratitude for all that the Queen has done and all that she has stood for. Queen Elizabeth II has been the only monarch whom most of us have ever known. It is not the accident of your birth, but the living out of your life, which defines any of us. The Queen’s constancy, her devotion to duty, her engagement with her citizens across the United Kingdom; her faith in democracy and in the values that underpin our nation; her status in the Commonwealth and around the whole globe; this has been a life of service and dedication which we may never see equalled.

In our sporting lives, Queen Elizabeth II was ever fully engaged. In her hierarchy of sporting interests, football must probably defer to horse-racing, among other sports. But Royal Family members have consistently been patrons of the Football Association, and her own interest in all the branches of the nation’s sporting life was very personal indeed. Wimbledon or Wembley, Twickenham or Epsom. A monarch who can consent to joining Daniel Craig (at least filmically!) in a sky-dive for the London Olympics, is very, very much more than a nominal sporting figurehead.

These will be days for recollection, for reflection. In sport, our rivalries are put aside and we stand united in salute. Rest in peace, Your Majesty, and thank you.