Fans back Leyton Orient postponement

Fans outside the Leyton Orient ground on Saturday
Fans outside the Leyton Orient ground on Saturday

HARTLEPOOL United supporters have spoken of their understanding following the postponement of Saturday’s game at Leyton Orient.

The match was called off at 3.20pm with Pools’ team coach still stuck in traffic on London’s A406 North Circular because of an accident in which one person died and four were injured.

Around 50 fans were already inside the Brisbane Road ground when the news broke that the game would not be going ahead.

Among them was Stuart Bayles, 56, who had travelled down from Spennymoor with partner Sheila Foster, 55, and nephew Callum Bayles, 11.

Mr Bayles said: “At first there was disappointment among everyone really.

“But then you hear that someone has died and it brings it home that you only missed a football match.

“It could not be helped.

“We had travelled down on the train and had to wait for our train back, but we still managed to enjoy the day.

“It was beyond everyone’s control what happened and, at the end of it all, I just feel for the families of the people involved in the accident.”

Also inside the stadium was Alan Baldwin, 44, father of Pools star Jack.

He had travelled from nearby Barking with wife Allison, 45, and Jack’s girlfriend, Victoria, 19.

Mr Baldwin said: “It’s just a game of football, what happened in the accident puts it into perspective.

“We were all disappointed because we were looking forward to seeing Jack hopefully play.

“But when we heard how serious the accident was it would have been inappropriate to moan about the game being off.”

Ian Shepherd, 50, is originally from Seaton Carew but now lives in Northampton, and he too had no complaints with the postponement of the game.

“The stewards at the ground were very helpful and kept us informed,” he explained.

“We didn’t actually go into the ground because we knew that the game might be called off when we arrived at 2.45pm.

“It was disappointing because we were looking forward to it and, at the time, didn’t know the reason why the game might be off.

“But when we found out that someone has been killed you just feel for the people involved.

“There was obviously nothing the team could do and it’s one of those things you just have to accept.”