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Martinez: "A Sad Day"

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Roberto Martinez has admitted that there was no alternative but to call off yesterday’s game against Hartlepool following the tragic death of Michael Maidens.

Speaking yesterday afternoon after the postponement was agreed, Martinez admitted it would have been unfair to expect Hartlepool to play the game given the circumstances. The game was officially called off around 11.45, just over an hour after the devastating news reached team manager Danny Wilson at their Marriott hotel. Martinez visited Wilson and his squad there along with Graeme Jones and Kevin Johns – the club chaplain.

Martinez said “It’s a horrible day. We have got a feeling of sadness, so you can imagine how everyone at Hartlepool feels. Everyone has told us about Michael and how he was as a person and how he had a huge effect on everyone related to Hartlepool.

“All we wanted to do was show our support and respect for Michael’s family and for everyone at Hartlepool United at such a tragic time. It was important for us to know how Danny and his squad were feeling. Five or six of their players grew up with Michael and were really affected.

“The tragic news only came through in the morning and it was a shock for the whole Hartlepool squad. It would have been an unfair environment in which to play a football game and postponing it was the right thing to do for Swansea City to show respect.

“When something like this happens, everything becomes secondary. It puts everything in perspective and everything should stop. From a football side of things when you’re top of the league and you’re looking forward to your next home game it’s not idea to call it off at this stage.

“I know it will have created some problems for our fans because we were expecting a big gate but I’m sure they will all understand the situation. When we rearrange the fixture we’ll get back to the football side of things.

“But today is a sad day because we’ve lost Michael at such a young age and we should all show respect to him and his family.”

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