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  • By Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Fulham mourn tragic loss of one of their own - and boss says it is not the reason for dropped points

Fulham are today mourning the sad death of supporter Paul Parish at yesterday's clash with Blackpool at Craven Cottage.

The fan suffered a cardiac arrest 15 minutes into the game and the match was immediately halted by referee Peter Bankes, who ushered the players from the field.

It was a good 40 minutes before the players could return - the fan at the Hammersmith End having been taken away on a stretcher after receiving lengthy medical attention. He later died in hospital, the club announced.

Chairman Shahid Khan issued a statement, saying: " I am devastated by the news that Paul Parish, our supporter who suffered a medical emergency at the match this afternoon, has passed away.

"I’ve been told that Fulham Football Club played an extremely important role in the entirety of Paul’s life, with Craven Cottage serving as a second home where he would spend many afternoons as a season ticket holder, supporting his club in the company of family and friends.

"We are honoured that Paul chose Fulham as his club, and I personally wish Paul’s loved ones comfort, support and peace in the days ahead and beyond. "To [goalkeeper] Marek Rodák and all supporters nearby who summoned for help, I am grateful. I join everyone at FFC in commending the work by medics and stewards, whose response to the matter was incomparable.

"Finally, the reverence shown by Fulham and Blackpool supporters alike served as a reminder of good in the game of football, and the goodness within all of us.

Boss Marco Silva was very mindful that the disruption probably did have an impact on the match.

His team were 1-0 up and looking odds-on to add to the tally when play stopped and much of the momentum was lost because of the hold-up as the game petered out into a 1-1 draw, with the visitors fully deserving of a point.

But Silva, speaking straight after the game, before the fate of Mr Parish was known, did not want to make excuses for his team losing their way.

"It was a disappointing result," said the Whites' boss. We started brilliantly. The first 10-11 we did really, really well and scored a really good goal.

"Unfortunately we had that break - and of course it was a really serious situation. All out thoughts are with him and his family, definitely.

"When we came back, they changed a little bit the way they pressed us and it wasn't a good second half. We were too slow. Our build up was slow and you start to give some belief for the opposition.

"It would be the easy excuse [to blame the stoppage]. I don't like to find the easy one. I prefer to look for ourselves.

"But of course the way the game was in that moment, we could have scored the second goal quickly, I don't have doubts about that, the way we were playing and the way we were creating chances and the way they didn't pass almost the halfway line.

"We could smell that the second goal could come for us but that's football. Unfortunately that happened to our fan and that's our main concern."

Silva added: "We had some good moments again [when we came back] but second half was not good enough, in my opinion.

"Our second half was bad but the second half from the referee was really bad. I'm not saying we should have had penalties or red cards or something but the way he managed the game was really strange, to be honest.

"It was many, many small decisions. It was difficult to understand. The referee always gave permission to break the game and at the end when they give just four minutes, they are not protecting football."


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