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A football club in England have said they will the change the name of their “Gilbert and Rose West Stand” after going viral on social media for its association with one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.
Southend United, a Non League club who play in England’s fifth tier, secured a sponsorship agreement with Gilbert and Rose estate agents. As part of the sponsorship, the club’s west stand at Roots Hall was named the Gilbert and Rose West stand.
Rose West, along with husband Fred, murdered an unknown number of people at their house in Gloucester over a 20-year period in the 1960s. Rose is an inmate at a prison in West Yorkshire, after being convicted in 1995 of 10 murders. Fred died by suicide in prison that same year while awaiting trial.
Southend United declined to answer when asked for a comment by ESPN but Ron Martin, the club’s chairman, later told radio station talkSPORT: “It’s not the most advisable thing, it is unfortunate. I suspect that the Gilbert And Rose are delighted with the press that they’re getting but it’s not good for the club.”
“I suspect that the people in our commercial department were not born at the time of that tragedy and so I guess that’s why that’s happened.
“To be fair, it should have been picked up by the senior management, it wasn’t, and it came to my attention the night before last and we’re changing the name of the stand to ‘The West Stand sponsored by Gilbert And Rose.’ I spoke to Tom Lawrence, the CEO, about it and we’re definitely going to change it.”
Chairman Martin, however, added that there were no plans to make similar changes to the club’s 3,000 season tickets that have been issued with the mistake on, adding it was “probably an unnecessary expense.”
He said: “It is unfortunate and really disappointing, but these things happen. My apologies go to everybody and we will get it changed. I am embarrassed and I think it’s really disappointing.”
ESPN have approached Gilbert and Rose and the National League for comment.