Kane, Williamson, Beckham, Pele lead tributes to Queen Elizabeth II after sad passing aged 96

Queen Elizabeth II, Bobby Moore 1966 World Cup

England captains Harry Kane and Leah Williamson hailed the Queen as an “amazing inspiration” and “exceptional person” as they led football’s tributes following the monarch’s death at the age of 96 on Thursday.

Messages poured in from sporting governing bodies and personalities alike after her death was announced by Buckingham Palace, while a minute’s silence was held at Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham and Hearts’ European matches.

Tottenham striker Kane tweeted: “My thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very difficult time.

“The Queen was an amazing inspiration and will be remembered for her incredible years of service to this country. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”

Arsenal defender Williamson, who led England to Euro 2022 glory this summer, said on Instagram: “A constant presence of grace and decency in a world that continued to change around her.

“To comprehend the loss of our Queen is almost impossible, because it seemed, and we hoped, she could reign forever. A wonderful monarch but an exceptional person.

“A light so bright, she gave us hope when there seemed to be none, a warm voice amongst times of despair. A Queen who unified her people and who’s spirit made her appear as one of us. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.”

Beckham saddened by Queen’s passing

Former England skipper David Beckham said the Queen ‘served her country with dignity and grace’.

He said on Instagram: “I’m truly saddened by the death of Her Majesty, The Queen. What an outpouring of love and respect we saw for the Platinum Jubilee for her life of service.

“How devastated we all feel today shows what she has meant to people in this country and around the world. How much she inspired us with her leadership. How she comforted us when times were tough.

“Until her last days she served her country with dignity and grace. This year she would have known how loved she was. My thoughts and prayers are with our Royal Family…”

Chelsea and England forward Raheem Sterling also offered his condolences.

He said on Instagram: “My deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.”

Lengendary forward also Pele shared his memory of the Queen’s visit to his native Brazil.

He tweeted: “I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana. Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever.”