ARSENAL and Sheffield United paid touching tributes to Sunsport reporter Vikki Orvice.
The Gunners invited Vikki’s husband, Ian Ridley, to the directors’ box for the visit of her beloved Blades, the hometown club she supported all her life.
They unveiled a permanent plaque in the Emirates press room at a seat reserved in Vikki’s memory and United representatives draped a scarf over the back of the chair.
Ian wrote on Twitter about his emotional reaction, saying: “Afraid I had a bit of dust in my eye and needed to find somewhere quiet and solitary for a while to remove it.”
Arsenal had a further surprise for Ian when he reached the directors’ lounge where he was presented with two special editions of the match programme.
One carried the words, “In loving memory of Vikki Orvice”, the other “Arsenal welcomes Ian Ridley”.
Author and novelist Ian, a former leading football writer, described the gesture as “pure class”.
Vikki, a pioneering journalist who led the way for female sports reporters, died in February from cancer at the age of 56.
And her beloved Blades were able to battle to a very creditable point at the Emirates, thanks to John Fleck’s late equaliser in front of the away supporters.
The goal kept Chris Wilder’s side above their hosts in the league table, and was the latest excellent result in a season to remember for their proud fans.