Southend United to rename stand after inadvertent link with Rose West
A football club is to change the name of one of its stands after a new sponsorship deal saw it rebranded “the Gilbert & Rose West Stand”, triggering reaction on social media over the association with one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.
Southend United, which plays in the National League which is the fifth tier of English football, signed a commercial partnership with a local estate agent in Leigh-on-Sea.
The juxtaposition of “Gilbert & Rose” with “West Stand” inadvertently saw Rose and West appear next to each other on season ticket cards and the club’s website.
Southend, who start their season at home to Boreham Wood on Saturday, are now to discuss “a different arrangement of words” with the sponsor.
A spokesperson told the PA news agency: “They are a fantastic local estate agents and we look forward to working with them during this partnership, which will include a number of community projects.”
Advertising boards around the club’s Roots Hall ground, which simply read Gilbert & Rose, will be unaffected.
One Southend fan, Paul Napper, wrote on Twitter: “Only Southend United could have a sponsor for the West Stand called Gilbert & Rose, inevitably leading to the Gilbert & Rose West Stand.”
Rose West collaborated with her husband, Fred, in the torture and murder of at least 12 young women and girls in the 1970s and 1980s, in addition to murdering her eight-year-old stepdaughter in 1971. Fred West killed himself in prison while awaiting trial. Rose West, 68, is serving a whole-life term after being convicted in 1995.