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#PutYourSticksOut: Tribute to Hockey team

April 9, 2018
A Twitter picture featuring hockey sticks left outside. Caption: "We've left a few of these outside the dressing room tonight. #PutYourSticksOut"Image copyrightTwitter/@Canucks
Image caption NHL side Vancouver Canucks have left their sticks outside the dressing room in tribute to the Humboldt Broncos team

Ice hockey fans in Canada and around the world are leaving their sticks out in public view in tribute to the Humboldt Broncos.

Ten members and five support staff of the junior ice hockey team were killed when their bus crashed in Saskatchewan on Friday on the way to a semi-final play-off game.

The tragedy sparked an outpouring of grief in Humboldt and across Canada, where ice hockey is a national sport.

The online call for fans to #PutYourSticksOut has been tweeted by more than 19,000 people since Monday night. The term #humboldtstrong has also been used more than 5,000 times.

Hockey fans and stars have shared their pictures of sticks to show support for the Broncos players, their families and friends. Boston Bruins player David Backes and former goaltender Coleman Vollrath left their own personal tributes.

Skip Twitter post by @dbackes42

Here you go guys, play on, the rinks in heaven await

β€” David Backes (@dbackes42) April 10, 2018

End of Twitter post by @dbackes42

Skip Twitter post by @Colemanvollrath

My heart is heavy. Still grieving with the rest of the entire hockey community. To honour the Humboldt Broncos, 15 sticks out on the porch.

β€” Coleman Vollrath (@Colemanvollrath) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @Colemanvollrath

The response echoes that of November 2014, when cricket fans and stars posted photos of cricket bats with the accompanying hashtag #putyourbatsout as a mark of respect for Australian cricketer Philip Hughes, who was fatally struck in the neck during a domestic match.

Skip Twitter post by @cinnytoast

It’s the only stick this Texas girl owns and the boys will have to be desperate to need it, but it’s theirs just in case. Sticks out, y’all.

β€” Cindy Evans (@cinnytoast) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @cinnytoast

Meanwhile on Instagram, fans have posted more than 17,000 photos.

Brian Munz, an ice hockey TV commentator, shared a text message from a friend who lives in Humboldt, on his Twitter feed, encouraging his 10,000 followers to remember the Broncos players.

Skip Twitter post by @BrianMunzTSN

Got this text from a friend who I went to high school with in Humboldt.

Inviting you to do the same as we remember and send our thoughts to the

β€” Brian Munz (@BrianMunzTSN) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @BrianMunzTSN

His tweet helped to generate momentum for the hashtag, encouraging fans in Canada and the US to share pictures of their sticks left outside.

Skip Twitter post by @usembassyottawa

End of Twitter post by @usembassyottawa

Skip Twitter post by @crystalICUnurse


β€” Crystal (@crystalICUnurse) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @crystalICUnurse

Skip Twitter post by @dehoffe76

Rest in peace and prayers to those grieving. With you in spirit!

β€” Eric DeHoff (@dehoffe76) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @dehoffe76

It’s not only Canadian and American fans who are leaving their tributes. Around the world, people are putting their sticks outside their homes.

Skip Twitter post by @LeanneMcOmish

I know I’m not Canadian but felt it was poignant to do this

β€” Leanne McOmish (@LeanneMcOmish) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @LeanneMcOmish

Skip Twitter post by @MurphOnIce

Leaving these out tonight in Dublin Ireland. Even this far away, the Broncos accident saddens people deeply. As someone whose been on such busses many moons ago, I can’t fathom the heartbreak of those close to the tragedy.

β€” Aaron Murphy πŸŽ™ (@MurphOnIce) April 9, 2018

End of Twitter post by @MurphOnIce

An online fundraiser have been launched to raise funds for the families of the victims. The fundraiser has so far raised more than C$5m ($3.9m, Β£2.7m).