FOOTBALL gets its fair share of negative publicity, but in times of tragedy we really see how the industry can be a force for good.

Supporters temporarily cast rivalries aside, while clubs become even more of a hub for people to come together and pay their respects. 

Oxford United and Swindon Town fans do not agree on much, but within hours of Saturday’s horrific news several Robins fans were leaving tributes to Joey Beauchamp.

Some things are bigger than football and the show of solidarity was certainly appreciated.

Clubs also came forward with gestures of goodwill, such as Wycombe Wanderers helping U’s supporter Dan Curtis in his search for clips of every goal scored by the winger.

United fans have stepped up to pay tribute to their hero, adding more than 500 entries to a book of condolences set up by the club – a great idea to show Beauchamp’s family just how much he meant.

Just as impressive was supporters raising £5,500 in 22 hours so the Oxford Fanatics can put together a special display at tomorrow’s game against Cambridge United.

The group will be among a host of people working towards the same goal: to give a U’s legend a fitting send-off.

It is tragic how many times United have had to arrange similar tributes in the last few years, with Jim Smith, John Shuker and Micky Lewis among those to have passed.

But the club and fans invariably do it right, with the rest of the football community by their side.