Liverpool remember the 96
By Phil Dickinson.
On this day in 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium during an FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.
The football world sorrowfully remembers what remains the most deadly football stadium disaster in British history and, along with the Bradford City Fire Disaster of 1985 and the Munich Air Disaster of 1958, one of the darkest episodes in our game’s past.
The anniversary is always a poignant time for Liverpool fans. It’s a time of year when we remember an event which not only altered the course of our own club, but the face of British football. It’s a time of year when the calls for justice and accountability are at their most ferriferous. And most importantly, it’s the time of year when we are all reminded that what goes on the pitch pales into absolute insignificance against the worth of people’s lives.
Although we all wish such a terrible tragedy had never happened, Liverpool fans have fully embraced the loss suffered as part of the club’s ethos. 21 years on, Liverpool fans continue to remember and wholeheartedly refuse to forget. The disaster is fully accepted as much a part of the club’s history as European Cup finals and domestic titles.
Some cynics, rivals and heartless detractors have called it part of the city’s perceived needed for collective scouse martyrdom. But the club has strong community roots and family values.
The city came together in support of Michael Shields, the Liverpool fan wrongly imprisoned in Bulgaria following the Champions League final in 2005. It came together in anger following the murder of young Everton fan Rhys Jones in 2007. And the city still pulls together to remember the 96 fans that never came home from Sheffield on this day in 1989.
The locals have a shared sense of loyalty and justice that displays itself quite obviously in the city’s football clubs. It’s the local mark which supporters have long since made on this now global club.
For the club’s supporters, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ isn’t just a song they sing before and after a game. It is an attitude of togetherness, mutual support and family spirit that the club try to stay true to at every moment – in victory, in defeat, in joy, in pain; whether you are Michael Shields, Djimi Traoré or Bob Paisley.
It’s the Liverpool way. It’s something that permeates every aspect of the club. It’s what makes Liverpool the greatest club in the world.
Justice for the 96 – You’ll Never Walk Alone
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