Every year on the 15th of April, the football world comes together. The world game stops worldwide and remembers those who were lost on that day at Hillsborough in 1989. A day where 96 football fans followed their team to a match and never returned. Every year, on this day, rivalries are lost and all focus turns to remorse, in remembrance of the fans that never returned. In a day where football is so important, some things are more important than football.
So if you’re a player, family, a fan or anyone at all involved in this wonderful football club, remember the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough and most importantly remember, You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Today marks the 26th anniversary of Hillsborough, where 96 football fans died at a football match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest. What followed was a massive coverup to conceal the police force’s failings and a farcical inquest which returned the verdict of “accidental death”, and together with newspapers like the Sun, blamed the supporters for this tragedy. But due to the unending determination and campaigns from friends and family members of the victims, the original verdict was overturned in 2012, and new inquests are still going on. Today, please spare a moment and a prayer for all those fans who,just like us, travelled to support their team and see their favourite players. Stand in solidarity with people who lost siblings, parents, friends, and never forget that those people died following their love, the love that brings us all together as football fans and as a community. The 96, and all the other people who died in similar tragedies all around the world, will always be a part of our family, and they will never be forgotten
“Goodbye my old friend, I’ll see you in Heaven one day still wearing red.”
In April 1989, 96 people went to watch a football match and never came home. They went there to see their beloved Liverpool – and, today, a quarter of a century later, before one of the club’s biggest games ever, those fans were honored beautifully.
Afterward, led by their captain, Steven Gerrard – the paragon of loyalty in a sporting era that often rewards money-grabbing and title hunger far more than fidelity to a cause – they won the game, 3-2, and set themselves up for their first league title since 1990.
When the game finished, Gerrard had tears in his eyes – and while some of those were no doubt down to a mixture of relief, exhaustion, and the thrill of victory – a lot of them were down to something more.
Gerrard’s cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, died at the stadium in 1989 when he was only 10. While most of the time we can freely admit that sports are just sports – and the narratives we spin are irrationally inflated to feed our obsession with a game – sometimes they are something way more important than that.
Sometimes, sports say a lot about life and help us heal wounds that we once thought never could even begin to heal – and today was one of those times. #JFT96 [Posted by Zack]
A banner reading Truth and Justice is hung from Liverpool’s Saint George’s Hall and illuminated in red after today’s Hillsborough inquest verdict on April 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. The fresh inquests into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 football supporters were crushed to death, concluded today on April 26, 2016 with a verdict of unlawful killing, after the initial verdicts were quashed. Relatives of Liverpool supporters who died in Britain’s worst sporting disaster gathered in the purpose-built court to hear the jury’s verdict in Warrington after a 25 year fight to overturn the accidental death verdicts handed down at the initial 1991 inquiry.
Originally, this was set to be posted yesterday morning as a commemoration of sorts to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough Tragedy. While polishing the post and gathering a few accompanying photos, I received a text message alerting me to the fact that something terrible had occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Like with most instances of breaking news, I scanned my Twitter feed, looking for any bit of information that might confirm the horrible event that my friend had alluded to, and then, seeing a few photos tumble down my timeline, the day changed.
Everything else seemed inconsequential; the workday effectively over. How could one dedicate themselves to their own interests when such an event had happened? How could we obsess over something as insignificant as football when people were still missing, families separated and victims in the midst of emergency operations?
A misery overtook me, and the rest of the day was spent sitting in front of a television screen, fervently searching for any update.
Today, while stories of the strength and resiliency of the people of Boston give us a sense of optimism and confidence, the pit remains in my stomach. But while I had initially thought to scrap this post, I realized that much of it applies to yesterday’s events. We cannot push away tragedy because it is too painful, and we cannot simply overlook the past, no matter how heartbreaking it may be. We must not allow tragedies to fade, but rather, keep them in mind, as we honor the victims by remembering them not as statistics, but as they were, people, with their own hopes, dreams and families.
Whether Hillsborough or yesterday’s events in Boston, we must honor their legacy by remembering them as they would have wanted, and never ending our search for justice.