Liverpool and Everton fans show ‘Scouse solidarity’ in joint Hillsborough tribute
Everton fans lay a wreath in front of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield ahead of the Merseyside derby.
In what has been labeled a ‘show of Scouse solidarity’ between the local rivals, a group of Blues fans met their Liverpool counterparts at the Spirit of Shankly (SOS) to pay their respects to the 97 Reds fans who lost the life following the disaster of April 15, 1989.
Both groups of supporters were on hand to lay the floral tributes at the Memorial around two hours before the start of the Anfield derby on Sunday afternoon.
READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp speaks out on Hillsborough’s vile chants aimed at Liverpool fans
READ MORE: Group of Man City fans write letter to club after Hillsborough silence disruption
Last week marked the 33rd anniversary of Britain’s footballing worst disaster, but the scheduled minute’s silence at Wembley as Liverpool met Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final was cut short when opposition supporters chanted and sung during the mark of respect.
Manchester United fans were also condemned on Tuesday after resorting to insults from Hillsborough as their side were comfortably beaten 4-0 at Anfield.
SOS chairman Joe Blott said the wreath laying was a symbol of the continued friendship between the two groups of home supporters ahead of the 240th game between the historic rivals on the pitch.
Mr Blott said: “In a week where questions have rightly been asked about the values of some football fans, this typical Scouse solidarity show stands out.
“From chants of ‘Merseyside, Merseyside’ in the 80s to the iconic blue/red girl/boy photo 96 and now on a weekly basis, the Blues and Reds collect food for the people of our town – the basis of ‘Anfield literally 100 yards from the memorial – supporter solidarity appears as a way to reset the moral compass. Not just in football, but in society as a whole.
Jazz Bal, who is chairman of the Everton Fans Forum, added: “With Hillsborough’s 33rd birthday fresh in our minds, we would like to show solidarity and let our family and friends who support Liverpool know that we are side by side with them. .
“Over the past few weeks both teams have been the target of attacking chants, I hope the atmosphere today remains respectful on both sides as some things are bigger than football.”
Manchester City have been forced to issue a public apology to Liverpool following the behavior of their supporters at Wembley last week, saying they were “extremely disappointed with the actions” of some members of their fanbase.
“It doesn’t represent who we want to be. We stand with Liverpool Football Club. The statement represents who we are,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.
United were also forced to make their own belated statement after some of their supporters made reference to The S*n newspaper and their coverage following the tragedy which wrongly blamed Liverpool fans for the disaster.
The obnoxious chant came about an hour after Liverpool fans paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo’s newborn son, who tragically died recently, a mark of respect the United star said he and his family will never forget .
“Manchester United stands in solidarity with Liverpool FC and their supporters in remembering the victims of the Hillsborough disaster,” a United spokesman said. “Offensive chants about the tragedy are completely unacceptable and we will be working with our supporter groups to educate fans on the matter.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp used his pre-match program notes ahead of Sunday’s derby to express his disappointment at recent incidents which mocked the deaths of 97 football fans.
Klopp wrote: “Throughout my playing and coaching career, I have always tried to be as positive as possible about football fans. Not for PR or selfish reasons; it is because, more than anything else, I myself am a football fan and because I know the incredible difference fans make in a sport that I love.
“I didn’t expect perfection, but I always believed that in general fans would be a force for good because that’s almost always what they are. That’s why I’m incredibly Disappointed that we’ve heard more and more songs about the Hillsborough disaster. Really? The death of 97 people in a tragedy is now something to laugh at? How did it happen?
“We have club staff who have lost loved ones at Hillsborough. There are fans in the crowd at all of our games who themselves have lost friends or family or survived the tragedy. They’ve suffered more than enough already. No one should think it’s okay to make them suffer more because it’s absolutely not the case.
“So I’ll say this very clearly: If you’re going to a football match to sing about people who have lost their lives, you really shouldn’t bother coming. Football doesn’t want that and football doesn’t want that. don’t need.”