96 Roses for the Hillsborough 96

On the 15th April 1989 96 Liverpool fans went to the home of Sheffield Wednesday and they never returned. Liverpool were playing in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest but in the Liverpool end too many fans were allowed in which resulted in a crush and sadly 96 fans lost their lives. Over the years the families of the 96 have fought to get justice for their loved ones and last week a report was finally issued which cleared all Liverpool fans of blame on that fateful day.

Perhaps rightly Liverpool’s first home game after the report was issued was against their arch rivals Manchester United. It was a day when football rivalries were put to one side and the more important things in life were remembered.

At the side of Anfield there is a memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans who passed away. On the 23rd September Liverpool played Manchester United at home and the memorial was awash with flowers from clubs all around the football world paying their respects. One such bouquet of flowers simply read “Justice at last for the 96, RIP – Manchester United fan”, it is such a simple but yet powerful message.

Flowers were laid to tribute those lost and the revelation of the new discoveries. One person laid 96 red roses to represent those lost.

Shortly before kick-off 96 red balloons were released. Also Sir Bobby Charlton, a legend of Manchester United, presented Liverpool legend Ian Rush with a gorgeous bouquet of 96 red rose flowers as a mark of respect from Manchester United to their rivals.

At times like this football really is meaningless and now justice has finally happened for the 96.