25 years passed yesterday since the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. The message is clear; they are gone, but never forgotten.
Clubs from all over the globe yesterday paid tribute to the family and friends who lost loves ones from that dreadful day, as the biggest family in the world showed its true strength. In all the disputes and rivalries on the field, the love of football and the share of a passion will conquer. I look over some of the marks of respect paid yesterday by various clubs and players.
The FA was happy to pay its mark by all games over the course of the weekend starting at 7 minutes later than originally planned. This was to commemorate the time the game in 1989 was stopped: 15.06. Not only this, but a minute silence was also held before the games this weekend in honour of the victims and their family.
Black armbands were worn by managers and players alike in tribute, and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud graciously kissed his armband after scoring against West Ham United at the Emirates last night. That was just the latest in a long line of actions from various players and clubs.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez spoke wonderfully at yesterday's memorial service about the support of both clubs at this time, and made sure to put the clubs' differences to one side. Liverpool's bitter rivals Manchester United did the very same by issuing a touching photo of the two sides shaking hands in support. Their cross-city rivals put a full page spread in the match-day programme ahead of the game in Sunday that they 'remember the 96'.
The support hasn't just been subject to clubs in England though, with Barcelona posting an image of the two clubs united. Steven Gerrard who attended the service yesterday with the rest of his team mates and manager Brendan Rodgers, has already spoken of his emotion after Sunday's win because of the timing of the match. Both Rodgers and local MP Andy Burnham spoke at the service about the ongoing fight and the love and inspiration that Liverpool holds.
It is clear that every day, football stands united and remembers the 96.
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