West Brom to leave 96 red seats empty for Liverpool clash

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Football News

West Brom have pledged to make a moving tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster when Liverpool visit the Hawthorns on the last day of the season tomorrow.

Last month, the families of the 96 people who lost their lives during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final clash in 1989 saw their 27-year wait for justice come to an end when a jury ruled after a two-year inquest their loved ones should be exonerated of any wrongdoing and had been 'unlawfully killed'.

Premier League clubs paid tribute to the families during games in the aftermath of the ruling, however West Brom opted to wait until the Reds were in town on the last day of the season.

Now the Baggies have confirmed in a statement on their official website that they will swap out 96 blue seats in the away end of the Hawthorns, and replace them with red ones - to be left empty during the match - as a gesture of solidarity with the Merseyside club.

A statement on their official website read: "West Bromwich Albion will on Sunday honour their pledge to salute the courage and tenacity of the Hillsborough victims’ families.

It continued: "The Club have replaced 96 blue seats in the visiting fans section with the red of Liverpool, each to remain unoccupied and each to carry a name of one of the victims. The Club have also produced a video which will be played shortly before kick-off on Sunday."

Liverpool born striker Rickie Lambert and captain Darren Fletcher will lay a floral tribute in front of the visiting Liverpool fans to complete the tribute.

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace said: “Albion and Liverpool have a rivalry which dates back to 1894 since when we have contested nearly 150 games. For a few moments on Sunday we will be as one and remember the context Hillsborough makes of our daily struggles.”

Earlier this week, Hillsborough survivor Joe Smith saw his post about finding his mystery 'guardian angel' who had pulled him from the crush and saved his life go viral.

The image, picturing Joe - then eight - and the man in a beige jacket, has been shared more than 130,000 times.

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Jamie Carragher
West Bromwich Albion
Daniel Sturridge
Philippe Coutinho

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