As I write this now I am just watching the game between Everton and Newcastle. In a mark of respect for not just Liverpool, their natural football enemies, but for the families of the 96, Everton held a minutes applause. Every single person at Goodison Park tonight stood in appreciation for those fans who aren’t with us today. They also had two mascots lead out the teams, one in an Everton jersey and the other in a Liverpool jersey with 96 on the back.
As big as rivals as these two clubs are its good to see that they can unite as a football family to show their support for those families that have lost so much. Now after this show of respect Everton can get on with the game that we all love so much. They can also get back to being Liverpool’s rivals on the pitch and fans off it with dignity knowing that know matter how bad it nay or may get between them that the incident at Hillsbrorugh will never be used as ammo to taunt. Also both sets of fans can go into their next game together knowing that this isn’t over their heads.
Now lets bring Man Utd into the equation. Unfortunately at the weekend in the game between Man Utd and Wigan a few, and i mean just a few, IDIOTS made the chants which have caused controversy. But lets be clear THESE FANS DO NOT REPRESENT THE MAJORITY OF MAN UTD SUPPORTERS. However Man Utd fans will have to hold their hands up and say that they did little to show any kind respect towards their bitter rivals in the wake of the findings during the week.
Now we have the situation were Liverpool host Man Utd next weekend and already we are talking about the prospect of their being trouble or jibes of some sort from angry Liverpool fans in response to the chants, instead of talking about the prospect of a great game of football between to fierce rivals. And that is a sad state of affairs.
However, Man Utd fans do have a second bite of the cherry next weekend to show their respect. Any simple small token will do it. A corus of ”you’ll never walk alone”, a flag, or a simple round of applause. It wouldn’t take much and it wouldn take long. Only a minute would do it.
If they did, and i hope they do, then this would show, as Everton have just done, that even though you are rivals, when the game was hurt as it lost those 96 people, you can unite as one football family. Then you can go back to being rivals and chant and sing and dare i say hate each other as is the natural order of things without dis-respecting your rivals and disgracing yourselves.