Remembering the 96: Social media tributes on the 32nd anniversary of Hillsborough

15 April 2021 03:00

32 years ago today, overcrowding in Hillsborough stadium resulted in the unlawful death of 96 football fans who had travelled to watch the FA Cup semi-final.

Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were pitted against each other in the last four of England's oldest competition and thousands of fans travelled to Sheffield Wednesday's stadium for the event. What should have been a brilliant day out for many turned into Britain's biggest sporting disaster and one of football's darkest hours, which saw over 700 injured and 96 fans not return home.

Since that day, Liverpool fans and residents have faced decades of abuse, slander and false evidence put against them in a smear campaign to shift the blame onto the victims of the tragedy.

Supporters, friends and family members of the 96 have fought tirelessly for justice following the disaster, reversing court decisions and bringing to account those who were truly responsible. In April 2016, a jury ruled that all 96 victims were unlawfully killed and fans had no part to play in causing the disaster.

Today, Liverpool and a number of other clubs have paid their respects by honouring those who were lost on the day.

It is equally as important to remember that gaining full justice for the events on the day of the Hillsborough disaster remains an active case, and to take precaution to avoid jeopardising any legal proceedings.

Neighbouring side Everton continue to stand by Liverpool in tribute to those who lost their lives.

Manchester United paid tribute, as did other Premier League sides.

Nottingham Forest also paid tribute, remembering those who lost their lives and all that have been affected by the disaster, with their fans present for the fixture on the day.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region shared a video of himself etching the individual names of the 96 victims into Parliament almost a decade ago, ensuring that they were remembered properly and emphasising the message that these people will never be forgotten.

Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby Ian Bryne also commented, sending his thoughts to the 96 and those affected by the tragedy.

Other political figures also expressed their condolences. Mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham described it 'a day to remember them all' and sent his love and strength to families affected by the disaster.

Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome also paid tribute.

Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez extended his condolences to all affected.

Liverpool fans' podcast The Anfield Wrap shared a touching and pertinent video of each of the 96 victims' individual stories.

"They are not just 96 people. They are not just the 96. They are mates, dads and lads, couples, parents, sons and daughters".

Ex-players and clubs beyond England also commented and paid tribute.

Tributes were also paid to Stephen Whittle. Whittle sold a ticket to a friend for the semi-final and didn't end up attending, but tragically took his own life 22 years after the disaster. He is unofficially recognised as the 97th victim of the tragedy.

FootballJOE shared a video they filmed with journalist Tony Evans, who gave a moving account of the events on the day and the subsequent smear campaign against the victims that followed.

We will never forget the 96 victims who never returned home, or those affected by the tragedy. You never walk alone.

Source: 90min