Justice for the 96: It’s been 29 years

I’m fairly certain that every person reading this knows very well what happened on this day (April 15) in 1989.

The sentence “96 football fans who went to see a game and never came home” has been said and written countless times by now, but it always has the same effect on every decent person in the world. The thought of 96 innocent people, age 10 to 67, losing their lives is an unbearable one.

As if the loss of lives in itself wasn’t enough of a blow, to the world, to Liverpool (both the club and the city), the rag whose official name I will never ever write or speak immediately dealt another one, almost as painful.

Those who always knew the truth, the real truth, those who felt that truth in their hearts, took up a battle, a heroic effort to wash the filth of lies that an unruly element had put out there. It took almost three decades of relentless strife, but the battle has not been in vain, it has been won. THE WORLD KNOWS.

Yet, the feeling of sadness and loss will never abate.

In February 2011, the Hillsborough disaster claimed its 97th victim. Having bought a ticket for the fateful match, Stephen Whittle was unable to attend due to work, and he sold the ticket to a friend – one of the 96. After a 22-year-long battle with guilt, Stephen committed suicide. In his will, he left £61,000 to the Hillsborough families.

Along with Liverpool FC, plenty of other clubs, including our bitterest rivals, have taken to social media to express their respect and support. Many former Liverpool players have done the same.

On this day, take a few minutes and spare a few thoughts for these people and their families and friends:

John Alfred Anderson (62)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Simon Bell (17)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
David John Benson (22)
David William Birtle (22)
Tony Bland (22)
Paul David Brady (21)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
Carl Brown (18)
David Steven Brown (25)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Joseph Clark (29)
Paul Clark (18)
Gary Collins (22)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
James Philip Delaney (19)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Christopher Edwards (29)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Barry Glover (27)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Philip Hammond (14)
Eric Hankin (33)
Gary Harrison (27)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
David Hawley (39)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Thomas Howard (39)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Alan Johnston (29)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Richard Jones (25)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Carl David Lewis (18)
David William Mather (19)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
John McBrien (18)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Alan McGlone (28)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Francis O’Neill (17)
Jonathon Owens (18)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
David George Rimmer (38)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)
Inger Shah (38)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Colin Wafer (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Graham John Wright (17)

…and Stephen Whittle.

They’ll never walk alone.

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