Thousands did it right at Anfield – yet the moronic few who did it WRONG still stole all the headlines
IT was scripted as the weekend that football would grow up. The songs about dead fans, football stadium disasters and plane crashes would stop and a football rivalry billed as Britain’s bitterest would become a tiny bit sweeter.
It was a big ask. A minority of Liverpool and Manchester United fans have been trading the sickest of insults for decades, be it relating to Hillsborough, Heysel or the Munich air disaster.
The vast majority of supporters of those two clubs haven’t taken part in this troubling game of disaster Top Trumps. That continued to be the case on Sunday despite what some in the media would have you believe.
The game between the North West rivals was Liverpool’s first chance to acknowledge the landmark moment that the world woke up to the truth about Hillsborough.
That the moment came against United was manna from heaven for the shitstirrers among the media, of which there are many.
For a week, it was endlessly discussed – can the fans put the bitterness aside to show their respect to something much deeper than football rivalry?
In a week that deep-rooted corruption and an orchestrated smear campaign against football fans was exposed, you’d think there would be more pressing issues to discuss. s it was, fans filed into a sombre Anfield knowing that just a handful of morons among the 44,263 present could make the doom-mongers’ day by shouting or singing the wrong thing. So it proved. Munich was never referenced, except by the United fans who sang: “Where’s your famous Munich song?”
The more offensive “Always the victim, it’s never your fault” and “Murderers” came later from some supporters in an away end containing
A2,700 fans in response to a couple of idiots trying – and succeeding – to wind them up with airplane gestures.
And so that’s been the focus. Again and again footage has been shown on Sky Sports, while it’s a topic that has been hammered relentlessly by those shouty morons on TalkSport.
Anything for a bit of controversy, it seems.
What about the good stuff? Where’s the balance? The context? One of the leading Manchester United fanzines,
called for calm and respect to be shown before the game.
Other United supporters delivered talks on coaches headed for Anfield to spread a similar message. nd many United fans paid their respects to the 96 who died at Hillsborough by tying shirts and scarfs to the Shankly Gates and laying tributes at the memorial on Anfield Road.
Inside the ground, the United end applauded the ‘Justice for the 96’ song that rang around the ground before kick-off, while the Manchester United team ran out at Anfield wearing tracksuits with 96 on their backs.
There was plenty of mutual respect on display – but that doesn’t make for a good story, does it?
The Liverpool and Man United fan base were both collectively smeared – the Mancs for their chants, the Scousers for the two tools who tweeted ref Mark Halsey with sick stuff about cancer. It’s ironic that thousands of fans are having their reputation painted black for the actions of a few when that very problem was a contributory factor to the Hillsborough disaster.
Then – in the 80s – it suited to treat fans as a problem, as thugs.
Now, well we should have moved on from these sweeping generalisations, shouldn’t we?
It’s a dangerous game and those stirring the pot should know better.