Week commencing Monday 17th October 2011 will be a week remembered not for footballing excellence on the part of Liverpool FC, but for a week in which the families of the 96 souls, who departed from Hillsborough in 1989, will finally start to receive their peace of mind.
Led by Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham, MP’s in the House of Commons emotionally and respectfully voted in a unanimous decision for the release of all government documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster. As Liverpool supporters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers to those who tragically lost their lives, we finally believe that the 96 will receive the justice they deserve and the reputation of Liverpool fans be upheld and given the untarnished reputation they deserve.
There was an air of exhilaration leading to the game against Norwich on Saturday 22nd October 2011. After a disappointing yet positive performance against Manchester United a week previous, one which could have seen us win 4-1 at least, with respect to Norwich, we believed a repeat performance would bring victory and provide a deserved gift to all those concerned with Liverpool FC after the result in the Commons earlier in the week.
The opening twenty minutes saw three opportunities hit the woodwork and excellent attacking play from Craig Bellamy saw Liverpool take the lead on the stroke of halftime. We expected Liverpool to return after the break all guns blazing, but a lapse in concentration saw Norwich equalise on the 60th minute and for the second week running, Liverpool lacked the killer instinct to finish our opponent off. I believe in time this will come, we have faith in the players and our manager and at present luck has not been on our side. Two games that could have finished 4-1 had finished 1-1, Lady luck will show her face soon, of that I am sure.
It wasn’t until hours after the game, post my usual depression and traumatic palpitations a negative result delivers, that I began to contemplate about the fact that the most poignant issue of the day had been overlooked. Not until I looked back through the images on my phone and remembered the glorious photo’s I’d taken of the JFT96 mosaic on the Kop, that I realised, yes today as a football team we didn’t deliver the result we wanted, but as the LFC Family we demonstrated a unity and spirituality that only the LFC Family understands and that only the LFC Family could exhibit. We sang Justice For The 96 loud and proud and I hope that in the very near future, Justice For The 96 will be delivered once and for all and that peace of mind will be felt for the families and the entire Liverpool FC community.
It would be very dismissive of me at this point not to mention the way in which week commencing the 17th October 2011 ended, Sunday 23rd October 2011 saw a specific type of retribution that we can only share with Manchester City supporters. City demolished Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford and I can only smile and think of our own 4-1 destruction of our bitter rivals there three years ago. We owe a little gratitude to Manchester City for helping us end the week so positively and I know I speak for everyone concerned with Liverpool FC when I say thank you and well done to Manchester City and for making a week that we received the first steps towards Justice For The 96 that little bit sweeter.