Tag Archives: tragedy

Hillsborough charity single "He Ain"t Heavy, He"s My Brother" is Christmas No 1

A fitting tribute! Hillsborough charity single 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' claims Christmas No 1 spot

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UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 23 December 2012

A cover version of 1969 Hollies hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' released as a tribute to the Hillsborough tragedy has claimed the Christmas No 1 spot.

The song, which has been heavily promoted by the club's famous figures over the past few weeks, beat X Factor winner James Arthur to the coveted position.

Former manager and player Kenny Dalglish, Paul McCartney and Alan Hansen are among the cast of stars of Justice Collective and were joined by Robbie Williams, Gerry Marsden, Melanie C, Paloma Faith and Shane MacGowan in the bid to raise vital cash for the families continuing to fight for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the tragedy.

**Scroll down to watch the video of the song

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

WHERE TO GET THE SINGLE

Click here to buy from iTunes

Or text the word ‘Justice’ to 80010 from your mobile in the UK (1 + standard network rate)

Current Liverpool boss Brendan
Rodgers said: 'I think it's been great support [and] a great applause to
the football fraternity. I think they recognised what these families
and people have been through.

'For
that to make number one shows that they've been helping them and
that'll be great for everyone concerned, puts a nice finish to the year
and allow the families to move on and be proud of what they've done.'

The record sold 269,000 copies this week, compared with 224,000 by Arthur.

A statement on the Liverpool website thanks all those who had bought the single as well as those who dedicated their time to ensuring people knew of it.

Fight: Families, with support from the likes of Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), continue campaigning for justice for the 96 who lost their lives in 1989

Fight: Families, with support from the likes of Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), continue campaigning for justice for the 96 who lost their lives in 1989

It read: 'After weeks of campaigning
and promoting, football fans around the world have achieved an historic
feat – the Justice Collective's Hillsborough charity single 'He Ain't
Heavy, He's My Brother' is Christmas No.1!'

'Following widespread support for the track it was confirmed as the highest seller of the week on Sunday.

'Competition had been provided by
X-Factor winner James Arthur with 'Impossible', but even the 24-year-old
himself asked the public to purchase 'He Ain't Heavy' to ensure it
finished in top spot before Christmas.

Together we're better: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the single

Together we're better: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the single

'Football supporters, both Liverpool
and otherwise, backed the song from its inception, and clubs across the
country have given their support by playing the record at half-time
during league fixtures.

'Celebrities, politicians, football
figures and contributors to the recording have all used social media to
raise awareness about the single, while Liverpool manager Brendan
Rodgers made an impassioned plea for fans to buy the track on Thursday.'

Everton showed their class with their
own message of support, taking to Twitter on their official account to
say: 'Great news that the Justice Collective have made it to number one.
Congratulations from everybody at Everton. #merseysideunited.'

VIDEO Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

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Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

He ain't heavy: Former manager Kenny Dalglish and Peter Reid
Who's singing what

The road is long – ANDY BROWN

With many a winding turn – ANDY BROWN

That leads us to who knows where – GERRY MARSDEN

Who knows when – PAUL HEATON

But I'm strong – GLENN TILBROOK

Strong enough to carry him – GLENN TILBROOK

He ain't heavy, he's my brother – JOHN POWER/ROBBIE WILLIAMS

So on we go – JOHN POWER

His welfare is of my concern – MELANIE C

No burden is he to bear – ROBBIE WILLIAMS

We'll get there – ROBBIE/MELANIE C

For I know – REBECCA FERGUSON

He would not encumber me – HOLLY JOHNSON

He ain't heavy, he's my brother- HOLLY JOHNSON/REBECCA F

If I'm laden at all – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

I'm laden with sadness – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

That everyone's heart – PALOMA FAITH

Isn't filled with the gladness- PALOMA FAITH

Of love for one another – ELIZA DOOLITTLE

It's a long, long road – DAVE McCABE

From which there is no return – PETER HOOTON

While we're on the way to there – REN HARVIEU / JON McCLURE

Why not share- JON McCLURE / REN HARVIEU

And the load – DAVE McCABE

It doesn't weigh me down at all – MACCA

Coz he ain't heavy – MACCA

(He ain’t heavy) – SHANE MACGOWAN

He's my brother – SHANE MACGOWAN/ BEVERLEY K

He's my brother – ALL (most)

He ain't heavy, he's my brother … – ALL (most)

Martin Skrtel tattoos Liverpool fans to raise money for Hillsborough families

Liverpool defender Skrtel inks Hillsborough tattoo on fan in bid to raise cash for families

|

UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 18 December 2012

Martin Skrtel turned out to be a natural tattoo artist when the Liverpool defender took part in a charity inking session to raise money for the victims’ families of the Hillsborough disaster.

In a show of solidarity, 96 football fans bustled into a tattoo studio in Liverpool to take part in the challenge, and one was even willing to let first-timer Skrtel try his hand at inking his his back.

The event was organised by tattoo artist Will Holmes, but special guest Skrtel wasn’t prepared to leave him in the lurch when it came to inking some of the fans.

Scroll down for video

Dab hand: Martin Skrtel coloured in the numbers 96 on Barry Nicholls' back

Dab hand: Martin Skrtel coloured in the numbers 96 on Barry Nicholls' back

The Slovakian defender helped tattoo the back of an employee of the football club, Barry Nicholls, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Barry said: ‘Martin agreed to come and pledge his support, which we were really pleased about.

‘We thought he had done tattooing before, so to find out he hadn’t when he turned up was a little alarming.’

The 28-year-old Skrtel, who has plenty of tattoos himself, seemed pretty competent as he put some colour into an eternal flame on the back of his brave volunteer.

But Barry was in safe hands, as Skrtel was coached through his first-time inking by an expert.

Skrtel said: 'Before I came here I didn't know a lot about Hillsborough but once I got used to being at the club, I started to understand what had happened.'

Brave man: Barry Nicholls volunteered to allow Skrtel to colour a tattoo on his back

Brave man: Barry Nicholls volunteered to allow Skrtel to colour a tattoo on his back

'I think it is great that the Liverpool supporters and the club have stuck together to fight for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.'

An impressive 1,000 was raised from tattoos as well as 500 for a shirt signed by Skrtel.

Demand was so high for the tattoos on offer at the Royal Ink Tattoo Studio in Anfield that they had to compile a reserve list for those who wanted to be inked for the cause.

All the money raised on the day will go towards the fight for justice for victims, survivors and families of the Hillsborough tragedy, which claimed 96 lives in 1989.

Former Liverpool players Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, comedian John Bishop, musicians Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams have also joined forces under the moniker of the Justice Collective and released a charity cover of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother in a bid to top the charts at Christmas to raise money for the worthy cause.

Bouncing back: Skrtel will hope Liverpool can improve after being beaten by Aston Villa at the weekend

Bouncing back: Skrtel will hope Liverpool can improve after being beaten by Aston Villa at the weekend

VIDEO Skrtl is a natural at more than just football!

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Hillsborough disaster: Attorney General applies to have original inquest verdicts quashed

One step closer! Attorney General calls for Hillsborough inquest verdicts to be quashed

|

UPDATED:

18:39 GMT, 10 December 2012

A formal application to quash the verdicts of the original Hillsborough inquests has been made by the Government's top lawyer.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve said there was a 'good' case for setting aside the accidental death verdicts and holding new hearings into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans killed in the 1989 football stadium disaster.

The move comes after a damning report into the tragedy revealed a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame on to the victims.

Tragedy: There were 96 Liverpool fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster

Tragedy: There were 96 Liverpool fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster

Mr Grieve will appear in person at the High Court to argue that new evidence means there should be fresh inquests.

He said: 'I believe that the case for the High Court to quash the original inquests is a good one.

'My application has now been lodged with the Court. It is my intention to appear to argue the case at the hearing that will take place in the High Court.'

If the court quashes the original inquests and orders fresh inquests to be heard, its powers are limited to referring the cases back to the district in which they were originally heard.

In 95 of the cases this means the cases must be sent back to Sheffield or Doncaster.

It is understood that the Attorney General will suggest that the court should return the cases to Doncaster.

The families had made it clear they wished for the new inquests to be held in Liverpool but a spokesman for the Attorney General's office said the location will be 'a matter for the coronial process'.

Application: Attorney General Dominic Grieve

Application: Attorney General Dominic Grieve

Ninety six Liverpool supporters died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on April 15, 1989, where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

Anne Williams, whose son Kevin died in the disaster, wrote on Twitter: 'Just received e mail the Attorney General is sending kevins case to the divisional courts seeking a new inquest his death.'

More than 105,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for a fresh inquest into Kevin Williams' death to be held swiftly as his mother is suffering from cancer.

Mrs Williams, 60, who has made four submissions to overturn the verdict of her son's inquest to different Attorney Generals over the years, said this is what she had been waiting 23 years for.

She said: 'Looking at it (the email) now, I can't believe it. This is my fourth submission to Attorney Generals over the years and they have always come back 'not in the interests of justice'.'

Mrs Williams said she was now 'one step closer' to knowing the truth about what happened to her son on that day.

Chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James, 18, died at Hillsborough, said: 'We have waited over 20 years for these verdicts to be overturned and I'm sure all the families will be delighted to hear that these steps are being taken.

Determination: The families of the 96 victims have campaigned for justice for 23 years

Determination: The families of the 96 victims have campaigned for justice for 23 years

'It is a great step towards getting the justice we have fought for.'

Last week new laws giving extra powers to the police watchdog investigating the Hillsborough disaster and cover-up were rushed through the Commons.

Policing minister Damian Green said the changes were essential to ensure the 'double injustice' suffered by the victims of the disaster, as uncovered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel report published earlier this year, could be remedied.

The Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill had cross-party support and cleared the Commons in under four hours, receiving its second and third readings without a vote.

The actions of up to 2,400 serving or retired officers could be considered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation – the watchdog's biggest ever investigation.

The new rules, which still have to be approved by the House of Lords, would enable the IPCC to compel serving officers or staff on other police bodies to attend an interview.

Hillsborough must be remembered as football considers using nets after Rio Ferdinand coin incident

Remember Hillsborough! As football considers using nets to stop yobs, relatives of victims killed in tragedy issue warning

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UPDATED:

01:51 GMT, 11 December 2012

Relatives of Hillsborough victims have warned that erecting netting to protect players from missiles could eventually lead to the return of the fences that killed their loved ones.

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor said on Monday that mesh nets would have saved Rio Ferdinand from the coin that struck him above the eye in the last minute of Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Such nets are used across Europe, while Manchester United have one behind the goals at Old Trafford to stop disabled supporters being hit by the ball.

Target: Supporters hurled coins at the United players as they celebrated their last-gasp victory over City on Sunday

Target: Supporters hurled coins at the United players as they celebrated their last-gasp victory over City

But last night Steve Kelly of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign said: 'I don't think nets would bring safety. The next thing would be wire mesh and then fencing, and we all know what that has meant.

'Preventing missiles is a society thing. With all the money the clubs have to pay players the wages they are getting, there should be better ways to identify fans in the crowd who throw things.

'They should be making real examples of these people, not trying to fence groups of fans in. It should be more than a 50 slap on the wrist and a temporary ban.'

Tragedy: Ninety-six Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy

Tragedy: Ninety-six Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy

The controversy came on the day Attorney General Dominic Grieve sought to have the Hillsborough inquest verdicts of accidental death quashed. Mr Grieve said there was a 'good' case to hold new hearings into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans in 1989.

City officials and Greater Manchester Police were still trawling through CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the thug who threw the coin at Ferdinand after United's winning goal. It is understood the process could last into the new year.

PFA chief executive Taylor had said earlier in the day: 'I think you've got to give consideration to some netting in vulnerable areas, be it behind the goals and round the corner flags.'

Confrontation: City have banned supporter Matthew Slott for life after he ran on to the pitch

Confrontation: City have banned supporter Matthew Slott for life after he ran on to the pitch

It is understood City are not giving too much thought to putting up netting and will only do so if ordered to by the FA, which is unlikely.

City are reviewing their procedures in the wake of Sunday – as they would after any big game – and are determined to find the offender and work out how another fan was able to evade stewards and run on to the field in the direction of Ferdinand. Matthew Stott, 21, was yesterday charged with pitch encroachment and will be banned for life by City.

Last night FA chairman David Bernstein said: 'It is deplorable to see those incidents. To see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible. It's disturbing to see a recurrence of these things. We've had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players. 'It has to be dealt with severely.'

Bloody mess: Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory

Bloody mess: Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory

City have previously given consideration to moving visiting supporters to less visible areas of the Etihad Stadium to stop players celebrating provocatively. It will be considered again when they eventually expand their stadium.

Former United midfielder Paddy Crerand yesterday denied Ferdinand was to blame for what happened. During a passionate interview on Radio 5 Live, Crerand said: 'I was at the game yesterday and that is absolute rubbish. Who suggested that, and where did that come from It's absolute garbage.'

On Monday night the story took another twist when Ashley Cole’s mother angrily denied posting an insulting message about the attack on Ferdinand after a Facebook page purporting to belong to her younger son Matty appeared to revel in the defender’s injury.

Sue Cole insisted she was not the author of a post that said: ‘Give the fan that threw it (the coin) a medal.’

Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2: A minor skirmish but it mattered – Martin Samuel

A minor skirmish – but it mattered: Liverpool and United's animosity resurfaces

|

UPDATED:

08:19 GMT, 24 September 2012

It was a day of numbers: 96, 19, 12, zero and ultimately the 11 versus 10 that decided the outcome of the football match.

Anfield remembered, the visitors crowed. The ceremonies to mark the final emergence of the truth about the Hillsborough tragedy and its toll of 96 dead were impeccably observed, but once hostilities commenced it felt foolish to have ever imagined this would be anything more than the most famously bitter rivalry in English football. A watershed moment of realisation, a change of mood, of direction

Much hope was placed on this encounter and when Sir Bobby Charlton presented red roses to Ian Rush — they were later placed with the other sacred debris on the shrine to victims of official incompetence and the extremes of fate — and Luis Suarez warmly clasped the hands of Patrice Evra pre-match, it was possible to imagine, for a moment, that this was the start of a new era.

Respect: Bobby Charlton (left) hands a bouquet of 96 roses to Liverpool's Ian Rush

Respect: Bobby Charlton (left) hands a bouquet of 96 roses to Liverpool's Ian Rush

And then the game began. It was not especially poisonous and the reaction to it nothing exceptional: but it wasn’t a dawn of enlightenment, either.

The 19 titles won by Manchester United, overtaking Liverpool’s 18 (Ryan Giggs has won 12 to Steven Gerrard’s nil to put the modern era in sharp relief), has increased the intensity of this match like at no time in history.

We might as well organise a charity fund-raiser for Rangers at Parkhead as hope the animosity between Liverpool and Manchester United could be driven underground for long.

There was nothing too outrageous here — the worst excesses amounted to little more than 10 idiots being antagonised by 10 mugs — but nor were too many bridges left standing by the end.

Liverpool supporters did not mention Munich but United’s did, taunting them in hope of drawing an outrageous response. When the ground had emptied they mockingly chorused ‘Always the victims, it’s never your fault’, the song that had caused such embarrassment and anger at Old Trafford last week.

Well behaved: The fans of both sides were largely respectful throughout

Well behaved: The fans of both sides were largely respectful throughout

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How can Liverpool recover from their poor start
Since the start of 2012 Liverpool have won only two of 12 home games. Are they unlucky or is there a more fundamental problem

Steven Gerrard

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

They did so in response to another outburst of indignation fromLiverpool, a skirmish bearing scant comparison to the battle for the truth about Hillsborough, although it must be said that in both cases much of the protest was justified.

The home team thought Manchester United could have had a man sent off (which they could), they thought they should have had a penalty (which they should) and that United’s penalty winner was a harsh call (which it wasn’t). So, two out of three: and those numbers changed the game.

Even with 10 men, though, Liverpool were the better team, and had their ranks stayed even would probably not have been so stretched for United’s winner. It came from a penalty converted by Robin van Persie, but the damage was done on the break when Liverpool’s numerical disadvantage left them exposed to the counter attack.

It seems crass to speak of injustice when the last 23 years at the club has been spent fighting a system considerably more sinister than a referee’s call, but in strictly sporting terms Liverpool were hard done by here.

In the 39th minute, Jonjo Shelvey and Jonny Evans were competing for a 50-50 ball. Neither went in entirely fairly. Shelvey was late, high and second in the race, Evans was first but two-footed and out of control. Both were reckless. Evans came out worst.

Early bath: Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for Liverpool as they lost to Manchester United

Early bath: Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for Liverpool as they lost to Manchester United

Too late: Glen Johnson (right) tackles Antonio Valencia to concede a penalty

Too late: Glen Johnson (right) tackles Antonio Valencia to concede a penalty

Referee Mark Halsey produced a red card and dismissed Shelvey, who went cursing Rio Ferdinand and Sir Alex Ferguson. Evans stayed on after treatment, unpunished. It wasn’t right. Either both players should have gone, or Halsey should have traded yellows; either he misjudged what he saw, or he reacted purely to Evans’s injury.

The result was that Liverpool played the remaining 58 minutes of the game, including added time, a man down. Unsurprisingly, against United, they lost.

The result leaves them in a poor state but a Liverpool win, not even a draw, would have been the fairest result. ‘The best team lost,’ said manager Brendan Rodgers, and he was right.

If there was poetic justice, the winning goal would have been scored by Liverpool captain Gerrard after 46 minutes. The pure abandon of his celebration suggested his young cousin Jon-Paul, who did not return alive from Hillsborough, was on his mind. And yes, it may seem perverse to equate winning a football match with a duty performed in the memory of the dead, yet what else is there for Gerrard to do These people were fans, in the days when it wasn’t easy to follow a team around the country.

Obtaining tickets, particularly those for FA Cup semi-finals, meant physically going to a ticket office and standing in line, not clicking a button on a computer, credit card at the ready. The dead were some of those who were first to the ground. They loved football. They loved Liverpool.

Looking to the heavens: Steven Gerrard (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal for Liverpool

Looking to the heavens: Steven Gerrard (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal for Liverpool

Gerrard isn’t a lawyer, or a prosecutor. The best he can do is score a goal that wins a match that would have made the fans happy. So that is what he did. And then his fine deed was overtaken.

Rafael equalised, a cracker, but then Glen Johnson brought down Antonio Valencia with a rashly attempted challenge from the wrong side. The nudge unsettled the Manchester United man who lost his footing — as many did on a pitch that may have been overwatered — and Halsey pointed to the spot.

Underlining the sense of outrage, a very slow and detailed replay showed that Suarez had been fouled by Evans in the penalty area previously. A theatrical jerk of the head by the Uruguayan as he fell had probably convinced Halsey of simulation. Had Suarez simply fallen with natural momentum, the referee probably would have pointed to the spot.

So justice was not served. Yet, at this of all times, it is important to keep such matters in perspective.

There is the loss of a football match and the loss of life. At Anfield, they are only too aware of that painful difference, and will surely remember it when looking at the league table on Monday morning.

The management cannot rely on this raw perspective to stave off the tough questions forever, though. The football matters around these parts, too. Just as it mattered to the 96.

A minor skirmish but it mattered

A minor skirmish – but it mattered: Liverpool and United's animosity resurfaces

|

UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 23 September 2012

It was a day of numbers: 96, 19, 12, zero and ultimately the 11 versus 10 that decided the outcome of the football match.

Anfield remembered, the visitors crowed. The ceremonies to mark the final emergence of the truth about the Hillsborough tragedy and its toll of 96 dead were impeccably observed, but once hostilities commenced it felt foolish to have ever imagined this would be anything more than the most famously bitter rivalry in English football. A watershed moment of realisation, a change of mood, of direction

Much hope was placed on this encounter and when Sir Bobby Charlton presented red roses to Ian Rush — they were later placed with the other sacred debris on the shrine to victims of official incompetence and the extremes of fate — and Luis Suarez warmly clasped the hands of Patrice Evra pre-match, it was possible to imagine, for a moment, that this was the start of a new era.

Respect: Bobby Charlton (left) hands a bouquet of 96 roses to Liverpool's Ian Rush

Respect: Bobby Charlton (left) hands a bouquet of 96 roses to Liverpool's Ian Rush

And then the game began. It was not especially poisonous and the reaction to it nothing exceptional: but it wasn’t a dawn of enlightenment, either.

The 19 titles won by Manchester United, overtaking Liverpool’s 18 (Ryan Giggs has won 12 to Steven Gerrard’s nil to put the modern era in sharp relief), has increased the intensity of this match like at no time in history.

We might as well organise a charity fund-raiser for Rangers at Parkhead as hope the animosity between Liverpool and Manchester United could be driven underground for long.

There was nothing too outrageous here — the worst excesses amounted to little more than 10 idiots being antagonised by 10 mugs — but nor were too many bridges left standing by the end.

Liverpool supporters did not mention Munich but United’s did, taunting them in hope of drawing an outrageous response. When the ground had emptied they mockingly chorused ‘Always the victims, it’s never your fault’, the song that had caused such embarrassment and anger at Old Trafford last week.

Well behaved: The fans of both sides were largely respectful throughout

Well behaved: The fans of both sides were largely respectful throughout

They did so in response to another outburst of indignation fromLiverpool, a skirmish bearing scant comparison to the battle for the truth about Hillsborough, although it must be said that in both cases much of the protest was justified.

The home team thought Manchester United could have had a man sent off (which they could), they thought they should have had a penalty (which they should) and that United’s penalty winner was a harsh call (which it wasn’t). So, two out of three: and those numbers changed the game.

Even with 10 men, though, Liverpool were the better team, and had their ranks stayed even would probably not have been so stretched for United’s winner. It came from a penalty converted by Robin van Persie, but the damage was done on the break when Liverpool’s numerical disadvantage left them exposed to the counter attack.

It seems crass to speak of injustice when the last 23 years at the club has been spent fighting a system considerably more sinister than a referee’s call, but in strictly sporting terms Liverpool were hard done by here.

In the 39th minute, Jonjo Shelvey and Jonny Evans were competing for a 50-50 ball. Neither went in entirely fairly. Shelvey was late, high and second in the race, Evans was first but two-footed and out of control. Both were reckless. Evans came out worst.

Early bath: Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for Liverpool as they lost to Manchester United

Early bath: Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for Liverpool as they lost to Manchester United

Too late: Glen Johnson (right) tackles Antonio Valencia to concede a penalty

Too late: Glen Johnson (right) tackles Antonio Valencia to concede a penalty

Referee Mark Halsey produced a red card and dismissed Shelvey, who went cursing Rio Ferdinand and Sir Alex Ferguson. Evans stayed on after treatment, unpunished. It wasn’t right. Either both players should have gone, or Halsey should have traded yellows; either he misjudged what he saw, or he reacted purely to Evans’s injury.

The result was that Liverpool played the remaining 58 minutes of the game, including added time, a man down. Unsurprisingly, against United, they lost.

The result leaves them in a poor state but a Liverpool win, not even a draw, would have been the fairest result. ‘The best team lost,’ said manager Brendan Rodgers, and he was right.

If there was poetic justice, the winning goal would have been scored by Liverpool captain Gerrard after 46 minutes. The pure abandon of his celebration suggested his young cousin Jon-Paul, who did not return alive from Hillsborough, was on his mind. And yes, it may seem perverse to equate winning a football match with a duty performed in the memory of the dead, yet what else is there for Gerrard to do These people were fans, in the days when it wasn’t easy to follow a team around the country.

Obtaining tickets, particularly those for FA Cup semi-finals, meant physically going to a ticket office and standing in line, not clicking a button on a computer, credit card at the ready. The dead were some of those who were first to the ground. They loved football. They loved Liverpool.

Looking to the heavens: Steven Gerrard (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal for Liverpool

Looking to the heavens: Steven Gerrard (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal for Liverpool

Gerrard isn’t a lawyer, or a prosecutor. The best he can do is score a goal that wins a match that would have made the fans happy. So that is what he did. And then his fine deed was overtaken.

Rafael equalised, a cracker, but then Glen Johnson brought down Antonio Valencia with a rashly attempted challenge from the wrong side. The nudge unsettled the Manchester United man who lost his footing — as many did on a pitch that may have been overwatered — and Halsey pointed to the spot.

Underlining the sense of outrage, a very slow and detailed replay showed that Suarez had been fouled by Evans in the penalty area previously. A theatrical jerk of the head by the Uruguayan as he fell had probably convinced Halsey of simulation. Had Suarez simply fallen with natural momentum, the referee probably would have pointed to the spot.

So justice was not served. Yet, at this of all times, it is important to keep such matters in perspective.

There is the loss of a football match and the loss of life. At Anfield, they are only too aware of that painful difference, and will surely remember it when looking at the league table on Monday morning.

The management cannot rely on this raw perspective to stave off the tough questions forever, though. The football matters around these parts, too. Just as it mattered to the 96.

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra shake hands at Liverpool v Manchester United

Suarez and Evra end bad blood with handshake ahead of Liverpool v Manchester United clash

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 23 September 2012

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra put their past problems to one side to shake hands ahead of the Liverpool v Manchester United match.

On an emotional afternoon at Anfield, the pair shook during the usual pre-match greetings between opposing teams. It triggered big cheers from fans inside the ground.

It was a welcome change after Suarez snubbed Evra's offer of a handshake during the clash at Old Trafford in February.

Face to face: Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez shook hands ahead of the match

Face to face: Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez shook hands ahead of the match

Key moment: Patrice Evra (centre) and Luis Suarez (right) shake hands at Anfield

Key moment: Patrice Evra (centre) and Luis Suarez (right) shake hands at Anfield

Suarez was banned by the Football Association for eight matches for racially abusing Evra during a previous meeting at Anfield.

But the two players exchanged a greeting ahead of the match, which was dominated by the two clubs' tributes to the victims of Hillsborough in light of the damning cover-up of the disaster 23 years ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided against appointing Evra as his captain for the match despite the absence of regular skipper Nemanja Vidic through injury.

The handshakes were part of a well
co-ordinated series of pre-match events aimed at ensuring the first
Liverpool home game since that damning judgement on the Hillsborough
tragedy was delivered passed off peacefully.

No deal: The pair did not shake when Man United met Liverpool in February

No deal: The pair did not shake when Man United met Liverpool in February

No deal: Evra is angry

Both teams emerged wearing tracksuits bearing the number 96, while United legend Sir Bobby Charlton presented flowers to Liverpool counterpart Ian Rush before respective skippers Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs released 96 red balloons.

A mosaic was also displayed around three sides of the ground during the traditional playing of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

Steven Gerrard tells Luis Suarez to shake hands with Patrice Evra

Make peace! Gerrard tells Suarez to shake hands with Evra to set tone for United game

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 22 September 2012

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will appeal to striker Luis Suarez to shake the hand of Manchester United adversary Patrice Evra and help prevent 'Hillsborough' day at Anfield being overshadowed by bad blood between supporters of the two clubs.

Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was among 96 victims in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, believes a conciliatory gesture between Suarez and Evra – who clashed in a racism controversy last season – will set the right tone for a highly charged game that will be beamed around the world.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that 'Evra definitely plays', and he insisted: 'United have no problems with the handshakes.'

History: Patrice Evra (right) and Luis Suarez (left) clash at Anfield last October

History: Patrice Evra (right) and Luis Suarez (left) clash at Anfield last October

The feud continues: Suarez snubs Evra's hand at Old Trafford in February

The feud continues: Suarez snubs Evra's hand at Old Trafford in February

When Gerrard was asked if he would speak personally to Suarez about the pre-match ritual, he was unequivocal. 'Yes,' said the 32-year-old Anfield skipper. 'My advice to him would be to shake hands and move on. Suarez will make his own decision, of course. But I'd like to think he would want to move on himself.

'Those two players could be the key. The handshakes are going to be at the beginning of the game and they've got a responsibility to start the day off on a good note.'

The clubs and police forces from both cities have been working flat out to ensure an emotional occasion is not overshadowed by provocative chanting, either towards the 1958 Munich air crash, which killed eight United players among the 23 victims, or Hillsborough.

'If it's a fantastic match, if there is a handshake before the game and there's no vile chanting, it will be a great advert to everyone around the world,' added Gerrard. 'There are going to be millions watching so it's a great opportunity to send out the right message from the fans, from the players and from the game itself.'

Big day ahead: Steven Gerrard (left) in training ahead of the match on Sunday

Big day ahead: Steven Gerrard (left) in training ahead of the match on Sunday

Decision to make: Suarez at Melwood

Decision to make: Suarez at Melwood

It is the first fixture at Anfield since the report into the disaster confirmed that Liverpool fans were not to blame. But Suarez and Evra's simmering feud last year led to the Uruguay striker being banned for eight matches after he admitted saying 'Negrito' to the United player, a word he claimed was not meant in a hostile context.

Liverpool officials believe Suarez is prepared to shake Evra's hand before kick-off but Gerrard does not want to take any chances, given that the forward gave a similar impression before the fixture in February only to perform a U-turn and walk past Evra.

If Suarez defies the wishes of his club and his captain, there will be questions about his future given the strength of feeling from Liverpool's American owners that there must be closure after last season's PR disaster.

Ferguson has written a letter to United supporters entering Anfield today while Merseyside Police have pledged a zero-tolerance policy towards fans who make offensive chants or gestures.

Emotional day: Sunday's match will be the first at Anfield since the explosive revelations on the Hillsborough disaster were revealed earlier this week

Emotional day: Sunday's match will be the first at Anfield since the explosive revelations on the Hillsborough disaster were revealed earlier this week

Captains Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic will release 96 red balloons to commemorate the Hillsborough victims while the crowd, which will include Liverpool's former manager Kenny Dalglish, will also see United ambassador Sir Bobby Charlton lay a wreath. A fans' mosaic at the stadium will promote 'Justice for the 96'.

Hillsborough report: Sir Alex Ferguson vows to back Liverpool

It's going to be emotional: Fergie vows to back Liverpool as Anfield prepares to host first match since Hillsborough report

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UPDATED:

14:48 GMT, 18 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has promised Liverpool total support ahead of what he accepts will be an emotional Premier League encounter with Manchester United on Sunday.

The game will be the first to be played at Anfield since the damning report on the Hillsborough tragedy was released last Wednesday, placing the blame for the disaster, in which 96 people died, on South Yorkshire Police and other services.

Yet the chants of a few United fans during Saturday’s win over Wigan at Old Trafford highlighted the potential for trouble.

Waterboy: Ferguson carries the drinks as United train at Carrington on Tuesday

Waterboy: Ferguson carries the drinks as United train at Carrington on Tuesday

Waterboy: Ferguson carries the drinks as United train at Carrington on Tuesday

Ferguson, who has already appealed for a line to be drawn in the sand by supporters of both clubs, has offered Liverpool unqualified support.

'It is going to be a very emotional day on Sunday and we will support them in every way we can,' said Ferguson.

'As a club we are totally supportive of Liverpool in the situation they are in. We understand what those families must have felt when they got that report.

'I didn’t hear it (on Saturday), but others did, particularly in the directors’ box. (Chief executive) David Gill was disappointed.'

Gearing up: United prepare for their Champions League encounter with Galatasaray

Gearing up: United prepare for their Champions League encounter with Galatasaray

Gearing up: United prepare for their Champions League encounter with Galatasaray

Some fans have argued the chant heard on Saturday – 'Always the victim, never your fault' – was only sung in the immediate aftermath of Luis Suarez’s racism spat with Patrice Evra.

'It is a new chant that only started after the Suarez situation,' said Ferguson.

'I was disappointed to hear it. It is a minority. But in society there is a minority wanting to be heard.'

Ferguson’s comments come on the eve of a report being released by MPs stating football’s authorities need to do more to tackle racism and discrimination within the game.

Backing: Ferguson was talking to the media at Old Trafford on Tuesday

Backing: Ferguson was talking to the media at Old Trafford on Tuesday

The triggers for that investigation were the high-profile issues involving Suarez and Evra, and also John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

The latter case is yet to be fully resolved, with Terry due to face the FA later this month after he was cleared of a criminal charge earlier this year.

Ferdinand’s refusal to shake Terry’s hand at Loftus Road on Saturday confirms the matter continues to cast a stain on the game.

Suarez’s failure to shake Evra’s hand at Old Trafford last season brings added tension to this weekend’s fixture, with Ferguson insisting a bad 12 months for the game should not be allowed to obscure the positive work that has taken place.

'English football has been very good in challenging these issues,' said Ferguson.

Praise: Ferguson believes English football has dealt well with issues such as racism

Praise: Ferguson believes English football has dealt well with issues such as racism

Praise: Ferguson believes English football has dealt well with issues such as racism

'Last year was a bad year for the sport but hopefully we get back to normal.

'I don’t know what the report is going to say but until last year I don’t think it has been an issue.

'I haven’t seen anything for 20 years.

'One bad year doesn’t cast the game in doubt as far as I am concerned.

'I am sure it will be brushed aside and we will go back to normal.'

Hillsborough report: Brendan Rodgers hails Liverpool players

It's been so emotional: Rodgers hails his players after a traumatic week

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 15 September 2012

Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to Liverpool’s players after they fought back to win a point at Sunderland at the end of ‘an emotional week’, in which their fans were finally exonerated of any blame in the Hillsborough Disaster 23 years ago.

The report into the tragedy was published this week and blamed the authorities for the 96 Liverpool fans who died as a consequence of the crush during the FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

'Emotional week': Liverpool fans display banners and wear t-shirts in support of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989

'Emotional week': Liverpool fans display banners and wear t-shirts at the Stadium of Light on Saturday in support of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989

'Emotional week': Liverpool fans display banners and wear t-shirts in support of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989

'Emotional week': Liverpool fans display banners and wear t-shirts in support of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989

In the hot seat: Rodgers watches on as his team take on Sunderland

In the hot seat: Rodgers watches on as his team take on Sunderland

The drama and emotions of the week took their toll on Liverpool’s preparations for the trip to Sunderland.

But after Luis Suarez cancelled out Steven Fletcher’s first-half opener, Liverpool dominated the match to finish such a difficult week on a high.

‘The players have been terrific,’ said Liverpool manager Rodgers. ‘It’s been a difficult week for the city and everything involved in it, and some of the players have been involved in the tragedy in terms of relatives.

‘It’s been very emotional, but when you sign for Liverpool that’s part of the contract. You also sign an agreement with the fans, an emotional one, and that’s part of playing for Liverpool.

‘The support we got from them was exceptional and they kept driving a young team on.

‘We wanted to give hope for two reasons – for ourselves, because we have shown progress over the last few weeks, and to end the week for the supporters. It has been very difficult for them but it has been a good point all round.’

Sunderland showed their support by lowering all the flags at the Stadium of Light to half mast, a tribute they normally reserve for the anniversaries of the Bradford Fire and the Hillsborough Disaster, while Liverpool’s players warmed up with black training tops with 96 emblazoned on the back.

Point made: Liverpool celebrate Luis Suarez's equaliser

Point made: Liverpool celebrate Luis Suarez's equaliser