Football fans the world over share a common bond that links them into the ‘footballing family’, and in moments of tragedy they stand united, just as we all did behind the families and friends who lost 96 loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster 27 years ago.
Just as we can sympathise whilst never truly understanding the individual pain and grief the families have endured for all those years, the ‘family’ of football has stood 100 per cent behind them in their fight to ensure justice and to make sure the true story was told of what happened at that ground during that fateful FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest – not the cover-ups or the shameful and lurid headlines that sought to put the blame on Liverpool fans who innocently set out to support their team that day, but never returned home.
For 27 years those families have not wavered for one moment in their search of the truth, which they now have in the verdicts of ‘unlawful killing’, bravely returned by the men and women of the inquest jury.
They know the support they have had from fans who put rivalry aside to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, just as the crowd at Newcastle United’s home game against Crystal Palace did at the weekend when to a man, woman and child they stood to sing the Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone.
It was a symbolic, but moving gesture to demonstrate that they truly do not walk alone.