Red and blues came together at the weekend to wear purple and take part in this year’s Run For The 96 5K to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), Margaret Aspinall, led the group of special guests who along with participants came together to honour and remember The 96 in Stanley Park on Saturday (11 May).
Run For The 96 5K was first staged in April 2015 as a community legacy event and a positive way to celebrate the lives of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough – while remembering the families of The 96 and the survivors, who have tirelessly fought for justice with the utmost dignity.
This year marks 30 years since the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989.
Run For The 96 continues to have the support of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG).
Margaret Aspinall, Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), lost her 18-year-old son James in the tragedy. She attended the event for the fifth consecutive year and handed out 5K finishers’ medals.
Margaret Aspinall commented:
“The support we’ve had yet again for Run For The 96 is just tremendous. These people will always remember The 96 and that means a great deal to the families on the 30th anniversary. It’s great people are raising funds at the same time as remembering The 96, giving back to the good people of this city who have supported us for all these years. And this year everyone was in the same colour purple, just brilliant. It’s just so special.”
Family member Steve Kelly, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, also took part for the fifth year with his four-legged friend, dog Justice Jimmy. Steve lost his 38-year-old brother Michael at Hillsborough. He was joined by runners from the original Hillsborough-Anfield run.
More than 1,300 participants took part in the fifth annual event in Stanley Park, appropriately located between Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium and Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park.
Overseas participants who travelled to take part in Stanley Park represented the Czech Republic, Denmark, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand.
In addition, 200 Liverpool fans across the world also took part virtually. They were sent a full race pack in advance, includes race number, T-shirt and medal – so they could also join in with the event wherever they were based.
Virtual runners took part in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and United States of America.
Liverpool Football Club was represented by CEO and Vice Chair of the LFC Foundation Peter Moore; Matt Parish, Director of the LFC Foundation; and Liverpool FC European Cup legend Alan Kennedy, who all took part in the 5K.
They were joined by LFC Club Ambassadors Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler; and Anfield Stadium match day announcer, Voice Of Anfield George Sephton, who all cheered on the runners.
Everton in the Community Ambassador Ian Snodin also attended to support. Stage activity was presented by Everton’s match day host, Graeme White.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and charity fundraiser Speedo Mick also took part in the 5K. Original Big Brother winner Craig Phillips and wife Laura, who walked the 5K course with nine-week-old daughter Nelly and dog Sydney, made it a real family event.
Liverpool Football Club CEO Peter Moore commented:
“This is something we have checked off in the diary at Liverpool Football Club every single year, and I’m happy I can do the 5K to commemorate The 96. When I think about football rivalries all over the world, we don’t really have that in this city – maybe twice a year! It’s a phenomenal environment with football as the platform for Liverpudlians all coming together.”
The 5K route took runners through Stanley Park, Walton Lane, Priory Road, Arkles Lane and Anfield Road, before passing the Eternal Flame on 96 Avenue at Anfield Stadium, then heading back into Stanley Park towards the finish line.
Run For The 96 5K participants have previously worn specially made Liverpool Red or Everton Blue T-shirts. But for the first time and to mark the 30th anniversary year, everyone wore purple to represent a combination of the city’s footballing colours to show the solidarity of Red and Blue fans coming together as one.
Beneficiaries on-board for 2019 are Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, the LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, and Stanley Park CIC. Together, the beneficiaries support the vision of creating a positive community legacy event to honour The 96, and are committed to ensure that local communities benefit from the event.