Support for the other side of the park. Justice for the 96
Wednesday 12th September 2012 is now and always will be one of the most important dates in footballs long history. It is without question the most important day in Liverpool Football Club's history. The cover-up unveiled far transcends the football world as the unnecessary death of 96 people undoubtedly should. Yesterdays report will bring thousands intangible relief; a relief that is brought about by the grief-driven work of families and supporters of the cause for 23 long years.
That being said, the revelation that up to 41 lives could have potentially been saved even after the initial mistakes that lead to the disaster is truly harrowing; a jolting reminder that the truth coming out is not a time for celebration. It just revealed to everyone how tragic the Hillsborough disaster really was. The families of the lost now have the solid facts they need to seek the justice that the memory of their loved ones deserves; the paper-thin apologies from the successors of those in the wrong are irrelevant.
Even if the slanderous shadow cast over the tragedy by the Sun had been 'The Truth', the total lack of respect shown to 96 people who lost their lives was totally unforgivable. Now that the real truth is in the public domain, real questions need to be asked of the moral stand point taken by the paper; The News of the World ceased printing for far less.
One uncomplicated positive that came from the JFT96 campaign coming back into the public's mind-set is the unreserved support it gains from all corners, particularly from in and around Liverpool. As an Everton fan and a scouser, I've found it extremely moving how so many people have made subtle gestures of good will and support in honour of the cause and the people who lost their lives.
Whether it be the shirt in the window of the Everton shop adorned with the words, 'Remember the 96' or the wave of support across all social mediums; the fact that the Hillsborough disaster affected so many from this city draws instant empathy from everyone with a purple bin and beyond. The phrase 'two clubs, one city' has been coined in reference to the JFT96 campaign a number of times and after yesterday it is as pertinent as ever. I'm sure no one in the city would swap the rivalry between the two tribes and the banter that goes along with it. However it is always worth remembering that there is an underlying respect from either side for the other. I'm sure that every true Everton fan supports JFT96 and if Everton are ever touched by any form of tragedy, the red side are equally supportive.
The events of Wednesday 12th September 2012 brought about a bitter-sweet victory for the JFT96 campaign. The day may finally be in sight when there is no longer a need for JFT96 as it will have served its purpose. When that day comes we will have seen a human tragedy treated with the respect it should have had from the second it happened. We will also have seen the most moving struggle to seek justice that this city has known end with exactly that; justice.
Rocky Balbluer (@johnsimms1878)