April 8, 2009 by alunparry
AFC Liverpool Commemorate The 96
I was proud to be at AFC Liverpool last night, the non league football club I founded last year.
It was AFC Liverpool’s time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster and it was a very dignified and appropriate affair.
It is fair to say that AFC Liverpool have led the way on this issue.
The non league club have foregone sponsorship this year, and instead have a tribute to the 96 on the front of their shirts instead of a sponsors name.
This was the brainchild of AFC Liverpool supporter Tommy Hurst, who was himself at Hillsborough aged just 15, and who lost two friends in the disaster.
Tommy has been spearheading calls for Liverpool Football Club to follow AFC Liverpool’s lead.
He has managed to get 30,000 supporters signed up to a Facebook group calling for Liverpool Football Club to put a similar tribute on their shirts for just one game – the match against Blackburn Rovers.
The plea has fallen on unresponsive ears at LFC which is very disappointing.
But back to last night.
Representatives from the three Hillsborough groups were present to receive framed AFC Liverpool shirts bearing the tribute to the 96.
AFC Liverpool Chairman Paul McCombs gave a superb address to the crowd from the centre circle.
It must have been difficult in such emotional circumstances but he represented our small club wonderfully, and set a very fitting tone to the proceedings.
A two minute silence followed which was perfectly observed, as flags honouring the 96 were displayed at the ground.
It was nice to see representatives from our landlords Prescot Cables at the Safari End holding up a Cables banner to show their solidarity. Such gestures are deeply appreciated.
Then once the referee’s whistle signalled the start of the game, the AFC Liverpool supporters chanted "Justice for the 96" for six minutes without pause or interruption.
To top it all, Derek Goulding’s men delivered a fine display, beating Norton United 3-0 with goals from Olsen, Coyne and Eaton.
A big thank you to all at AFC Liverpool.
For more information about AFC Liverpool visit http:///www.afcliverpool.org.uk