Liverpool issue ‘heartfelt thank you’ to Everton for Hillsborough tribute
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre issues a heartfelt thank you to Everton after the Toffees' tribute to the Hillsborough victims
Liverpool have issued a “heartfelt thank you” to Everton after the Toffees paid tribute to the 96 supporters who died in the Hillsborough disaster before their 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Monday night.
Before the match at Goodison Park, David Moyes’ side were led out by two mascots – one wearing an Everton kit with number nine on the back, and another in a Liverpool shirt with number six displayed.
The club’s ball boys also wore tracksuits with the number 96 on the back, while there was a minute’s applause before kick-off, with Everton’s gesture prompting a statement from Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre.
Ayre said: “I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the staff and fans at Everton Football Club from everyone at Liverpool for the display of support you have shown the Hillsborough families tonight.
“We’ve always been great rivals on the pitch but off it, the two clubs have always supported each other. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster,
Everton Football Club was there for us and that solidarity was on display again last week when the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s findings were revealed.
“At times like this, football rivalries take a back seat – something that makes this city unique and I think supporters of both clubs can be immensely proud of the way they have conducted themselves over the past days, weeks and years since the tragedy.”
Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes paid tribute to the Hillsborough families in his pre-match programme notes.
“I and everyone at Everton stands alongside the Hillsborough families,” said Moyes.
“I am a football supporter and a father and I applaud the families who continued to fight for the ones they loved.
“The outcome was nothing short of disgraceful.”