The 96 who died at Hillsborough are to have a plaque unveiled in their memory at Goodison Park ahead of Saturday’s 224th Merseyside derby game between Everton and Liverpool.
Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright and Margaret Aspinall, Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, will carry out the unveiling along with other Support Group family members. The unveiling will be held at the Park End Stand and the memorial will serve as a permanent tribute to the 96 who died and their families who have suffered the pain of the loss of their loved ones ever since.
The Everton Chairman paid his own tribute in front of the Kop in 2013 and when manager Roberto Martinez spoke emotionally on the 25th anniversary last year at Anfield he emphasised how “Everton remembers – we always will”. Everton captain Phil Jagielka echoed those sentiments at Goodison Park, pledging Everton’s support “for as long as it’s needed”.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s ceremony, Margaret Aspinall said: “This is a really lovely gesture from Everton, paying tribute to the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough. I would like to thank Bill and everyone involved, not least the Everton fans who have provided great support to the families over the years.”
The permanent tribute had been suggested to the Club by supporters and Everton fan Stephen Kelly, whose brother Michael died on the fateful day in April 1989. He said: “As an Evertonian who lost my brother at Hillsborough, I have always been grateful of the support from the blue side of the city. I hope that when Evertonians look at this they will feel proud of the way we’ve supported our neighbours.”