Everton's Hillsborough Tribute
Blues remember the 96 ahead of game against Newcastle.
Everton paid tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster on Monday night ahead of the Club's 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.
After 23 years of campaigning, previously unseen documents were finally released to the public last week shedding light on operational failures in the build-up to the 1989 tragedy and a subsequent cover-up by authorities which sought to deflect blame on to supporters.
In recognition of the breakthrough and the hurt the revelations have caused on Merseyside, the two teams were led out for the Premier League encounter at Goodison Park by mascots wearing both the blue of Everton and red of Liverpool. With the numbers '9' and '6' on their backs, they then stood side-by-side in the centre circle, displaying ‘96’. Everton's ball boys for the match also wore tracksuits with the number ‘96’ on the front.
Directly before kick off, the 33-000 strong crowd joined in a sustained period of applause as the names of the victims were displayed on the stadium's screens against a backdrop of The Hollies' 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'.
Liverpool Football Club were quick to thank Everton for their efforts, with managing director Ian Ayre saying: "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."