On 15th April 25 years ago I travelled across the Pennines with my Dad on a beautiful crisp clear spring Saturday morning...
...to watch the team I love with all my heart play Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup Semi-Final. By a random roll of the dice we returned home alive.
Sadly 96 fellow supporters were not so fortunate. One of the 96 was a delightful young man called Simon Bell who played cricket for Northern in the Liverpool Competition. He was 17 when his life was stolen from him and was never able to fulfil his potential as a cricketer or, more importantly, as a human being.
Like Simon, many who lost their lives on a day that has become eternally woven into the fabric of both our city, and the wider sporting community, were young and with the whole of their lives ahead of them. Jon-Paul Gilhooley was aged only ten.
Many of the relatives who have spent over two decades working to expose the subsequent lies and cover up are themselves in poor health, or have passed away. The impact of the events of 15th April 1989 are simply incalculable.
This weekend, many clubs who either provide opposition for the Ramblers or from who our membership is drawn, will be playing their first game of the new season or having a pre-season practice match. Whatever is happening at your own club it would be fitting if, in some small but significant way, you could mark this most poignant of weekends.
Many clubs have already made plans to do this on Sunday. Liverpool Cricket Club are playing Northern at Aigburth, with the start delayed until 13.37 to allow a minutes silence at 13.36. This will mirror events at Anfield where Liverpool will be playing Manchester City. It would be fantastic if as many cricket clubs as possible could simultaneously observe this silence.
I am in fairly regular contact with members of The Hillsborough Justice Campaign and I know that all the families will appreciate our collective support, especially in light of the fact that they face at least 300 more days of inquest hearings in their ongoing struggle for truth, and for justice.
Gordon C Jenkins
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