96 People

In April 1989, 96 people went to watch a football match and never came home. They went there to see their beloved Liverpool — and, today, a quarter of a century later, before one of the club’s biggest games ever, those fans were honored beautifully.

Afterward, led by their captain, Steven Gerrard — the paragon of loyalty in a sporting era that often rewards money-grabbing and title hunger far more than fidelity to a cause — they won the game, 3-2, and set themselves up for their first league title since 1990.

When the game finished, Gerrard had tears in his eyes — and while some of those were no doubt down to a mixture of relief, exhaustion, and the thrill of victory — a lot of them were down to something more.

Gerrard’s cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, died at the stadium in 1989 when he was only 10. While most of the time we can freely admit that sports are just sports — and the narratives we spin are irrationally inflated to feed our obsession with a game — sometimes they are something way more important than that.

Sometimes, sports say a lot about life and help us heal wounds that we once thought never could even begin to heal — and today was one of those times. #JFT96 [Posted by Zack]

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