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]