If the red half of Merseyside suffered disappointment at being pipped to the Premier League title at the weekend, it was certainly united on Saturday as the people of Liverpool came together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy at the Run For The 96 5K.
The 5k, since being established five years ago, has become a community legacy event and a positive way to celebrate the lives of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough – while remembering the families of The 96 and the survivors.
More than 1,300 participants took part in the fifth annual event in Stanley Park, appropriately located between Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium and Everton FC’s Goodison Park. The 5K route took runners through Stanley Park, Walton Lane, Priory Road, Arkles Lane and Anfield Road, before passing the Eternal Flame on 96 Avenue at Anfield Stadium, then heading back into Stanley Park towards the finish line.
In addition, 200 Liverpool fans across the world also took part virtually. They were sent a full race pack in advance, includes race number, T-shirt and medal – so they could also join in with the event wherever they were based.
Virtual runners took part in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and United States of America.
Run For The 96 5K participants have previously worn specially made Liverpool Red or Everton Blue T-shirts. But for the first time and to mark the 30th anniversary year, everyone wore purple to represent a combination of the city’s footballing colours to show the solidarity of Red and Blue fans coming together as one.
Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore commented: “This is something we have checked off in the diary at Liverpool FC every single year, and I’m happy I can do the 5K to commemorate The 96. When I think about football rivalries all over the world, we don’t really have that in this city – maybe twice a year! It’s a phenomenal environment with football as the platform for Liverpudlians all coming together.”