Liverpool and Manchester United to release 96 red balloons before match at Anfield

Liverpool and Manchester United will release 96 red balloons at Anfield before the match between the two clubs on Sunday as a tribute to those who passed away as a result of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

Last week the Hillsborough Independent Panel published a report which cleared Reds fans of all responsibility for the events at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium after a 23-year campaign for justice led by the families of the victims.

Liverpool face their great rivals in their first home match since the publication of the report and the two clubs have held talks in order to plan a pre-match tribute.

Discussions are ongoing between Reds managing director Ian Ayre and United chief executive David Gill.

Three support groups – the Hillsborough Family Support Group, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Hope for Hillsborough – will be present at the fixture and a mosaic will be displayed on three sides of Anfield before kick-off.

The Kop, behind one goal, will display the words ‘The Truth’, the Anfield Road End opposite will show the number ’96’ and the Centenary Stand, facing the players’ tunnel, will read ‘Justice’.

“It is the first opportunity we have had as a football club to pay tribute at Anfield for what everyone has done – the families, the fans and various other people like Andy Burnham MP,” Ayre commented. “It is a chance for everybody to show their respects.”

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