‘No to Tragedy Chanting’ – Forest fans unveil brilliant new banner that will be seen at Anfield

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One of the most forgotten aspects of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 is that Nottingham Forest were the team that Liverpool faced that day, meaning many of their supporters were first-hand witnesses to an event that so easily could have led to the deaths of 97 of their own.

Ahead of facing the Reds at Anfield for the first time in nearly 25 years, a new banner has been unveiled that reads: ‘Respect the 97. Solidarity with Survivors. No to Tragedy Chanting’.

Speaking with The Athletic, Martin Peach – one of the men who helped create the new banner – said: “There’s a line nobody should ever cross. It gets passed off as banter. In reality, it’s unimaginably cruel to chant about any tragedy: Hillsborough, Munich, Heysel, Bradford, Leeds in Istanbul or any other. People dying is not banter.”

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For anyone who has visited our home stadium even a small handful of times, it’s far too frequent that any of us have heard the away section of the stadium using the events of 34 years ago – as a stick to beat our supporters with.

References to the death of not just Liverpool fans but human beings and likeminded football supporters, is never a thing that anyone should be trying to use as mockery against anyone.

Although there will be a strong sense of a rivalry being reignited in the clash with Steve Cooper’s side, given the heated contests between the clubs in their respective heydays of the 1970s and 80s, as Martin Peach says – ‘there’s a line nobody should ever cross’.

It’s a great gesture from those involved in the creation of this new banner and let’s hope we can see a rarity at Anfield – a respectful away section that can put rivalries aside in the place of some decency and humanity.

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