A Hillsborough survivor has written to a second Manchester club in a matter of days over offensive behaviour by fans.
Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, has written to Manchester United in the aftermath of a video showing fans walking down Goodison Road and in the away end at Anfield making reference to the Sun newspaper and offensive Hillsborough chants.
Mr Byrne, who was at Hillsborough 33 years ago, wrote to Manchester City after their fans interrupted a minute’s silence to remember the disaster during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last weekend.
What did he say in the letter and what did United reply?
In his letter to United’s hierarchy, including the Glazer family and managing director Richard Arnold, Mr Byrne said there had been some “deeply disturbing and upsetting behaviour of some Manchester United fans” on Tuesday night.
He said: “These appalling actions come just four days after families of those who died at Hillsborough, survivors of what happened that day, Liverpool Football Club, its fans and the city of Liverpool marked the 33rd anniversary of the tragedy on 15 April.”
In a club statement released on Wednesday night, United said: “Manchester United stands in solidarity with Liverpool and its fans in remembering victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Offensive chants about the tragedy are completely unacceptable and we will work with supporters’ groups to educate fans on the issue.”
Mr Byrne has invited the club to support his initiative around the disaster called The Real Truth Legacy Project. Working with Hillsborough survivors and some of the families of the 97 fans who lost their lives due to the disaster, it aims to “educate current and future generations about what really happened at the disaster, and about the subsequent cover-up and the long fight for justice.”
Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Byrne said the chants were “not footy banter” and proved why “education about Hillsborough and the cover-up is so important.” In a statement released yesterday, Liverpool Football Club said it was “saddened by the recent rise in vile chants about the Hillsborough disaster.”
The statement added: “We are working with the relevant authorities to do our utmost to ensure these chants are eradicated from football altogether and, where appropriate, bring the full force of the law and the game’s sanction process down on those who continue to sing them.”
His letter comes just days after United star Cristiano Ronaldo thanked Liverpool fans for singing You’ll Never Walk Alone in his honour when the two teams met on Tuesday.
The forward tragically lost his baby son at birth, and despite their rivalry, Liverpool fans held a minute’s applause seven minutes into the game for the No.7.