The Everton grounds staff have been praised for touch of class gesture which sees them ‘remembering the 97’ at their training ground.
The Toffees uploaded the latest episode from their much loved YouTube series Behind Blue Eyes and this time turns the focus onto their grounds staff.
In each video, viewers get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day roles of key figures across different departments within the club.
This episode sees them speak to some of the key figures of the grounds team at both Finch Farm and Goodison Park, talking through their day-to-day tasks, the challenges they face and the close working relationship they have with Sean Dyche and his players.
In a short clip on Twitter from the YouTube video, Andy Morgan, a member of the staff, explains: “It was a running track and then when David Moyes left, it was just a grass hill with trees on, so we decided, let’s put some colour on it.
“We came up with the idea of Rupert’s Tower sowed some wild seeds in and then as we were sowing them and as they started coming up, we noticed there was red poppies coming through, so we were like, we can’t have red in an Everton bed. So we started taking them out and then I thought, well, rather than taking them all out, why not leave 97 in as a memory from an Everton point of view, as a memorial to the 97 Liverpool fans from Hillsborough?
“There’s actually 97 in there now. There’ll probably be a few more as the weeks go, but we go in and we count them, believe it or not, and we leave only 97 in, so I just thought it’d be a nice little touch from an Evertonian’s point of view.”
A little-known feature at Finch Farm… 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/ocATMMwwIc
— Everton (@Everton) August 9, 2023
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 9, 2023
On the 34th anniversary of the disaster, bereaved family members and survivors opened up on the harm perpetrated against them online and in the stands and why enough is enough.
Louise Brookes visits her local cemetery in Bromsgrove before returning home to light a candle and raise a glass in memory of her brother Andrew, one of the 97 people who lost their life in the Hillsborough disaster.
She said, as per the Guardian: “People should be able to remember those who died however they want. And it’s nice to remember them as individuals, because that’s what they were – individual people.”
“The [social media] trolling has been getting progressively worse in the last 10 years or so and especially since the 2016 unlawfully killed verdicts,” she says. “There are certain people who wanted to believe the lies about Hillsborough were true because of their hatred of Liverpool fans and when they could no longer do that, they became even more cruel.
“How dare these people get away with saying disgusting things about those who died at Hillsborough, like my brother. They did nothing wrong that day. You then have the survivors who are still traumatised by what happened, so seeing all this stuff online is a real danger to their mental wellbeing. Some survivors have taken their own life because of the wicked comments they’ve seen online. If anyone takes their own life because of a troll, that troll should be tried for manslaughter.”
“I’ve argued with these people from first thing in the morning until last thing at night and it consumes you,” she says. “My mental health has deteriorated as a result, especially in regards to depression and anxiety. I’ve had panic attacks and it got to a stage where I wanted to take my own life. I don’t say that easily but I began to dread waking up each morning because I didn’t know what I was going to see online. I’d had enough.”
“The suffering of families and survivors is not ‘football banter’. It is our lives. Our suffering. Our trauma. It needs to stop.”
The fight to end Hillsborough abuse and tragedy chanting https://t.co/GFvH6e4fYk
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) April 15, 2023
In a new crackdown, fans who chant about tragedies face being arrested and banned.
“To challenge the totally unacceptable presence of football tragedy abuse, for season 2023/24, regulation changes and tough new measures have been introduced which will see people who are found to have committed offences face stadium bans and potential criminal prosecution.
“The issue is focused on offensive chanting, gesturing and displaying offensive messages based on football-related tragedies, which causes significant distress to the victims’ families, survivors and affected-club supporters.
“Football authorities, supporter groups and law enforcement organisations, including the police and CPS, have united to crack down on fans who participate in this vile form of abuse.
“In addition to bans and criminal sanctions, a range of in-stadium, in-classroom and online resources will be rolled out under the Love Football Protect the Game banner, to educate adults and children alike about the hurt tragedy chanting causes.
“Ground regulations have also been updated to incorporate references to tragedy chanting.”
As mentioned, Everton have been praised for their touch of class gesture ‘remembering the 97’ at Finch Farm training ground…
@HorribleGrandma: One of many reasons I can never hate the Ev. I want you lot to be up there with us (but just losing out!) Solidarity to the Bluenoses.
@kenduggan66: Absolute class this. Thank you @Everton . Some things are just bigger than football rivalry. The biggest rivalry between the biggest friends and biggest families. As a fantastic city we are one 👏👏👏👏💪
@ctayts: This is absolutely class by the way 💙🙏🏻
@DaiWrighty: This is brilliant 👏💙
@IamtheadamLFC: As a Hillsborough Survivor and a Red thought and through, I truly respect you so much for this and thank you. ❤️ @HillsboroughSu1
@CalumGahan: The club don’t get a lot of things right but matters such as this concerning our neighbours across the park they get spot on everytime, JFT97 💙❤️
@ben_pxrker: Touch of class that
@GMU12PHY: Aw boss 👏 well done fellas 👏
@asifsparx: This is class, lads. ❤️ #Respect
@CiaranFarmer: That’s a beautiful touch of class.
@scottyefcefcefc: this is why we love Everton… that is class
@grantferguson27: We do a lot wrong as a club but there’s somethings we do that are first class 👏🏻🔵🔴
@EvertonJimbob: The small things go a long way
@craftysan34: That’s beautiful. Thank you YNWA JFT97
@Tez1995: Class Andy. Everton the people’s club.
@FCLaineRoberts: That’s genuinely a really nice touch once again Everton the club showing class
@dylefcdavies: Some things are bigger than rivalry💙❤️