Liverpool fans call for further action to be taken after ‘vile chants’ had been heard at Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.
Nottingham Forest supporters were criticised after they were heard singing “always the victims”, a chant strongly associated with the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 97 fans tragically lost their lives in an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Forest.
Those in attendance at the East Midlands outfit could also be heard singing another offensive chant aimed at the away support throughout the game.
Very disappointing to hear Nottingham Forest fans chanting about Hillsborough.
— B/R Anfield (@lfc_allting) October 22, 2022
Liverpool Echo journalist Ian Doyle was the first two pick up on the songs, tweeting: “‘Always the victims’ is the shout from a group of Forest fans. Some were already singing ‘Sign on’ before the game had even started.”
James Pearce of The Athletic also tweeted late in the first half: “‘Always the victims’ for the third time from the Forest fans.”
One person also wrote: “Nottingham Forest fans, who fortunately for them had the opposite end at Hillsborough in 1989, showing all their self-awareness there. Grim.”
Nottingham Forest fans, who fortunately for them had the opposite end at Hillsborough in 1989, showing all their self-awareness there. Grim https://t.co/8CN1wte1ny
— Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) October 22, 2022
‘Always the victims’ for the third time from the Forest fans.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) October 22, 2022
This was the message was posted on social media by Nottingham Forest supporter Adam Edwards after the weekend’s game – “Look, I know a lot of fans don’t think the ‘always the victim’ song is specifically about Hillsborough, but think about it. Liverpool were the victims. 97 died. Fans were told it was their fault. Do you not see? Can we just knock it on the head and be classier? We were there after all.”
Paul Gorst, who is the Liverpool FC correspondent for Liverpool Echo, described what he heard that day, how it felt and why now is the time for action: “The game hadn’t even kicked off at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon when the usual, outdated prod came from the home ends of Nottingham Forest.
“Sign on, sign on…and you’ll never work again!” they sang before Paul Tierney had blown his whistle on a forgettable afternoon for Jurgen Klopp.
“Figures taken from the Office of National Statistics in August showed the North West’s unemployment rates to be significantly lower than those in the Midlands, yet such nuance is never weighed up when there’s ‘football banter’ to be had.
“But if Liverpool’s travelling fans will have rolled their eyes at that particular terrace ditty, the one that came just five minutes later will have left them recoiling in disgust.
“Well, at least it should have; only songs about the Hillsborough disaster have become depressingly all too common for the people of Merseyside. Less than a week after the club were forced to release a statement about the “vile chants” heard in the Manchester City end of last week’s 1-0 win at Anfield, here was another disgraceful airing from the moronic and the mindless.
“There were two things that jarred on this particular Saturday afternoon. Firstly, it was the quickness with which the Forest support launched into the familiar, abusive tropes Liverpool fans are seemingly having to hear every week right now with regards to the Hillsborough tragedy.
“The match was only five minutes old when they resorted to telling their counterparts that it was ‘never their fault’ – a cruel jibe with inherent links to the disaster that took the lives of 97 Liverpool fans.
“The second and most galling aspect of it was the fact that it could quite so easily have been the Forest fans in the Leppings Lane end back in April 1989. If this specific set of supporters cannot abstain from such disgusting terrace activity then what chance have Reds’ followers got of avoiding this issue up and down the country every week?
“It must be stressed the slurs were not sung to a man at the City Ground. The Hillsborough Survivors’ Support Alliance highlighted a number at the stadium who stood in solidarity over the tragedy, including a supportive banner in the home end. There were also a number of people of a Forest persuasion who took to social media to criticise the songs.
“But only lip-service is being paid to calling this behaviour out beyond the Anfield bubble. More needs to be done by English football’s authorities.
“Manchester City’s unwillingness to publicly call it out last week was a spineless dereliction of duty at the top end of the Etihad, but the hope is that Forest are at least more decisive and more compassionate given it was their club and their fans down the other end of pitch on that fateful day that not only claimed the lives of 97 people in our region but also changed the course of so many others in the process.
“It needs to stop but it will only quieten when every football club who encounter it calls the act and the people perpetrating it out in the strongest possible terms. Until then the people most impacted by one of English football’s darkest days will be forced to relive it all.
“Man City may have been found wanting but Forest have a real opportunity to lead now.”
As of Tuesday the 25th of October, no statement was issued by Forest, but one image posted around social media stood out from the game at the City Ground on Saturday.
This is how Twitter users reacted as Liverpool fans call for further action taken after ‘vile chants’ heard at Nottingham Forest…
@bexmil89: Shame that some of their fans still decide to do the “Victim” chant
@pickup8907: I was there on that fateful day a @nffc fan and will never forget ❤️
@IanSRodwell1: Those of us who were there will never forget the pain of that day #LFC #NFFC
@shaneatkins24: I was there that day and will never forget and the vast majority associated with the club will not forget either. We will be forever bound together by this awful tragedy RIP to them all.
@JohnRoycroft: I was at Hillsborough with Forest. Games against Liverpool will always be special. RIP and never forgotten.
@pottsythekopite: the victim songs really hurts I’m not going to lie, it seems to happen more now than it ever has, mainly sang by a generation who weren’t around in the 80s
@JayMcKenna87: Nottingham Forest fans, who fortunately for them had the opposite end at Hillsborough in 1989, showing all their self-awareness there. Grim
@justinorme: I absolutely cringe when I hear that sign on chant. Just sat back shaking my head thinking – with all the work being done to tackle poverty in our own city, and the rise in need for food banks etc to hear that, I mean come on wake up. We’re classier than that. #NFFC 🔴 ⚪️ 🌳
@StevieBurke1: Unfortunately mate as with all fan bases these days it’s seems to be the next generation who haven’t got a clue who are dragging their clubs through the mud. They need educating and their respective clubs need to heavily sanction the culprits jumping on the bandwagon!!!
@PaulMancs: I’m appealing to any fan who has clear video evidence of #NFFC fans singing vile chants about Hillsborough today against #lfc to send them to me. I’m sure I speak for most genuine Forest fans who are against this but also didn’t hear it. So please send so we can do something.
@1892eamonn: Forest fans were at Hillsborough that day. It could have been them. And yet they’re doing the vile Hillsborough chants. Care to comment @NFFC?