Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Walk to Remember, from here to Hillsborough

If you are a Liverpool FC fan, the date of April 15 will resonate with you.

On that day in 1989, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives due to a human crush in a FA Cup Semifinal at Hillsborough Stadium. An additional 766 were injured from the disaster. It traumatized the community so much that it pretty much is a matter of fact that the Reds would rather not play any games on that date.

23 years on, Liverpool is faced again with a FA Cup Semifinal. This time, it will be at the iconic Wembley Stadium on April 14, where their Merseyside rivals Everton will be their opposition (the match is scheduled at 730pm in Manila).

There will be a moment of silence to mark the occasion, with a laying of flowers by the captains of both squads (Steven Gerrard and Phil Neville). A moment of silence will also be marked in the other semifinal (Chelsea vs Tottenham), with both teams wearing black armbands to commemorate the event. Liverpool also commemorated it last Saturday in their Premiership match against Aston Villa, which was the last match at Anfield before the anniversary of the tragedy.

Now there are a few Liverpool supporters who will be conducting a fund-raising campaign this weekend by running 76 miles from Hillsborough to Anfield. In solidarity with that effort, the Liverpool community in the Philippines a.k.a. the KOPinoys, will have a run of their own on Sunday, April 15, the anniversary of the tragedy. To be held at the University of the Philippines' Sunken Garden, the KOPinoys will be going around it seven times to approximate 15 kms (which is 9+6). There are no fees to be charged, the only request is to be clad in Liverpool gear to participate, as photo documentation of the whole event will be forwarded to the different Liverpool sites.

The meeting place is set at just outside the College of Business Administration at 6am. The run is to begin at 615am. Make sure to bring water bottles for this event.

I applaud the effort of the KOPinoys, led by Rick Olivares, for making this initiative.

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