United and Liverpool Foundations join forces to combat tragedy chanting

Wednesday 27 March 2024 18:00

The Foundations of Manchester United and Liverpool have come together to deliver an education programme on the impact of tragedy-related abuse and why it must stop.

In the lead up to the Premier League fixture between the sides at Old Trafford on 7 April, the two Foundations invited schoolchildren from Manchester and Liverpool to Lord Derby School in Huyton for an afternoon learning about the tragic histories of the two great football clubs.

Wes Brown and Phil Thompson – who won 12 league titles and five European Cups between them for Liverpool and United, respectively – joined the session and spoke with students about the huge impact the Hillsborough and Munich disasters had on the two clubs, their fans, and the cities.

Liverpool were represented by a former captain, Phil Thompson.
The two Foundations are developing the programme in partnership with the Premier League and plan to make it an annual part of their engagement with tens of thousands of young people across the Greater Manchester and Merseyside regions.

United and Liverpool have been at the forefront of the Premier League’s campaign against tragedy-related abuse, with managers Erik ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp last season issuing a joint statement calling for an end to chanting about Hillsborough, Heysel and Munich.

In addition to measures to educate fans, both clubs are committed to action against those found to have committed tragedy-related abuse, whether in stadiums or online. Club bans have been imposed on several fans following the recent FA Cup clash between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford and tragedy chanting is also liable to criminal prosecution.
Shoulder to shoulder: United and Liverpool legends Wes Brown and Phil Thompson.
John Shiels, CEO of Manchester United Foundation, added: “It is unacceptable to use the loss of life, in relation to any tragedy, to score points, and it is time for it to stop. We are proud to come together with LFC Foundation as we believe education will break the generational cycle on this issue and help thousands of young people across this region understand the impact tragedy-related abuse has.”

Matt Parish, CEO of LFC Foundation, said: “This is a hugely important event which both clubs are committed to making happen every year. Our two proud Foundations coming together to show young people, and all others, how we stand united against tragedy chanting is a very powerful message. Education is key, alongside appropriate action, to eradicating vile tragedy chanting in all its forms forever, and we’re delighted to be able do our bit to help.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who travelled to Germany last year to be part of the memorial service marking the 65th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, has also been a pivotal figure in the campaign for truth and justice for Hillsborough families alongside Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram.
Some of the participants in Wednesday's successful event at Lord Derby School in Huyton.
Speaking in support of the education programme, and the campaign against tragedy chanting, Andy Burnham said: “Tragedy chanting should be challenged wherever it happens, whenever it happens.

“This important programme, led by the two Foundations, will help thousands of young people learn about the history of Manchester United and Liverpool, and why this abuse is so wrong.

“These two great clubs are united by the huge impact Munich and Hillsborough had on the clubs and on the cities. We should remember that there is more that unites Liverpool and Manchester than divides us.”