There probably isn’t much to add to this, maybe other than some background that doesn’t really cover the issues in detail.  The Hillsborough Justice Campaign have today issued a statement – reluctantly – about Liverpool Football Club’s decision to snub their request to acknowledge the passing of a man who did an immeasurable amount of good for Hillsborough families and survivors.

There is more than one group that represents the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster – the Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC) and the Hillsborough Support Group (HFSG) are the two that will be most familiar to Liverpool fans.

With the battle for justice extending as it did for an incredible number of years, the best part of three decades, it was inevitable that some members of the original group would disagree with some others.

There’s no need to take sides.

Some families didn’t agree with other families on a number of different issues, including how much support (if any) should be given to the countless survivors who suffer from PTSD to this day. Not every survivor survived.

The HFSG’s choice to not recognise the survivors as being in need of support was a major factor that led to the formation of the second group, the HJC.

To put it very simply, families (and survivors) would be able to join the group that they felt best represented what they wanted.

Some families are not represented by either group, choosing instead, at whatever stage, to deal with the awful situation of losing a loved in such unimaginable circumstances, and the prolongment of their suffering, in their own ways.

Liverpool Football Club pretty much refuses to even acknowledge the existence of the HJC. A group that was formed a hell of a long time ago now and that still represents far more families than should need to be represented when you consider that all their loved ones did was to try to and watch a football game.

So, the club will do practically anything the HFSG asks it to, which is fair enough. Or it would be if the club did the same for the HJC.

The club refuses, point blank, to deal with the HJC.

As the HFSG state in their Twitter profile: “We represent 77 of the 96. We are the group recognised by LFC.”

Whether the HFSG mean it to sound this way or not, those two sentences give an impression almost is if only 77 of the 96 matter. 77 families are recognised by LFC, the rest? Well, maybe they can just go to hell.

The HFSG may not mean it but given the way the club treat the HJC families – and survivors – that’s certainly how it feels. If there is animosity between the HFSG and HJC it is not for the club – or any of us – to take sides. On the vast majority of issues there is no reasonable excuse whatsoever for the club to snub the HJC in favour of the HFSG.

Both groups should be recognised, only one of them is.

Liverpool FC are aware at the highest levels of just how hurtful this situation is to those families – and perhaps just as importantly, those survivors – who are represented by the HJC.

Yet Liverpool FC – at the highest levels – refuses to deal with the situation in anything like the caring way most Liverpool supporters would expect, from their club, one that markets itself so heavily on how much of a great club it is.

This has been highlighted in the clearest terms by the club’s response to a request from the HJC to mark the passing of a very special man who meant a great deal to Hillsborough families and survivors.

Gerry McIver, a familiar face to anyone who popped into the HJC shop – that sits just across the road from the newly renovated Main Stand the club opened to much fanfare yesterday – recently passed away. Gerry had no personal connection to the disaster at all but gave up a great deal of his time for many years of his life to help the HJC in as many different ways as he could.

His loss was felt strongly by a great number of people.

The HJC asked the club to mark his passing. The club, having taken a great deal of time to think about it, said no.

The HJC published a statement today, reluctantly, sharing the content of the corporate, legal-sounding, letter the club sent to them explaining its shallow reasons for refusal. You can read this below, or view it on Facebook.


HJC Statement:

We have thought long and hard before publishing this post. However, we feel that supporters of the HJC have a right to know that LFC do not recognise the HJC and therefore, by implication, survivors of the disaster. Following on from the death of Gerry McIver, the club was approached and asked to acknowledge his passing. It took three weeks for them to respond. This is what they said:


Apologies for the delay in replying. Before coming back to you on this issue I wanted to speak to our club media team and also to the Hillsborough families who we always consult with on any Hillsborough related activity that the club is being requested to activate.


As background, LFC have always taken the majority view of the Hillsborough families as it relates to any support or activity. To date the majority of families are members of the HFSG and therefore our main consultation forum is the HFSG. On speaking to the Committee recently we have agreed with them a protocol which will see LFC acknowledge the passing of any immediate family member of the 96 by way of a personal letter to the family from the club. Should the family request an acknowledgement via the club website then we will activate this at the families’ request.


With regard to any member of the public who are not an immediate relative to the 96 victims, given the protocol above as agreed with the HFSG the we would not acknowledge anyone on our club channels unless they are an immediate family member of the 96 victims and the surviving family request the club to do so.


I’m sorry again it’s taken a wee bit of time to come back to you but we are aware of the sensitivities as it relates to Hillsborough and wanted to check in with HFSG before advising.



There is no excuse for this. None at all. It is time that Ian Ayre, the CEO of the club who is fully aware of the hurt and anguish the club’s position continues to cause Hillsborough families and survivors, does what should be expected from anyone in the privileged position he is in at Liverpool Football Club.

John W Henry and his entourage should be calling into the HJC shop today to offer, in person, their deep apologies for way their club has treated those families, survivors and supporters of justice for far too long.

They won’t, of course, because they’ll no doubt be given a line by Ian Ayre or one of the faceless people around him – if they get to hear of this disgraceful treatment at all – playing it all down as “noise”.

It isn’t just noise, it’s far more than that, and for a football club like Liverpool to refuse to even put a simple message of condolence on some or all of its many communication channels – maybe a message on the website or a small article in the match programme – is inexcusable.

Haven’t the HJC done enough fighting without having to fight with Liverpool Football Club for even a token amount of recognition?

For all Liverpool fans who are going to the game today, take a few minutes out of your normal pre-match routine – if it isn’t already part of it – and pop into the HJC shop to show some support.

Grab some “Don’t Buy The S*n” stickers, stick a couple of quid in the bucket on the counter, buy a badge or a t-shirt, but remind them, as if they didn’t know already, that they may not have the support of the club that their loved ones died watching, but – as always – they’ve got the support of the fans.

Justice for the 96. Justice For All.




  • Natalie Barton-Holmes

    Am I shocked ? No !!!, am I sick to the core and ashamed of our so called club YES !!!! RIP Gerry remembered by 100’s with love and respect for all you done for the cause .

  • This man has done more for the justice campaign than any group rip my friend YNWA

  • Stuart Perks

    I don’t think ANYONE realizes what we still go through and like the families cannot forget. in fact its worse for survivors who saw it first hand NOT on TV.I still see the kids dead on the concourse But all fans that were there on the day and witnessed the horror and are still affected should be treated the same and given help if needed by the club or ANY group.

  • Cez Owen

    Today is the 10 thousand and 10th day since the Hillsborough disaster. Please let th 96 rest in peace.

  • Kevin Robinson

    Well said, LFC have NEVER wanted to have anything to do with the HJC ( it’s not that we never tried). We tried on many many occasions to have some form of dialogue with them all to no avail.

  • Steve Martin

    Well well how surprising, they probably think its a small shop with a few people involved The truth is it is the heartbeat of the club a massive movement that can get change, and got change albeit 27 years later If the HJC choose to stir up a hornets nest then the hornets all arrive in support and the club dies of embarrassment. Fuck them corporate blurts.

  • Lloydy

    Many years ago I has just bought 10 wristbands from the first batch to be sold from HJC shop. I then had to call into LFC clubshop to look for a gift. On walking round shop a boy no older that 7 or 8 was pointing at wristband I was wearing and said to his grandmother “there’s them bands can I have one”. His grandmother asked an assistant were she could buy these and was told the club don’t have any at the moment. On hearing this I offered the young boy one of the ones I had purchased from HJC. To my shock the assistant said “you don’t want to wear one of them, there not the real ones”. I was stunned and only there being a young boy and elderly lady present I held my tongue, shook my head and walked out the shop. I did report this to the club but never did get an acknowledgement, never mind any sort of apology. This biased view is nothing new and has gone on for many years. We are all in this for the same reason JUSTICE FOR THE 96. Yes, I still support LFC bit have many times questioned there loyalty towards the 96, there families and the survivors. Maybe the line from YNWA ‘hold your head up high’ should be changed ‘hang your head in shame’ for the attitude of LFC towards the Hillsborough Justice Campaign JFT96 YNWA

  • Moe connely

    What a sad time for many, but the real sad ones are , as always staying in the background saying nothing, that win today meant nothing compared to what so many are feeling, the power of a microphone or a camera go to some people’s heads, sad times indeed,

  • Andy

    I was lucky enough to come home from Hillsborough. If curcumstances had been different, my name could have been on the memorial at Anfield. I was once told by the daughter of someone who died that day that survivors were nothing and I should ‘get a new hobby’.
    I shall say nothing more

  • Bill Brasil

    LFC are talking bollocks because they already acknowledged Gerry’s death on LFC TV at the end of their daily news bulletin either the day he died or the day after, I was watching and 100% heard Claire Rourke say it.
    They could easily acknowledge Gerry’s passing and the work he did in some way at one of the home games, disgusting that they won’t.

  • Gary

    Gerry should be remembered by the club, I am a Survivor of that dreadful day and also attended as a witness at the Inquests, the HJC shop has been a great help to me over the years, Gerry was a lovely selfless man, he was a great listener, I would not be here if it wasn’t for the shop, somewhere and somebody to talk too in private. RIP Gerry YNWA XX

  • Elizabeth

    I feel sad for ALL the families and am wondering why there are 2 support groups when one was clearly enough then this confusion and this situation wouldn’t have happened . I’m very sorry for the loss of Gerry and send my condolences to his family . I’m terribly shocked at the clubs attitude I’ve supported them since I was 5 and will continue to but this has upset me .

  • jacqui watson

    This is a shambles,so 96+suffered yet only 77 of the lives matter.To add insult to survivors,nightmares Gerry was dedicated to his work An should be recognised,,hang ya heads in shame;Ynwa,jft96+an,survivors,,,,,

    • Gary

      Sad Gerry isn’t being recognised, we could set up a fund (just giving) to pay for a plague/memorial, or large stone on 96 Avenue, large stone £500, ill donate, don’t let the clubs attitude damage his good work, lovely caring man, RIP Gerry YNWA xxx