This coming weekend, a delegation of Glasgow Rangers supporters will travel to Liverpool to offer their respects to the youngest victim of the Ibrox Park Disaster.
In the next few months, it will be the 40th Anniversary of the football disaster.
The incident occurred on 2 January 1971 at the end of an Old Firm game. After 89 minutes of scoreless football Celtic took a 0–1 lead and many Rangers supporters left the stadium. However, in the last seconds of stoppage time, Colin Stein scored an equaliser for Rangers.
As the crowd was leaving the ground, barriers on Stairway 13 gave way, resulting the deaths of 66 souls, the youngest being Nigel Pickup from Liverpool, who had travelled up to Scotland to see his first football game with his Granddad.
Nigel was 8 years old.
As a mark of respect, and to remember Nigel, Rangers supporters along with AFC Liverpool supporters, are visiting his grave and will lay a small memorial stone to show that nearly 40 years on, he is still in their thoughts, and will never be forgotten.
AFC Liverpool fan Tommy Hurst recently struck up a friendship with Colin Shearer of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, after a posting on Facebook which highlighted the reds’ support of the Hillsborough victims last year, and saw the introduction of the 96 logo on the first team players shirts in place of the clubs sponsor.
This Saturday, at the AFC Liverpool home game against Runcorn Town, Tommy Hurst will present AFC’s very own memorial to the Rangers delegation in the form of a silver salver which is engraved with the following: “Glasgow Rangers fans worldwide – On the 40th Anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster, Shoulder to Shoulder we stand – All at AFC Liverpool.”
News of the tribute was posted on the Rangers Supporters Assembly website, and received over 100 emotional responses, thanking AFC Liverpool for their support and solidarity.
As a permanent reminder of both the Hillsborough and Ibrox Park tragedies, AFC Liverpool will display a banner at all games to honour those that lost their lives, along with the current Hillsborough banner.