BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 13, 2022: Burnley's manager Sean Dyche during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I was at Hillsborough…” – Everton manager Sean Dyche’s experience of the tragedy

Everton will pay tribute to the 97 ahead of their meeting with Fulham on Saturday, with manager Sean Dyche revealing his personal experience.

For many, April 15 is a sombre day, and a reminder of the fragility of life on the anniversary of the day 97 fans went to a football match and innocently lost their lives.

Dyche was among those present at Hillsborough for the FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, as a 17-year-old defender in their youth ranks.

And in his programme notes before Everton‘s Premier League game against Fulham, he paid tribute to the 97 and stressed the importance of his club “standing shoulder to shoulder” with Liverpool.

“Today on the 34th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, we remember the 97 victims who tragically lost their lives in the tragedy,” Dyche wrote.

“I know the importance for everyone at Everton to always stand shoulder to shoulder with Liverpool to remember the innocent supporters who passed away watching the team they loved.

“I was at Hillsborough with Nottingham Forest’s youth team on that tragic day and it is difficult to find the words to describe the sadness of what took place.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the families and many friends of all those who were lost.

“We remember and will never forget.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 5, 2016: An Everton pennant with the message "You picked on the wrong city, Justice at last" left amongst the floral tributes at Liverpool's temporary memorial to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster, pictured ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Villarreal at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Everton and Fulham are due to observe a minute’s silence at Goodison Park before kickoff at 3pm, while both sides will wear black armbands as a mark of respect.

Club and fan representatives will also lay wreaths at both the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield and the plaque on Goodison’s Sir Philip Carter Park Stand.

Everton‘s message reads: “Since April 15, 1989 our city has been united in grief for the fans whose lives were lost because they went to a football match.”

“The players, management, staff and supporters of Everton have a simple message for those who lost loved ones on April 15, 1989,” the club added.

“The 97 will never be forgotten. Merseyside will always be united.”