Liverpool’s victory over Manchester City yesterday was marred by a minority of Reds fans before the game. Some of the travelling Liverpool fans disgraced themselves during the planned minute’s silence for the late George Best. Most fans were happy to respect the silence, just a handful unable to do so. Liverpool have earned a reputation for having the best fans in the world, and rightly so, but it’s unfortunate that these idiots felt it was good fun to ruin that reputation.
Liverpool have their own reasons for commemorating those that have passed away, most notably on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, and it is always appreciated when opposition fans respect the silences. Those that messed it up yesterday should hand their fan-cards back and ban themselves from games in respect to those Liverpool fans that lost loved ones at Hillsborough, becuase their actions probably mean there’ll be less respect for future Liverpool-related minute’s silences.
According to some newspapers, there had been a request by Manchester City to hold a minute’s applause instead, with City legend and Best’s former flatmate Mike Summerbee leading the tribute. The Premier League refused, and in turn gave a chance to the idiots to shame themselves.
The two managers were inevitably asked about the incident, and Reds boss Rafa Benitez said, "It is a pity. It was only a few people and most of them did applaud but it is a pity, you can’t say anything else." City boss Stuart Pearce was also disappointed: "I have no idea which group of supporters it was but the vast majority paid tribute to a legend of the game who gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and that is the important thing. You have to look at the positives rather than dwell of the actions of a handful of people in a crowd of 47,000."
The true Liverpool fans who have enough respect to keep quiet for sixty seconds will probably agree with the Reds own legend Kenny Dalglish in his thoughts on George Best. After the Northern Ireland international had died, King Kenny said: "Everything you want in a footballer, he had. Maybe people criticise him for the way he led his life but, if he had never led his life like that, maybe he wouldn’t have been the player he was."