It has been a long battle for justice for the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who were tragically killed in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and thankfully, with the new evidence and inquiry, it is a battle that has been won. There have been many excellent tributes from players, clubs and fans from all across the country but this afternoon, before their FA Cup Third round tie, Mansfield Town will pay arguably the most poignant and innovative tribute of them all.

After talking to their fans the plan has been put in place to leave 96 of the 7,574 seats at Field Mill empty with a name of each of the victims designated to that seat. Mansfield’s Operations director Paul Broughton said:

“One of our fans suggested we place a name on each of the empty seats in the segregation section of the stadium. The idea sent shivers down my spine. It was an amazing idea.”

The idea has been well received by the Hillsborough Family support group and is certain to be well received by Liverpool fans and players alike, chairwoman Margaret Aspinall expressed her delight at the idea:

“It will be a lovely gesture and I think it’s entirely appropriate for us going forward in our fight for justice. It means a great deal and I would like to thank Mansfield on behalf of the HFSG for what will be a beautiful gesture.”

This is a classy show of respect from Mansfield Town and shows the effect that the Hillsborough disaster has had on the footballing community as a whole.

Quotes courtesy of

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This article was first posted on January 6, 2013