Everton FC is to unveil a plaque commemorating the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster ahead of Saturday’s derby meeting with Liverpool at Goodison Park.
The unveiling will be held at the Park End Stand and conducted by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
Mrs Aspinall, whose son James was killed in the Sheffield tragedy on April 15, 1989, said: “This is a really lovely gesture from Everton, paying tribute to the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough.
“I would like to thank Bill and everyone involved, not least the Everton fans who have provided great support to the families over the years.”
Everton fan Stephen Kelly’s brother Michael was among those killed 26 years ago and, together with other Blues supporters, suggested the installation of the permanent tribute.
He added on the club’s official website: “As an Evertonian who lost my brother at Hillsborough, I have always been grateful of the support from the blue side of the city.
“I hope that when Evertonians look at this they will feel proud of the way we’ve supported our neighbours.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez said: “It is something we take a lot of pride in.
“There has always been a real strong bond between the two teams over that tragedy and it is going to be a really important moment.
“It is a tribute to the 96 who lost their lives and all the families who suffered the pain of that tragedy over the years. “It will be great to see the two football clubs of the city together and showing their support.
“The plaque is a tribute that is going to stand forever and we’ll always have it in the back of our minds - we’ll always be there supporting the Hillsborough families.”