Liverpool To Honour 97th Hillsborough Victim Andrew Stanley Devine

Liverpool FC fans (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Liverpool FC fans (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Liverpool Football Club has announced a series of measures to pay tribute to Andrew Stanley Devine, the 97th victim of the Hillsborough disaster following his passing in July 2021.

Releasing a statement via the club’s official website, LFC confirmed that Andrew’s name will be etched on the Hillsborough Memorial, while the club’s “96” embroidery on the nape of their football shirts will be replaced with a “97” starting from next season.

The official club statement starts with a short eulogy.

"“Andrew, who was a lifelong supporter of the club, sadly passed away in July 2021 at the age of 55 as a result of the life-changing injuries he sustained at Hillsborough. He became the 97th supporter to lose their life as a result of the disaster.”"

Devine was 22 years old when he went to watch Liverpool FC take on Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semifinal on April 15th, 1989. Tragically, over 32 years later, Andrew passed away from injuries he sustained during Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster.

Coroner Mr. Andre Rebello concluded that Andrew’s passing was as a result of his injuries, making him the 97th victim of the tragedy. Following his passing, Andrew was posthumously honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool award.

The Hillsborough disaster has never been forgotten in Liverpool, nor by fans around the globe, but the tragic story of what happened recently transcended football with ‘Anne’ – the dramatic biography of Anne Williams which detailed the campaigner’s battle for justice following the loss of her son. ‘Anne’ aired on ITV at the beginning of the year, with Maxine Peake playing a starring role in the miniseries which shone a light on the horrific events that occurred over three decades ago.

The statement from Liverpool went on to inform fans wishing to pay their respects that access to the memorial will be closed for a short time on Friday, January 28 – between 8am and 3pm – to complete the work and that any existing tributes placed at the shrine will be “removed and stored carefully during the works” and replaced once completed.

The statement adds that Andrew’s name has already been added to the Hillsborough memorial located at the club’s training ground, the AXA Training Centre and that the ‘Anfield Forever’ stones on 97 Avenue will be updated in the coming weeks, too.

"“Since the sad passing of Andrew, the club has reviewed all references to Hillsborough, both digital and physical. We have renamed 97 Avenue at Anfield, with new signage installed at the stadium, while updates to have also been finalised with the 97 emblem featuring across our digital channels.”"

The statement confirms another important change. One of the most welcome, yet poignant, additions to the Liverpool FC shirt in recent years has been the “Justice For The 96” emblem which appears on the nape of every kit, with the 2022-23 season seeing that number change to 97.

The club ended their statement by thanking fans for their patience and understanding throughout all these changes before concluding:

"“The 97 will always be at the heart of Liverpool Football Club.”"