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Milestone decade for Run For The 97: A day to remember

3 weeks ago

Milestone decade for Run For The 97: A day to remember
Run For The 97. Jamie and Nicola Carragher, Steve Rotheram Pic by Erica Dillon

This year marked a significant milestone for the Run For The 97, as more than 1,500 participants gathered in Stanley Park to commemorate the 10th staging of this poignant community legacy event.

With a mission to honour the 97 Liverpool FC fans who tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989, Run For The 97 continues to bring together communities and raise vital funds for local charities.

The participants had the option to complete either a 5K run or a 1 Mile walk/jog, with 5K runners donning specially designed T-shirts and all finishers receiving commemorative medals.

An additional 200 runners took part virtually from across the UK and the globe, including participants from countries such as Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Qatar, Thailand, and the USA, highlighting the event’s extensive reach and impact.

Special guests graced the occasion, including former Liverpool FC stars Jamie Carragher, Chris Kirkland, Alan Kennedy, and Sammy Lee.

Run For The 97. Stage view Pic by Erica Dillon
Run For The 97. Stage view Pic by Erica Dillon

Hillsborough family members and justice campaigners Margaret Aspinall, Steve Kelly, and Sue Roberts have all been involved since the event was created.

Margaret Aspinall is the former Chair of the now disbanded Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), she lost her 18-year-old son James at Hillsborough. Steve Kelly lost his brother Michael, aged 38. Steve helped to create and shape the event. Sue Roberts, former HFSG Secretary, lost her 24-year-old brother Graham in the disaster.

The event, co-hosted by Graeme White from Everton FC and Claire Simmo, saw the community come together in a display of unity and remembrance.

Reds and Blues stood side by side, participating in a minute’s applause to the tunes of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Z Cars” before embarking on their respective runs. The 5K runners set off to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” while the youngsters running the 1 Mile route were spurred on by “Altogether Now.”

Run For The 97. Rock Choir Liverpool Pic by Erica Dillon
Run For The 97. Rock Choir Liverpool Pic by Erica Dillon

Run For The 97 was first established in 2015 to provide a positive, inclusive platform to remember the lives lost at Hillsborough and to support the survivors and their families. This year’s event has already raised £4,000 for its charity partners—Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, the LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun—bringing the total funds raised since inception to nearly £45,000.

Participants of the 5K route experienced a meaningful journey through Stanley Park, past Anfield Stadium’s Eternal Flame on 97 Avenue, where many paused to pay their respects. The route and event logistics, funded through entry fees, ensure a well-organized and safe experience for all involved.

The day featured various family attractions and activities, including appearances by LFC mascot Mighty Red, football skills sessions from the LFC Foundation’s Go Play team, kids yoga sessions by Creative Spaces Co, and a live performance by Rock Choir Liverpool.

Next year’s event is already scheduled for Saturday 24 May 2025, with entries now open.

Run For The 97. Hillsborough Eternal Flame. Pic by Erica Dillon
Run For The 97. Hillsborough Eternal Flame. Pic by Erica Dillon

Alan Rothwell, BTR Liverpool Race Director, said: 

“A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part, supported, or volunteered at the milestone 10th Run For The 97 5K community legacy fun run. This was an extra special poignant year.

“Run For The 97 was first staged in 2015 and has continued to be uplifting and thought provoking for everyone involved. We celebrate the lives of the 97 Liverpool fans in a respectful way, but we also take time to remember the families left behind and the survivors. They all remain in our hearts and minds.

“It’s wonderful and important to see more and more young people taking part each year as they learn about Hillsborough and a need for Hillsborough Law, as well as taking part in sport to promote health and wellbeing. A key part of the community legacy aspect to the event.

“Funds raised for the three official charities – 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun – will help to support their vital work and programmes in the local community and make a huge difference to so many lives.”

Run For The 97 2025 will take place on Saturday 24 May, to register click here.

For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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