Ferguson makes final plea to fans
Sir Alex Ferguson has called for calm ahead of clash with Liverpool
Sir Alex Ferguson has written a letter to Manchester United supporters attending Sunday's Premier League encounter with Liverpool.
The letter will be presented to fans as they enter the turnstiles and is a final plea aimed at getting them to behave themselves.
Earlier on Friday Ferguson spoke of the sensitivities surrounding the fixture, Liverpool's first at home since the damning judgement on the Hillsborough disaster was released last week. And he wants an end to the baiting of Liverpool fans over the disaster, in which 96 people died.
As published by www.manutd.com, Ferguson's letter reads: "Dear Supporter,
"The great support you gave the team here [at Anfield] last season has seen our allocation back up to near-full levels. I want you to continue that progress today. But today [Sunday] is about much more than not blocking gangways. Today is about thinking hard about what makes United the best club in the world.
"Our rivalry with Liverpool is based on a determination to come out on top - a wish to see us crowned the best against a team that held that honour for so long.
"It cannot and should never be based on personal hatred. Just 10 days ago, we heard the terrible, damning truth about the deaths of 96 fans who went to watch their team try and reach the FA Cup final and never came back. What happened to them should wake the conscience of everyone connected with the game.
"Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice. I know I can count on you to stand with us in the best traditions of the best fans in the game. Yours sincerely, Sir Alex Ferguson."
Ferguson admitted earlier on Friday that he could not discount the emotion having a negative effect on his players.
Liverpool intend to mark the occasion with a number of significant gestures, including a mosaic across three sides of the stadium. And having gone through something very similar four years ago on the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, the Red Devils boss accepts it may have a hidden impact. "It's a possibility, I don't deny that," Ferguson said.
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The match was won by United and both teams did a lap of honour, the United players getting a warm round of applause from the scousers and us greeting the Liverpool players with a chorus of "Good luck on Wednesday" (They were playing Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome in the European Cup Final) This despite the fact that, up to then, United were the only English team to have won the trophy, something we were really proud of.
Two great teams with passionate, loyal and commited fans who enjoyed the rivalry but didn't let it stop them appreciating the talent of others.
Where did it all go wrong?
It's time to forget the sick songs and crude chants and get back to showing that both clubs can show dignity and sportsmanship and get back to the passionate but friendly competitive matches the clubs used to produce.
Well said Mr Ferguson........I myself support LFC and do have respect...Hillsborough and Munich both a sad history for both teams in there past.
HAVE RESPECT FOR ALL, WITH DIGNITY - HOLD YOUR HEAD UP WITH PRIDE, SHOW THE WORLD WE ARE """ONE"""
YNWA is for all to remember, lets hope for a great show of support for both clubs.......
Football supporters should be at the ground to"encourage" their team, not to shout abuse about incidents unrelated to football. I feel really sorry for genuine supporters who have to listen to these morons chanting hate.
Once aain the media monster whipping it up into a frenzy, interesting to read as a United fan who has been to Anfield many many times.......why is there no plea from Liverpool for calm from their supporters who in the past have pelted us with darts and filed down coins, attacked the United team bus and sprayed ammonia at the players, attacked an ambulance carrying Alan Smith to hospital after he had broken his leg and bombarded us with urine and excrement missiles also, as well as the aforementioned paper planes with Munich58 written on the wings?? As i have mentioned in other posts anyone who mocks the dead is sick in my opinion whatever colours they wear and have always condemned this to both sets of fans have spoken too, there are many many decent Liverpool and United fans out there who respect each others clubs for what they both have achieved , unfortunately sometimes banter develops into a rather more sinister element and yes i acknowledge that no doubt United fans have been guilty of horrendous acts also, the whole point being those that died at Munich and Hillsborough should be left to R.I.P and not mocked.........I hope and pray that the media monster doesnt get any trouble on Sunday........as no doubt thats what it wants!!!