Community run to celebrate and honour lives of The 97, their families, and the Hillsborough survivors
A community legacy 5K fun run to celebrate and honour the lives of the 97 Liverpool Football Club fans lost in the Hillsborough tragedy will be held in the city later this month.
The eighth annual Run For The 97 takes place on Saturday 21 May 2022 in Stanley Park – the perfect setting being located between Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium and Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park.
This year’s event was officially launched on Friday (6 May) at Hotel TIA, a Liverpool FC inspired boutique hotel on Anfield Road, a short walk from Liverpool FC’s home ground.
The event also revealed this year’s T-shirt and medal.
Guests at the event hosted by BTR Liverpool – who organise and deliver Run For The 97 – included former Liverpool FC players Jamie Carragher, David Fairclough, Alan Kennedy and Sammy Lee; former Everton FC player Ian Snodin; Hillsborough family members Margaret Aspinall and Steve Kelly; and Liverpool FC stadium announcer, Voice Of Anfield George Sephton.
The event’s official charity partners – Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, and Stanley Park junior parkrun – were all represented at the launch.
The event was first staged in 2015 as a positive community legacy event to celebrate the lives of the then 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy on 15 April 1989.
Run For The 97 will now also honour LFC fan Andrew Devine, who sadly passed away in July 2021. Andrew received life-changing injuries at Hillsborough, he died 32 years after the disaster.
Run For The 97 also remembers the families of The 97 and the survivors, who have tirelessly fought for justice with the utmost dignity.
The event last took place in Stanley Park in 2019 due to the global pandemic. For the past two years, it has been held as a virtual run enabling people to still support the cause wherever they were based. Overseas football fans have got involved during this time – and continue to do so this year.
This year’s official charity partners are Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, and Everton in the Community. A new charity addition for 2022 is Stanley Park junior parkrun.
Together, the four charities support the vision of creating a legacy event to honour The 97 while ensuring local communities benefit through their work.
The event has raised over £35,000 for charity since it was first staged in 2015.
Stanley Park junior parkrun is a weekly free 2K timed run at 9am every Sunday for children aged four to 14. The event is run entirely by volunteers. The junior parkrun initiative is part of the wider parkrun programme – and is a great fit promoting health, wellbeing and sport to young people.
Everyone taking part in Run For The 97 is encouraged to fundraise or make a one-off donation, and all monies raised will be split equally between the four charities to support vital community outreach programmes. The online donation page is https://justgiving.com/campaign/runforthe97
The entry fee pays to stage and deliver all aspects of the event including run numbers, T-shirts and medals, and event day facilities.
Jamie Carragher from the 23 Foundation explained:
“There is great solidarity between the two clubs and the city – and Run For The 97 even takes place in Stanley Park, between Anfield and Goodison. This tragedy affected everyone, and Everton FC and fans have always shown great support. As a city, we’ll always come together for each other and hopefully we’ll raise lots of funds. The 97 will never be forgotten.”
Matt Parish, Chief Executive of the LFC Foundation, commented:
“It’s great to have Run For The 97 returning in person this year. We are proud to have been a part of this special event and a benefactor for eight years now. The donated funds enable us to support more people in our local communities, which is more important than ever in these difficult times. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the event, whether volunteering or running, who help to make it such a success year after year.”
Richard Cronin, Executive Director of Everton in the Community, said:
“It’s fantastic to be able to come together once again for such a great cause. Everton in the Community has been involved for many years and it’s always a special occasion, bringing the community together to remember The 97, while raising vital funds for charities in our city.
“We look forward to another great day in Stanley Park later this month, and thank everyone taking part for their valued contribution to our charity.”
Rachael O’Byrne, Event Director of Stanley Park junior parkrun, added:
“We are delighted join this year’s official charities. Each week at Stanley Park junior parkrun we welcome youngsters who run, jog or run the course on their own or accompanied – and it’s all organised by local volunteers. We are honoured to be part of Run For The 97, it’s such an important event and we’re thrilled it takes place in our park.”
Run For The 97 features 5K and 1 Mile distances to walk, jog or run to remember The 97. On the day there will be family activities, as well as a food bank drop-off point.
All participants taking part in the 5K will receive a yellow T-shirt to wear during the run to demonstrate a display of unity and remembrance. They will be presented with a commemorative medal when they complete their run.
Those taking part in the 1 Mile distance are invited to wear football shirts to proudly display their club colours. They will receive a medal. Overseas virtual runners will be sent their run number and medal in advance of the event date.
BTR Liverpool organise and deliver the event. BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline running events across Liverpool City Region. Its extensive portfolio covers various distances across different terrains, all with an ongoing commitment to sustainability.
The BTR event calendar also includes the BTR Tour Of Merseyside, BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon, BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K, and BTR Liverpool Santa Dash.
BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:
“Everyone involved with Run For The 97 is delighted that once again we will be able to stand side by side in Stanley Park for this very poignant event to celebrate the lives of The 97 in a respectful and fitting way. We must always remember, Run For The 97 has created a positive community legacy to help keep that message in people’s minds whatever their age.”
Online entries are open at https://www.btrliverpool.com/97-5k-event