Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

16 May 2022, 15:43

Liverpool fans who booed the national anthem ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday were 'misdirected' according to James Jones, the city's former bishop.
Liverpool fans who booed the national anthem ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday were 'misdirected' according to James Jones, the city's former bishop. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By James Bickerton

Liverpool fans who booed the national anthem ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday were 'misdirected' according to James Jones, the city's former bishop.

Both God Save the Queen and Prince William, the FA President, were jeered ahead of Liverpool's victory over Chelsea.

Jones, Bishop of Liverpool between 1998 and 2013, discussed the incident on Shelagh Fogarty's LBC show.

He said: "My feeling, listening to the booing during the anthem, was it was misdirected even though I do understand the ongoing hurt and pain that many people feel."

Instead, the ex-bishop, who also chairs an independent panel into the Hillsborough disaster, argued The Queen has been a friend of Liverpool.

He explained: "The Queen in my time came to the city quite a number of times for the Royal Variety, for the Golden Jubilee, for the regeneration of the city.

"At the 10th anniversary [of Hillsborough] she sent me a message to be read out to the crowd. She sent me a message of condolence and sympathy."

The Hillsborough disaster took place on April 15 1989 at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

A crush resulted in 97 deaths, including one man who died from irreversible brain damage in July 2021.

There is residual fury in Liverpool over police failures and initial media reports which incorrectly blamed fans for the catastrophe.

In 2021 South Yorkshire Police issued an "unreserved apology" for "serious errors and mistakes" made both on the day, and during the initial investigation.

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the booing was a "great shame", adding the FA Cup is intended to "bring people together".

READ MORE: Cup final shame as thousands of fans boo Prince William ahead of game

The Hillsborough disaster resulted in 97 deaths and 766 injuries.
The Hillsborough disaster resulted in 97 deaths and 766 injuries. Picture: Alamy/LBC

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's manager, said his team's supporters wouldn't boo the anthem if there "wasn’t a reason".

He commented: "I know our people that well that they wouldn’t do it if there was no reason for it.

"I’m not here long enough to understand the reason for it, it’s for sure something historical so that’s probably a question you can answer a lot better than I can.

"The majority of our supporters are wonderful people. Really smart and understand they to through lows, go through highs, suffer together.

"They wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t a reason. That’s what I know." 

Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup final, beating Chelsea 6-5 during a tense penalty shootout.

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