Symbolic Hillsborough banner donated to LFC Museum
The original version of a banner that became synonymous with the campaign for the truth about the Hillsborough disaster was recently donated to the Liverpool FC Museum.
Created and funded by supporters on the Red and White Kop forum after the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in 2012, the We Climbed The Hill In Our Own Way flag has since become a powerful symbol of the resilience and determination shown by all involved in the battle for truth and justice.
Following the sad passing of Andrew Stanley Devine in 2021 – the 97th person unlawfully killed as a result of the tragedy on April 15, 1989 – it was remade, with the number 97 now used in place of the 96 that had been printed on the original.
The new banner was flown on the Kop as Anfield marked last month’s 33rd anniversary of Hillsborough during the Champions League tie against Benfica with a minute’s silence and special mosaic.
The material holding the We Climbed The Hill In Our Own Way message from the previous edition of the flag, meanwhile, was handed over to LFC Museum curator Stephen Done by RAWK’s Jim Sharman on 97 Avenue at Anfield the following day.
“We needed to take the original We Climbed The Hill In Our Own Way banner and update it to 97,” explained Sharman.
“We discussed it on Red and White Kop first, ‘What should we do with the old banner?’ And discussed it with a few other campaigners, and I had the idea of approaching the museum to see if they’d take it.
“So, I wrote to Stephen, I said, ‘Do you want this banner as part of the history of the club?’ and he came back with the totally not unreasonable remark, ‘Well, we can’t really take anything in with 96.’
“I thought, OK, we’ll cut the 96 off the banner and leave the message. The message that is important is that we got to where we got to in our way, in spite of all the obstacles and all the obfuscation and all the deliberate attempts by the establishment to deny us the truth and the justice.”
The banner will now take up a permanent position at the stadium, ensuring that message – and the crucially important context and meaning behind it – is passed on to future generations.
“We all know that this served a wonderful cause with 96 on it but now it has been updated with 97. This piece, which just has the message itself, is part of the club’s history,” said Done.
“I hope that it might be possible for us to display this in a public space within the stadium tour, where huge numbers of people per day could see it.
“It’s actually quite beautiful in a way as a statement, there’s something very special about it and it’s vital this becomes a permanent piece of the club’s history.”
Inspired by the lyrics of the Pink Floyd track Fearless, both the old and new We Climbed The Hill In Our Own Way displays will continue to serve as monuments and tributes to those whose perseverance revealed the truth of Hillsborough to the world.
“They denied us the justice but they can’t deny us the truth,” added Sharman. “And we got to the truth by fighting and campaigning and standing our ground and telling the world all along what we knew from the start. That’s what that message means to us.
“There are kids behind us who asked, ‘Why does it say We Climbed The Hill In Our Own Way?’ So hopefully now they’ll get it and then from generation to generation will understand that we only got to the truth that they hid from the world by fighting for it.”