Silsden Remember the 96
Wed 4th May 2016 | Silsden | By Ian Templeman
Silsden joined forces with AFC Liverpool at the weekend to pay tribute to the 96 fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy.
At the end of a traumatic week for the City of Liverpool, the Cobbydalers travelled to Merseyside for a vital Premier Division game, and took with them their own floral tribute.
Before the kick off, four members of the Silsden Committee presented AFC Liverpool with a wreath of condolence. A minute’s applause was held, with the players and supporters, before the game commenced.
There has long been a link between Silsden and the Hillsborough tragedy, as Silsden Press Officer Jim Rosser explained.
“The last person to die following the crush at the Leppings Lane end of the ground was Tony Bland.
“He was a Keighley lad and a cousin of twins Martin and Matthew Bland, who were players for the Cobbydalers on the march through the lower leagues to the North West Counties top division. Martin scored the winning goal in the final game of the season 2003-04 against the Champions, Cammell Laird.
“Anthony David “Tony” Bland suffered severe brain damage which left him in a persistent vegetative state as a consequence of which, the local Airedale Hospital, with the support of his parents, applied for a court order allowing him to 'die with dignity'.
“He became the first patient in English legal history to be allowed to die by the courts through the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment.
“On Saturday the Cobbydalers helped their chances of avoiding the drop with a 3-2 win, although Liverpool hit the woodwork three times! The Liverpool fans were magnanimous in defeat and thanked all the Cobbydalers for their support for the “96”.
“On Sunday, AFC Liverpool’s Vice-Chairman Alan Harrison thanked us for our support for the campaign and took the floral tribute and AFC scarves to the Anfield Memorial, and placed them with hundreds of others from all over Britain and beyond”.
The picture shows club and match officials with the wreath before kick off. Left to right: Eddie Sessford (Silsden Sports' Club Manager), Silsden captain Joe Mitchell, John Lohan (Silsden Vice -Chairman and Sports Club Chairman), referee Barry Lamb, assistants Peter Maxson and Jonathan Wyatt, AFC Liverpool captain Jonathan Swatton and Peter Hanson (Silsden Committee member and Programme Editor).