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Run For The 97 sees 1,500 turn-out for 10th anniversary

The community legacy event Run For The 97 reached its milestone 10th staging in Stanley Park with over 1,500 participants walking, jogging, and running.

Participants in the charity fun run completed a mile or a 5K. The 5K runners competed wearing a specially made T-shirt. A Run For The 97 commemorative medal was handed to every finisher.

Run For The 97 sees 1,500 turn-out for 10th anniversary

A further 200 runners took part virtually across the UK and the world. They were sent their run number, T-shirt, and medal so they could feel part of the event wherever they were participating.

This year’s event has raised £4,000 so far for official charity partners Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation, Liverpool Football Club’s official club charity the LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun and its two sister parkruns at The Mystery Park in Wavertree and Derby Park in Bootle.

Run For The 97 sees 1,500 turn-out for 10th anniversary

Donations and sponsor money can still be added to the official Just Giving page here.

The date has already been announced for next year’s event – Saturday 24 May 2025. Entries are open now.

Special guests on the day included former Liverpool FC players Jamie Carragher, Chris Kirkland, Alan Kennedy, and Sammy Lee.

They were joined by Hillsborough family members and Hillsborough Law campaigners Margaret Aspinall, Steve Kelly, and Sue Roberts.

Guests also included Voice Of Anfield stadium announcer for 53 years George Sephton; Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram; Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby and co-founder of Fans Supporting Foodbanks; charity fundraiser and Liverpool Citizen Of Honour Michael Cullen, fondly known as Speedo Mick; and the day’s most senior participant 94-year-old Dennis Adelsberg from Lathom near Ormskirk.

The event was co-hosted by Graeme White, match-day announcer at Everton FC’s Goodison Park, and In Demand Radio presenter Claire Simmo.

Hillsborough family members and justice campaigners Margaret Aspinall, Steve Kelly, and Sue Roberts have all been involved since the event was created.

Margaret Aspinall is the former Chair of the now disbanded Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), she lost her 18-year-old son James at Hillsborough. Steve Kelly lost his brother Michael, aged 38. Steve helped to create and shape the event. Sue Roberts, former HFSG Secretary, lost her 24-year-old brother Graham in the disaster.

Reds and Blues stood side by side as football club anthems Liverpool FC’s You’ll Never Walk Alone and Everton FC’s Z Cars were played as runners gathered before the fun run, before joining in with a minute’s applause.

The 5K runners crossed the start line to the sound of The Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ classic He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – the song which unites Liverpool and Everton and shows the solidarity of the Red and Blue sides of the city. Youngsters running in the 1 Mile set off to the sound of The Farm’s Altogether Now.

The day included visitors from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Qatar, Thailand, and across the United States of America.

Run For The 97 was first staged in 2015 as a positive inclusive event to celebrate and honour the lives of the 97 Liverpool Football Club fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989. This year’s anniversary marked the 35th anniversary of the disaster.

The event also remembers the families of The 97 and the survivors, who have since tirelessly fought for justice with the utmost dignity. They continue to campaign for a Hillsborough Law.

Run For The 97 has continued every year since 2015. During the pandemic it went ahead as a virtual run in 2020 and 2021, ensuring people could still support the cause and fundraise.

The 5K accessible route took runners through Stanley Park, along Walton Lane, Priory Road, Arkles Lane, back into the park before passing the Eternal Flame on 97 Avenue at Anfield Stadium, where many runners paused to take a moment to pay their respects at the Hillsborough Memorial. The route continues back into Stanley Park through to the finish line.

Run For The 97 sees 1,500 turn-out for 10th anniversary

The event provides a platform for participants to fundraise or to make a one-off charity donation. Since it was first staged, Run For The 97 has helped to raise almost £45,000 for good causes in the city.

The entry fee pays to stage and deliver all aspects of the event including run numbers, T-shirts, medals, virtual entries, event day staging, and safety, and runner facilities.

Charity partners 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun support the vision of creating a legacy to honour The 97 while ensuring local communities benefit through their work. Funds will be split equally between the charities to fund vital community outreach programmes. 

This year’s Run For The 97 also forms part of the 23 Foundation’s celebrations for its 15th anniversary during 2024.

Volunteer teams on the day included Birkenhead Park Running Club, LFC Foundation, Liverpool Running Bugs, and Marsh Lane Harriers.

Family attractions and activities included LFC mascot Mighty Red and football skills from the LFC Foundation’s Go Play team, who take sport into local parks throughout the year; and kids yoga sessions from Creative Spaces Co, who take arts, culture and creative activities into the community.

Rock Choir Liverpool sang live on the route against the backdrop of Anfield Stadium. The choir performed at BTR event the Liverpool Santa Dash in December, but this was their first appearance at Run For The 97.

Run For The 97 sees 1,500 turn-out for 10th anniversary

The team from Stanley Park junior parkrun were on-hand to chat to families about their weekly sessions at Stanley Park at 9am on Sundays, to help encourage youngsters to be active.

A regular on match days at Anfield and Goodison, Fans Supporting Foodbanks attended and were delighted with the food item donations from runners and spectators.

Football fans queued to have their picture taken with the Superkloppbanana. The two-metre tall sculpture was given a make-over to resemble the former Liverpool Football Club manager Jurgen Klopp complete with his trademark baseball cap, glasses, beard, and beaming smile. Owner Liverpool businesswoman Anita Harwood raised £250 for the official Run For The 97 charities through runner donations for taking pictures.

Pont’s Fun Fairs took along toy rides and food concessions. They have also supported the event by making a donation to the charity fund.

Over 200 runners ran virtually in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Wales – including a large group from Palm Beach’s Official Liverpool Supporters’ Club in the States who have taken part for a number of years.

Virtual runners are invited to submit a picture for a special gallery on the BTR Liverpool website – email alan@btrliverpool.com

BTR Liverpool organise and deliver Run For The 97. BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing, and delivering headline running events across Liverpool City Region including the BTR Liverpool Half Marathon, BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K, BTR Liverpool Santa Dash, and BTR Tour Of Merseyside.

BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: 

“A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part, supported, or volunteered at the milestone 10th Run For The 97 5K community legacy fun run. This was an extra special poignant year.

“Run For The 97 was first staged in 2015 and has continued to be uplifting and thought provoking for everyone involved. We celebrate the lives of the 97 Liverpool fans in a respectful way, but we also take time to remember the families left behind and the survivors. They all remain in our hearts and minds.

“It’s wonderful and important to see more and more young people taking part each year as they learn about Hillsborough and a need for Hillsborough Law, as well as taking part in sport to promote health and wellbeing. A key part of the community legacy aspect to the event.

“Funds raised for the three official charities – 23 Foundation, LFC Foundation, and Stanley Park junior parkrun – will help to support their vital work and programmes in the local community and make a huge difference to so many lives.”

Run For The 97 2025 will take place on Saturday 24 May, to register visit you can on the website

READ MORE: SUPERKLOPPBANANA TOURS LIVERPOOL TO MARK JÜRGEN KLOPP’S FINAL GAME

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