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John Aldridge explains why Liverpool fans boo the British national anthem

“We all know there are a lot of people in our city are anti-royalists, but I don’t think Liverpool fans would be disrespectful following the passing of a 96-year-old lady”

Liverpool fans at Anfield (AP Photo/Jon Super)© AP/PA Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Proud Liverpudlian John Aldridge admits there are plenty of anti-royalists in his city, but he doesn’t believe they will disrespect tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.

The postponement of all Premier League fixtures as a mark of respect to The Queen following her passing last Thursday ensured the tributes to Britain’s longest-serving monarch have been put on hold for football fans.

Yet all eyes will be on Anfield on Wednesday night if Liverpool’s game against Ajax in the Champions League goes ahead, with the home fans under the spotlight.

Liverpool supporters have persistently booed and jeered Britain’s ‘God Save The Queen’ national anthem during recent matches at Wembley, but former Liverpool and Ireland striker Aldridge insists that is not a direct attack on the monarchy

“The Liverpool people will show respect to The Queen,” Aldridge told the Sunday World.

“We all know there are a lot of people in our city are anti-royalists, but I don’t think Liverpool fans would be disrespectful following the passing of a 96-year-old lady.

“What you need to understand is our city is different to nearly everywhere else in the UK.

“Most of us in Liverpool see ourselves as half Irish and I’ve said many times, if we had and vote to become part of Ireland, we’d get a resounding yes in Liverpool.

“I remember in my early days supporting the team and going to Wembley, that we had our own version of the national anthem.

Queen Elizabath. Photo: PA© PA

“We used to sing God save our team rather than The Queen when we played a big game at Wembley. That’s just the way it was.

“And there is a reason why Liverpool people feel this way and it’s very simple to explain.

“The central government in London and the monarchy have never done much for our city. They have never reached out to us and made us feel like they care about us.

“You go back to Winston Churchill and on to Margaret Thatcher, and they never had any time for Liverpool, or our people.

“Then you look at what happened with the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989. The government and police were happy to throw all the blame on innocent Liverpool fans who died that day and it showed what they thought of us.

“But we showed in that situation that we are not going to be dumped on from afar. We stick up for what we believe in and have always been a proud group of people.

“Take us on in a fight when we have right on our side, as we did after Hillsborough, and you are going to come out second best.”

Aldridge went on to suggest the show of support towards Cristiano Ronaldo from Liverpool fans following the death of the Manchester United star’s new-born baby last April was evidence of loyalties being put to one side to show respect.

“We get into trouble for putting up a fight at times, but the history of Liverpool shows we are respectful when we need to be,” he added.

“Look at how Liverpool fans showed respect to Ronaldo with applause to offer him support when his baby died earlier this year.

“Liverpool fans hate Manchester United far more than they dislike the Royal Family or The Queen, but they put that to one side as a human being had lost a child.

“And that what I think would have happened if the Wolves game went ahead as planned last weekend.

“I just think it was a shame that all the football was called off this weekend because respect was shown on Thursday and Friday and you have to get on with life now.

“It seems strange to me that we cancel sporting events to pay respect to someone who was a big fan of sport and would not have wanted it cancelled as a tribute. It made no sense to me.”

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