Minute's silence planned at FA Cup semi-finals to mark Hillsborough disaster


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The Independent Football

A minute's silence to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster will be held before both this weekend's FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

Players from all teams involved will also wear black armbands in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who died on April 15, 1989 at the semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

Saturday will be a particularly poignant affair with the Reds taking on Everton in a Merseyside derby at Wembley.

Rival captains Steven Gerrard and Phil Neville will present members of the Hillsborough Family Support Group with flowers prior to kick-off and also lay floral tributes to the Hillsborough victims at the side of the pitch.

Liverpool paid their own tribute with a minute's silence prior to Saturday's game at home to Aston Villa and Anfield will host the annual memorial service on Sunday afternoon.

"We are very respectful to Liverpool FC in regards of this weekend," FA spokesman Scott Field said.

"We understand the significance and the importance to the club, the fans, the staff and of course, the wider significance of our game."

Everton manager David Moyes said it was appropriate there should be periods of silence before both matches.

"It was a horrendous disaster which everyone was shocked by and I am sure everyone at Everton will pass on their sympathies and on the day will give everyone who lost family members the right dignity and pay tribute to them," said the Scot.

"From everyone at Everton I pass on my thoughts to anyone who lost family at Hillsborough and we will do everything we can to make sure we respect a difficult game for them."