Liverpool and Everton. Reds and Blues. Rivals on the pitch, with a rich and colorful history. But unlike other major football rivalries, which often stem from class, religious, or political affiliations, the Merseyside Derby uniquely divides—and unites!—the city of Liverpool.
The fault lines divide friendships and families, but at the end of the day, the supporters of the two clubs share similar socialist values, and a similar outlook on life (margin of error: plus or minus bitterness). It is how Hillsborough, a Liverpool FC tragedy, became a fight for the city of Liverpool, Reds and Blues alike.
The idea that no fan should go to a football match, only to never return, is now key to both clubs. And sadly, Irish Liverpool supporter Sean Cox has yet to fully return from attending the Champions League semifinal against Roma. Cox suffered severe brain trauma from a pre-match attack from Roma ultras, and is currently undergoing long-term rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire.
Cox’s family has set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise €2 million to pay for the cost of this long-term and intensive care. Leading by example, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, and long-time Everton right back Seamus Coleman donated €5,000 each. Coleman, also the Irish national team captain, is also helping out his fellow countryman.
Yesterday, following Coleman’s donation, the fund sat at just over €70,000. As of this writing, it is now nearly €112,000.
This is yet another great example of Everton and Liverpool supporters putting their hostilities aside for the greater good. It is what makes the Merseyside Derby one of the best in all of sports. Well in to both Klopp and Coleman, and hopefully we can follow their examples, and continue to get Sean Cox and his family the support that they need.