Everton paid an emotional tribute to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster prior to their Premier League fixture with Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Monday night, in what was a poignant display of solidarity with city rivals Liverpool.
Two young children wearing Everton and Liverpool kits, with the girl's bearing a '9' and the boy's the number '6' on the back of their shirts, held hands during a minute's applause.
Liverpool supporters were exonerated from any blame of the deaths of 96 supporters last week, 23 years on from one of the darkest hours in English football.
The Hollies’ 'He Ain’t Heavy' was played on the tannoy speakers to accompany a photo collage of the 96 in what was the Toffees' first fixture since the 395-page report exposing the shocking cover up was released on Wednesday.
Notable Hillsborough campaigners Trevor Hicks and Margaret Aspinall were in attendance to reaffirm the friendliness Liverpool and Everton have often shared, despite their city rivalry.
Hicks' daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, both died along with Mrs Aspinall's 18-year-old son James.
Everton manager David Moyes was loquacious in his programme notes when reflecting on last week's events.
"As part of the football family, I, and everybody at Everton, stand alongside the families who for so long have challenged the authorities over what has now been proved a travesty. I am not only a football manager, I'm a football supporter and a father, and I applaud the families who continued to fight for the ones they loved.
"The outcome was nothing short of disgraceful. We have all been brought up to believe and trust in authority. The authorities who were responsible for ensuring the safety of supporters that afternoon let themselves down, as have the government parties who have been in power since.
"Praise must go to [Labour MP] Andy Burnham and the families for getting disclosure."
Sir Alex Ferguson, who paid a quiet visit to Anfield to in the aftermath of the disaster in 1989 to read tributes left at the Kop End, was also present ahead of Manchester United playing at Liverpool on Sunday.
The two clubs' chief executives, Ian Ayre and David Gill, are expected to hold talks during the week in a bid to subdue any tensions ahead of a game which is invariably brimming with a toxic atmosphere.