Alex Ferguson appeals for Manchester United fans to show respect at Liverpool

Sir Alex Ferguson: Appealed for fans to stand together in the best traditions of the best fans in the game

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Sir Alex Ferguson has written a letter appealing for Manchester United supporters to show respect to Liverpool fans on Sunday.

United captain Nemanja Vidic has already called for a sense of perspective ahead of what is certain to be an emotionally-charged clash at Anfield.

Ferguson has written the letter - appealing for fans not to show any 'personal hatred' towards their Liverpool counterparts - so it can be distributed to supporters at the turnstile.

It comes after anti-Liverpool songs were sung by a minority at Old Trafford last Saturday following last week's Hillsborough Independent Panel findings which absolved Reds' fans of any blame for the disaster.

"Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice. I know I can count on you to stand with us in the best traditions of the best fans in the game."

Sir Alex Ferguson

In the letter, Ferguson says: "The great support you gave the team here last season has seen our allocation back up to near-full levels.

"I want you to continue that progress today.

"But today is about much more than not blocking gangways.

"Today is about thinking hard about what makes United the best club in the world.

"Our rivalry with Liverpool is based on a determination to come out on top - a wish to see us crowned the best against a team that held that honour for so long.

"It cannot and should never be based on personal hatred.

"Just ten days ago, we heard the terrible, damning truth about the deaths of 96 fans who went to watch their team try and reach the FA Cup final and never came back.

"What happened to them should wake the conscience of everyone connected with the game.

"Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice. I know I can count on you to stand with us in the best traditions of the best fans in the game."