Why did Liverpool fans boo the national anthem at the FA Cup Final?

Why did Liverpool fans boo the national anthem at the FA Cup Final?
Prince William booed by Wembley crowd at FA Cup final

Liverpool fans had plenty to cheer about with the side playing (and winning) the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday (May 14) but at one point the Reds could be heard booing during the national anthem.

Just before kick-off at Wembley Stadium, the teams came out and were presented to Prince William before "God Save The Queen" was sung sparking boos from Liverpool fans.

You may be confused but there is a historic reason why the Reds give the national anthem such a hostile reception.

The tradition of booing at the national anthem is thought to date as far back as the 1980s to display opposition towards the establishment.

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In particular, people booed to protest Thatcher's Conservative government's "managed decline" of the city, along with the cover-ups that occurred in the Hillsborough disaster where 97 people were tragically killed in a crush at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield during an FA Cup semi-final match in 1989.

Earlier this year, the Reds also booed this when their side played in the Carabao Cup final back in February against Chelsea and beat them in a dramatic penalty shootout.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was asked for his thoughts on the tradition back in 2019, to which he said: "I don’t think I'm the right person [to ask], I know a bit about the history but it’s not for me to judge.

"I know the Liverpool supporters are respectful. If they give that sign the reason might be a bit in the past. But I've nothing else to say about that."

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge looks on prior to The FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on May 14, 2022Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup in another nail-biting penalty shoot-out (5-6) but the boos from fans before the match have caused a debate.

On the one hand, there were many who slammed Liverpool fans for booing Prince William at the match.

House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle toldMailOnline: "I utterly condemn any fans who booed Prince William at Wembley today.

"The FA Cup final should be an occasion when we come together as a country. It should not be ruined by a minority of fans’ totally shameful behaviour.

"In this year of all years – the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – this is dreadful."

Meanwhile, Ed Davey leader of the Liberal Democrats said: "We have the most wonderful Monarch and those fans who booed do not represent their clubs or our country."

Tory MP Karen Bradley described the booing as "utterly unacceptable and disgraceful."

However, others highlighted how Liverpool fans were booing the national anthem as part of their tradition.

Omid Scobie, journalist and co-author of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle biography Finding Freedom, tweeted about why the Reds were booing at the match.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley also defended the Reds during a discussion on the programme alongside co-host Susanna Reid with commentators Kevin Maguire and Andrew Pierce and described it as "part and parcel" of Liverpool's culture.

"I think, in many ways, it's quite a healthy disrespect for the establishment. Yes, when it comes out like that, it looks a bit ugly, but it's part and parcel of Liverpool and the way that proud city is. And the way it isn't cowed and it won't be beaten down," he said.

Maguire agreed and added: "There is a long tradition of Liverpool fans going back to the 1980s and Thatcher and they're not booing the Queen, it's booing the establishment."

As well as booing, according to theLiverpool Echo, fans also get their message across with "a flag regularly spotted at Anfield reads ‘scouse not English’ and will most likely be on display at most games."

"While in recent years, the people of Merseyside feel they continue to be let down by the state and believe the foodbanks outside Anfield and Goodison is evidence of widening inequalities," the publication added.

"The frosty relationship between city and country also translates to the English national team, with many Liverpudlians not supporting England during major tournaments like the Euros or the World Cup."

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