Played 185 Liverpool wins 62 Man Utd wins 72 Draws 51
Liverpool v Man Utd head-to-head record in all competitions
Man Utd wins
" Liverpool fans have been guilty themselves in the past of singing songs about the Munich air crash but Hillsborough rises above club loyalties.
"I also think anyone who is tempted to try to mar the occasion will find themselves being embarrassed by their fellow supporters.
"And with plans for opposing captains Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic to release 96 balloons before kick-off in memory of those who died in 1989, I am convinced it will be a day that will do everyone inside Anfield enormous credit.
"It may even be the time when fractures in the relationship between the two sets of supporters are repaired.
"United and Liverpool have suffered great tragedies as clubs so there should be empathy between them. It is these tragic events and how they have handled them that contribute to their greatness. They are part of these clubs' history so there should be that mutual respect.
"Sir Alex Ferguson has very publicly offered United's support to Liverpool. He will stand alongside Liverpool because this is not an issue of club loyalty or a time for rivalries. Hillsborough goes beyond that."
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who will take charge of his 62nd match against Liverpool on Sunday, admits that the rivalry between the cities goes back a long way further than football.
The building of the Manchester ship canal in the 1880s is often cited as the source of that historic discontent. The canal bypassed the Port of Liverpool, leading to job losses on Merseyside and disgruntlement with the new competition - it is mentioned still on the Mersey Ferry tour.
Ferguson said: "The thing about us and Liverpool is the rivalry. They are the most fantastic games.
"They're unparalleled in British history in terms of the success of both clubs and that's why we need each other. From an industrial point of view, the way industry changed when they opened the ship canal - [the rivalry] is all to do with it."
Football is so important in north-west daily life that the broader culture can be infected.
Music is an example of that - while the Beatles struck the first telling blow for Liverpool, Manchester hit back with the likes of Joy Division, New Order, the Smiths, the Stone Roses and Oasis. And yet this is a rivalry that lives in football and was fuelled by modern success, first Liverpool's, then United's.
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