Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Thousands at Hillsborough service

People sit during the Hillsborough disaster memorial service at Anfield

Thousands of people have joined together at an emotional memorial service to mark the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers, chief executive Ian Ayre and all the club's players and staff joined the families of the 96 victims, survivors and supporters for the event at Anfield Stadium.

The annual service was the first held since the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel laid bare a shocking cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy on to its victims.

The Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15 1989 where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

During the service the names of the 96 dead were read out and a candle was lit in memory of each victim in front of the Kop.

LFC chairman John Henry and his Everton counterpart Bill Kenwright gave readings and a minute's silence was held at 3.06pm, the moment when the game was halted as officials realised fans were being crushed on the terraces.

The crowd, which filled the Kop end, cheered loudly as Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, made an emotional speech calling for justice for the 96.

To loud cheers and applause, Mrs Aspinall said: "So the truth has finally been revealed and now justice must follow.

"I call on the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) to conduct their investigations as fast and as thoroughly as possible, leaving no stone unturned.

"All of us are getting older and some have been diagnosed with incurable illness. Delays are not acceptable under any circumstances."

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