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New service to mark the Hillsborough anniversary

By Kim Pilling

A low-key memorial service will take place today to mark the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium tragedy.

Annual services at Liverpool FC's Anfield stadium to remember the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Sheffield football ground in Britain's worst sporting disaster will no longer take place at the request of the families belonging to the organisers, Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG).

From this year, the city's two cathedrals will take it in turn to host a simple commemoration, following an initiative from the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, and the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, in liaison with the mayor of the city, Joe Anderson.

The half-hour service at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will start at 2.45pm and maintain a minute's silence at 3.06pm -when the fateful 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was stopped at Hillsborough stadium.

It will include simple prayers and time for silent reflection but will not include any sermons or other words beyond the simple prayers on the service sheet.

The Bishop of Liverpool said: "On behalf of all the churches we count it a great privilege to offer this brief and simple service".

Players and staff of Liverpool FC will also pause to observe a minute's silence at 3.06pm and the day's training session at the club's Melwood complex will stop so that respects can be paid alongside the temporary Hillsborough memorial.

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