The 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives at Hillsborough 23 years ago were remembered in the anniversary memorial service at Anfield on Sunday.  

 

Thousands of Liverpool and Everton fans put their differences aside and joined the families of the victims and LFC players past and present in the Kop to pay their respects.

 

Kenny Dalglish, who was manager at the time of the tragedy, led his full squad out to a standing ovation from the crowd.

 

During the service, the names of the victims were read out and candles lit in their memory, while the hymn 'Abide With Me' was sung by a gospel choir.

 

A minute's silence was held at 3.06pm, the exact time the game was stopped by the referee at Hillsborough in 1989, and this was followed by readings from Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt and Liverpool's Managing Director, Ian Ayre.

 

Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support

Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James, 18,

died during the tragic FA Cup semi-final,

addressed the crowd to speak about the

recent controversial rant by comedian Alan Davies

about the significance of the anniversary.

 

She said:  “When certain people make certain

comments about Liverpool Football Club should

be playing on the 15th April, I am afraid that

person wants to learn to keep his comments to

himself and his opinions to himself.

 

“Because, when comments like that offend and

hurt so many thousands of people, it's quite

obvious he has got nothing else to worry about

in his life as what we have had for 23 years.”

 

During the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley between

Liverpool and Everton on Saturday, a minute's

silence was held to honour the 96 and players

from both teams wore black armbands.

 

Mrs Aspinall spoke of her delight at seeing the city

rivals join together to fight for justice: “Our two

clubs, Everton Football Club and Liverpool Football

Club, they made our city proud and I was proud to

be a Merseysider yesterday. Both Everton and

Liverpool showed a great deal of respect to the

96 who died at Hillsborough and for that we are

truly grateful.”

 

The service was officiated by Reverend Kelvin

Bolton of Christ Church and Holy Trinity, Rev

Keith Parr of Oakfield Methodist Church and

Father Stephen Maloney of All Saints Church,

Anfield. As it drew to a close, Neil McHale sang

LFC anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, while

members of the Hillsborough Family Support

Group released 96 red balloons into the sky.

 

As families, players and officials exited the stadium,

many fans stayed in their seats to repeat the chant

that has come to symbolise how they still feel about

the disaster: ‘Justice for the 96.’  

Hillsborough marked on 23rd anniversary

 By Erin McLoughlin, Sophie Fairclough & Camilla Cole                                            Pictures by Liam Deveney

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Thousands came to pay their respects at the service at Anfield; JMU Journalism TV at the memorial  

 

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HILLSBOROUGH MEMORIAL 2012

 

Photo gallery from the Anfield memorial >>

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