Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images Rodgers attended a vigil in the city remembering the Hillsborough victims on Wednesday.
# plea
Hillsborough probe must end sick taunts - Rodgers
The Liverpool manager also recalled the “propaganda” written about the event at the time.

LIVERPOOL MANAGER BRENDAN Rodgers insists the new revelations about the Hillsborough disaster must bring an end to the smear campaign and sick chants about his club’s fans.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed on Wednesday that South Yorkshire Police changed statements relating to the 1989 tragedy, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death before an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, in a bid to divert blame for the tragedy.

Prime Minister David Cameron apologised to the families of those who died, telling the House of Commons that the report made clear “Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster”.

But Liverpudlians have have had to endure decades of chants from rivals supporters about the events at Hillsborough and Rodgers hopes the terrace taunts will now cease.

“There is no doubt the propaganda at the time, if you were outside the city of Liverpool and its people, planted seeds throughout the country and the world,” Rodgers said on Thursday.

“I speak as a human being and I don’t ever like to hear anything like that, whatever club it is, that associates with other people’s tragedies and death.

“Unfortunately you have a very small percentage of idiots at any club who will always try to smear another club’s reputation.

“Of course, it is obvious these are chants that no-one wants to hear about any club.

“Unfortunately there are that minority of supporters who will maybe disappoint but let’s hope we can all move on and we can all learn from this whole process.”

Former Swansea boss Rodgers, who has only been in charge at Liverpool since June, attended a vigil in the city on Wednesday and said he felt the pain of the families who had struggled for so long to show what really happened at Hillsborough.

“It is the people who have suffered over all the years who have had to contend with that and fight against that sort of relentless campaigning at the time,” Rodgers said.

“We have all suffered death in our lives but to have it happen to your son, daughter, brother, sister, and then have a campaign against that – you can’t begin to imagine what that must feel like.”

Rodgers also admitted he had nothing but admiration for the work of the families of the bereaved who fought for the truth to be revealed.

“It has been incredible what they have had to go through,” he said.

“I was a 16-year-old boy in Northern Ireland at the time and I sit here today as a 39-year-old and the families have just had justice.

“My respect goes out to everyone involved in that process over 23 long, hard, arduous years and hopefully they found some sort of justice.

“I have met with some of the campaigners since I’ve been here and had a shortened version of what they have been through and it has been remarkable really for all the families.

“These have suffered and none of us can begin to imagine what they have been through.

“Everyone will draw inspiration from how hard they have fought and the time and effort which goes into protecting those loved ones.”

- © AFP, 2012

Read: FA apologises — eventually — for part in Hillsborough tragedy>

Read: Michael Owen: I should have left Manchester United earlier>

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