A city united: Hillsborough victims remembered at Anfield anniversary service

A fresh inquest into the death of 96 Liverpool fans in the 1989 stadium disaster is due to begin later this month.

FAMILY, FRIENDS AND the wider footballing community gathered in Anfield this afternoon to remember the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster 24 years ago.

A moment of silence was observed at 3.06pm, marking the time that the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was stopped on 15 April 1989.

Liverpool owner John Henry, manager Brendan Rogers and the senior squad were in attendance while Everton owner Bill Kenwright and manager David Moyes represented the club’s cross-city neighbours.

Today’s ceremony was the first annual memorial since the publication of an independent report into the disaster which found that 41 people had the potential to survive after the coroner’s 3.15pm cut-off point and that police conspired to cover-up their own culpability and blame the fans for the crush at the Leppings Lane end of the ground.

Britain’s High Court subsequently quashed the original verdict of “accidental death” and ordered a fresh inquest which is due to begin later this month.

“Now there is a real belief that justice will be served,” Henry said. “This club will always cherish the memory of family and friends lost 24 years ago today. They will forever be part of Liverpool Football Club.”

Addressing the families of the deceased in a moving speech, Kenwright said: “I don’t know the pain but I appreciate the pain that you would have felt on that day but let me tell you, the 96 are here today as much as they always have been.

“And I hope by next year, the 25th anniversary, you will be celebrating the greatest victory that any team in this country has ever had: not just in football but in life.”

“Everton Football Club and our manager David Moyes, we salute you, and if you ever want to come and have a service for them over at our place with some Blues, the door is always open for you.”

YouTube Credit: DeanCoombesXbox

Yesterday two permanent tributes to the victims were unveiled in Liverpool city centre. An eight-foot clock, frozen at 3.06pm, will reside in the city’s Town Hall while a bronze statute bearing the names of the dead and the words “”Hillsborough Disaster – we will remember them” was erected in the Old Haymarket area.

Grace Mealand, aged 4, from Bootle lays flowers on the pitch

[All pictures above by PA Wire/Press Association Images]

Earlier Liverpool’s footballing rivals Manchester United led the tributes to the 96 on Facebook and Twitter:

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