Hillsborough victims' families hailed at commemoration service


Families of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster have united at a special commemorative service in Liverpool to reflect on their 27-year quest for justice.

At St George's Hall in the city, crowds gathered in their thousands to applaud the families of the disaster as they made their way down the steps following the jury's conclusion that fans had been unlawfully killed.

As they walked hand in hand, the sea of people erupted in chanting: "Justice for the 96."

In addressing the crowd, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said that "the truth had triumphed".

He added: "Yesterday, the wall of lies was finally torn down. The real truth came out yesterday."

Mr Anderson said the tragedy was the biggest cover-up in history.

He then turned to pay tribute to the "inspirational" families and campaigners, "who won a tremendous battle: you fought for the values truth and justice. Never has our city been more proud of what you have achieved and done."

He added that they were "united in grief, united in love and support".

Mr Anderson said that it was because of the "incompetence of those in charge" who, he added, "tried to lay the blame at the door of our fans", that the 96 had lost their lives.

Mr Anderson said that Rupert Murdoch's newspapers "didn't even bother" to put Hillsborough on their front covers, adding that they were denying the fans the "spotlight they deserve".

Many bowed their heads as prayers were said for those who had died, as well as the families, campaigners and the jury, who had "put their lives on hold" for two years.

Liverpool FC legend Kenny Dalglish, who managed the team on the day of the tragedy in 1989, read a passage from the Bible, and added: "You'll never walk alone," before the crowds joined together in song.

Many had chosen to wear red in tribute to the Liverpool supporters.

A red and white banner bearing the names of the victims stood tall against the pillars of St George's Hall, with the words "truth" and "justice" in huge letters.

As the day went on, hundreds of floral tributes were placed on the stairs while Liverpool scarves, flags and rosettes were attached to the nearby lamp-posts.

As the 96 victims' names were read aloud, the crowd fell silent.