Ayre hails 'resilience and dignity' of Hillsborough families


Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has outlined his admiration for the families of the Hillsborough victims following Tuesday's landmark court ruling.

A jury in Warrington passed down a verdict that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed and also absolved fans of any blame for what happened on the Leppings Lane terrace.

Instead, fault was found with South Yorkshire Police, who have subsequently apologised, as well as Sheffield Wednesday, stadium engineers and the ambulance service.

The verdict ends a tireless campaign for the truth from families of the deceased and Ayre was quick to hail their efforts.

He said in a statement: "After 27 long years the true verdict has finally been delivered, confirming what the families always believed - their loved ones were unlawfully killed.

"Liverpool Football Club welcomes the jury's decision, once and for all, that our supporters were not in any way responsible for what happened at Hillsborough. We will always remember the selfless bravery and heroism of the many fans that helped their fellow supporters in the most harrowing of circumstances that day. We praise those who, since the beginning of the inquest, have had to find the courage and strength to re-live what they went through.

"Since April 15, 1989, the solidarity shown by Liverpool fans towards the families and survivors encapsulates the unique character of both the club and city. We are also hugely thankful for the unwavering support the wider football community has so generously shown these past 27 years.

"It has been a painful journey for the families and survivors, who have endured and sacrificed so much for so long. The resilience and dignity they have shown throughout their tireless campaign has been humbling and inspirational. Their conduct and actions throughout their struggle has brought pride to the city of Liverpool and will serve as a lasting tribute to the victims.

"The 96 men, women and children who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough will never be forgotten."