Hillsborough disaster: Bells rung to mark anniversary

The crowd at Anfield fell silent to mark the moment the match was halted

Bells have been rung 96 times across Merseyside to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

The bells of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Town Hall and churches in Merseyside rang at 15:06 BST during a one-minute silence.

It marked the moment Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final at the Sheffield ground was halted on 15 April 1989 after a crush that led to the deaths of 96 fans.

An annual memorial service was held at Anfield stadium.

Seats left empty

Campaigner Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and other families of victims were clapped as they arrived for the service.

96 seats with scarves draped over them A seat was left empty and draped with a football scarf for each Liverpool fan who died

Fans, players and club officials also gathered in the ground. Ninety-six seats, which were draped in scarves, were left empty.

The service began with the singing of the hymn, Abide With Me, which is synonymous with the FA Cup and has been sung at every final since 1927. It was also recorded as part of a charity single in memory of the victims in 1989.

A ring of lights called the Band of Life, with each light inscribed with the name of a victim, was lit as the names of those who died were read out by the Reverend Kelvin Bolton, the Reverend David Smith and Father Stephen Maloney.

The Band of Life As each name was read out, a light was lit on the Band of Life sculpture

A minute's silence followed, which Rev Bolton ended with the words "a time never to forget".

Taking the first reading, Everton manager Roberto Martinez said he was was only 15 when the disaster happened and that "as a family, we couldn't believe the pain and horror".

He said he was there representing his club, adding that "Everton remembers - we always will".

The service was also screened at Everton's ground, Goodison Park, for fans to pay their respects.

Roberto Martinez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and others Everton manager Roberto Martinez (top left) sat among Liverpool players past and present

Martinez was followed by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who said that while "you don't struggle for inspiration [at] this great football club, the single biggest source for me is when I arrive each match day and see the Hillsborough memorial".

Speaking to the families of the victims, Rodgers said they had "all stood for 25 years together [and] the love for the people you lost inspires me every day as manager".

"I really do feel inadequate in your company. You will never walk alone."

Standing ovations

Many aspects of today's service felt the same as the service did five years ago for the 20th anniversary.

The 96 names were recited then, as now. The Kop was full then, as it was today.

But in every other sense, today's service was different.

When Andy Burnham spoke in 2009, he was heckled by a lone cry of "Justice for the 96", which spread throughout the Kop.

This year when he spoke, it was to a very different reception - applause filled the stadium.

With new inquests under way, the justice process is ongoing.

This year's commemorations were tinged with a feeling of hope and optimism for the future.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who had been booed at a Hillsborough memorial service in 2009 while delivering a speech as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, thanked the families of the victims.

In a speech which saw several standing ovations for the people he mentioned, including campaigner Anne Williams who died shortly after the memorial service last April, he said he had asked his mother what he should speak about.

He said she "told me to wish you all the best for the league and to say how fitting it would be if you won it in this of all years".

He also praised former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish for his work with the families over the last 25 years, adding, "what leadership, what loyalty he has shown on your behalf".

Trevor Hicks, the president of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said the 25 years since the disaster had been "a very long road".

'Spirit of 96'

Mr Hicks, who lost two daughters at Hillsborough, thanked Liverpool Football Club for their support and the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Trevor Hicks, father: "The families of the 96 - we did it... we made it all happen"

"The spirit of the 96 burns in our hearts and drives us on," he said.

He also paid tribute to the families of the victims, who he said had "made it all happen".

"We stood together. We pulled, we pushed, we refused to lie down, we refused to go away, which is something that annoyed an awful lot of people."

His words were echoed by Mrs Aspinall, whose son died at the Sheffield stadium.

She said the families had been "fighting for 25 years".

"No matter how much dirt they tried to throw at us, Liverpudlians, Scousers, we don't lie down and take it."

Their speeches were followed by a rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone, led by the singer Gerry Marsden, during which 96 balloons were released.

The service ended with the crowd singing You'll Never Walk Alone

In Sheffield, the city's cathedral held a two-minute silence at 15:07 BST.

At the Hillsborough ground, a short service and a wreath-laying ceremony also took place at the memorial garden and the stadium was opened to allow people to lay flowers and remember those who died at the match against Nottingham Forest.

A minute's silence was observed at Old Market Square in Nottingham for the victims.

Hillsborough memorial service A memorial service was held at the monument at Hillsborough

Scarves from every club in the top four divisions were laid on the pitch to create a number 96 at Anfield as a "sign of unity" for the service, a spokesman for Liverpool said.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the city "will never forget those who died at Hillsborough, and this is a day for us to unite and remember each and every supporter and the friends and families left behind".

Who were the 96 victims?

Eight of the Hillsborough victims, CW from top left: Paul Clark, Stephen Copoc, Tracey Cox, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, Steven Fox, Vincent Fitzsimmons, Christopher Edwards

Tuesday's events follow a weekend of tributes to the 96 fans, which saw wreaths left at Anfield's and Hillsborough's memorials to those who died and football matches in leagues across England kick-off seven minutes late.

The commemorations come as fresh inquests into the deaths of the fans are held in Warrington. The inquests have been adjourned until 22 April.

They were ordered after the original accidental death inquest verdicts were quashed in 2012 following an independent report.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool



Min. Night 7 °C

BBC Local Live

    17:25: PC 'pressured' over disaster account Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A police officer was put under "severe pressure" to accept changes to his statement about the Hillsborough disaster, the inquests have heard.

    The Hillsborough disaster

    Deletions to Michael Walpole's account were a "mixed bag", the jury heard, including comments critical of both the police operation and Liverpool fans.

    He said he recalled how officers were "hounded out" and their lives made a "misery" until they retired.

    But his original statement was finally sent to a public inquiry.

    17:17: Fugitive in light aircraft arrest Tom Airey BBC News

    One of the UK's most wanted fugitives has been arrested while attempting to return to Britain in a light aircraft.

    Paul John Scott, from Liverpool, was arrested at East Winch Airfield, Norfolk on Tuesday.

    It has emerged Mr Scott has since been charged with conspiracy to import cocaine and appeared at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

    He was remanded in custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 2 January.

    17:08: Strong winds slows M6

    BBC Travel reports the matrix sign is set to 50mph on the M6 at the Thelwall Viaduct between junction 20 the Lymm Interchange and junction 21 Woolston, because of strong winds.

    17:00: Fugitive in light aircraft arrest Tom Airey BBC News

    Here is more on one of the UK's most wanted fugitives being arrested while attempting to return to Britain in a light aircraft.

    Paul John Scott, 32, from Liverpool, is a suspected member of a drug-smuggling gang.

    Fugitive tried light aircraft return
    16:35: Hillsborough inquests extended Ben Schofield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The coroner at the Hillsborough inquests has told the jury there is a "real risk" the inquests will not end until early 2016.

    Lord Justice John Goldring said the evidence is not due to end until 6 November 2015.

    The inquests into the deaths of 96 fans who died as a result of a crush at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest in 1989 were due to end this year.

    16:22: Airport's wrapping warning

    Passengers using Liverpool John Lennon Airport over Christmas are being asked to have their presents unwrapped when they travel.

    The airport said this will avoid long queues when security guards inspect hand luggage.

    16:12: Tomfoolery in Chester Paul Burnell BBC News

    Chester hands the city back to the Romans later as soldiers from the Deva Victrix 20th Legion celebrate the Roman Saturnalia festival.

    Saturnalia in Chester 2013

    The parade begins at 18:30 from the Grosvenor Museum where torches are lit and the Emperor makes a proclamation before releasing the Lord of Misrule.

    Cheshire West Council tell me Saturnalia was the most popular Roman festival which was marked by "tomfoolery and the reversal of roles with slaves and masters switching places."

    16:00: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    Local councils across Merseyside and Cheshire are facing a funding cut of 1.8% in the next financial year.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    15:50: Waterfront vista Paul Burnell BBC News

    From the other side of the River Mersey comes this wonderful shot of Liverpool's waterfront.

    Liverpool Waterfront

    Call me an old romantic but you could almost believe it was New York's Hudson River.

    Many thanks to Wirralcam.com for this shot.

    15:38: Rudolph on the rails

    Virgin Trains Liverpool tweets: Traveling with us today on our 13:47 to Euston than you'll be travelling on #Traindeer.

    Traindeer in Liverpool Lime Street
    15:30: Miracle cat's award St Helens The Reporter

    A St. Helens pet owner has new hope after her miracle cat made the finals of competition to find the nation's most remarkable survivor.

    15:21: Protected yew trees investigation Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A church could face prosecution for illegally destroying two ancient yew trees protected by preservation orders.

    St James Methodist Church, Woolton

    St James' Methodist United Reformed Church in Woolton, Liverpool, cut down the trees on Monday.

    But a concerned resident contacted Liverpool City Council, who confirmed the trees were subject to tree preservation orders.

    15:11: Picton drunks beware Paul Burnell BBC News

    News that Southport is to have its own "alcohol recovery centre" for those who have one too many in the festive season made me think of this landmark in Wavertree.

    Picton lock-up

    According to the Wavertree Historical Society, the Picton lock-up was built in 1796 for the accommodation of drunks and other prisoners overnight.

    By 1845, the village' first police station made it redundant so it was used for other things, including as a home for cholera victims and temporary housing for Irish families who fled the potato famine. In 1952, it became a listed building.

    15:00: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    A former South Yorkshire police officer says he feared he would be hounded out of the force if he did not accept changes to his statement about the Hillsborough disaster.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    14:52: Knocking spots off a record Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    The world record for most people dressed as Dalmatians has been broken at North Liverpool Academy.

    Dalmations record bid

    All 454 broke into 'ap-paws' at the end.

    14:42: Marine 'can keep no relegation record'

    Marine FC say manager Carl Macauley is the man to get them out of trouble and "retain our proud record" of never being relegated in their 120-year history.

    Marine's Arriva Stadium

    The Crosby side currently lie 22nd in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League and are five points adrift of safety, but despite being near the bottom, chairman Paul Leary says Macauley has the club's "total support".

    "Carl is our manager and whilst his objectives have changed as the season has progressed, he is the person that we want to be at the helm for a long time to come."

    14:32: Hillsborough inquests latest Ben Schofield BBC Radio Merseyside

    A former South Yorkshire PC was put under "severe pressure" to accept changes to his statement about the Hillsborough disaster, the inquests have heard.

    The jury was told the deletions to Michael Walpole's statement were a "mixed bag", including comments critical of both Liverpool fans and the police operation.

    Mr Walpole said he recalled how officers were "hounded out" of their jobs and their lives were made a "misery" until they retired.

    But an unamended version of his statement was eventually put forward to a public inquiry into the disaster.

    14:25: Degrees of excellence

    Liverpool Hope University has recorded its highest ever research rating with more than a third of its research considered "world leading" or "internationally excellent".

    Liverpool Hope University

    The university's rating is included in the national 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which examines every academic institution in the country.

    Vice Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University Professor Gerald Pillay said: "We are attracting the best researchers from around the world, and their work is making an impact locally, nationally and internationally."

    14:11: On air Billy Butler BBC Radio Merseyside

    Hear the 12 Plays of Christmas from the Philharmonic after 15:15 as I visited their rehearsals for Rudolph on Hope Street last night.

    Philharmonic rehearsals

    Listen live on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    14:00: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    A senior Liverpool doctor has said the extreme pressure on A&E departments will only get worse as we go deeper into winter.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    13:47: Hut Group's Warrington shelter Warrington Guardian

    Online giants The Hut Group have finally been confirmed as the latest big name to move to Omega in a £47.5m deal.

    13:34: Sterling 'should stay a Red' BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has told 5 live Breakfast Raheem Sterling should stay at the Reds for the next few years in order to develop his career.

    Raheem Sterling

    Sterling has been linked with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich but Barnes says it's too soon for the player to make such a move.

    He said it was "equally important for Raheem Sterling to stay at Liverpool as it is for Liverpool to keep him".

    13:22: Coming up Annabel Tiffin Presenter, North West Tonight

    On North West Today we will be looking at the cuts facing the region's police forces.

    There will be the latest from the Hillsborough inquests.

    And we explain why a Liverpool church is facing prosecution for chopping down trees.

    Listen live.

    13:10: Church illegally chops down trees Tom Mullen BBC News

    A Liverpool church could face prosecution for illegally destroying two ancient yew trees protected by preservation orders.

    Yew trees

    St James' Methodist United Reformed Church in Woolton cut down the trees on Monday. But a concerned resident contacted Liverpool City Council, who confirmed the trees were subject to Tree Preservation Orders.

    The council has launched an investigation and a spokesman confirmed the church could be prosecuted, or forced to replace the trees.

    12:57: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside's chief constable has admitted some police forces may have to merge together to cope with the continuing loss of funding.

    Listen live.

    12:43: 'Incredible' Naismith news BBC Sport

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez says he's very happy Steven Naismith has signed a new contract.

    Steven Naismith

    Martinez told the press ahead of the Toffees' game against Southampton at the weekend that the Scottish striker was "in the best moment of his career".

    "He is only going to get better. It is incredible news for us," he said.

    12:32: Safety breach costs firm £180,000 Emma Stanley BBC News

    An Ellesmere Port firm has pleaded guilty to a breach of Health and Safety laws at Liverpool Crown Court over the death of a worker.

    Ian Aliski, 29, was using a forklift at Recresco Ltd's glass recycling plant when it overturned over and fatally crushed him on 26 April 2010.

    The firm was fined £180,000 over the incident and has since started using alternative vehicles, suitable for all terrains.

    12:22: Howard's way BBC Sport

    Goalkeeper Tim Howard has told BBC Breakfast how he has been able to forge a successful career, despite suffering from Tourette's syndrome.


    "Growing up as a young kid in New Jersey, I started having these tics and twitches. They didn't know what it was but I went to the doctor and they found out it was Tourette's syndrome," he said.

    "Since then I have been able to cope with it. I have the ability to concentrate on something else - the environment, the ball, the crowd, other players - which means I don't concentrate on the tics."

    12:10: Promiscuous dormice wanted

    A decade-long study by Chester Zoo and Natural Resources Wales has found promiscuous female dormice are good for the species.


    The study in Denbighshire found dormice which have offspring with more than one father in the same litter can help ensure their survival.

    It also found some dormice breed before they are one year old and others produce two litters in a year, which was known behaviour in continental European mice but had never been observed in the UK before.

    12:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    The organisation which represents police officers on Merseyside says proposed cuts to the service could impact on how they're able to fight gun and gang crime.

    Peter Singleton, the chairman of Merseyside's Police Federation, says the £12.7m budget cut could seriously affect their ability to take weapons off the streets.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    11:52: Roman roots recalled Simon Moffatt Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    Chester will celebrate its ancient past tonight for Saturnalia, a midwinter festival which celebrates Saturn, the god of plenty, wealth and agriculture.

    Roman soldier from Chester

    A parade of Roman soldiers will be marching through the streets this evening to mark the occasion.

    I met one of the legionaries but unfortunately he could not answer my question - what have the Romans ever done for us?

    11:41: Putting the brakes on scramblers

    Merseyside Police has issued helicopter CCTV highlighting the dangers of nuisance scrambler bikes can cause.

    Merseyside Police helicopter footage

    Concerns have been raised in the Croxteth, West Derby and Fazakerley areas about large groups of bikes gathering in parks and being ridden dangerously across parts of Merseyside.

    Ch Insp Jenny Sims said: "Anti-social use of the bikes blights many communities and is something people consistently tell us they are worried about."

    11:31: Cruella record attempt

    BBC Radio Merseyside tweets: Good luck to @NorthLivAcademy trying to break the world record for the number of people dressed as dalmations! The current record's 450.

    11:22: 'Sub-optimal care' apology St Helens The Reporter

    A top doctor at Whiston Hospital issued an unreserved apology to the family of a St. Helens grandmother at an inquest yesterday.

    Dr Julia Hendry admitted that Nora Peters, 74, who was erroneously administered an oxygen-driven nebuliser in the days before she died, had been given "sub-optimal care".

    11:11: Wanted arrested

    Thirty-three people have been arrested on the first day of an operation by Cheshire Police targeting people wanted by police and the courts.

    Operation Hatay is aimed at those who have either failed to appear at court or are wanted by officers for a range of offences from burglary to arson.

    Supt Pete Crowcroft said: "Force operations sent a dozen officers into Merseyside and beyond to knock early and loud on doors while staff from our neighbourhood teams concentrated on Cheshire based offenders."

    11:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy is warning a further 400 officers could be cut from the force as the government slashes its budget.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    10:51: King of the oche

    St. Helens arrows ace Stephen Bunting has one New Year's resolution - to become the undisputed darts champion of the world.

    Stephen Bunting

    Bunting could become the first player to hold both the Professional Darts Corporation and the British Darts Organisation world titles.

    10:42: What a dummy Warrington Guardian

    A bungling thief thought he had made off with a top-of-the-range Apple iPhone from Vodafone in the Golden Square - only to find he had taken a replica.

    10:33: Firm sentenced over forklift death Emma Stanley BBC News

    An Ellesmere Port recycling company has been fined £180,000 after a worker was killed on his first day at work when the forklift truck he was driving overturned.

    The overturned forklift

    Ian Aliski, 29, from Ellesmere Port, was using the forklift at Recresco Ltd's glass recycling plant in Manisty Wharf on North Road on 26 April 2010 when the vehicle overturned, crushing him to death.

    10:19: Lorry blocks city street

    BBC Travel reports a broken down lorry is partially blocking North John Street between Lord Street and Victoria Street in Liverpool.

    10:12: Woman hurt in hit-and-run

    A 51-year-old woman suffered a broken collar bone when she was knocked down by a car in a hit-and-run crash in Dingle Mount on Wednesday.

    Dingle Mount

    Merseyside Police said she was hit shortly after 18:30 GMT as she crossed Dingle Mount at its junction with South Hill Road and Beloe Street.

    Police have appealed for witnesses.

    10:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    The government has announced it intends to slash a further £12.7m from Merseyside Police's budget.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    09:44: Safe pair of hands Paul Burnell BBC News

    You never who you are going to bump into at the BBC... and boy, is Tim Howard tall!

    He's the best known American goalkeeper since Escape To Victory's Hatch - aka Sylvester Stallone.

    Tim Howard

    Everton's keeper was being interviewed about his new book, which charts life at Goodison Park alongside his heroics for Team USA in Brazil at the World Cup earlier this year.

    I bet part of him pines for the Copacabana every time he steps onto the training ground at Finch Farm at this time of year.

    09:30: Better the Neville you know BBC Sport

    The Metro reports that more Liverpool fans voted for ex-Manchester United right-back Gary Neville than former Reds defender Jamie Carragher in a poll to discover their favourite pundit.

    Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville
    09:19: Please look after this newsreader

    BBC Radio Merseyside's bulletins presenter Giulia Bould was into Paddington long before the movie, as her Christmas Throwback Thursday picture shows.

    Giulia Bould

    She refuses to comment on rumours that station bosses first discovered her at the left luggage at Lime Street station.

    09:10: Supermarket sneak Liverpool Echo

    Burglars raided Bootle Asda after climbing over a fence and sneaking into the store's cash office.

    09:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner says a further 400 officers could be cut as the Government slashes almost £13m from the force's budget.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    08:44: Police cuts warning

    The government intends to slash a further £12.7m from Merseyside Police's budget.

    Home Secretary Theresa May has proposed to reduce the core funding given to forces across the country by just over 5% in her provisional police grant report for the next financial year.

    Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has warned it could see more bobbies on the beat removed from the streets.

    08:33: Reds through to semi-finals

    Liverpool set up a League Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea as Raheem Sterling (pictured) scored twice to see off Championship leaders Bournemouth.

    Raheem Sterling
    08:21: Rush hour congestion

    BBC Travel reports queuing traffic on the A5300 Knowsley Expressway between M62 J6 and A562.

    08:10: Wet and windy

    A wet and windy day with some heavy and persistent rain likely across some western slopes.

    Weather graphic

    The rain may be more intermittent elsewhere, but it will remain cloudy for all. Strong and gusty westerly winds.

    08:01: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    The government has announced it intends to slash a further £12.7m pounds from Merseyside Police's budget.

    The head of the force is warning the public could be at risk.

    Listen to the bulletin.

    08:00: Good morning Paul Burnell BBC News

    Shaking off the man flu, I'm here to bring the latest news, sport, weather and travel but I need your help so please get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.