Liverpool

Hillsborough: Minute's silence marks anniversary of disaster

Hillsborough memorial service Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ninety-six football fans died as a result of the disaster during an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough stadium

Liverpool players, staff and supporters have observed a minute's silence to remember fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-six men, women and children died when a crush developed during the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.

A final memorial service was due to be held at Anfield on the 31st anniversary of the tragedy but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The silence was held at precisely 15:06 BST, the time the match was halted.

A date for a full service will be confirmed in the "near future", the club said.

Flags at civic buildings in the city were also flown at half mast throughout the day in memory of those who died in the UK's worst sporting disaster.

Image caption The people who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster

Speaking in a video published on the club's Twitter account, manager Jurgen Klopp said it was "the most significant day for our football club each year".

"The plan was that we would be together at Anfield today, but this is not possible," he said.

"The only thing that we can make sure is that we are in each other's thoughts, and believe me you are in our thoughts.

"You have our thoughts, you have our prayers, and most of all you have our love. You'll never walk alone."

Club captain Jordan Henderson said this year's anniversary was "particularly hard" for the Hillsborough families.

"I'm not one for making speeches, but on behalf of all the players at Liverpool, I just wanted everyone affected to know that you are in our thoughts today," he said.

Margaret Aspinall, who chairs the Hillsborough Family Support Group, earlier called on supporters to "join us in our prayers to remember the 96 and keep the families and everyone who has been affected in your thoughts at this difficult time".

"We hope to provide an update in the near future on a rescheduled date for the service," she said.

The victims' families had originally wanted to hold the final memorial service on the 30th anniversary but that coincided with the trial of David Duckenfield.

The former police match commander was cleared of the gross negligence manslaughter following a retrial in November.

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