Silent tribute will mark 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Silent tribute will mark 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

Silent tribute will mark 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

First published in News

HILLSBOROUGH victims will be remembered when St Helens Council staff observe one minute's silence on Tuesday afternoon, April 15, the 25th anniversary of the football disaster.

Staff will observe the silence at 3.06pm, the moment the game ended on that date in 1989, when 96 Liverpool FC fans died after being crushed on the terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's ground.

St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald said: “This year is a landmark moment in the Hillsborough tragedy and the long fight for justice by the families.

"It is all the more poignant that it comes at a time when fresh inquests are being heard into how the 96 people lost their lives.

"St Helens is proud to show its support at this very difficult time for all the friends and families of those who lost their lives.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool's players will be in attendance as Anfield hosts the annual memorial service for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of when 96 Liverpool supporters were killed at the Reds' FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.

The whole Liverpool squad will be present along with directors, other staff and a number of former players and managers.

Current manager Brendan Rodgers will give a reading, as will Everton boss Roberto Martinez.

It is an emotional week for Liverpool, and a number of tributes were also held prior to Sunday's game against Manchester City.

Captain Steven Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was the youngest of the 96 victims, was in tears after his side's 3-2 win over one of their main title rivals.

Gerrard said: "The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell.

"It wasn't just because it was a big match in our season, it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool. It's emotional for so many people.

"I'm speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough.

"All the squad will be present at the service to pay our respects as we should."

During the service, the number '96' will be laid out on the pitch in large figures made up of scarves donated by fans of all clubs and from various sporting institutions.

Kenny Dalglish, manager at the time of the disaster, assisted in this initiative by writing to all 92 League clubs as well as the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh national teams for support.

The inspiration for the idea came from the 'mile of scarves' formed between Anfield and Goodison Park a week after the disaster in commemoration in 1989. More than 4,000 scarves were tied together.

The scarves will be donated to local good causes, including homeless charities, after the service by the Liverpool FC Foundation.

Next week, a celebration of the lives of the 96 victims is planned with a charity match in support of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

A team of UK and Irish Liverpool legends, managed by Dalglish, will take on a side of international Reds greats, under the charge of Gerard Houllier.

The commemorations come a fortnight after fresh inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims opened in Warrington.

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