FRESH inquests into the deaths of the 96 football fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster will continue today.
Feelings ran high yesterday as families, along with a raft of journalists and lawyers, came to the first day of a long-awaited hearing in a specially-fitted office building on the outskirts of Warrington, Cheshire.
A potential jury of 11 along with a pool of extras was selected, ready to be sworn in later today before coroner Lord Justice Goldring intends to open the case.
Vice-chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Jenni Hicks said the inquest had been "a long time coming", while Charlotte Hennessy who lost her father in the tragedy hoped it was "the beginning of the end".
The jurors, who were warned that the inquest could take a year, had already filled in questionnaires to decide their suitability to hear the case, and yesterday were asked to say if they supported Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest or Liverpool.
They were also given a list of witnesses to see if they know any of them.
Relatives of those who died were emotional as they arrived at the much-fought-for hearing yesterday.
Ms Hicks said: "It's been a long time coming. I've had an emotional weekend."
Ms Hennessy, who lost her father James Robert Hennessy in the disaster when she was six-years-old, said: "It's finally here. I don't know if excited is the right word to use, but finally we're here and it's going to happen.
"I'm really, really nervous. It's been a long, long fight.
"Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end. I was a bit of a emotional wreck this weekend, I've not slept a wink. But this is the beginning now, hopefully it can be put right."
The inquest site in Birchwood Business Park is a specially-fitted office block that includes a 4,300 sq ft courtroom with seating for 286 members of the public and 92 advocates.
Later in the week, after the coroner has opened the case, a series of "pen portraits" of all the victims will be presented to the court over the next month.
Britain's worst sporting disaster happened on April 15 1989 during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as thousands of fans were crushed on the ground's Leppings Lane terrace.