Liverpool supporters gather for Hillsborough memorial service15/04/2012 - 16:21:36
The annual memorial service to mark the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool FC supporters died was held today.
Families of the victims and thousands of fans were joined by club manager Kenny Dalglish and his first team squad for the sombre occasion at Anfield stadium.
They came to remember the fans who died in the crush at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's ground at the beginning of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.
Candles were lit in front of the watching crowd in The Kop end for each of the victims whose names were read out, while the hymn 'Abide With Me' was sang.
A minute's silence was staged up to 3.06pm - the exact time when the referee blew the whistle to abandon the game as the disaster unfolded.
The tragedy happened during Dalglish's first tenure as Liverpool manager.
Shortly after the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, the British government, with emergency services in South Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council, agreed to open up previously unseen documents relating to the tragedy.
The public disclosure is being overseen by an independent panel chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, and is due to report back this autumn.
In a speech at the service, Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, addressed the recent comments of comedian Alan Davies who ridiculed the club's refusal to play on April 15.
She said: "When certain people made certain comments about Liverpool Football Club should be playing on the 15th of April, I am afraid that person wants to learn to keep his comments to himself and his opinions to himself.
"Because when comments like that offend and hurt so many thousands of people it's quite obvious he has got nothing else to worry about in his life as what we have had for 23 years."
Her criticism was greeted with loud cheers and applause.
Following the furore that greeted the remarks on his weekly football podcast, Davies made a £1,000 (€1,211) donation to the campaign group - which it refused - and apologised for the tone.