Liverpool falls silent to mark 35th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster as 97 balloons released in memory of victims

15 April 2024, 18:38 | Updated: 15 April 2024, 18:41

A moment's silence has been held 35 years on from the Hillsborough disaster.
A moment's silence has been held 35 years on from the Hillsborough disaster. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

A minute's silence has been held across Liverpool to mark the 35th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

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The Hillsborough disaster saw the death of 97 Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.

On Monday at 3.06pm - the time the match was stopped - a minute's silence was observed in Liverpool.

Members of the public gathered in Exchange Flags, behind the town hall, where You'll Never Walk Alone was played.

In memory of those who lost their lives, 97 balloons were also released at Anfield, with flags being flown at half mast on civic buildings and football club sites throughout the day.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, who was Liverpool's manager at the time, and the club's current manager, Jurgen Klopp, were among those to have laid flowers at the stadium's Hillsborough memorial during Monday morning.

Read more: Charter signed by Government vowing never to repeat injustices of Hillsborough disaster - but new law is rejected

Read more: Football fan, 33, pleads guilty after wearing shirt with offensive reference to Hillsborough disaster at FA Cup final

People pay their respects on the 35th Anniversary Of Hillsborough disaster and observe a silence as the town hall bell chimes once for every victim
People pay their respects on the 35th Anniversary Of Hillsborough disaster and observe a silence as the town hall bell chimes once for every victim. Picture: Getty

To mark the anniversary, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer re-affirmed his commitment to a Hillsborough Law.

Campaigners have been calling for a law to be introduced to help victims of other scandals get justice.

"Today on the 35th anniversary of Hillsborough, I'll be thinking about those lost, their families, and their enduring courage and determination to pursue justice," Sir Keir said.

"Making the Hillsborough Law a reality would be a priority of my Labour government."

97 balloons released at Anfield
97 balloons released at Anfield. Picture: Getty

Inquests into the 97 deaths, held after the original verdicts were quashed following the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, concluded in 2016.

They found that the victims were unlawfully killed and errors by the police and ambulance service caused or contributed to the deaths.

Match commander on the day David Duckenfield was charged with gross negligence manslaughter in 2017, but was later cleared at a retrial in 2019.

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool laying a wreath at the Hillsborough memorial
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool laying a wreath at the Hillsborough memorial. Picture: Getty

A spokesman for the Hillsborough Law campaign said: "Today, we pay tribute to all 97 supporters, they will never be forgotten, and we fight on in their memory and for all those who have suffered such injustice at the hands of the state.

"The truth of what really happened on that dreadful day was not revealed for decades because public authorities and officials concealed the truth in their own interests.

"Yet 35 years on, the experiences of Hillsborough families have been repeated countless times, currently with the Post Office scandal. Little has changed.

Sir Kenny Dalglish and Billy Hogan laying a wreath at the Hillsborough memorial
Sir Kenny Dalglish and Billy Hogan laying a wreath at the Hillsborough memorial. Picture: Getty

"A Hillsborough Law, with a duty of candour at its heart, would ensure that the battles faced by the Hillsborough and Post Office families, and countless others, can never be repeated.

"It would create a legal duty on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and proactively co-operate with official investigations and inquiries.

"Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to make this law a reality if the Labour Party comes to power, we hope other parties will follow suit and stop this criminal abuse of power."

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