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Hillsborough - A City Remembers

On 15th April 2014 the city of Liverpool came to a standstill today to mark 25 years since the Hillsborough disaster claimed 96 lives.

As the city remembered in silence, church bells tolled 96 times at 3.06pm, the exact time a quarter of a century ago that Liverpool FC's fateful FA Cup match was abandoned as the tragedy unfolded.

The silence was observed at Anfield, where loved ones of victims joined players, staff and senior representatives of the club among 24,000 people attending the annual memorial service.

Brendan Rodgers, the current manager, gave a reading at the service as well as Roberto Martinez, manager of neighbours and rivals Everton.

Thousands of football scarves were laid out on the pitch in the shape of "96", donated from fans and clubs across the UK and beyond after an appeal from Liverpool FC for scarves to show a symbol of unity across fan rivalries.

Across the city, public transport was halted and at 3.06pm, the Mersey Ferry will blew its funnels, and barriers at both Mersey Tunnels were lowered, as the bells ring out at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Parish Church, the town hall and other civic buildings and churches.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "This year marks a pivotal moment in the history of the Hillsborough tragedy and the families' long fight for justice.

"Not only is it the 25th anniversary of the tragedy but we also have the start of fresh inquests into how the 96 lost their lives.

"We will never forget those who died at Hillsborough, and this is a day for us to unite as a city and remember each one, and also their families and friends left behind.

"I urge everyone in Liverpool, and across the region, to observe the minute's silence, stand shoulder to shoulder and remember the 96 fans that went to a football match and never returned home.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones today."

At Lime Street, the huge media screen displayed a photo of each of those who lost their lives on April 15 1989 in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground as the cup semi-final versus Nottingham Forest got under way.

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Robert F Edwards
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