Thousands remember Hillsborough tragedyApril 16th, 2009 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS
London, April 15 (DPA) Over 20,000 people gathered at Anfield Wednesday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
A memorial service was held at Liverpool’s ground to commemorate the deaths of 96 fans in a crush on the Leppings Lane terrace at Hillsborough, Sheffield, during an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Initially only the Kop and Centenary Stands were opened, but as crowds swelled, part of the main stand was also opened.
The service was attended by the Liverpool first team; manager Rafa Benitez; the manager at the time of the tragedy, Kenny Dalglish; and, in a show of cross-city unity, Everton manager David Moyes.
The service was opened by James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool.
“On this, the 20th anniversary of the tragedy at Hillsborough, which broke the heart but not the spirit of our community, Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to say that her thoughts and prayers are with us and all those affected by the tragedy,” he said.
“For many here today it seems still like yesterday. Those we lost are always in our minds.
“Never a day passes without a thought of what their tomorrow might have been, without that longing for justice for their sake as well as for ours.”
Two minutes of silence were observed at 3.06 p.m. - the time when the game was abandoned by the referee - in both Liverpool and Nottingham, while the Leppings Lane terrace was open to those wishing to pay their respects.
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Tags: 20th anniversary, anfield, cross city, crowds, dpa, everton, fa cup, hillsborough disaster, james jones, kenny dalglish, liverpool, longing, majesty, rafa benitez, referee, respects, sake, sheffield, thoughts and prayers, two minutes