Hillsborough disaster anniversary: Liverpool remembers the 96 with church bells and silence

Across the city, public transport will be halted, the Mersey Ferry will blow its funnels, and barriers at both Mersey Tunnels will be lowered

The city of Liverpool came to a standstill as church bells across Merseyside rang 96 times this afternoon to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

As the people of the city fell silent, the bells of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Town Hall and other churches across the area tolled 96 times at 3.06pm, the exact time a quarter of a century ago that Liverpool FC's FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest was abandoned.

Across the city, public transport was halted, the Mersey Ferry blew its funnels, and barriers at both Mersey Tunnels were lowered.

At the city's main railway station, Lime Street, a huge screen displayed photographs of those who lost their lives in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground.

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."

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

Twenty-six thousand people were at Anfield for an emotional service to mark the anniversary of the disaster on April 15, 1989.

Brendan Rodgers, the current Liverpool manager, read Psalm 23 of the King James Bible, “The Lord is my shepherd”. Roberto Martinez, manager of neighbours and city rivals Everton, also read at the service.

Liverpool footballers past and present attended the ceremony, including the current squad.

Labour politician, Andy Burnham, who was booed by a crowd of supporters when he addressed them in 2009 as the then serving Labour minister for culture, media and sport, also made a speech.

In a celebration inspired by the one-mile chain of scarves between Goodison Park and Anfield, created a week after the disaster and started by the then Everton star Ian Snodin, scarves were laid out on the Anfield turf in the shape of the number 96.

The scarves have been donated by clubs across England, Wales and Ireland after Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish, who was Liverpool manager at the time of the disaster and has a long association with the families' campaign for justice, wrote to clubs asking them to show solidarity on the anniversary.

The ceremonies come after a weekend of events to mark the anniversary. The FA delayed the kick-offs of all games this weekend in the FA Cup, Premier League, Football League and Conference by seven minutes to respect the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

There were emotional scenes at Anfield as Liverpool, who are currently chasing their first Premier League title for 24 years, met Manchester City in their title clash.

The anniversary comes amid a new inquest into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool supporters which is being carried out in a converted courtroom in Warrington.

Proceedings have been halted during the anniversary week.

Some of those present at today's memorial are witnesses in the new inquest into Britain's worst sporting disaster. The original accidental deaths verdicts in 1991 were quashed in the High Court in 2012 after a long campaign by the fans' families.

The Director of Public Prosecutions last year said he is looking at new evidence revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel which could see senior police officers and officials in charge of the Hillsborough football stadium  face trial for manslaughter.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Appliance Service Engineer

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This centre seeks an experience...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Conveyancing Fee Earner / Technical Support

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Fee Earner/Techn...

Recruitment Genius: Data Administrator

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of this mu...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness