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News & Comment

Hillsborough families oppose minutes silence for Margaret Thatcher


Brendan Rodgers has said the only silent tribute this weekend should be held before Liverpool's game at Reading in order to honour the memory of the 96 supporters who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

The Liverpool manager's comments come in the wake of suggestions by the Reading chairman, John Madejski, and Dave Whelan at Wigan that football should show its respect for the former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Madjeski admitted that there was no chance of a silence being observed for Lady Thatcher because of the animosity towards her among Merseysiders, while the chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group said any plans for a minute's silence at this weekend's football games would be a "big mistake" in a week which marks the anniversary of Hillsborough.

"It's a terrible thing to speak ill of the dead, I know because it happened to my son and all the Hillsborough victims for 23 years," said Margaret Aspinall. "But if they do hold a minute's silence for Margaret Thatcher, I think they are making a big mistake. The fact is a lot of people would break that silence. Margaret Thatcher had contempt for football and its fans, in fact she was in favour of identity cards for all supporters."

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton supports a minute's silence though. "She was such a great person and a great leader, she was first class and I think there is every reason that what she has done should be recorded," Charlton said.