Statement In Full: Liverpool FC’s Reaction To Hillsborough Report

Liverpool release official statement.

April 15th 1989 will forever be etched on the minds of everyone connected with Liverpool Football Club. It was a day when 96 supporters attended a football match and never came home.

Over the last 23 years the families who lost loved ones and the survivors of this terrible tragedy have shown immense dignity and resilience in their tireless campaign for justice.

For 23 years they have campaigned for the full disclosure of documents relating to the disaster and for someone to take responsibility for what happened. Today, following years of inquiries, investigations and setbacks, the Hillsborough Independent Panel has announced its findings in relation to the disaster.

Liverpool Football Club commends the Hillsborough Independent Panel report which acknowledges the avoidable catastrophic failures before, during and after the disaster. The club also welcomes the Prime Minister’s apology to the families and survivors on behalf of the Government and await the Attorney General’s pending review of the report. After 23 long and painful years, our fans have finally been fully exonerated of all blame. Today, the world knows what we have always known, that Liverpool fans were not just innocent on that terrible day but that there was reprehensible and hurtful misrepresentation of the truth.

Liverpool Football Club would like to thank the Hillsborough Independent Panel for its rigorous work over the past two-and-a-half years and for publishing a comprehensive report based on the in-depth research and analysis into hundreds of thousands of documents.

Tom Werner, chairman, Liverpool Football Club, said: “On behalf of myself, John and everyone at the club, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers on this hugely significant and deeply emotional day to everyone affected by the Hillsborough disaster. Today the world has heard the real truth about what happened at Hillsborough.

“As a football club, we will continue to remember those who died and support the families who lost loved ones on that terrible day. We hope that today’s findings will give some comfort to the families and survivors and go some way to addressing some of the key questions that have hung over the Hillsborough tragedy for the last 23 years.”

SOURCE: Liverpool Official Website

There is little else that can be said.

After 23 years spent fighting for justice, finally Liverpool football club and all those affected by the Hillsborough tragedy have answers and some form of closure.

Prime Minister David Cameron issued a full and frank apology in the House of Commons this afternoon, while Sheffield Wednesday also apologised to families of victims this morning.

Even the erstwhile editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie – an odious vulgarian who has finally run out of excuses – said sorry to the city of Liverpool for his shameful coverage of the aftermath of the disaster, although after nearly a quarter of a decade of self-preservation, denial and vitriol, his words feel empty.

And David Compton, chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, “profoundly” apologised to both the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims and Liverpool fans in general. But wider questions are likely to be asked of the authorities after the report revealed 164 statements were “significantly amended” and 116 “removed negative comments” about policing operation, as police attempted to shift blame onto the fans.

The battle may be won but the war isn’t over. Some relatives of victims are already urging the government to open a new coroner’s inquest, after the report revealed at least 41 of the 96 could have been saved.

Today marked a major step in the quest for the full truth about what went so terribly wrong at Hillsborough but there remains some way to go yet.

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