The Liverpool Echo has marked 30 years since the Hillsborough disaster with a front page memorial to the 96 football fans who died as a result of the tragedy.
The Echo this morning ran a white and red-on-black front page which featured the names of all of the Liverpool FC supporters who perished following a terrace crush at Hillsborough stadium, in Sheffield, on 15 April 1989.
The newspaper has won multiple awards for its campaigning work with the families of Hillsborough survivors over the past three decades, and last year a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing after fresh inquests were held into the tragedy.
Today’s anniversary also saw thousands of tributes posted on Twitter under the hashtag #JFT96 – Justice for the ’96
Echo editor Alastair Machray told HTFP: “”Like all of Liverpool, the Echo was anxious to pay its respects to the dead and its tributes to the campaigners. We all though, needed to do so in a way that recognised the live legal proceedings.
“We tried to do something that was touching, but not tub-thumping, in the same way that the City and the football club is aiming for with its own, reflective, commemorations. I hope we achieved it.”
The main focus for the anniversary commemorations will be at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall, where banners bearing the faces of those who died have been hung and where 96 candles will be lit later today.
Liverpool is due to come to a standstill at 3.06pm this afternoon, the time the ill-fated FA Cup semi-final was halted in Sheffield, and stop for a period of silence.
Since the inquest verdict, a series of criminal prosecutions have been brought, and earlier this month former Sheffield Wednesday FC club secretary Graham Mackrell was found guilty of a health and safety offence linked to turnstile arrangements on the day of the match – an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Jurors at Preston Crown Court were unable to reach a verdict on David Duckenfield, the senior police officer and match commander on the day of the disaster, who was also on trial accused of 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter.
He was not charged in connection with the death of the 96th fan to die, Tony Bland, due to laws surrounding the length of time before he passed away.
The Crown Prosecution Service has said it will seek a retrial for Mr Duckenfield, but his lawyers have stated they will oppose any such application from prosecutors.