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Hillsborough Scarves - Copyright Matt West / REX
UK News

Hillsborough: Liverpool Cathedral marks 25th anniversary

The people of Liverpool fell silent this afternoon as the Great George bell at Liverpool Cathedral rang out across the city at 3.06pm, marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed 96 lives.

More than 20,000 people including family and friends of the victims attended a memorial service at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club, where a minute's silence was observed the moment the team's FA Cup semi-final was abandoned.

The crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, in 1989 is Britain's worst ever sporting disaster.

Public transport was also halted at 3.06pm, when the Mersey Ferry blew its funnels and barriers at both Mersey Tunnels were lowered.

At Lime Street, the city's main railway station, a huge screen displayed a photo of each of those who died.

Revd Kelvin Bolton led the service at Anfield, where relatives of the victims joined players, staff and senior representatives of the club for the annual memorial service.

Paying tribute he said: "Today, 25 years, a quarter of a century; a lifetime or so it may seem. 

"Today, we gather to remember with love 96 people, but doing so for you still with a huge sense of loss."

Scarves from every club in the top four divisions were also laid on the pitch to create the number '96' as sign of unity.

The Great George bell at Liverpool Cathedral, which is seldom used and only on special occasions, chimed 96 times, a chime for each life lost in the tragedy.

Liverpool Cathedral spokesman Stuart Haynes told Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour why the place of worship was playing a key role in the anniversary.

Sarah McAllister's uncle died in the disaster and she told Premier's News Hour why she felt today's event was so important for the victims' families.

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."

The verdict of accidental death reached at the original inquest in 1991 was quashed at the High Court in 2012, after a long campaign by the families of the victims.

A new inquest was ordered and this will resume next week.

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