Rodgers 'inspired' by Hillsborough 96

Published Tuesday, 15 April 2014
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Liverpool boss and Carnlough man Brendan Rodgers has said those who lost their lives in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, their families and loved ones who have tirelessly campaigned for justice for the past 25 years are his and his team's inspiration.

Rodgers 'inspired' by Hillsborough 96
Brendan Rodgers spoke at the Hillsborough memorial service. (© Getty)

The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.

For the memorial service, held at Liverpool's Anfield stadium, 24,000 people filled the ground to pay their respects and remember those who died.

There was applause and cheers for current boss Rodgers as he took to the podium.

Following a reading from Psalm 23 he said it was a "privilege and an honour" to take part in the ceremony.

"Every day I walk in past the statue of Bill Shankly and past the European Cup, which is obviously a trophy synonymous with this great football club," he said.

"We train on the same pitches graced by the likes of St John, Yates, Callaghan, Keegan, Toshack, Dalglish, Rush and Barnes all the great names and I could go on for ever.

"Within my current team I have some fantastic players of true greatness playing great football and wearing the famous read jersey.

You don't really struggle for inspiration when you are Liverpool manager and you work for this great football club.

Brendan Rodgers

"But without doubt, the single biggest source of inspiration for me is every match day here at Anfield when I arrive at the ground and I see the Hillsborough memorial, where I see 96 names.

"Ninety-six individuals that were all loved, cherished and all went too soon.

"Those who we lost and for those that have fought and campaigned tirelessly on their behalf and on behalf of the survivors - you are the true inspiration for us."

A minutes silence was held across the city at exactly 3.06pm to remember those who died following which the Liverpool Town Hall bell rung out 96 times.

In the stadium the names of all those who died in the tragedy were read out.

Everton fans also joined in with the commemoration ceremony to pay their respects.

One banner read, "two teams = one family".

Everton manager Roberto Martinez told the audience he was 15 at the time of the tragedy and he and his family "couldn't believe the pain and the horror suffered by those who went to see a game they loved".

"Everton remembers, we always do," said Martinez.

For 25 years the families and friends of those who died have campaigned for the truth of what happened on that day to be revealed.

Some of those present at Tuesday's memorial are witnesses in the new inquests into the tragedy.

The original accidental deaths verdicts in 1991 were quashed in the High Court in 2012 after the families' campaign.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Castleblayney in Castleblayney wrote (291 days ago):
Every game i pray for the 96 hope they hear me
Adrian in Coleraine wrote (291 days ago):
Lets all remember heysel also !
y.n.w.a in ards wrote (291 days ago):
come on Brendan win the league for the 96,y.n.w.a.
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