Hillsborough Anniversary Service

16:28: Well that concludes the 25 anniversary Hillsborough Anniversary Service. Thank you for joining us for live coverage this afternoon. Goodbye for now.

16:26: Stewards have released 96 red balloons in the middle of the Anfield pitch one for each of those fans which never returned from Hillsborough.

16:24: We're coming to a conclusion here at Anfield. Gerry Marsden and Neil McHale take to the stage to sing You'll Never Walk Alone. As an epic a rendition as you'll ever hear.

16:18: He ends with a tribute to Margaret Aspinall, the current chairman of the HFSG, who now takes to the mic. She includes Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers in her tribute and also issues a rallying call to the current Liverpool squad, who of course lead the Premier League table with four games left.

16:09: Hicks is listing through some of the signficant milestones over the last few years, including the original inquests being quashed at the end of last year.

16:02: Now it's the turn of HFSG President Trevor Hicks, who begins by claiming he would never have had Andy Burnham speak at the 20th anniversary service. He later apologises for being wrong.

15:54: Burham is the latest to pay tribute to Kenny Dalglish's fine work since Hillsborough as an ambassador. Journalists Tony Barrett and David Conn are among those who also earn words of praise.

15:52: Andy Burnham MP: "You helped me find the political courage to do something. Just as I did five years ago, I have asked people what I should say. My mum says to wish you all the best for the league and to say how fitting it would be for you to win it this year in all these years...."

15:51: MP Andy Burnham now addresses the congregation. He was booed at the anniversary service five years ago but he sparked the calls for new inquests which are currently seeking to bring justice to those families affected.


15:44: After the Lord's Prayer is read by Reverend Kevin Bolton before the 'There Is A Balm in Gilead' is performed by the Love and Joy gospel choir.

15:37: Lee Roy James now sings the Hillsborough Anthem for the "last time" at a memorial service.

15:32: Now Rodgers directs his attention to Kenny Dalglish, the manager of Liverpool during Hillsborough. That is met by a standing ovation for the Scot, who appears very humbled to be mentioned as part of the tribute.

15:29: Rodgers first pays tribute to Roberto Martinez for making the visit across Stanley Park this afternoon. "I am surrounding by inspiration. Without doubt the single biggest source of inspiration for me is every matchday at Anfield is when I see the Hillsborough memorial."

15:26: Brendan Rodgers is the next to read Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. Huge appluase meets his arrival.

15:24: The second hymn of the afternoon is now being sung. "I watch the sunrise."

15:17: Everton bos Roberto Martinez: "I was only 15 when Hillsborough happened. I was football mad and as a family we couldn't believe the pain and horror that there were 96 people who wouldn't be coming home from a football match. That isn't right, that isn't fair. What happened after wasn't right or fair. To fight for the name of the people you have lost is appalling. The way you fight for justice is incredible. Everton are with you, I don't need to tell you - you know that."

15:16: Due to the reporting restrictions in place during the Hillsborough inquests, Liverpool FC have ended their live stream of the service but we will continue to following all the goings on from Anfield in the meantime.

15:13: Everton manager Roberto Martinez will conduct the first reading of the afternoon from St. John Chapter 14 verses 1-3.

15:11: As the main part of the service comes to an end, here is an interview with John Aldridge who was part of the Liverpool team who began that FA Cup semi-final 25 years ago.

15:06: Silence falls across Anfield as a minute's silence is held to remember those who died. Appluase follows.

15:05: Many Liverpool fans of course are too young to recall the disaster which shook English football in 1989. Here is an account of how the tradegy affected supporter Aaron Cutler, who was just six weeks old at the time.

15:01: Among those names of course is the youngster at just 10 years old of those who lost their life 25 years ago, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the cousin of current Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

14:56: As is tradition during these annual services, the names of each of the 96 who failed to return from Hillsborough 25 years ago are read out. Inside The Band of Life sculpture on the Anfield turf is a light to designate each of the 96, with a bulb being turned on alongside each name upon their name being read.

14:55: Scarfs donated from each football league club spells out 96 in the centre circle at Anfield, one of several evokcative images coming out from Merseyside this afternoon. Professor Phil Scraton has written a blog the families campaign for justice here.

14:50: After that short message Anfield stands to sing Abide With Me.

14:47: Reverend Kelvin Bolton begins the service by paying tribute to the determination of the Hillsborough Families Support Group for seeking justice into the death of their loved ones.

14:41: The families whose loved ones never returned from Hillsborough are taking their seats at Anfield to great appluase from those who have attended. Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush are among them.

14:38: The service begins at 14:40 and currently the aforemnetioned guests are taking their place at Anfield. Naturally, the footbal world has united to pay tribute to the 96 who died at Hillsborough and the valiant campaign fought by the families affected to learn of the truthn behind the events of that afternoon. Here is a selection of the accounts and tributes of that day:

Alan Hansen: "Two fans ran onto the pitch and I went to them right away because I was worried they would get us, the club, into trouble for being there. One of them just looked at me, and he had a real sadness in his eyes, and he said, 'Alan, there are people dying in there'."

Bruce Grobbelaar: "One of our fans burst into our dressing room. We knew him. He broke down in front of us. He said he had seen 10 bodies carted off already. He said it was like a warzone. Kenny ushered him out because he didn't want to upset the players. Then the referee told us the game had been abandoned. From there it was just a sombre mood."

Brendan Rodgers: "The campaign from the families, and to see the fight from the families, is very inspirational. It would have been so easy for people to give up but the relentlessness of their campaign has continued and it provides such inspiration. For me I see so much of life's values and ethics in their work and again it is not something I shy away from."

Sepp Blatter: "I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the 96 who so tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. It is above all important to honour and remember the innocent victims of 15 April 1989."

14:30: On 15 April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans left for an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough and never returned. Ever since the most infamous disaster in British football history, Liverpool have mark the anniversary of the tragedy with a memorial service at Anfield. Today's 25<sup>th anniversary has extra poignancy given that it coincides with a new inquest into the events at the Leppings Lane end.

This afternoon's service at Anfield will see players and managers past and present, grief-stricken families and supporters congregate to pay tribute to the 96 that died that fateful afternoon. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Everton boss Roberto Martinez will both address the expected 22,000 thousand crowd while a minutes silence will once again take place at 3:06pm, the same time the match at Hillsborough was abandoned.

Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd.

Love and Joy