Burnham at ‘final’ Hillsborough service

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham shakes hands with former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Daglish before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham shakes hands with former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Daglish before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives

Shadow home secretary and Leigh MP Andy Burnham shakes hands with former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Daglish before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives.

Loved ones of the 96 who died were joined at the home of Liverpool FC by past and present club legends and around 25,000 ordinary fans to mark the emotional anniversary.

Families of the 96 unanimously agreed this year’s service, held annually on April 15, would be the last major public event at Anfield as a two-year inquest into the deaths draws to a close.

Yesterday VIPs sat in the stands in honour of the fans who lost their lives as the service began on the pitch in front of the Spion Kop.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his players received a rousing reception as they took their place for the service, following the previous night’s last-gasp heroics in their Europa Cup tie.

England manager Roy Hodgson was also among the VIP guests in seats on the Kop, along with Dalglish and many of the team playing from the days of the disaster in 1989, including Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson. Former Anfield great Kevin Keegan was also in attendance.

The service began with the traditional football hymn, Abide With Me, before silence fell as the names of the 96 were read aloud.

All died after the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989.

Former culture secretary Mr Burnham, who is an avowed Everton fan, was instrumental in getting new inquests into the tragedy.