BOROUGH MP Andy Burnham paid emotional tributes at the Hillsborough 25 year anniversary service today, five years since he was jeered by the same Anfield crowd.
Mr Burnham, who has played a key role in calling for a fresh investigation into the disaster, received a standing ovation at Anfield and thanked those who had given him “the political courage to do something.”
Addressing the crowd, he said: “Things changed five years ago but not because of me, but because of you. All of you.
“Things changed because you were here in your thousands, standing by these families after 20 dark years. They changed because you made your voices heard and thank God you did.
“Those voices carried out of this Kop, into people’s living rooms and into the heart of the establishment.
“I knew you were right and they were wrong. I wanted to address you today to say thank you for all the encouragement you have given me since.
“I’ve asked people what I should say today. My mum said to say all the best and she hopes you win the league. It would be so fitting for that to happen this year.”
In 2009, when the Leigh MP was culture secretary and a member of the Labour government that had ruled out a new inquiry, Mr Burnham was barracked by those in the stands at the 20th anniversary commemorative service.
In the years since, a new independent panel re-investigated the 1989 tragedy, leading to an apology by Prime Minister David Cameron and new inquest proceedings for the 96 victims, which have recently started.
Former Latics boss Roberto Martinez, now in charge of Everton, was also part of the commemorative service, reading a bible passage.
Liverpool’s current first team squad and boss Brendan Rodgers joined former players and managers among the thousands also paying their respects inside Anfield.