Families to fight on after cover-up exposed

AS the panel’s findings were read out at Liverpool Cathedral, the families of the 96 supporters killed in the tragedy rose to their feet and broke out in applause.

The strain of 23 years fighting for the truth of how their loved ones had died was etched upon their faces, with three grieving relatives fainting during the announcement.

But as they addressed the assembled media inside the cathedral following the revelations of the scale of the cover up, the message was clear – their campaign for the truth will not end here.

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Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Families Support Group whose son James died in the tragedy, said: “For the families that have been put through this it is an absolute disgrace to the system itself. The families have been put through so much pain over the past 23 years.”

Referring to yesterday’s findings that up to half of the victims might have lived had the response of the emergency services been better, Mrs Aspinall said the revelation was “very painful to hear”.

She said the families did not yet know who might have survived.

“What was new and was a shock to us was how many of them could have been saved,” she added.

“I’ll go home and think about that, and if James was one of them.”

She also expressed her thanks to the members of the panel for “exonerating the fans” and said the families had trusted them all along.

“They have made our city proud today but most importantly they have made the 96 rest in peace for the first time in all those years,” she said.

Trevor Hicks, of Keighley, whose teenage daughters Sarah and Victoria were crushed to death in the stadium, said that the families felt “totally vindicated” after enduring years of accusations that they were being “vengeful, spiteful, looking for a scapegoat or looking for compensation”.