Football: Liverpool FC paid tribute today to the independent panel that finally revealed the truth about the Hillsborough disaster to the world.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel made a series of disclosures about disaster on April 15 1989 that left 96 Liverpool supporters dead and hundreds injured
Twenty-three years on from that fateful day the panel reported that the police and emergency services made “strenuous attempts” to deflect blame for the tragedy onto innocent fans.
And in light of the revelations, which also prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to offer a “profound” apology to the families of the deceased, Liverpool FC have offered their thanks.
A statement from the club said: “After 23 long and painful years, our fans have finally been fully exonerated of all blame.
“Today, the world knows what we have always known, that Liverpool fans were not just innocent on that terrible day but that there was reprehensible and hurtful misrepresentation of the truth.
“Liverpool Football Club would like to thank the Hillsborough Independent Panel for its rigorous work over the past two-and-a-half years and for publishing a comprehensive report based on the in-depth research and analysis into hundreds of thousands of documents.”
Two former Liverpool skippers were united in expressing their belief that the findings exonerated the behaviour of the club’s supporters on that day once and for all.
John Barnes, who was on the pitch as the disaster unfolded, said: “It’s a vindication of the Liverpool fans’ behaviour about what happened on that particular day.
“The lies that were told about Liverpool fans have today been struck off.”
Former Reds captain and centre-back Phil Thompson added: “To an awful lot of people now you understand why we couldn’t just get over it.”