Evertonians voiced their support for the families and victims of the Hillsborough disaster after previously unseen files were finally made public.
Following 23 years of campaigning by those who lost loved ones at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium, on Wednesday afternoon they were issued with an independent report regarding the events of April 15, 1989.
The report revealed:
- That a total of 41 people out of 96 "had the potential to be saved" beyond the 15.15 time determined by the original inquest.
- There were flaws in the police operation and new evidence that the police carried out checks on those who had died in order to "impugn their reputations".
- That 164 statements were "significantly amended" and 116 "removed negative comments" about policing operation.
Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright said: “Everyone associated with Everton Football Club welcomes the report.
“We have watched with both sadness and admiration as the families who have been fighting for justice since 1989 have battled on, no matter what obstacles they have come up against. More than anything we hope that today’s statements bring them closer to the peace that every grieving mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, relative or friend deserves.
“Every football fan stands united in their quest – especially the team across the park."
Blues fans took to both the Club's Twitter and Facebook pages to voice their support for all those affected by the tragedy that claimed 96 innocent people.
Here's a selection of the comments:
I was 15 at Villa Park that day with my mates. We didn't know what really went on until we got on the coaches home. It was horrendous listening to the number of deceased rising. We got off our coach on Priory Road and there were Mums and Dads in tears waiting/hoping for their sons and daughters to come home from Sheffield. No mobile phones in those days. I had about 10 mates who went to Sheffield that day - all came home. Very fortunate. NSNO-YNWA JFT96.[/FB]
My brother is a Red and was there on that tragic day. Respect and thoughts to all the families and let's hope the truth will bring justice. From a true Blue JFT96[/FB]
Justice for the 96. It does not matter what football team you support, justice is needed for the 96 angels in the sky. It has been far too long.[/FB]
It's not about Red or Blue today, it's about people gettting justice for something that happened when they did what we all love to do every two weeks - watch their team play. It's been over 8,500 days to get this far, why has it taken so long? JFT96 and for one day only, You'll Never Walk Alone. RIP[/FB]
Blue and Red stand together on this one. The truth is finally known. 96 innocent football fans and a whole footballing city vindicated. Now for the justice. NSNO YNWA[/FB]
I am a proud Evertonian but the whole city suffered that afternoon. I hope the families of the victims get what they need so they can finally put this tragedy to rest and move on knowing justice has finally been done.[/FB]
Was at Villa Park that day with my dad. Luck of the draw that we went to Birmingham and Liverpool to Sheffield. We would have had the same end and the same problems. Hope the families finally get some closure today. They have carried themselves with so much dignity over the years. RIP.[/FB]