Football: Dalglish glad for 'vindicated' Hillsborough families

26th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said an inquest jury ruling on Tuesday that the 96 victims who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster had been unlawfully killed "totally vindicated" families who had campaigned for the truth to be revealed.

Dalglish, Liverpool's manager at the time, told BBC Radio Five that Tuesday's ruling was a just reward for nearly 30 years of campaigning that had taken place after an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground led to Britain's worst sports stadium tragedy.

"The fans have been totally vindicated, and the families have been victorious in everything they put forwards. The truth they knew 27 years ago has just come to pass now," said Dalglish, in an interview with his daughter Kelly Cates, a broadcaster.

"They fought for the person who went to a football match and lost their life," added the 65-year-old Scot, widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest-ever player.

"You cannot surmise or even to begin to guess what those families have been through... for 27 years... to live it... there were times when things looked bleak and they stayed totally true to their loved-ones.

"They have been humble, had integrity and gone about getting what they knew to be the truth -- it has taken them 27 years to do it, so you just feel so relieved for them."

Dalglish also recalled the heartache many fans suffered in the days immediately after the tragedy, amid claims that rowdy behaviour by Liverpool supporters had contributed to Britain's worst sports stadium disaster.

"The fans who survived... what did they have in their mind? That maybe people thought that they were the ones who caused the death of the people who were feral Liverpool fans, and for them to have to live with that for 27 years must be soul destroying for them."

Dalglish added: "The only thing we saw the supporters do on the day was to try and help. People tried their very, very best that they could -- to help people survive.

"For everyone involved with Liverpool, this is a fantastic outcome, but it is horrendous that it has taken 27 years for this to come through."

Dalglish attended several funerals of Hillsborough victims, including four in a single day, and was widely praised for the role he played in Liverpool's response to the disaster.

"For me, the families were always the most important thing," he said. "I just wish I could have done more."


© 2016 AFP

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