Liverpool icon Kenny Dalglish has welcomed the verdict that came out of the Hillsborough inquests on Tuesday that ruled the death of 96 fans at the 1988-89 FA Cup semi-final as unlawful killings.
Ninety-six fans were killed in the crush at Hillsborough Stadium ahead of an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
The conduct of Liverpool fans was initially blamed for the disaster but Tuesday’s verdict cleared them of wrongdoing and found South Yorkshire police chief superintendent in command at the match, David Duckenfield, “responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence” due to a breach of his duty of care.
Dalglish, who was the club’s manager at the time of the disaster, said the verdict should finally bring some peace to the families involved.
“It can only be a pleasure for the families who have endured 27 years trying to get to the point that they knew should have been there 27 years ago,” he told the club’s website.
“The way they have gone about getting to this point has been unbelievable – their humility, the way they’ve conducted themselves, their dignity and the determination to get what they thought was justice and the belief from them that the supporters were in no way, shape or form, to blame.
“You’re pleased that they’ve won this but on the other hand it’s taken 27 years out of their life, what they gave for their life and their families’ life.”
Dalglish, who has come to know the families of the deceased well in the years that have followed, said it was their belief in justice and that their loved ones had done nothing wrong that kept them fighting for so long.
“The belief that they were telling the truth all this time [kept them fighting]. And the belief that the people that were close to it at Liverpool Football Club and the people who supported the club that were there on that day, [that] they knew the truth,” he said.
“They knew that it wasn’t their fault. They knew that they were innocent and it’s absolutely fantastic that they have done it to get the verdict unlawful killing, which is what they were wanting. They couldn’t have asked for any more.
“[For] many people who survived, it was traumatic for them as well. They lived through it, they did everything they possibly could to help people who, at the day, were struggling.
“If the supporters maybe got a little bit more help from the people who were supposed to be there to help then maybe there wouldn’t have been as many fatalities as there were.”