At precisely 3.06pm local time Monday a silence descended over English city Liverpool as the victims of the country’s worst ever football tragedy was remembered.
Civic leaders and members of the public joined players and fans from current Premier League leaders Liverpool on the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
It was in 1989 when 96 fans of Liverpool, some children, others pensioners, were crushed to death at the start of a cup clash at the Hillsborough stadium of Sheffield Wednesday.
The game had kicked off at 3pm as the tragedy at the entrance and in one of the main stands was unfolding, and at 3:06 the referee abandoned the game as the dead and injured were carried from the ground.
The memory of that tragic Saturday afternoon was as alive on Monday as it was in 1989 as the city came together to remember.
The bells tolled 96 at city hall, and flags on public buildings flew at half-mast, while the famous ferries on the River Mersey sounded their horns. Thousands of shop and office workers in downtown Liverpool joined in a minute’s silence, many people watching aboard buses and in taxis that stopped in the streets to observe the tribute.
On the steps of the city’s St George’s Hall, floodlit in Liverpool’s red color, 96 lanterns were lit in memory of each victim.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson led the tributes by laying a floral tribute at St George’s Hall.
More flowers were laid along with Liverpool FC scarves in a memorial that will remain in place for several days.
Anderson commented: “It’s a difficult and emotional day as always. We just wanted the families to know we’re thinking of them and we hope that gives them some comfort.”
Major clubs from around Britain also sent messages of support to Liverpool as they too remembered a day that changed football in Britain.