96 Hillsborough victims and Kenny Dalglish among those awarded Freedom of Liverpool

13 May 2016

After April’s Hillsborough justice verdict, the 96 victims are to be posthumously awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.

At an inquest at the end of April, nine jurors concluded that supporters were not at fault for the deaths of the 96 at Hillsborough in 1989.

After a 27-year wait, the families and survivors were handed a sliver of justice, with the city praised for its resilience and fight for the truth.

Now, further respect is to be paid as the 96 are given the Freedom of Liverpool, posthumously receiving the city’s highest honour to underline the importance of April’s verdict to Merseyside.

Along with the 96, Kenny Dalglish and his wife Marina are to given the same award for their support of the cause throughout, with the former Liverpool manager ensuring players attended funerals for those who lost their lives.

Rt Rev James Jones, who helmed the Hillsborough Independent Panel, a key factor in uncovering the truth in 2012, is also awarded.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 27, 2016: L-R Angela Eagle MP, Andy Burnam MP, Former Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish and Steve Rotherham MP sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" with the family and friends of the 96 victims as thousands of people gather outside Liverpool's St George's Hall in remembrance of the 96 victims who died at the Hillsborough disaster, a day after after a two-year long inquest court delivered a verdict of unlawful killing. (Pic by Propaganda)

Professor Phil Scraton, who led the panel’s research team, will receive the same honour.

Speaking this week, Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety argued that Dalglish should be given a knighthood for his services to the cause.

“Kenny Dalglish is a legend of world football and is quite rightly held in the highest esteem in Glasgow, Liverpool and across the globe,” he said.

“However, the Hillsborough disaster transcended sport, and Kenny has played a central role with victims’ families in their quest for truth and justice.

“We believe that a knighthood would be a fitting recognition of this, as well as his services to the beautiful game.”

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