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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop pay tribute with a mosaic to Andrew Devine who became the 97th victim of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool confirm plans to honour the 97 ahead of Hillsborough anniversary

Liverpool have confirmed their plans to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, with tributes to take place ahead of the Benfica decider.

April 15 will mark 33 years since the tragedy that took 97 lives in Sheffield in 1989, with the impact of Hillsborough felt heavily over three decades on.

A long fight for justice has led to the Hillsborough Law Now movement, while the sad passing of Andrew Devine in 2021 served as a poignant reminder of the loss felt by the families.

The Hillsborough Memorial has been updated to reflect Devine’s death, which will also see the 97 honoured on the back of Liverpool’s shirts from the 2022/23 season.

Wednesday night will see a series of tributes to the 97, ahead of and throughout the Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Benfica.

Liverpool have announced that a mosaic will be displayed on the Kop ahead of kickoff, with a minute’s silence to be observed.

The players will wear black armbands, while there will be tributes around the advertising hoardings and as part of a commemorative matchday programme.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Tributes to the 97 Liverpool supporters who died as a result of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster pictured at the eternal flame memorial at Anfield ahead of the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC. This week MP's have proposed a Hillsborough Law that would require authorities to disclose all information after a public disaster to avoid the cover-ups that followed the 1986 tragedy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There will be no memorial service for the 97 at Anfield, with no further plans to hold one following the cancellation of a scheduled final event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it is time now, for families to move on, but also those survivors to be able to move on,” Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James to the tragedy, explained upon the folding of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) a year ago.

“And the city – because, you know, we’ve had Hillsborough thrown at us now for all of those years.

“I think people need peace in their lives, and to start trying to just reflect and remember the [97] on the anniversary.

“To me, that will be just enough for everybody, and for people to be able to have some time with their families now – that is so important.”

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