April 12, 2014, LONDON (ISN) – By the Wembley pitch, 96 seats remained empty on Saturday. Just a Liverpool scarf draped over each of them: A powerful tribute to the 96.
Liverpool fans who went to an FA Cup semifinal 25 years earlier but never returned home.
The Liverpool-Nottingham Forest match lasted just six minutes before being halted at Hillsborough in 1989 as the magnitude of the deadly crush became apparent. A quarter of a century on matches on Saturday — from the Arsenal-Wigan semifinal at Wembley Stadium to grounds across England — started at seven minutes past the hour.
The Hillsborough disaster changed the face of English football, and the treatment of the grieving families by authorities remains a scar on the nation that is yet to be fully healed.
Amid commemorations for Tuesday’s 25th anniversary, families are in court in a bid to get the deaths officially described as unlawful killings.