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Monday, 9 April 2012

Kuyt to feature at service

A mum who lost her teenage son at Hillsborough will publicly reflect on a "momentous" year for the fight for justice at this Sunday's memorial service. Thousands are expected to attend the 23rd anniversary to remember the 96 fans who died at Leppings Lane in Sheffield in 1989. The day after the all-Merseyside FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, Liverpool's staff and players will be back at Anfield for the service. Among those giving readings in front of the Kop will be Reds' Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt and managing director Ian Ayre. Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, will also address the crowd on Sunday. She said her speech would sum up the huge strides made over the past 12 months and the families' hopes for the future. Mrs Aspinall told the ECHO: "It's been a very important year and we know the independent panel are not too far away with their findings. "I will touch upon the debate we had at the House of Commons which was something we thought we'd never see. "And I'll look forward to finally getting the answers we've always been denied when the panel deliver their conclusions." The Love and Joy gospel choir will sing at the service and a cellist from the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is set to perform. Trevor Hicks, who lost his two daughters Vicki, 15, and Sarah, 19, in the disaster, and Jim Wafer, whose son Colin, 19, died, have agreed to release 96 balloons. Some of the Hillsborough panel members including Phil Scraton and Katy Jones are expected to attend along with MP Andy Burnham and council leader Joe Anderson. The service will begin at 2.45pm, with access to the stadium starting from 1pm, with advance tickets needed. On average 10,000 people attend the memorial service, but numbers have grown since the extraordinary turnout of 30,000 for the 20th anniversary. Mrs Aspinall added: "After 23 years it's remarkable that people still turn up with such support. "Recent movement has come from that service three years ago when Liverpool people made their feelings known to government. "It's so important to keep on remembering the families and the survivors of Hillsborough." Source: The Echo

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