LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron today apologised, on behalf of not only the Government but the entire nation, for the “double injustice” suffered by the Liverpool fans killed and injured and their families in the Hillsborough Disaster of April 1989.

South Yorkshire police standing by while fans were dying . . . Picture by Robin Parker, Fotosports International

Some 96 fans died and 700 were injured after a crowd crush at the Leppings Lane end of the Sheffield Wednesday ground.

The vast documentation studied and now being released by the Independent Panel – led by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev. James Jones – showed not only total and utter inadquacy and incompetence by the emergency services – most notably South Yorkshire Police but a major cover-up instigated by the authorities with no fewer than 164 statements altered and amended and leaks planted in the media to try to swing blame on to the fans who died.

Cameron, in a statement on the floor of the House of Commons, told MPs: “The new evidence that we are presented with today makes clear that these families have suffered a double injustice. The injustice of the appalling events – the failure of the state to protect their loved ones and the indefensible wait to get to the truth and the injustice of the denigration of the deceased – that they were somehow at fault for their own deaths.

“On behalf of the Government – and indeed our country – I am profoundly sorry for this double injustice that has been left uncorrected for so long.”

The Hillsborough disaster led to the immediate scrapping of fences in all British football grounds and, in due course, the Taylor Report which produced:

1 – all-seater stadia

2 – new, exemplary methods of crowd trouble

3 – the introduction of special training for football stewards

4 – the removal of uniformed police from inside stadia

and thus the foundation on which has been built the Premier League as the world knows it, the most popular domestic football competition around the world.

At what a price.

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