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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Service marks Hillsborough deaths
Hillsborough memorials
It is 15 years since the Hillsborough tragedy claimed 96 lives
A service remembering the victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in Sheffield has taken place at Liverpool FC's Anfield ground on Thursday.

Relatives of the 96 fans who died as a result of the disaster on 15 April 1989 attended the service.

Staff and players were also at the annual service on Thursday afternoon.

The fans were killed in the Leppings Lane terrace at the start of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Lord Taylor's report into the disaster outlined how events unfolded.

It criticised senior police officers and brought about the introduction of all-seater stadia.

'Wretched beyond belief'

The chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Trevor Hicks, made his last speech at the service before standing down from the job.

Mr Hicks, whose daughters 19-year-old Sarah and 15-year-old Vicky died at Hillsborough, said: "Once again we are gathered in this temporary church to remember the 96 men, women and children who died at Hillsborough 15 years ago today.

"They went to Sheffield on a beautiful April day to watch a football game which cost them their lives and made thousands of others wretched beyond belief.

"As I look around the stadium today, just as I have done for 15 years, I see the faces of families, friends, fellow supporters and members of the public, and then I remember why we must have this memorial service."

Mr Hicks handed control of the committee over to Phil Hammond, 55, currently the vice chairman of the group.

Campaigned for the truth

Mr Hammond's 14-year-old son, also called Philip, died in the disaster.

Over the last decade and a half, the Hillsborough Family Support Group has campaigned for the truth about the tragedy to be revealed.

The 1989 Taylor Report into the disaster criticised the senior officers on duty for a "failure to control", but an inquest two years later ruled the deaths were accidental and no prosecutions were brought.

In 1998, Home Secretary Jack Straw decided against holding a new public inquiry.

The service today ended amid emotional scenes as the entire crowd joined together to sing You'll Never Walk Alone.

Mr Hicks, who claimed that 15 years later the families were still seeking justice, summed it up when he said: "Even now, the pain does not go away."

Bereaved father Trevor Hicks:
"We still say the final truth about Hillsborough has not come out."

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