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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Service remembers stadium victims
Hillsborough tragedy
Ninety-five fans died immediately after the Hillsborough disaster
Victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in Sheffield were remembered in an annual memorial service at the Kop on Saturday.

It is 17 years since the tragedy that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

The supporters were killed in the Leppings Lane terrace at the start of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.

Club captain Steven Gerrard and fellow team-mate Robbie Fowler both performed readings during the service.

Liverpool's match at Blackburn was switched to Sunday to avoid a clash with the memorial service at Anfield.

Relatives of the 96 supporters who died in Sheffield had led calls for the game to be moved as the service is normally attended by Liverpool players and officials.

Special prayers

The service, organised by the Hillsborough Family Support Group, started at 1445 BST and included a minute's silence at 1506 BST - the time of the tragedy.

Special prayers were said at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday to remember those who lost their lives at Hillsborough.

Ninety-five fans died immediately after the disaster, while another victim Tony Bland, who was left in a coma by the tragedy, died in 1993 after a House of Lords ruling that artificial feeding and hydration was "medical treatment" and could be removed.

Lord Taylor's report into the disaster in 1989 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.

The report criticised senior police officers and brought about the introduction of all-seat stadia.

Over the last decade and a half, the Hillsborough Family Support Group has campaigned, claiming the truth about the tragedy has not been revealed.

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