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Service for Hillsborough victims

15 April 08 19:34 GMT

Victims of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster have been remembered at an annual memorial service at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, club chief executive Rick Parry and players, including captain Steven Gerrard, took part in the service on Tuesday.

A candle was lit for each of the 96 victims who died as a result of the tragedy 19 years ago on 15 April 1989.

A match featuring former Liverpool and Celtic players is being planned for the 20th anniversary, it was revealed.

Phil Hammond, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), said the match will "hopefully" be staged at Anfield.

Minute's silence

Mr Hammond, who was speaking after the service, said: "We've sat down with Rick Parry, myself, Kenny and Marina Dalglish and spoken about having a match here at Anfield.

"The first game Liverpool played after the disaster was against Celtic so we are trying to get those two teams together to play here."

Mr Hammond, whose 14-year-old son Philip died in the tragedy, said money raised from the event would go towards The Marina Dalglish Appeal and the HFSG.

During the memorial, the names of all 96 victims were read out in front of more than 5,000 people in the Kop.

A minute's silence began at 1506 GMT - the exact time when the referee blew the whistle to abandon the game 19 years ago.

The victims, all Liverpool supporters, were crushed at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's ground during an FA Cup semi-final.

During the service Mr Hammond, 59, said: "We lost members of our family because football fans were treated like animals. This can not be allowed to happen again."

The service finished with a crowd rendition of the Liverpool anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone.

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