BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 18:05 UK

Benitez pays Hillsborough tribute


Rafael Benitez on the importance of remembering the tragedy at Hillsborough

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez wants "everyone in football" to be made aware of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy.

Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the day when 96 supporters lost their lives at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

"It's important, not just for the players at my club, but everyone in football to remember," said Benitez.

"The families have been amazing and have been coping. Liverpool will always be there to support them."

A special memorial service will be held at Anfield on Wednesday where Benitez and councillor Steve Rotheram will lay a scarf on the pitch and release 96 red balloons.

Steve Wilson blog

There will also be a two-minute silence held in Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield at 1506 BST which will end when all civic, cathedral and church bells are rung 96 times.

"I was in Spain at the time and I didn't realise how serious the actual situation was - I then heard the news and soon realised," added Benitez, who was appointed manager of the club in the summer of 2004.

"Since I've been at Liverpool I've learned a lot more. I've learned what Hillsborough means to people."

Hillsborough remembered - Jamie Carragher

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher echoed his manager's sentiments.

"It's essential that we don't forget Hillsborough," said Carragher.

"I think it changed the face of football. I hope it will never happen again."

He added: "I say to the families that they have to keep believing and keep fighting."

Print Sponsor

see also
Gerrard pays Hillsborough tribute
11 Apr 09 |  Liverpool