Watch: Rodgers and Martinez Lead Tributes at Hillsborough Memorial Service

Michael Regan

A day of remembrance at Anfield following a year that finally, 25 years after tragedy claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters, has seen movement towards justice, was filled with moving moments. Key amongst them were speeches by Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, as the city's two managers led tributes to those lost at Hillsborough and those who continue to fight.

"It's only recently that I had the privilege to spend some time in your city," said Everton's rookie manager Martinez. "The great warmth, great spirit, great friendships and, I've always seen great determination, passion and commitment for ensuring what's right and fair. Those are the qualities that represents the Hillsborough families—a remarkable group of people.

"The way you fight for justice has been truly remarkable. Over 25 years, you have overcome so many wrongs. For 25 years, you've gained the respect of those within and beyond football, and in the city. I know I don't have to tell you Everton are with you—you know that."

Hillsborough 25th Anniversary

Rodgers followed soon after in paying tribute to those who have now spent a quarter of a century fighting for truth and justice for loved ones lost due to, at best, the negligence and incompetence of authorities at an FA Cup semi-final and the subsequent attempts by those same authorities to pin blame on the victims of the tragedy.

"Mothers and fathers; brothers and sisters; sons and daughters; friends and fellow supporters," said Rodgers. "You've all stood for 25 years together, to honour and fight for the 96 people we lost. Your courage, you fortitude, you resiliency, you dignity, and your love for the people you lost is what inspires me every day at Liverpool Football Club."

The Liverpool manager also sought to pay tribute to Kenny Dalglish, whose stewardship at the time at least as much as anything else stand him first in any list of the club's legends. He then returned to the families of the victims, a note of both sadness and hope capping off a pair of moving speeches by two managers that did their clubs and the city of Liverpool proud on this day:

"We will always strive to honour you, the families, and the memory of the 96 that we lost. You'll Never Walk Alone."


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