As they do every April 15th, Liverpool will hold their annual Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield to be attended by families and friends of the 96 fans who lost their lives at an FA Cup semi-final match twenty-five years ago. As part of this year's memorial, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been invited to do a reading.
"I feel very privileged," Rodgers said. "I came into the city in 2012 and knew obviously a bit of the background about what was going on but over the time I have been here it becomes your life. So to be asked to represent the families and victims of Hillsborough and to give a reading, I am very honoured and proud to do that.
"When I was asked I had no hesitation. As the manager of this football club and the symbol for the people and in particular the families and victims, I had no hesitation. I will stand proudly and hopefully the reading will do them justice."
It's a long-standing tradition for people associated with the club to give a reading during the service. John Henry has been involved previously, and Dirk Kuyt's reading from a few years back can still muster a tear or two from even the hardest of supporters. The club manager would be an appropriate choice any year, but Rodgers' participation on the 25th anniversary comes with a real sense of poignancy given how far both the club and the campaign for justice have come in the last eighteen months.
The Hillsborough anniversary also marks an occasion when Liverpool and their local rivals Everton put aside any sporting differences to come together in remembrance. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has also been invited to give a reading, and the service will be broadcast in-stadium at Goodison Park for those who weren't able to secure a free ticket to the commemoration at Anfield.
Our coverage on the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough will continue throughout the day.