Today marks the 35th anniversary of one of football’s greatest tragedies – the Hillsborough Disaster – when 97 people were unlawfully killed attending an FA Cup semi-final tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The tragedy unfolded primarily due to overcrowding in the Leppings Lane stand, which led to a crush of fans in one of the standing terraces.

The situation was exacerbated by inadequate crowd control measures, poor stadium design, and the failure of police to properly manage the influx of fans. 

As fans entered the stadium, many were directed towards the already congested central pens, rather than the less crowded side pens. This led to crushing as the central pens became overcrowded.

Despite pleas from fans, the match was not halted. The response from emergency services further contributed to the severity of the disaster.

Over the past 35 years, multiple investigations and inquiries unravelled a series of conspiracies and cover-ups.

This led to a second inquiry being ordered which concluded gross negligence by police and ambulance services resulted in 97 unlawful deaths.

The incident led to significant changes in stadium safety regulations in the UK, including the introduction of all-seater stadiums for top-flight football matches and improved crowd control measures.

Labour leader Keir Starmer took to X [formerly Twitter] to express his condolences to the victims and their families.

He said: “Today on the 35th anniversary of Hillsborough, I’ll be thinking about those lost, their families, and their enduring courage and determination to pursue justice.

“Making the Hillsborough Law a reality would be a priority of my Labour government.”

The Owls will host the annual memorial service to remember the 97 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in 1989.

The service will commence at 2:55pm at the permanent memorial site adjacent to the South Stand bridge and run for approximately 20 minutes, during which time Parkside Road traffic will be suspended.

Hillsborough Stadium will be open to all visitors wishing to pay their respects throughout the day from 10am to 4pm.