UK & World News
Hillsborough: Man Utd Fans Heed Respect Calls
Supporters of Manchester United and Liverpool respected calls to behave with dignity as Anfield saw its first match since the findings of a report into the Hillsborough disaster was published.
A letter from Sir Alex Ferguson urging Man Utd fans not to sing offensive songs about the tragedy was handed out at the stadium before the Premier League clash.
Players from both teams emerged for the warm-up wearing shirts with the number 96 on the back, in tribute to the Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough in April 1989.
The team captains also released 96 balloons before kick-off, while United legend Sir Bobby Charlton handed a bouquet of 96 roses to former Liverpool striker Ian Rush.
Fans applauded in memory of those who died and mosaics including the words The Truth and Justice were displayed during the traditional playing of Liverpool anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone".
In the letter to fans, Ferguson wrote: "What happened to them should wake the conscience of everyone connected with the game.
"Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice. I know I can count on you to stand with us in the best traditions of the best fans in the game."
Fans were also urged not to take part in chanting about the 1958 Munich air crash, which claimed the lives of 23 people including 11 United players and staff.
"It's no longer a case of 'you sing about Munich, so we'll sing about Hillsborough'," said United fan Gareth Thompson.
"It's about having respect for each other and showing that respect."
After the game, Merseyside Police tweeted: "Thanks to both sets of fans for respecting the occasion today. The vast majority behaved impeccably and did their clubs proud."
Just under 2,000 United fans were expected at Anfield for the eagerly awaited clash between the two clubs, which United won 2-1.
The report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed a cover-up by the authorities, which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy from the police on to the victims.
It also concluded that 41 of the 96 lives lost during the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on April 15, 1989, could have been saved.
The panel found that 164 police statements were altered, 116 of them to remove or alter "unfavourable" comments about the policing of the match and the unfolding disaster.