1. ITV Report

Rivalries set aside for Hillsborough tribute at Anfield

Supporters held up coloured cards in memory of the Hillsborough disaster Photo: PA

Supporters heeded appeals to behave with dignity as Liverpool met old rivals Manchester United in their first home match since the publication of the report into the Hillsborough disaster.

There were a respectful mood at Anfield on a poignant afternoon where the 96 victims of the 1989 tragedy were remembered.

United legend Sir Bobby Charlton carried a bouquet of 96 roses to hand to former Liverpool striker Ian Rush, and captains Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs released 96 red balloons.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez shook hands with Patrice Evra before kick-off Credit: PA

Liverpool's Luis Suarez and United's Patrick Evra ensured a harmonious start to the game as they joined the other players in a pre-match handshake.

Suarez was found guilty by an independent regulatory commission of racially abusing Evra and banned for eight games by the Football Association last season.

The Uruguayan attacker, who denied the charge against him, refused to shake French defender Evra's hand when the teams played at Old Trafford in February.

Liverpool fans supporting the families affected by the Hillborough disaster Credit: PA

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".

Managers of both clubs praised the behaviour of the fans in acknowledging the tributes.

"We are two leading and iconic clubs and we have an obligation - morally and socially - to show we can respect and I felt that was done today," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers after the game.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who made a plea to United supporters before the game to respect the occasion, felt the tributes were fitting.

"Bobby presenting the wreath to Ian Rush and both captains letting balloons off plus total respect from each set of supporters, which I'm really pleased at. It set the right tone," said Ferguson.

"Hopefully, that's the crossroads - a line in the sand. Nothing will stop the rivalry but it's gone beyond the pale in the past and hopefully that's gone now."

The Hillsborough Independent Panel absolved Liverpool supporters of any responsibility for the disaster, and criticised South Yorkshire Police.