Everton manager Roberto Martinez says the verdicts in the Hillsborough inquests have given the city of Liverpool "an incredible boost."
Speaking ahead of Everton's match against Bournemouth on Saturday, Martinez said the Hillsborough Families Support Group "showed us all the way, how to fight in life, and how to persevere" in their battle for the truth.
High Court claims have been issued against South Yorkshire Police and West Midlands Police by lawyers representing some of the Hillsborough survivors and the families of those who died.
The claims concern the cover up and actions intended to wrongly blame the deceased and supporters for the tragedy.
Families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster are pursuing legal action against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police.
The case, pursued by families of the 96 fans who died, accuses the police of a "systematic cover up" and "abuse on an industrial scale".
This week an inquest jury delivered a finding of "unlawful killing" over the fatal incident on April 15, 1989.
On Wednesday, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton was suspended, a move welcomed by the families of Hillsborough victims.
The legal case was issued at the High Court last year but publication of the claim was prevented until after the inquest concluded.
The action, brought by law firm Saunders Law on behalf of hundreds of those affected by the disaster, is for "misfeasance in public office".
The firm said in a statement: "In addition to the police wrongdoing that caused the deaths, there is evidence of the systematic cover up intended to transfer the blame for what happened from South Yorkshire Police to the innocent, by spreading lies, doctoring evidence, pressurising witnesses and suppressing the truth.
"The evidence points to abuse on an industrial scale by both South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police, beyond any 'one bad apple' analysis.
"In addition to actions by individuals, the evidence suggests institutional misfeasance by these bodies directed against our clients and the fans generally."
The news of the action comes after it emerged retired officers from South Yorkshire Police were told to be proud of their work in the 1980s, in a message mistakenly made public on a website in the wake of the Hillsborough inquest findings.
Following the Hillsborough verdict, whilst recognising that the decision has come years too late for many, justice has been served by the verdicts and now it is about accountability.
We recognise that it has taken the determination of families, friends and supporters of the victims to ensure that justice has been achieved.
We want to pay tribute to the hard work and determination of those who fought every step of the way to achieve this outcome which has been against all the odds.
We are also grateful to them, that in fighting for justice for the victims, their determination to show that fans did not in any way contribute to the deaths of their fellow supporters has also been fully and unequivocally vindicated.
We will also push to ensure anyone who is found to be responsible for any action that resulted in or caused, or covered up the reasons for, the deaths of so many people should face the full force of law.
We hope that the verdict, 27 years after that terrible day on 15 April 1989, will be of some comfort to the loved ones of those whose deaths could have been avoided.
The statement was signed by
- Luciana Berger Liverpool, Wavertree
- Peter Dowd, Bootle
- Angela Eagle, Wallasey
- Maria Eagle, Garston and Halewood
- Louise Ellman, Liverpool, Riverside
- Bill Esterson, Sefton Central
- Frank Field, Birkenhead
- Margaret Greenwood, Wirral West
- George Howarth, Knowsley
- Conor McGinn, St Helens North
- Alison McGovern, Wirral South
- John Pugh, Soputhport
- Marie Rimmer, St Helens South and Whiston
- Steve Rotheram, Liverpool, Walton
- Derek Twigg, Halton
- Stephen Twigg, Liverpool, West Derby
The coroner in the Hillsborough inquests has told the jury they must decide whether Sheffield Wednesday FC changed the layout of the Leppings Lane end to prevent overcrowding or to segregate fans.
Sir John Goldring is summarising evidence about how pens were divided in 1985 - four years before the disaster.
The court has heard that the club adopted a scheme to keep 23 turnstiles over proposals to increase the number to 34.
The Coroner said:
"Importantly, the schemes [adopted] did not have the sort of dedicated entrances for particular pens that would have allowed the numbers entering each pen to be monitored at the turnstiles.
"Whether it was a scheme to prevent overcrowding as opposed to segregation is a matter for you to consider."
The jury heard that when it was previously suggested that cost was the reason for the change, Dick Chester, the club secretary at the time, told the court that the board was:
"Intent on safety and segregation."
Two Hillsborough families campaigners will be made Senior Fellows of Liverpool Hope University today.
Margaret Aspinall is chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG). Margaret's 18-year-old son James lost his life in the tragedy.
Trevor Hicks was founding chairman of the HFSG before standing down after nearly 16 years service and becoming Honorary Life President. Mr Hicks and former wife Jennifer lost their daughters 19 year old Sarah Louise and 15 year old Victoria Jane in the Hillsborough Disaster.
In recognition of their campaign, all of the Hillsborough families were added to the City of Liverpool Freedom Roll and Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks were awarded CBEs in the Queen's 2014 New Year honours.
"Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks are truly remarkable people.
In recognising them, we seek to honour all the families of the 96 and those who engage in the struggle for truth in our society.
We are honoured to welcome them into the Liverpool Hope University community."
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Doctors and police have been describing their attempts to save a schoolboy who was caught in the crush at Hillsborough.
14 year old Lee Nicol from Bootle was was the 95th person to die in the disaster.
He was pulled from the front corner of a pen and initially treated on the pitch by police.
Former police officer Keith Marsh said: "I was hopeful that the people who had been involved in Lee’s care had done enough for him to have a chance."
The teenager was carried to an ambulance at the other end of the pitch and was the first casualty from the disaster to be taken to the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.
Dr Rachel Pettinger, a paediatrician who treated him when he first arrived, told the jury: "He was so young. We tried very hard."
The court heard Lee was on a life support machine for two days before he died.
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