Families prepare for announcement over Hillsborough disaster charges

Fans trying to avoid the crush at Hillsborough in 1989.
Fans trying to avoid the crush at Hillsborough in 1989.
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Families of the HIllsborough disaster victims say they are preparing for a day of 'mixed emotions' ahead of tomorrow's announcement on whether anyone will face charges.

Relatives of 96 men, women and children killed at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield will gather in Warrington tomorrow for the Crown Prosecution Service to reveal whether any individuals and organisations will face charges.

Last year, an inquest jury ruled the 96 fans were unlawfully killed in the disaster, which happened at the match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest.

Operation Resolve, which investigated the causes of the disaster, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission passed files of evidence relating to 23 suspects, including individuals and organisations, to the CPS earlier this year.

Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: "It's been a long, long struggle for everybody and hopefully this is the journey to the end, completely, of Hillsborough.

"We've got to wait with anticipation to see what happens."

Mrs Aspinall, whose son James was aged 18 when he died in the tragedy, said families would have a 'sleepless night' ahead of the decisions.

She said her thoughts tomorrow would be with family members who had died in the 28 years since the disaster.

She said: "It is going to be a day of mixed emotions for the families and we have had so many of them.

"Whatever happens, I still think it will be a long road, but the families are determined to never give up.

"All we want is accountability, nothing more and nothing less."

Steve Kelly, whose brother Michael, 38, was killed in the disaster, said: "This is just the start of another battle really, no matter what the outcome is.

"There will be very, very mixed feelings. This is just another step along the way.

"I feel sometimes like I'm walking with my ankles in shackles because I know I can't walk freely.

"The actual vindication of the 96 and the survivors of Hillsborough hasn't been fully achieved yet."

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, died in the disaster, said: "I just want this finished and to come to a conclusion.

"The last 28 years has been very upsetting, traumatic and very, very painful.

"This needs to be done properly and it needs to make people accountable for their actions on that particular day."