EPL: Steven Gerrard dedicates win over Man City to Hillsborough victims
Steven Gerrard has dedicated Liverpool's crucial win against English Premier League title rivals Manchester City to the victims and families of the Hillsborough disaster
London: Steven Gerrard has dedicated Liverpool's crucial win against title rivals Manchester City to the victims and families of the Hillsborough disaster.
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left), Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez leave after a memorial service for the Hillsborough Disaster. Pic/AFP
Gerrard's 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest of the 96 Liverpool supporters who died due to crushing on the terraces at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.
Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of the tragedy and Anfield will host the annual memorial service, which all of Liverpool's squad will attend.
And it was the proximity of that date, plus the significance of the 3-2 victory that left Liverpool close to winning the title for the first time in 24 years, which saw Reds captain Gerrard brought to tears at the final whistle against City on Sunday.
"The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell," Gerrard said.
"It wasn't just because it was a big match in our season, it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool. It's emotional for so many people.
"I'm speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough.
"All the squad will be present at the service to pay our respects as we should."
The service on Tuesday will also be attended by Liverpool's directors and other staff as well as a number of former players and managers.
Current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Everton boss Roberto Martinez will give readings.
The number '96' will be written on the pitch in large figures made up of scarves donated by fans of all clubs and from various sporting institutions.
It is an emotional time for Liverpool, who sit two points clear of second placed Chelsea and will end their long wait to be champions of England if they win their last four matches, starting at struggling Norwich on Sunday.
ON April 15, 1989, 96 fans were crushed to death while 766 were injured during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield. The match was eventually abandoned and the police were blamed for letting too many people into the stadium leading to the unfortunate incident.