96 people went to a football match and did not return . They were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough in April 1989 .
The 96 were posthumously awarded the the Freedom of the City of Liverpool and as Sefton's mayor I attended the ceremony at St George's Hall. The Freedom is the highest honour that the City can give.
More residents of Sefton died in this tragedy than from any other part of Merseyside.
I met several of the local families who lost loved ones including Denise Hough whose brother Gordon was one of the victims along with Gordon's niece Annabel
As each family collected the insignia of the Freedom there was sustained applause. This increased in volume as Marina Dalglish and Kenny Dalglish but the greatest and most sustained applause was kept for Professor Phil Scraton . It was clear that the families recognised that his contribution was central to the campaign to achieve justice for the 96.
Bishop James Jones was also awarded the Freedom for his work alongside Prof Scraton on the panel that was finally established to uncover the truth.
For many the emotional high point of the evening was singing of 'You'll never walk alone' by Danielle Louise Thomas from Waterloo
Through out the evening Kenny Dalglish and Prof Scraton made themselves freely available for photographs with the families.
You'll Never Walk Alone pic.twitter.com/HaTBJeDONl— Eleanor Barlow (@EleanorBarlow) September 22, 2016