Hillsborough support group disbands as 'time for families to move on'

Bereaved relatives this week mark the 32nd anniversary of Britain's worst sporting disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 fans

Liverpool, Hillsborough
Image: Liverpool fans pay their respects at the Hillsborough memorial as they arrive at Anfield in 2018

A support group that campaigned tirelessly for justice in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy has disbanded with its former chairman saying it was "time for families to move on".

It comes as bereaved relatives this week mark the 32nd anniversary of Britain's worst sporting disaster.

Ninety-six men, women and children died in the fatal crush on the Leppings Lane terrace at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.

Announcing the wrapping up of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), former chair Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James in the tragedy, said "we have gone as far as we can come".

The trial of two former police officers and a force solicitor charged with perverting the course of justice following the disaster is due to start on April 19.

Margaret Aspinall
Image: Margaret Aspinall, who used to chair the Hillsborough Family Support Group, says "it is time now for families to move on"

In an interview with LFC TV, Ms Aspinall said: "The group has folded now - it's a very sad thing to say, after 30-odd years together, that we folded it.

"But I think it is time now for families to move on, but also for the survivors to be able to move on and the city, because we have had Hillsborough thrown at us now for all them years.

"I think people need peace in their lives and to start to just reflect and remember the 96 on the anniversary."

Hillsborough, flowers, Liverpool (AP)
Image: Floral tributes are placed by fans at the Kop end of Anfield in 1989

Speaking about her own personal loss, she said: "I didn't realise how much I didn't look into James' case because I was busy doing things for everybody.

"I feel like now is the time that I can discuss James without feeling guilty about the other 95, even though I will never forget the other 95."

Hailing the solidarity shown by the families over the decades, Ms Aspinall said: "Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but to still stay together, when there were some rough times, was amazing and incredible."

She also expressed "a great gratitude" to supporters and survivors of the disaster.

Confirming the group had stopped fundraising, she added: "If anybody starts asking things for Hillsborough, to help the families, please don't give, because the families don't need anything else now.

"We don't need to ask anybody for anything as we have gone as far as we can come."

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