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Sports

Klopp and Liverpool players attend final Hillsborough memorial at Anfield

Hours after Liverpool's sensational comeback against Borussia Dortmund, the club paid their respects to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. This will be the last memorial for the victims to be held at Anfield.

Crowds gathered at Anfiled, Liverpool's home stadium, at 15:06 (GMT), the time when the 1989 FA Cup semifinal between the Reds and Nottingham Forest was abandoned.

Ninety-six people died after a crush in an overcrowded section of the stadium shortly before kickoff at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. The memorial has since been annually held to mark Great Britain's worst sporting disaster.

"We will never forget those who died at Hillsborough, and this is a day for us to unite as a city, and remember each one and also their families and friends left behind," said Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson.

Before the memorial, head coach Jürgen Klopp and his players were given a standing ovation as they arrived for the last memorial at Anfield. In January, relatives of the victims "unanimously agreed" that this would be final service as court proceedings are expected to come to an end next month.

Flags at Anfield and at civic buildings in the city were flown at half-mast as a bunch of tributes take place across the city. Fans of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund held banners in memory of the 96 victims and both clubs observed a minute's silence before Thursday's Europa League quarterfinal.

Jurors at the inquest into the deaths retired on April 6, two years since court hearings began. A conclusion is expected this month.

rd/ks (AFP, AP)