LONDON • Kenny Dalglish has paid tribute to the Hillsborough families and the survivors of the tragedy, but said that those who were responsible for the subsequent cover-up should be "shaking in their boots" with the prospect of "recompense" looming large after an inquest ruled that the 96 victims had been unlawfully killed.
In a powerful response to the inquest verdicts, Dalglish, who was Liverpool manager at the time of the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989, and still serves the club as a director, also suggested that other legal avenues could now be pursued in an attempt to ensure that those who were involved in the cover-up are held accountable.
"It can only be a pleasure for the families who have endured 27 years trying to get to the point that they knew they should have been at 27 years ago," Dalglish said.
"You're pleased that they've won this, but on the other hand it's taken 27 years out of their lives. It's fantastic news for them and it's news that they thoroughly deserve. I don't know which words you would use to describe your feelings - certainly "celebration" is not the right word.
"The supporters of Liverpool Football Club have been totally vindicated and there'll be a lot of people who have heard the verdict who might be shaking in their boots a little bit because, obviously, you would expect there to be some recompense to anybody who's tried to alter or affect the truth and also affect the outcome.
"If that is the case, then surely they're the ones that are going to be called to task."
Dalglish also paid tribute to the survivors, emphasising that their efforts 27 years ago could have resulted in more lives being saved had they received greater support from the emergency services.
"For many people who survived it was traumatic for them as well. They lived through it, they did everything they possibly could to help people who were struggling," he said.
"If the supporters maybe had got a little bit more help from the people who were supposed to be there to help then maybe there wouldn't have been as many fatalities as there were."
The FA and Sheffield Wednesday are both part of the criminal investigations into the disaster and its aftermath. The FA went ahead with the semi-final despite evidence that it had been warned of concerns over crushing at previous FA Cup matches at Hillsborough.
After the disaster, it emerged that Sheffield Wednesday did not have a valid safety certificate for the stadium.
In a statement, the FA expressed "deep sorrow and regret", but added that "given the ongoing criminal investigations, there are limitations to what we can say".
THE TIMES, LONDON