Hillsborough: Global reaction to stadium tragedy verdict

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Tributes to the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster adorn the Hillsborough memorial and the Bill Shankly gates at Anfield stadium on September 17, 2012 in Liverpool, England. In the wake of the Hillsborough files disclosure, families of the victims and support groups are calling for the Attoney General to open new inquests in the city and to pursue any possible criminal prosecutions.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
96 soccer fans unlawfully killed, jury finds
01:14 - Source: CNN

CNN’s documentary “Hillsborough: They’ll Never Walk Alone” will screen on Wed April 27 at 1900 GMT and Thu April 28 at 1100 GMT.

Story highlights

A verdict into the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy was delivered Tuesday

A jury decided 96 soccer fans had been unlawfully killed

CNN  — 

The Hillsborough stadium disaster of 1989 was a tragedy that transcended sport.

After years of questions, the long fight for truth has finally been won, prompting social media reaction from across the football world.

Leading the tributes was Liverpool Football Club, which saw 96 of its fans unlawfully killed during an FA Cup semifinal.

Read: Jury delivers verdict in Hillsborough inquest

Jamie Carragher, who played for Liverpool for 17 years, conveyed the relief felt by a city and a football club.

Read: Mom ‘denied final cuddle with dead son’

Wayne Rooney, who plays for Manchester United but hails from the Merseyside area, commended the determination of the bereaved. The England captain began his career with Liverpool’s city rivals Everton.

Read: Criminal prosecutions could follow Hillsborough verdict

For many, the relief that a verdict has finally been reached is tinged by frustration that the truth took so long to come out. Former Manchester City star Joey Barton was born just three miles from Rooney.

John Arne Riise and Luis Garcia are from far further afield, Norway and Spain respectively, but their affection for Liverpool runs deep. Both played for the club when it lifted the Champions League in 2005 and expressed similar sentiments to Carragher, their teammate on that day.

John Aldridge was Liverpool’s top scorer in the 1988-89 campaign and was a key part of the team at the time of the tragedy. He describes how emotional it was to see the “reaction of the families outside the court.”

Across the city, Liverpool’s rivals Everton posted a message of solidarity. The teams’ two stadiums are separated by Stanley Park.

Tim Cahill, a hero among Everton fans having spent eight years at club, also offered his support and condolences.

Despite an agonizing 4-3 defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the Europa League just 12 days ago, German club Borussia Dortmund gave its support with the simple message: “Justice for the 96.”

And the verdict resonated beyond sport. British Prime Minster David Cameron called the resolution of the Hillsborough inquest a “landmark day.”

Fondly remembered in Liverpool for a successful spell as the team’s manager between 2004 and 2010, Rafa Benitez hopes the inquiry’s scrutiny of past mistakes will prevent such a disaster occuring in future.

More accustomed to telling jokes, Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop offered a sombre thought.