IT WAS a day filled with tears and emotion.
And a Huddersfield man was among thousands who made the poignant journey to Liverpool yesterday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Dalton resident Kevin Hyland, 49, was in the upper Leppings Lane end on the day of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and watched in horror as the tragedy unfolded on the terraces beneath him.
Yesterday he was one of thousands of Liverpool supporters at Anfield stadium at a memorial service to remember the 96 people killed in that crush .
A candle was lit for every person killed and a representative of each family was awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
The bells of the city’s two cathedrals and its civic buildings rang out in memory of the dead, and at 3.06pm all public transport was stopped for two minutes, exactly 20 years since after the game was abandoned.
After complications with the victims’ families it was decided there would be no formal ceremony in Sheffield but the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground, where the crush took place, was opened up for people to visit and pay their respects.
Kevin has returned to Hillsborough every year to pay his respects and said he will take the horrible scenes of that day to his grave.
Speaking to the Examiner shortly before the memorial, he said: “With it being the 20th anniversary it’s very poignant.
“At last we’re all united in the ground, that will be very emotional.
“It’s like it was yesterday. I remember the journey to the game with my mates and the excitement of the semi-final.
“We were there the year before and they were checking tickets at the beginning of Leppings Lane. But the year after there was none of that, people were piling in and the police lost control.
“I was six rows back from the front and at a-quarter-to-three I just looked down and I could see people just massing behind the two little pens.
“The two other pens were half empty.
“When kick-off came there was more people in and you could see it getting worse.
“I was watching people trying to climb over the fence and the police were prodding them with truncheons and yelling ‘get down’.
“They were so slow to react, if it had been policed properly like the year before it wouldn’t have happened.
“Twenty years on and we’re still fighting for justice.
“Hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of that awful day.”