FORMER LIVERPOOL MANAGER Rafael Benitez has said that the revelations from the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel yesterday allows the victims’ families and survivors to continue their fight for justice.
The panel yesterday released a report on the scrutinising of around 450,000 documents pertaining to the 1989 stadium disaster which killed 96 Liverpool fans disclosing an inadequate emergency response, a police cover-up and an “unsustainable” inquest verdict.
As families now plot their next move which is likely to include a campaign for a new inquest into the death of their loved one as well as criminal prosecutions, Benitez has said the developments yesterday were “important for everyone”.
The Champions League-winning boss donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group in June 2010 shortly after he left Liverpool and has also continued to go to memorial ceremonies commemorating the disaster’s anniversary.
“When you sign as a Liverpool Football Club manager you know the history and then after you meet the people and then you have the relationship with the families. So we were supporting the families all the time,” he told TheJournal.ie in Dublin today.
“Now to go to this point that the truth has come through, I think it was really important for everyone. I think that they will continue fighting but it will be in another way.
“You see you have something that you were looking for for years in this case and now it will be a different. At least they can they can fight in another direction.”
Benitez - who is in Dublin to promote his new book, Champions League Dreams, and is giving a talk at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre tonight – said that the spirit of the survivors and the families of Hillsborough victims acted as an important inspiration.
“I met Margaret Aspinall (HFSG chairwoman) two days ago because I knew it could be quite emotional on the day,” he said.
“We were talking about this and you can see the spirit that they have and the commitment that they had to do things in the right way.”
Stay tuned for more from Rafael Benitez in which he answers questions from the fans about his time at Liverpool, his ambitions and the future for Irish football.
Videos, pics: A day of truth and revelations for Hillsborough families