• Grand National

Aintree remembers 25th anniversary of Hillsborough

ESPN staff
April 5, 2014
The Aintree crowd took part in a minute's applause before the opening race on Saturday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster © PA Photos

A minute's applause was held in remembrance for the 96 football fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster before the opening race of Grand National day at Aintree.

Aintree racecourse marked the 25th anniversary of the disaster with a floral tribute, complete with both Liverpool and Everton scarves, which greeted race-goers on their arrival to the course.

On Monday, fresh inquests into the deaths of the 96 fans who lost their lives during Liverpool's tragic FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham in 1989 were reopened in Warrington. The inquests were ordered in the wake of the High Court decision to quash the original verdicts of accidental death in December 2012.

Thursday's opening race of the meet was also renamed The Crabbie's Supporting The Hillsborough Families Fox Hunters' Chase.

"We are delighted to show our support for the Hillsborough families," Aintree and North West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses John Baker said. "With the 25th anniversary approaching we felt it was appropriate to mark it at the festival and show our solidarity."

Margaret Aspinall, chair of Hillsborough Family Support Group, said of the tribute: "It is very humbling that Aintree Racecourse and The Crabbie's Grand National is showing its support for the Hillsborough families."

Champion jockey AP McCoy won Saturday's opening race for trainer Paul Nicholls, steering favourite Lac Fontana to a one-and-a-half length victory in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle.

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