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Service for Hills bro; Thousands in Anfield tribute.

Byline: By MIKE HORNBY

A MINUTE'S silence was held this morning at Liverpool town hall ahead of an Anfield service to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

More than 6,000 people were expected to attend the annual memorial service this afternoon to honour the 96 who died.

It will include a minute's silence at 3.06pm, the time when Liverpool's ill-fated FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest was halted when officials realised fans were being crushed on the terraces.

The service, organised each year by the Hillsborough Family Support Group, is once again open to the public.

It will also be attended by up to 500 members of victims' families as well as representatives of Liverpool Football Club.

The ECHO's chief feature writer Paddy Shennan and former ECHO columnist Brian Reade will give readings.

The service starts at 2.45pm and people are asked to take their seats at 2pm.

Each victim's name will then be read out and a candle lit in their memory.

Phil Hammond, who lost his 14-year-old son Philip in the tragedy, will take over as chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group from Trevor Hicks.

Mr Hammond said: 'I thought last year's service went brilliantly and it was one of the biggest turnouts I have seen.

'It shows people haven't forgotten after all these years and are prepared to sit in the freezing cold and support us.

'Hillsborough is still a massive thing on Merseyside. It touched everyone and they have been backing us since day one.'

Joy Caplin, a volunteer with Cruse bereavement care, said it was important for people to come together on the anniversaries of major tragedies such as Hillsborough to share their grief.

She said: 'A memorial service honours the dead in a way which says we haven't forgotten and it makes the families feel part of it

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TRIBUTE: Lord Mayor Cllr Eddie Roderick and dignitarie this morning
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2005
Words:322
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