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. STEVEN GERRARD has paid [...].

? STEVEN GERRARD has paid tribute to the "courage and dignity" shown by the Hillsborough families and survivors in the face of "shameful slandering" over the past 23 years.

The Liverpool skipper, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley (below) was the youngest of the 96 fans who died in the 1989 disaster, welcomed the publication of the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which cleared the club's fans of any blame.

Gerrard said: "The courage and dignity shown by the Hillsborough families and survivors is an example to all of us. For 23 years they have fought for truth and justice on behalf of the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy and all Liverpool supporters.

"Victims and survivors suffered not just on April 15, 1989 in Sheffield, but for over two decades afterwards with the shameful slandering of their actions by people who abused their position and power.

"Speaking as someone whose family directly suffered, I know the pain and hurt will remain. However, I hope that today's report helps bring some comfort, now that everyone knows what happened on that day."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 13, 2012
Words:181
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