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Sick touts sold H'boro tribute passes as fake match tickets; Fraudsters made PS1,000 before Swansea match.

Byline: ELEANOR BARLOW @eleanorbarlow

TOUTS made hundreds of pounds selling tickets for the Hillsborough memorial service as match tickets.

Memorial service tickets, available for free ahead of the 25th anniversary on April 15, were sold on for about PS100 each before Sunday's match against Swansea at Anfield.

Unscrupulous touts tampered with them to make them look as if they were genuine tickets for the fixture.

Chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Margaret Aspinall branded the fraudsters "disgraceful".

She said: "It is upsetting for everybody that people are trying to make profit out of memorial tickets.

"They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

"They are not genuine supporters, genuine supporters would not do anything like that.

"It has been very upsetting for the families and very upsetting for the fans.

"All I can say now is please, please, if you know anybody involved in this please come forward and let us know.

"It's important this does not happen ever again."

The ECHO understands about 10 of the tickets were sold on for about PS100 each.

Steve Kelly, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC), said Anfield stewards had told campaigners in the HJC shop about problems with the tickets.

He said: "I didn't witness anyone buying them but the stewards came in to tell us about it.

"People are just dismayed. It's hard to have a real take on it because you just don't think people will stoop to that level.

"These people could have made PS1,000 selling these tickets - all off the back of the disaster.

"I hope they sleep on that tonight." " He added: "At the shop we always warn people, particularly if they're not from the city, only to buy tickets from official sources and we will be making sure we make people aware of this."

A Liverpool FC spokesman said: "Supporters should only buy tickets through official channels and we regularly remind fans about the dangers of purchasing from touts and others.

"The technology deployed at our turnstiles will refuse entry to anyone without an official ticket.

"We find it disgraceful that anyone would consider using the tickets, allocated to those who wish to attend a memorial service to remember the 96 Liverpool supporters who so tragically lost their lives at Hillsborough, for illegal gain."

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "We always encourage fans to only buy tickets from authorised outlets to avoid disappointment.

"People who do buy from touts run the risk of finding themselves among opposing supporters, being ejected from grounds or not receiving valid tickets at all.

"The force works closely with our local clubs and various partners to target and, wherever possible, eradicate unauthorised outlets.

"We will continue to stamp out this nuisance and encourage anyone with information about ticket touting to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Voice of the ECHO: Page 10

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DISGUSTED: Margaret Aspinall

FREE: Passes for the Hillsborough Memorial Service were altered, and sold as matchday tickets
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2014
Words:495
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