Ten-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley was the youngest victim in Sheffield in 1989,
After welcoming the conclusions of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, 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.”
Representatives from Liverpool Football Club, including players, current manager Brendan Rodgers and his predecessor Kenny Dalglish – who led the team in 1989 – attended a memorial vigil at the city’s St George’s Hall on Wednesday night.
Dalglish joined Jamie Carragher, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre and
The Merseyside club released its own statement welcoming publication of the report.
“Over the last 23 years the families who lost loved ones and the survivors of this terrible tragedy have shown immense dignity and resilience in their tireless campaign for justice,” it read.
“For 23 years they have campaigned for the full disclosure of documents relating to the disaster and for someone to take responsibility for what happened.
“Liverpool Football Club commends the Hillsborough Independent Panel report which acknowledges the avoidable catastrophic failures before, during and after the disaster. The club also welcomes the Prime Minister’s apology to the families and survivors on behalf of the Government and await the Attorney General’s pending review of the report.
“After 23 long and painful years, our fans have finally been fully exonerated of all blame. Today, the world knows what we have always known, that Liverpool fans were not just innocent on that terrible day but that there was reprehensible and hurtful misrepresentation of the truth.
“Liverpool Football Club would like to thank the Hillsborough Independent Panel for its rigorous work over the past two-and-a-half years and for publishing a comprehensive report based on the in-depth research and analysis into hundreds of thousands of documents.”
Liverpool’s chairman, Tom Werner, said the ‘real truth’ had finally been revealed to the world.
“On behalf of myself, John (Henry) and everyone at the club, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers on this hugely significant and deeply emotional day to everyone affected by the Hillsborough disaster. Today the world has heard the real truth about what happened at Hillsborough.
“As a football club, we will continue to remember those who died and support the families who lost loved ones on that terrible day. We hope that today’s findings will give some comfort to the families and survivors and go some way to addressing some of the key questions that have hung over the Hillsborough tragedy for the last 23 years.”