A support group that has campaigned tirelessly for justice in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy has disbanded with its former chairman saying it is “time for families to move on”.
It comes as bereaved parents this week mark the 32nd anniversary of Britain’s worst sports disaster.
Ninety-six men, women and children died in the deadly crush on Leppings Lane terrace during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in Sheffield on Wednesday April 15, 1989.
Announcing the closing of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), former president Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James in the tragedy, said: “We have come as far as possible”.
The trial of two former police officers and a force lawyer accused of perverting the course of justice following the disaster is due to begin on April 19.
In an interview with LFC TV, Ms Aspinall said: “The band has folded now – it’s a very sad thing to say, after thirty years together, that we have folded it.
“But I think it’s time now for the families to leave, but also for the survivors to be able to move and the city, because we’ve seen Hillsborough thrown at us all these years.
“I think people need peace in their lives and to start thinking and remembering the 96th birthday on the anniversary.”
Speaking of her own personal loss, she said, “I didn’t realize how much I hadn’t looked into James’ case because I was busy doing things for everyone.
“I feel like now is the time when I can talk about James without feeling guilty about the 95 others, although I will never forget the 95 others.”
Hailing the solidarity shown by families over the decades, Ms Aspinall said: “Everyone has a right to their opinions, but staying together, when there were tough times, was amazing and amazing.”
She also expressed “great gratitude” to supporters and survivors of the disaster.
Confirming that the group had stopped fundraising, she added: “If someone starts asking for things for Hillsborough, to help families, don’t give because families don’t need anything else. now.
“We don’t have to ask anyone anything because we’ve come as far as possible.”