'Hugely disappointed but immensely proud' – Dalglish responds to Duckenfield's Hillsborough verdict

The Liverpool legend and his wife Marina despaired after match commander David Duckenfield was found not guilty on Thursday

Kenny Dalglish was “hugely disappointed” as David Duckenfield was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, but the Liverpool legend remains “immensely proud” of the affected families.

Former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent Duckenfield was the match commander on April 15, 1989, when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final at the home of Sheffield Wednesday.

He was charged over the deaths of 95 people who died in crushes at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium. A 96th supporter, Tony Bland, later lost his life.

A jury returned a not guilty verdict on Thursday, following a retrial at Preston Crown Court.

Dalglish, a former Liverpool player and two-time manager, was in charge of the Reds at the time of the disaster and has since supported families of the victims in their pursuit of justice.

After current boss Jurgen Klopp sent “thoughts and love” to the families at a news conference on Friday, Dalglish released a statement on Twitter where he vowed to carry on supporting those affected.

“Like anyone who has seen at close quarters the dignified way that the families have conducted themselves in the fight for justice, [wife] Marina and I are hugely disappointed by yesterday’s verdict,” Dalglish said.

“We had hoped that the families would get the outcome that they wanted and that they clearly deserved, but that hasn’t proven to be the case.

“The rest of us must now continue to offer whatever support they might need.

“From a personal point of view, I am immensely proud of everything that the families and their supporters have achieved over the last three decades.

“In the face of tragedy and with so much against them, they have persevered with the utmost integrity and in a way that shames all who have let them down.

“I know there cannot be any consolation in a situation like this, but I would hope that they can take some comfort from the fact that so many good people will still stand beside them.”

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