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Run to honour Hillsborough victims
A new running event in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy was launched today.
The first Run For The 96 5K will take next place April in the city's Stanley Park.
The launch coincided with the start of the annual Hillsborough-Anfield Run which sees teams of runners from across the UK complete 96 miles over three days between Sheffield and Liverpool.
This year's Hillsborough-Anfield Run, which raises cash for Hillsborough support groups and children's hospitals in the two cities, started from Anfield in a reversal of the usual route to mark next week's 25th anniversary of the stadium disaster.
Dom Williams, who came up with the idea of both runs, said: "We started the Hillsborough-Anfield Run three years ago as our small way of trying to do something to raise funds in the fight for Justice For The 96. It all came about after I visited Anfield for the stadium tour and saw the tile mosaic of 96 shirts - it was a very poignant sight and I was extremely moved. I wanted to do something to help.
"There are five of us running this year, including one guy who was at Hillsborough on that fateful day in 1989. The one thing that binds us all together is our desire to do something positive in memory of the 96 fans lost.
"We are delighted to be working with BTR Liverpool to organise and host next year's Run For The 96 5k race as a way of staging an event to engage people for them to participate in and remember the 96 fans lost. And we are delighted to have the support of the Hillsborough families to stage such an event."
Speaking at the launch event, Spice Girl Melanie C, a Liverpool fan, said: "I'm very proud to be supporting the Hillsborough-Anfield Run again this year. It's a wonderful event remembering the 96 we lost - and raising money for Alder Hey Children's Hospital and The Children's Hospital Sheffield."
Steve Rotheram, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, said: "Out of the darkness of the Hillsborough tragedy, an eternal bond of unity has emerged which has made Liverpool synonymous with a unique kind of solidarity. Events such as this demonstrate the continued depth of togetherness that exists and campaigners' unyielding determination to achieve justice for the 96. I congratulate all of the runners and look forward to seeing them over the finishing line."