24 years ago today the lives of many changed forever. Ninety-six men, women and children went to a football match in Sheffield and did not return. Their deaths brought a darkness over their families, friends and many others in Merseyside and across the world. That darkness looked like it would never lift, as though it would hang over us all forever. But the families of the ninety-six never stopped fighting for justice, even though there must have been days they feared that a golden sun would never arrive. That changed this year. All changed. changed utterly.
There are so many incredible moments and images from this last year; seeing the smiling faces of the families as they left the safe space of Liverpool Cathedral on the day the world heard what they had always known about their loved ones; Everton’s wonderful tribute at Goodison (hard to type that without spilling tears onto the keyboard); the humility of Margaret Aspinall as she collected an award for her courage and campaigning and dedicated it to everyone but her, and the quiet satisfaction of hearing people who doubted us for so long accept the truth in offices and cafes, pubs and on trains, in conversations up and down the country.
As has been said so many times this last year, the truth is now out. The time for justice has come. On that terrible day, the great BBC radio broadcaster, Peter Jones, tried to do the impossible and sum up the events he had witnessed. He ended his report with the words “and the sun shines now”. For the first time since that day, he could be right.