Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has released a statement following the jury's verdict in the Hillsborough inquest - paying tribute to the families who fought for justice.

The jury reached a verdict on Tuesday morning that the 96 people who died in the 1989 tragedy were unlawfully killed.

The Hillsborough disaster unfolded during Liverpool's FA cup tie against Nottingham Forest on April 15 as thousands of fans were crushed at Sheffield Wednesday's ground.

The families who lose their loved ones completed a press conference on Tuesday afternoon before Ayre released a statement on behalf of the club.

READ MORE:Reaction to Hillsborough verdict

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The likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher led tributes on social media following the inquest ruling.

Everton, Liverpool's Merseyside rivals, also released a statement, referring to the developments as 'the greatest victory in the history of football'.

Ian Ayre statement in full

“After 27 long years the true verdict has finally been delivered, confirming what the families always believed – their loved ones were unlawfully killed.

“Liverpool Football Club welcomes the jury’s decision, once and for all, that our supporters were not in any way responsible for what happened at Hillsborough. We will always remember the selfless bravery and heroism of the many fans that helped their fellow supporters in the most harrowing of circumstances that day. We praise those who, since the beginning of the inquest, have had to find the courage and strength to re-live what they went through.

“Since April 15, 1989, the solidarity shown by Liverpool fans towards the families and survivors encapsulates the unique character of both the club and city. We are also hugely thankful for the unwavering support the wider football community has so generously shown these past 27 years.

“It has been a painful journey for the families and survivors, who have endured and sacrificed so much for so long. The resilience and dignity they have shown throughout their tireless campaign has been humbling and inspirational. Their conduct and actions throughout their struggle has brought pride to the city of Liverpool and will serve as a lasting tribute to the victims.

“The 96 men, women and children who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough will never be forgotten.”

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