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Rodgers pays tribute as Hillsborough song becomes Christmas No.1

by Richard Buxton. Published Sun 23 Dec 2012 18:50, last updated: 23/12/12

Brendan Rodgers has saluted the Hillsborough families after a song in memory of the Liverpool fans killed in the disaster was named this year's Christmas number one.

A cover of The Hollies' hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' was recorded by the Justice Collective to raise funds for the various charities connected to the tragedy which took the lives of 96 football supporters before the FA Cup semi final in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

The song, which features the likes of Robbie Williams and Paloma Faith, managed to knock X Factor winner James Arthur's version of 'Impossible' in the race to take the festive top spot for 2012.

It was inspired by Everton's tribute to the families of the 96 in September, before their 2-2 draw with Newcastle at Goodison Park, following the publication of an independent panel report which exonerated fans of any wrong doing and blamed the loss of life on a "lack of police control".

And Liverpool manager Rodgers, who used his pre-match press conference earlier this week to promote the single, has commended the efforts of those who have campaigned tirelessly for justice over the past 23 years and believe it is a fitting end to a memorable year.

He said: "I think it's been great support [and] a great applause to the football fraternity.

"I think they recognised what these families and people have been through.

"For that to make number one shows that they've been helping them and that'll be great for everyone concerned, puts a nice finish to the year and allow the families to move on and be proud of what they've done."

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