Updated: Wednesday, 8th July 2020 @ 4:17pm

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney: Those part of Hillsborough cover up are 'disgraceful' and should be 'punished'

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney: Those part of Hillsborough cover up are 'disgraceful' and should be 'punished'

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney labelled those involved in the Hillsborough disaster cover up as a ‘disgrace’ and said they should be ‘punished’ – after an official independent report was released today.

The new published material revealed that police and emergency services made ‘strenuous attempts’ to banish the blame for the death of 96 football fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy on April 15 1989.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was ‘profoundly sorry’ for the hiding of information and told Parliament that ‘Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster’ as was originally portrayed.

And the former Everton ace and life-long Toffees fan revealed his disgust at the 23-year wait for the truth to be revealed.

"Everyone involved in the cover up of Hillsborough is a disgrace and [needs to be] punished," Rooney Tweeted.

"Remember being in Barcelona watching the tragedy unfold. 23 years on we learn the truth. 23 YEARS!! A national disgrace!" added former Everton striker Gary Lineker.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed that 41 people who died out of the 96 could have been saved if emergency services had acted accordingly.

And with The Sun being banned in Liverpool since their edition four days after the incident with the front page headline ‘The Truth’, editor at the time Kelvin McKenzie offered his ‘profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool’.

"I too was totally misled," he added. "Twenty three ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium.

"I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster.

"As the Prime Minister has made clear these allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame for the tragedy from themselves.

"It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline The Lies rather than The Truth.

"I published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong."

"To an awful lot of people now you understand why we couldn't just get over it.” Added former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.