Former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen has paid tributes to the Hillsborough victims and their families in an emotional interview with Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.
Matches across English football this weekend will begin seven minutes later to commemorate the tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield on Apr. 15, 1989.
At 3:06 p.m. on the fateful day, the Reds' semi-final was stopped by the referee over concerns for fans on the Leppings Lane terrace.
Hansen, who played for Liverpool on the day, is quoted as saying:
It is 25 years ago, but because it was so big, so horrific, you remember it like it was yesterday.
I hadn't played for nine months. I had played in the reserves on the Tuesday, but didn't even know I was playing until one o'clock on the Saturday, two hours before kick-off.
So when you go on the pitch, you only think of the game. You don't look or think about what is going on behind you. You don't have a clue what is going on.
But two fans ran onto the pitch and I went to them right away because I was worried they would get us, the club, into trouble for being there. One of them just looked at me, and he had a real sadness in his eyes, and he said, 'Alan, there are people dying in there.'
Even then, when he said people were dying, my first reaction was one of disbelief, but that was because I was so focused on the game.
We went into the dressing room, though, and were told there had been fatalities and we showered and just sat down, then met our wives and girlfriends upstairs and they were all in tears. The whole thing was horrific.