Jurgen Klopp and Kenny Dalglish lead tributes to 97th Hillsborough victim

Andrew Devine, 55, who died on Tuesday, became the 97th person to die as a result of the terrace crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final

Liverpool players stood in silence on Thursday to pay their respects to Hillsborough disaster victim Andrew Devine.

Andrew, 55, became the 97th person to die as a result of the terrace crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

And at their pre-season training camp in Austria, the Red’s players bowed their heads for 97 seconds to remember him and the other 96 victims.

The club tweeted a photo of the team with the words: “Our players and staff paid tribute to Andrew Devine this morning by observing a 97-second silence.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone, Andrew.”

Anfield manager Jurgen Klopp said: “We have lost an incredible person, someone who showed us all what it is to fight and who refused to give in even when the expectation was that he could fight no more.

“We are all very sad about this news. We are sad for Andrew, we are sad for his wonderful family who cared for him for so long and we are sad for the entire Liverpool family because another life has been cut short by Hillsborough.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish, who was club manager at the time of the tragedy, wrote on Twitter : “The thoughts of Marina and myself are with the Devine family, especially his magnificent parents who gave him such incredible care.

“Andrew will always be remembered by everyone at Liverpool Football Club.

May he rest in peace.”

Mr Devine died on Tuesday, more than 32 years after he was left with life-changing injuries.

His chest was damaged and his brain was deprived of oxygen and he was not expected to survive more than a few hours.

But although he was confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, he defied the expectations of the medics.

In a statement his family said: “Our collective devastation is overwhelming but so too is the realisation that we were blessed to have had Andrew with us for 32 years since the Hillsborough tragedy.”

At his inquest on Wednesday, Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello said: “Andrew Devine died at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital after a long illness of 32 years from aspiration pneumonia.”

In 2016 the jury at the inquests into the first 96 victims recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing and found errors and omissions by South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and South Yorkshire Ambulance Service before and after the fatal crush on the Leppings Lane terraces.

Mr Rebello said Mr Devine’s injuries were considered at those hearings and added: “As such, it is proportionate, reasonable and sufficient for me to adopt the jury’s findings and determination in full.”

He concluded: “I find that it is more likely than not that Andrew Devine was unlawfully killed, making him the 97th fatality from the events of April 15 1989.”

Mr Devine’s family welcomed the conclusion said: “In the intervening years,

Andrew has been a much loved son, brother and uncle. He has been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers, all of whom devoted themselves to him.

“As ever, our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hillsborough.”

In November 2019, Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield was cleared of gross negligence manslaughter at a retrial, after the jury in his first trial was unable to reach a verdict.

Earlier this year, the trial of retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster and former force solicitor Peter Metcalf, who were accused of perverting the course of justice following the disaster, collapsed after a judge ruled there was no case to answer.