24 Dec 2012

Hillsborough disaster tribute tops UK Christmas chart

12:39 pm on 24 December 2012

A tribute song to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster has taken the number one spot on Britain's Christmas pop chart.

"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", a version of the ballad that was a worldwide hit for The Hollies, went to the top of the chart in its first week of release.

Artists including Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and the Clash's Mick Jones came together under the name The Justice Collective to record the charity single.

Money raised will go to the families of the 96 Liverpool football fans killed in Britain's worst sporting disaster in Sheffield.

Relatives of those killed at Hillsborough have campaigned for 23 years to overturn official accounts of what caused the deaths. Police had blamed rowdy, drunken fans for contributing to the crush. Many of the victims were children and teenagers.

A government-backed inquiry concluded in September that police had smeared supporters to cover up their failings, helped by inaccurate media coverage.

Britain's High Court quashed the original "accidental death" inquest verdicts on December 19th and ordered a new investigation. The government also set up a new police inquiry.