A JURY was sworn in today for the fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans who were killed in the Hillsborough disaster.

Coroner Lord Justice Goldring warned them that the long-awaited hearing at Birchwood Park in Warrington may last up to a year.

He told the panel of seven women and four men that their task was to establish the truth.

He described what happened on April 15, 1989, at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield as “the scene of the worst ever disaster at a British sports stadium.”

An FA Cup semi final was to be played between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when a crush developed in two pens within the standing terraces.

Among the Liverpool fans who lost their lives were five Halton victims.

They include Thomas Howard, aged 39, and his son, Thomas Anthony Howard, aged 14 , Adam Edward Spearritt, aged 14, Kevin Tyrrell, aged 15, all from Runcorn, and Peter Reuben Thompson, aged 30, from Widnes.

Lifelong Reds fan, Halton MP Derek Twigg, has campaigned tirelessly with Merseyside MPs for a fresh inquest.

He was at Hillsborough and watched the horror unfold.

He said: “It was a shock watching the disaster unfold in front of our eyes. I was in the north stand but three of my friends were in Leppings Lane. Fortunately, they got out OK but it was a terrible day.

“This new inquest is a massive moment. I have been doing all I can to support families in their quest for justice.

“It is going to be a long process but we just want to discover the full truth once and for all.

“My thoughts are with all the families.”