Steven Gerrard in £96,000 Hillsborough group donation

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSteven Gerrard: "When there is a tragedy in this city... it does unite"

Steven Gerrard has donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group ahead of Tuesday's Merseyside derby.

The group, along with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, has been leading the fight to discover what happened at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final which led to 96 Liverpool fans losing their lives.

The Liverpool captain's cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley, 10, died at Hillsborough.

Gerrard said it was something he had "wanted to do for a while" but "wanted to get the timing right".

'Special city'

"It's to send a message of togetherness out as well," he added.

"I know there's a bit of banter in the stands when the game's going on but, for me, the Everton fans have been superb since Hillsborough."

"When there is a tragedy in this city, you do get touching moments. It does unite and it does make you feel like you are part of such a special city."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMargaret Aspinall: "To help all the families in this way is just amazing"

Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said it was a "really nice gesture", which showed "how much he loves his city".

She added: "It's a great help to the group - we've a lot of commitments and a lot of things to pay for.

"To help the families in this way is really amazing of the guy."

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground during Liverpool's game against Nottingham Forest.

A report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel concluded that 41 of those had the potential to survive and cleared fans of any wrongdoing.

Gerrard was a few weeks short of his ninth birthday when the tragedy occurred.

Fresh inquests into the deaths will begin in Warrington in March after the original accidental death verdicts were quashed in 2012 following an independent report.

The Hillsborough Family Support Group was founded in May 1989 and represents 74 of the families affected by the tragedy.

In 2010, former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez donated the same amount to the group.

Liverpool face Everton at Anfield at 20:00 BST on Tuesday.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites