Hit British television series Downtown Abbey has been well received by American viewers. So much so that it won four Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, including Best Mini-Series or TV Movie. It also won two individual honors — for writing and directing.
Best Director winner Brian Percival dedicated his prize to the memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who died in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy.
Percival told the Liverpool Echo, "I wanted to dedicate the award because any publicity for that cause and anything that gets these families justice has got to be a good thing.
"I’ve been a Liverpool fan all my life. I go to as many home games as I can and it is a big part of my life.
"I remember I went to lay some flowers after the disaster and there were two women there at the time. One of the women handed me a flower. There was a real sense of kindness throughout the city and that feeling stayed with me.
"I just hope something happens soon with the campaign to win justice for the 96 Hillsborough victims."
On April 15, 1989, 24,000 Liverpool fans traveled to Sheffield's Hillsborough Stadium for an FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest. By kickoff, many were locked in criminally overcrowded pens when authorities opened other gates to allow even more fans into the stadium. This rush of additional supporter caused those already inside to be trapped against high steel fencing that ringed the field. 96 Supporters lost their lives and another 766 were injured on that tragic day.
Over two decades later, victims and their families (and football/soccer supporters worldwide) are still waiting for the government to release all documents and information relating to the tragedy.
When she heard about Percival’s dedication, Margaret Aspinal of the Hillsborough Families Support Group told the Liverpool Echo, "What a lovely thing to do, we're all delighted. It just shows that after all these years people are still thinking about what happened there and want to tell the world not ever to forget about the tragedy.
"I’m a big fan of the show too, I think it’s marvelous."
The popular show airs on PBS in the United States and its second season airs in January.
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