This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
It would be wrong to say Brendan Rodgers did not fully understand the importance of his job at Liverpool before the vindication of the Hillsborough families on Wednesday. But as he drove away from St George's Hall in the city centre that night, he did so with a heightened sense of the responsibilities he carries as manager. He is not burdened by them.
Football has felt insignificant in Liverpool this week. It has long since made a mockery of Bill Shankly's life or death line. On Wednesday, on the very steps where Shankly once basked in victory, Rodgers attended the vigil in memory of the Hillsborough victims and in support of those who campaigned tirelessly against an establishment cover-up. It left him with a revised take of his predecessor's famous quote.
He said: "Football is wonderful, it has given me a wonderful life and I love every minute of being a manager, but life is more important. Life, health and families are more important, but what football can give to the victims and the survivors is hope."
There were thousands outside St George's Hall, fans and representatives of the city's two teams, and inside afterwards Rodgers paid his own tribute to Margaret Aspinall, Jenni Hicks, Anne Williams, Sheila Coleman and others who have carried the fight for over 23 years.
"It gave me great pride to be Liverpool manager, not that you want it to come from a situation such as that, but there is absolutely no doubt that after meeting some of the families of the victims I drove away from the vigil feeling a greater responsibility to these people," he said.
"I enjoy carrying the hopes of people and the events of Wednesday give you an understanding of the great responsibility you have. I felt pride in being the manager of such an iconic club but there was also a lot of sadness, too. I must pay respect to the Everton supporters who were at the vigil as well. This is a unique city."
Rodgers has lost both parents to cancer in the past two years, his father aged 59 and his mother at 53, but admitted he cannot comprehend what the Hillsborough families have suffered following, as David Cameron put it, "the double-injustice" of what unfolded in Sheffield.
He said: "I was a 16-year-old boy in Northern Ireland at the time and I sit here today as a 39-year-old and the families have only just had justice. It is absolutely incredible it has taken all that time. None of us can begin to imagine what they have been through.
"What really hit home for me, like everyone else I'm sure, was the 41 people who could have survived. That must have been a sad moment for the families. As much as there was justice and as much as there was a feeling that they had won, they must have gone to bed on Wednesday night with a real sadness that their son, daughter or brother maybe had the chance to be alive. That was the single biggest thing that shocked me.
"Seeing the two young girls who lost their father - imagine how the course of their lives has changed. Their father may have survived so that hit home to someone who has lost parents over the last 18 months."
Liverpool's manager and press department played it right on Thursday. Football talk was left for another day and a large black canvas was draped over the sponsor-laden back-drop to Rodgers's press conference. The Northern Irishman expressed a hope that base chants about Hillsborough or Munich would cease and regret that so many fell for "the propaganda" spread by South Yorkshire police.
"The name of the people of Liverpool was damned for all these years and so it was great for those people on Wednesday night to put the message worldwide that they were right all along," Rodgers said.