This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
It was when Brendan Rodgers finally left the Hillsborough vigil at St George's Hall, having talked to the families of the 96 fans who perished on the Leppings Lane End, that he became fully aware of the extensive pastoral duties expected of the Liverpool manager. "I drove away feeling a greater responsibility to these people," said Rodgers.
Being Liverpool manager is so much more than a sporting assignment, so much more than simply preparing 11 men physically, mentally and tactically for 90 minutes of footballing combat.
Being Liverpool manager involves providing a beacon of constancy and support for a community in times of turbulence and tragedy.
Liverpool are not unique; all supporters demand their managers give heart and soul to the club as well as their footballing brains. But Anfield has a long history of manager as mentor.
From Bill Shankly to Bob Paisley, through Kenny Dalglish to Rafa Benítez and now Rodgers, the Liverpool manager is required to lead, counsel, inspire and console as well as coach. He is the man for all reasons.
"It is a way of life," said Rodgers of the office of Liverpool manager. "You carry a city and people's hopes here. I also think that the club has to look for certain types of managers. That is something that is either inherent in you or not."
Liverpool look for qualities like strength of character, a degree of selflessness and an ability to engage easily with the local congregation who view Anfield as a place of worship.
"It is about people," continued Rodgers. "It is about human needs and sometimes that can get lost within football. You know tactics and techniques but the people you remember in your life are actually the people who said something humane to you and gave you hope.
As a leader of a club such as Liverpool Football Club your duty is not just to the players but to provide hope for your supporters."
An emotional contract exists with the fans as well as a financial contract with the club.
His understanding of these broad parameters grew further when attending Wednesday's vigil, and having spent time with some of the parents like Margaret Aspinall and Jenni Hicks, who grieve for their children and campaign for justice.
"After meeting some of the families of the victims I drove away feeling a greater responsibility to these people," said Rodgers.
"These are a group of people who fought for 23 years and can you imagine their journey? The good and bad days? But they kept fighting. That desire, will, perseverance, were great words that came flashing back to me when I was driving home.
"The more I'm up here the more I'm really immersing myself in the culture of the place and the history of the club because until you're here you don't really understand it.
"Everyone knows it's one of the biggest clubs in the world, but only when you're actually in it can you sense the magnitude of it. I enjoy carrying the hopes of the people.
"Events like yesterday, with the Independent Panel report, and last night's vigil really fill you with pride but also give you that understanding of the great responsibility you have."
Before accepting the job in the summer, Rodgers studied the club's history, reading up on the Hillsborough disaster, beginning to envisage the scale of the position and the passions aroused.
"Yes, I think I did before I came in but there's absolutely no doubt the whole process in meeting Margaret and Jenni and the people involved with the families heightens the responsibility.
"There is no honeymoon period, you're straight in, the boat has set sail in terms of being here and being the manager. But being around those people I understand what it means to them and I am more than happy to carry that hope."
Rodgers was talking at Melwood yesterday, having completed his interviews with assorted television networks. Mindful of avoiding any crass commercial infringement on the discussion of such a sensitive subject, Liverpool had covered up the sponsors' billboard behind Rodgers and even removed the brand label from the bottle of water he sipped from.
These were the actions of a thoughtful club official but reflected Rodgers' own managerial style, unflashy, humane, considerate. Time will tell whether Rodgers is a manager of substance but he has already showing himself to be a man of substance.
Results will ultimately dictate the length of the Northern Irishman's tenure but he is an impressive individual, soulful but still with an unmistakable glint of steel in his eyes. He occasionally alludes to his own recent bereavements, the loss of his father and mother, lending poignancy and pathos to his reflections on Hillsborough.
He read the panel's report with gathering horror.
"What hit home was that 41 people could have survived. That must have been a sad moment for the families. As much as there was justice and a feeling they'd won, they must have gone to bed last night with a real sadness that actually the son or brother maybe had the chance to be alive.
"That was the single biggest thing that shocked me and seeing the two young girls who lost their father. Imagine how the course of those two young girls' lives changed. Their father may have survived so that hit home as someone who has lost a parent or parents over the last 18 months."
Painfully acquainted with life's harsh vicissitudes himself, Rodgers shook his head at the suggestion that there could ever be "closure" for the Hillsborough families.
"The fight goes on for the rest of your life," Rodgers observed. "You don't really get justice because you never get your father, sister or brother back but you fight for the cause and the cause was simple: it was the name of the people of Liverpool which was damned for all these years.
"There is no doubting that some people on the outside would have believed the propaganda. So it was great for those people to put the message worldwide that we were right all along."
And finally the world listened. And finally the world comprehended that culpability lay with the police, who sought to smear those who could not defend themselves, and with the footballing authorities, who allowed the innocents to be steered into what proved a deathtrap.
At least, the Football Association's chairman David Bernstein had the humanity to apologise on Thursday on behalf of the governing body which deemed Hillsborough a suitable FA Cup semi-final venue 23 years ago.
Those attached to Anfield in 1989, whether players or Kenny Dalglish and his coaching staff will not forget or forgive swiftly the way the FA tried to force them into playing the postponed semi-final while the church bells continued to peal mournfully.
Rodgers was 16 at the time, tuning in to the disaster from across the Irish Sea. He is now 39, the manager of Liverpool, and he pointed out that it has taken all this time, this 23-year wait, for the truth to be acknowledged by the state. The families were right. Negligence had claimed the lives of their loved ones.
So as Rodgers steered his car away from St George's Hall, he was reminded that football is a game, a glorious but ultimately trivial pursuit, when set against the foundations of life like kith and kin.
"Family is the most important thing in life, your family and health. I always believe you are a multi-millionaire if you have your health and even more so in the last couple of years. I love every minute of being a manager, but life is more important. But what football can give the families and survivors is hope."