Liverpool supporters have long challenged the allegations that they were responsible for the events which saw 96 people lose their lives on April 15 1989.
The report pointed to a concerted effort from the police to cover up their own failings and those of the other emergency services, and prosecutions are expected to follow.
Despite all this, Sir Norman Bettison had said in the wake of the report that he although he accepted Liverpool fans did not cause the tragedy, he believed Reds fans had made policing the event ‘harder than it needed to be’.
"I sat through every single day of the Taylor Inquiry, in the summer of 1989,” Bettison had said. “I learned so much. Taylor was right in saying that the disaster was caused, mainly, through a lack of police control. Fans' behaviour, to the extent that it was relevant at all, made the job of the police, in the crush outside Leppings Lane turnstiles, harder than it needed to be. But it didn't cause the disaster any more than the sunny day that encouraged people to linger outside the stadium as kick off approached.
“I held those views then, I hold them now. I have never, since hearing the Taylor evidence unfold, offered any other interpretation in public or private."
But in a fresh statement 24 hours later, following a public outcry at the comments, Bettison has backtracked.
"Let me speak very clearly. The fans of Liverpool Football Club were in no way to blame for the disaster that unfolded at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989.
"I formed this clear view on hearing all the evidence that was presented at the Taylor inquiry, having sat through every day from its beginning, just four weeks after the tragedy, through to its conclusion.
"The evidence was overwhelming. The police failed to control the situation, which ultimately led to the tragic deaths of 96 entirely innocent people.
"I can be no plainer than that and I am sorry if my earlier statement, intended to convey the same message, has caused any further upset.
"My role was never to besmirch the fans. I did not do that.
"I am deeply sorry that impression and slight has lingered for 23 years."