Premier League - Hillsborough charity single named Christmas number one

The Hillsborough tragedy tribute single has topped the music charts to become the 2012 Christmas number one.

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Liverpool supporters hold a banner during a minute of silence in memory of the 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy (Reuters)

The Justice Collective's version of ‘He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother’ sold more than 269,000 copies, which saw it comfortably outsell X Factor winner James Arthur's debut single Impossible by 45,000.

The reworking of the Hollies 1969 hit took the festive top spot to cap a memorable week for campaigners, friends and family of the 96 victims of the disaster during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.

A new police investigation into the victims’ deaths was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, and the High Court quashed accidental death verdicts recorded by the original inquest into the tragedy. A new inquest will now be held.

Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Mel C, Beverley Knight, Rebecca Ferguson, Paloma Faith and Frankie Goes to Hollywood singer Holly Johnson were among the artists who featured on the Justice Collective song.

Liverpool Walton Labour MP Steve Rotherham, who backed the Hillsborough campaign, said: "We have done in nine weeks what it normally takes nine months or more to achieve, working with a phenomenally dedicated team all of whom have worked for free."

Music retailer HMV said demand for the record had been "absolutely huge" in Liverpool. "We haven't seen anything like that since Band Aid," said company spokesman Gennaro Castaldo.

The Government said last week it would waive VAT on the Justice Collective's charity single, after a campaign. It also announced it will fund legal representation at the new inquest for the families of those who died.

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