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Topman apologises for '96' shirt after Hillsborough link made; removed from sale

The 1989 Hillsborough disaster resulted in the death of 96 Liverpool fans.

British fashion retailer Topman has apologised and removed a shirt for sale from its website that some believe referenced the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-six Liverpool supporters died in the disaster at the FA Cup semifinal in 1989 at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, with inquests in 2016 ruling that the fans were unlawfully killed.

The shirt, which no longer appears on the website, is red and features a large "96" on its back with a rose and the words: "What goes around comes back around." The word "Karma" is also down one sleeve.

The retailer says the shirt, which was being sold for £20, was "inspired" by the Bob Marley's song "What Goes Around Comes Around," which was re-released in 1996.

A Topman spokesperson told ESPN FC: "Topman apologises unreservedly for any offence caused by this t-shirt.

"The design was inspired by a Bob Marley track with the number referring to the year of re-release. The garment has been removed from sale online and in stores."

Alison McGovern, the Member of Parliament for Wirral South, wrote on Twitter that she had "no idea what was behind" the shirt.

She called it "very unfortunate" and asked Topman to discontinue the product as soon as possible.

Louise Brookes, whose brother Andrew died at Hillsborough, told the BBC: "I really do believe it is something to do with Hillsborough.

"I would like it removed from sale and I do want them [Topman] to explain how this shirt came about and what the thinking was."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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