With talks claimed to be ongoing with Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez took a break on Sunday morning to show his support for the friends and families of the 96 who died at Hillsborough.

The Newcastle Manager was guest of honour at a 5k run in Stanley Park, Liverpool, in honour of the Hillsborough victims.

Benitez said that he wasn’t running himself as he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to make the event, suggesting that he could well be waiting to hear of any movement from Mike Ashley as to the conditions he wants met before staying at St James Park.

Rafa Benitez addressed the runners and spectators before the run started and joked that he was beginning to lose his scouse accent.

An active supporter of the Hillsborough campaign, Rafa previously donated £96,000 of his own money to help the families of the 96.

Talking to the Liverpool Echo this morning, Rafa Benitez:

“I am really pleased to be here today because I want to support the memory of the 96. I think that it is really important and also my family is running so I will be supporting them.”

‘You are not running today?’

“Not today because to be fair, I didn’t know  if I could be here or not but I will be supporting.”

When the jury recently  cleared the fans for any blame over what happened at Hillsborough, Rafa Benitez said:

“After so many years fighting for justice I am really pleased to see the verdict today, which confirms what we have been saying for a long time.

“I am especially pleased for the families of the 96 who have sought justice for so long and with such dignity, as well as for the people of Liverpool and for football fans in general.

“Hopefully this verdict today will ensure that this kind of tragedy can never happen again.