* WATCH video of HMS Liverpool arriving back in the city here and formally handing back the Freedom of the City scrolls here
THOUSANDS of people toured HMS Liverpool this weekend as part of the ship’s triumphant homecoming.
Crowds explored the iconic warship, taking photos and talking to crew members, as she was opened to the public.
The Type 42 destroyer, which is being decommissioned after 30 years of service, was expected to be cheered off today in a special ceremony on the Mersey.
Crew members were paraded on the pitch at Anfield during Liverpool’s clash with Arsenal on Saturday. They were presented with a commemorative shield by the club’s managing director Ian Ayre.
Vice-Admiral Philip Jones told the ECHO the ship was practically a part of his family. His late dad Edgar Jones, from Bebington, was a Cammell Laird’s engineering manager in the team that built HMS Liverpool.
Vice-Admiral Jones, deputy commander-in-chief of the fleet, represented the first sea lord when HMS Liverpool returned the ship’s Freedom of the City scroll to the Lord Mayor.
The former Birkenhead School pupil said: “I served on HMS Fearless in the Falklands War and we returned to Portsmouth in July, 1982. My mum and dad came down to meet me to make sure their son was back home alive.