The six women and three men reached their finding of unawful killing, by a seven to two majority, following the longest jury proceedings in British legal history.
Jurors decided that police planning errors “caused or contributed” to the dangerous situation that developed on the day of the disaster. They also concluded that the fans had died “as a result of crushing” and that fan behaviour did not cause or contribute to the tragedy.
They had been told by the coroner they could only return a finding of unlawful killing if they were satisfied that match commander, Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, owed a duty of care to those who died in the disaster, and that he was in breach of that duty of care.
They would also need to be sure that his breach of duty caused the deaths and that it amounted to “gross negligence”.
Mr Duckenfield gave an order shortly before kick-off to open an exit gate at Sheffield Wednesday’s football stadium, allowing around 2,000 fans to flood into the already packed central pens behind the goal.
Some 96 Liverpool supporters were subsequently crushed in what is Britain’s worst sporting disaster.
Fans had gathered for the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, which had to be abandoned.
The hearings in Warrington have lasted two years, with the jury hearing evidence from around 1,000 witnesses.
Dozens of relatives of the victims have attended each of the more than 300 days the court has sat at Bridgewater Place on the Cheshire town’s Birchwood Park business park.
The 1991 accidental deaths verdicts from the original inquests were quashed following the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel report after a long campaign by the families of the dead.