David Duckenfield, match commander on the day of the disaster, will face a trial next month after a judge rejected an application to stay the prosecution.
He faces 95 charges of gross negligence manslaughter following the crush which killed Liverpool fans in the terrace pens in Sheffield on 15 April, 1989.
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Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after he was injured at Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Mr Duckenfield, 73, is due to stand trial on 14 January next year alongside former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell, 68, who is charged with stadium safety certificate and health and safety offences.
Ben Myers QC, defending Mr Duckenfield, made an application to stay the prosecution at Preston Crown Court on Thursday but it was refused by judge Sir Peter Openshaw.
Earlier this year, the Crown Prosecution Service successfully applied to lift a bar, imposed in 2000, on further legal action against the former senior police officer.
Three other defendants are scheduled to go on trial in September 2019.
Retired officers Donald Denton, 80, and Alan Foster, 71, and retired solicitor Peter Metcalf, 68, are charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.