Lord Justice Goldring yesterday laid out key questions facing jurors in the fresh inquests into how the fans died, including how other supporters behaved.
He said: "What was the conduct of the fans or some of them, excluding those who died, and did that play any part in the disaster? I phrase it in that way because I don't believe anyone will suggest that the conduct of those who died in any way contributed to their deaths."
Speaking outside court, Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: "It's absolutely great. We've always known that for 25 years.
"We've had a lot of mud thrown at us for 25 years. It's nice to hear the coroner say that. To hear that officially from Lord Justice Goldring was really music to our ears."
Britain's worst sporting disaster unfolded when fans were crushed at the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool on April 15, 1989.
On the third day of the new inquests into the deaths of the 96 supporters who were killed, the jury heard that police accounts of what happened that day were changed, with critical comments about police leadership and fans removed.