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Hillsborough remembrance and related information

Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:23 pm

I just bought FourFourTwo, don't normally but I saw a couple of articles of interest and one in particular. After reading it, I was close to tears. Thought I'd transcribe it here for those who haven't read it.

"The thing I remember the most is the look on peoples faces as we arrived back in the city that hazy Saturday evening. One group of teenagers in particular stood out, five or six of them perched on a wall smoking either joints or roll-ups. As our coach trundled past they just stared at us, unable to avert their eyes.
What could they say?
What could we say?
Yet we were the lucky ones, the survivors. We were going home that night, and for all the terrible things we had seen that day, for all the anguish that our loved ones had suffered in that agonising period before the phone call home, we had come through it unscathed - physically at least.
For those who'd been in the wrong place at the very worst of times, there would be no phone call, no life-affirming hug in the womb of the living room with relieved relatives. There would be no more trips away to watch the Reds, no more cosy nights in with the loved ones, no new jobs, no children, no grandchildren, no nothing.

All this because they went to a football match on a gloriously sunny April day in 1989.

The Hillsborough Disaster. By Anthony Teasdale

DESPITE THE FACT THAT LIVERPOOL were playing in an FA Cup semi-final, Saturday, April 15th 1989 started in much the same way as countless other match days. I met up with my mate Nicky and another lad, Lace, and took the Merseyrail down to Kirkdale where fleets of coaches were waiting to take us Reds over the Pennines to Hillsborough. Like a lot of 17-year-olds, I didn't just go to away matches for the football it was the whole experience: the early starts, the ritual of buying papers, butties and crisps from the newsagent, the laughs you'd have with rough-as-[censored] lads from places like Kirkby, Skem and Bootle. And best of all the moment when you arrived at your destination - an invasion force of thousands under the banner of Liverpool FC, the greatest club in the land.

Of course the football was second to none too -with players like Rush, Aldridge, Beardsley and Barnes how could it be anything else? The team of 1989, though not quite up to the immense standards of the year before, was still miles ahead of everybody else and the semi-final against Nottingham Forest was, we were sure, a mere formality on the way to Wembley and hopefully a match against Everton, who were involved in the other Semi-Final that day against Norwich.

We'd been here before, of course. The year previously, in fact, when we'd faced Cloughie's men at Hillsborough in the FA cup semi of 1988, dispatching Forest on the way to that monumental defeat against Wimbledon. Despite our victory, the day had been spoilt by the crushing I'd had to endure in the central pen of the Leppings Lane terrace. The problem was that once the terrace filled up, it was impossible to get out of the middle section - there was simply no escape. The crushing was so bad that after the game, gates in the perimeter fence were opened just so Liverpool fans could walk around a bit on the pitch to get our breath back.

It seemed ridiculous that Liverpool, with far more fans than Forest, were in such cramped conditions, when over on the other side of the ground was one of the biggest terraces in British football, the Sheffield Wednesday Kop. The FA claimed it was because Liverpool fans would be arriving from the north, meaning the first end they'd encounter was Leppings Lane. Actually, most Liverpool traffic came the easy way over the Snake and Woodhead Passes, arriving in Sheffield right outside the Hillsborough Kop.
And throughout the 1988-89 season there had been incidents when congestion endangered fans. At Carlisle in the third round, Liverpool supporters had pleaded with please, clearly out of their depth, to open another section of terracing after heavy crushing in the away end. At Villa in the league the situation in the sectioned Witton End had been so severe that the police were forced to open a perimeter gate and put us into another, less crowded pen. Yet, nothing about this struck any of us as unusual. This is how it was then, what going to a football match was like. You turned up, paid your money, watched the match and [censored] off - and if you got your ribcage crushed in the process it was tough s##t, you knew the score. Despite the twin disasters of Bradford and Heysel, for the police and the football authorities the main concerns of the day were hooliganism and crowd control, not crowd safety. Ignoring the lessons of the year before, Liverpool's fans were yet again going to have to put up with the pens of Leppings Lane. But no way was I getting stuck in that central pen this time.

THERE'S ALWAYS A REAL BUZZ WHEN you approach a different ground, that first sight of the stands or floodlights peeping from behind a row of terraced houses is truly something to savour. After our arrival via the Snake Pass, the three of us-me, Nicky and Lace - walked towards the stadium, following the crowds, looking for mates, though as most of them supported Everton we didn't hold out much hope.
There was talk of a pre-match bevvie, but as (a) we were 17 and looked it and (b) we were skint, the plan was shelved. [censored] all to do except go into the ground itself.
One Liverpool fan, Nick, remembers one significant difference from the 1988 encounter. "The most noticeable thing was there was no police checkpoint. There was no control over who was going where. I remember the first year (1988) when we passed the Spion Kop there was loads of bizzies around - you were channelled, stopped and searched: 'Do you have a ticket?' "
At the turnstile, Nicky went into the West Stand above the Leppings Lane terrace, which is where Lace and I had tickets. Just like the year before we walked down the tunnel toward the central pen, but instead of going straight on we made a detour to the section on the right via the step-wide walkway at the very back of the terrace. For the next hour or so the pair of us discussed the usual things - sex, football and music - to pass the time. By 2.15 the ground was rapidly filling up, with chants and songs bouncing around the ground, Liverpool's support providing far more of a backing here than at our often-subdued home stadium. The FA Cup was always my favourite competition and the semi-final the best match of all, a real make-or-break tie. Losing wasn't even worth thinking about.

What I didn't know then, what I could not have known, was that outside the ground, both the police and the inadequate Leppings Lane turnstiles were unable to cope with the number of fans arriving for the game. A huge crush was developing and if something was not done quickly people were going to start getting hurt. Finally, an order was given by the most senior policeman in the ground, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield, to open one of the exit gates and relieve the pressure outside. It was not forced open by Liverpool fans, though this is what the FA's Graham Kelly was told by Mr Duckenfield, who later repeated this allegation to the press. It was also insinuated by various parties later on that Liverpool fans had arrived with insufficient time to spare. "All that stuff about us turning up late, that was another myth," says Peter, a Liverpool fan who was there. "We turned up the year before at exactly the same time, 2.15-2.30, and it was totally orderly, people checking your tickets at the end of Leppings Lane, where there was a cordon of police. Someone should have said, 'Let's stop this now and delay the match.'"

Getting their breath back after the trauma of the crush outside, fans moved from the courtyard in between the turnstile and stand, towards the terrace down the central tunnel and straight into the middle pen, unaware that they would be unable to leave it. Despite the fact that this pen was already full, nobody -stewards or police- directed them to the other entrances at either side of the stand. Peter again: "The person who ordered the gates to be opened should have realised, knowing the stadium, that you had to cut off that tunnel area otherwise it was a disaster waiting to happen."
Another Liverpool fan, Jim, arrived at 2.15 and was immediately caught up in the crush outside Leppings Lane. He entered the ground through the open gate near the turnstile, his ticket remained unseen. "We had tickets for that pen (B - which all standing tickets were marked with). When we got in everyone rushed towards the middle one and because I had my brother with me who was small at the time and I remembered the year before that it was packed, I thought we better go down the side, because it looked a bit full in there."
By kick-off our section to the right of the central pen was barely half full. We were comfortable, enough people to create an atmosphere but not so many that you were struggling to get your breath. I knew full well that the situation in the middle section would be hellish, people crammed up against each other, huge chasms suddenly appearing in front of a barrier with everyone petrified about filling it. I'd gladly sacrifice a bit of atmosphere for a decent view and a chance not to have my ribs squashed against a yard of Sheffield steel. Little did I realise just how bad the situation was.
Dan, who took his place in the central pen at around 2pm, describes the terrible congestion inside: "We made our way through the tunnel. It felt very full to start with. It got more and more uncomfortable. I said to my mate should we get down the front - traditionally there was more space down the front. We tried, thought about it, realised we couldn't actually move, there was no way we could go anywhere.
"The game kicked off. By that stage my coat had been removed from my back through the force of people around me and I was holding onto it by a cuff."

On the pitch, Liverpool were showing their class, knocking the ball about in the assured, methodical way that made the team such a force. Suddenly, the ball came to Peter Beardsley. but his effort ricocheted off the crossbar. That's when I saw the first fans trying to climb over the perimeter fence from the central section of the terracing. At first I thought it was some sort of pitch invasion, but that made no sense. Were there Forest fans in our end? Again, no-there was no fighting, the aggressive roar that accompanied gang violence was conspicuous by its absence. It was far, far worse than anyone could comprehend, as Dan in the central pen recalls: "When Peter Beardsley hit the bar, Liverpool were attacking the other end. Because it was far away, everyone tried to get up and see what was going on. Because they couldn't there were no arms involved, everyone's arms were trapped where they were, people surged forward. When they surged forward, more people came in from the tunnel behind us and there was no room for us to surge back into an upright position, so everyone was kept in that 45 degree angle, like the position ski jumpers are in when they actually leave the top of the slope. At that stage, I was very aware that everyone was holding on to everyone else and people were starting to faint. I remember vividly people shouting at one policeman who was right near the gate that was locked, shrieking blue murder at him to open the gate. But he wasn't having it, he didn't move."

Then the photographers appeared. What seemed like hundreds of them suddenly descended on the Leppings Lane end from around the ground, clicking desperately at the fans in the pen next to ours. Word went round-people were getting crushed, fans were hurt, this was [censored] serious. Supporters were screaming at the police, at the horror of the situation, at their powerlessness- something was going very badly wrong and all the while those photographers kept clicking away, seemingly unmoved by the tragedy unfolding before them. I screamed at them to forget their job, to get in there and do something, but my words were lost amongst a thousand desperate calls for help. The referee took the players off the pitch. It was just gone five past three.
Fans in the West Stand above us started dragging people to safety from the back of the terrace - big, tough men saving countless lives with their determination to do something to help out their fellow human beings. Someone near me turned a radio on - we listened, finding it ironic that in order to get information on what was happening a few feet away from us we had to tune in to a station based 200 miles away in London. Then we heard: people were dead, fans had died at a Liverpool match again. What had we done to deserve this?

After an eternity the police opened the gates in the perimeter fence and fans got on to the turf, some walking about in shock, others crowding around those who lay prostrate on the ground, using whatever aid skills they had to try to revive those who had slipped into unconsciousness.
The Forest fans, unaware of what was really happening, began chanting at the Liverpool supporters and for one horrible moment it looked like it might kick off. But sense prevailed, this was no day for fighting. A long line of policemen, unaware of what was really happening behind them, was placed across the halfway line in case fans clashed on the pitch.
As it became increasingly clear that the authorities weren't going to be much help, Liverpool supporters took it upon themselves to make the best of the situation. Advertising hoardings were ripped down, converted into stretchers and taken by fans into the far corner where it was assumed medical help would be waiting. So often derided, Liverpudlians showed compassion and initiative in the face of overwhelming odds, saving countless lives with their efforts on the pitch. These people were heroes.
As efforts continued on the pitch and nearby radios updated the horrific tally, thoughts turned to friends, to people who Lace and I knew could be in the central pen. We scanned the West stand for our mate Nicky at the same time he was looking for us. He saw us, shouted, "Are you alright? Are you alright?" and moved to a spot exactly above where we were standing. He was helped over the edge of the stand and dropped down into our section, the three of us vowing not let one another out of each other's sights again. Up in the stand, Nicky had seen the disaster unfold, the crush, the dead and injured lifted above the crowd in the hope that they would find medical help. But we three could do nothing for the fans who lay by the side of the pitch or in the ambulances that were finally starting to appear. Part of me wanted to get on that grass myself, but I was aware that my presence was not needed, that others were doing the job. I would never be a hero at Hillsborough, merely another survivor, a bystander fortunate to escape with my life. Dan remembers the horror of the situation: "The worst scene for me was when that end was empty, there was left literally a pile of people, four or five deep - probably 50 or 60 people piled up next to that bent crash barrier."

MY MUM WAS BACKING OUT OF Sainsbury's in Crosby when she first heard the muddled news of a disaster, though at first she thought they were talking about the Heysel stadium tragedy. Only when the announcer revealed that the disaster was at one of the FA Cup semi-finals was she gripped by the dread we all feel when we sense loved ones in danger. It got worse - the problems were in the Leppings Lane end, where she knew I was. And then the first reports of casualties started to come through. People were dying and I could be one of them. She drove to my dad's house, where events were being broadcast live on TV.

I often think that, apart from the dead, those who suffered the most at Hillsborough were many miles away at homes throughout Merseyside and beyond. Saturday afternoons shopping or gardening were ripped apart by events at a football ground in South Yorkshire that they could do nothing about. All they could do was wait for news.

I can't remember how long we stayed in the ground, probably another two hours. There was an announcement from Kenny Dalglish, but I have no recollection of what he said - all that was certain was that there would be no more football today. Gradually, the ground began to empty, though the three of us stayed until we were virtually the last people left on the terrace. As I walked toward the tunnel that had funnelled people toward their death I was struck by the sight of a crush barrier on the terrace, steel mangled beyond recognition. The pressure on this barrier to buckle and snap so catastrophically must have been enormous and yet it was people's bodies that had broken it. The effect on those fans pressed against this barrier is too terrible to even think about.

Already some had placed scarves on it as a tribute, so I put my little Liverpool badge on one of them and we left the ground, bumping into some lads from school who, waving their tickets- complete with stubs - told me about the gate being opened outside. Emerging into the sun, we scanned the area for a house we could phone our parents from. Already queues were appearing out of houses as Scousers were offered the use of phones by local residents. We came upon a funeral parlour with its doors open and waited for our turn on the phone. Even though money was not asked for, every Liverpudlian there left upwards of 50p for their call, a token of our appreciation. With many fans waiting behind us, we made one call to Nicky's mum to tell her we were alright and left it at that. She would call my parents and tell them I was OK, that I'd be coming home.

On our way to the coach I saw a radio reporter who was looking for fans to interview. Incensed, I ran over to him and told him to [censored] off, to leave us alone, that we'd suffered enough in the past from journalists like him. "I'm just after a story," he pleaded. I didn't want to know.
Naturally the atmosphere on the coach back from a match was very different from that going to it, the songs and banter of the outward journey replaced with sleep, quiet chats and maybe even a video if you were lucky. On April 15, it was different again. The relaxation of a normal journey was replaced by anxiety and concern for mates yet unaccounted for. Before mobile phones, there was no way of knowing what had happened to people. Going home, this time via the motorway, we were passed by the Liverpool team coach. Normally, the sight of the lads would have been a real boost, but each and every one of them looked desolate. I nodded at Ian Rush and he gave a muted little wave, pain etched all over his face.

OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND months the press would come out with the most hurtful, insulting lies about Liverpool fans - how it was our fault, how we brought death upon ourselves, what we did to the dead and to our rescuers.
Eventually, Chief Justice Taylor's report on the tragedy exonerated us from any blame, but the full-page apologies, the donations to the relatives of the bereaved in atonement, never materialised. That has not been forgotten. But neither has the kindness shown to us by Evertonians and supporters from all over the land who came to Anfield to pay tribute to our dead. They knew all too well but for the grace of God it could have been them, that as football fans, every time we went to a match we would be treated as stupidly loyal cattle with disposable incomes.
The Hillsborough disaster could easily have been prevented, but nobody in authority took the rap for failing to do their job or trying to cover up that failure by blaming the fans for their dreadful fate. "The authorities just lost control," says Peter, still angry about what happened. "If you're supposed to be in control of a building, presumably your jurisdiction is to look after that building and maintain the safety of the public. Well, if you end up with 96 dead, then surely you're culpable."

FOOTBALL USED TO BE MY BE-ALL and end-all. But Hillsborough changed that. When Arsenal won the league that year I was disappointed, but that's all. Other things, like house music, clubs and politics, started to take the place of the game that had formed such a huge part of my growing up. With me off to university the year after I would have had to give up my season ticket anyway, but I did so without regret, feeling that I could no longer dedicate myself to football in the way I once had.
I see my old friend Nicky regularly - we sometimes go to the match together - while Lace is married and currently working for the prison service in the north of England. I still love the game, still go to matches, both here and abroad, but I see football for what it is - a wonderful sport that allows me to keep in touch with my old friends and my home town. When I see grown men crying because their team has gone down, I cannot take it seriously.

Enough tears were shed that hot day in spring 1989."

It took a while to type out but was worth it, and I hope this can be used to further educate anyone still in the dark about Hillsborough. I felt the article helps the reader to identify closer with the fans who were there that day. Very, very moving. Any responses for the article should be sent to FourFourTwo magazine on:
or to:

38-42 Hampton Road,
TW11 0JE


Justice For The 96

Rest In Peace

You'll Never Walk Alone

by Byrnee
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:24 pm

email sent to 442:

Hillsborough Justice Campaign
178 Walton Breck Road
Liverpool L4 0RG

Dear 4-4-2,

Thank you for you recent article entitled The Hillsborough Disaster. In a year that has seen half-hearted attacks on the victims of the disaster from publications such as FHM and Maxim, as well as BBC Worldwide selling footage of the disaster to US film producers, under the heading “Football Hooliganism”, it is more than gratifying to see an organisation take some journalistic pride in its reporting of events.

The article is written from the perspective of every football fan, the victims of the disaster but portrayed by the gutter press as the villains of the peace. Most football fans, who attended matches regularly at the time, realise that they could easily have been the victims of the disaster, it was hardly the first time the Sheffield Wednesday football club had had safety problems, and most of us were acclimatised to a society which saw us as scum, below the lowest, and to some extent the enemy. Those who returned that day, returned with a sense of guilt because they had survived, it is something that is difficult to explain, but twenty five thousand Liverpool fans will know what I mean.

The way we watch football was forever changed by the events of 15th April 1989, and much of the mega-millions that is pumped into the game has arrived as a direct result of the events of that day. Yet nobody has ever taken responsibility for what went wrong, the events that occurred after 3.15 on the day have never even been examined in a British Court of Law. As we entered the fifteenth season since the disaster, the fight for justice for the dead, the bereaved and the survivors goes on and will continue until it reaches its ultimate destination in the European Courts as the establishment of this land continue to hide behind the cover-up the perpetrated, as Liverpool fans lay dying on the Hillsborough turf.

Families of the bereaved and Liverpool fans alike, will never forgive the Sun newspaper for their lies, we have for fourteen years lived with the stigma of the brush they tarred us with, and that is why that rag remains so reviled on Merseyside.

I can only again thank you for showing the integrity to publish an article which shows how Hillsborough effected and continues to affect all Liverpool fans, it is only by attempting to educate people that we can banish the slurs and stigma produced by the lies of the days following the tragedy.


John McCormick
Hillsborough Justice Campaign
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:25 pm

I've just emailed this to them:

Dear 4-4-2

May I just say how refreshing it was for your publication (442) to actually print a Hillsborough story that was factually correct.
For 14 years we Liverpool supporters have had to defend ourselves against the malicious lies that were printed in various tabloid rags following the disaster in 89.
Hopefully your article may just help to educate a few people on the facts of that terrible day. It has taken us 14 years of telling all who would listen that this disaster was not the fault of the fans, the fans where the victims in this case, but due to the initial lies and misinformation propagated by the Police the Government at the time, and the gutter press, our quest for justice for the families of the victims has mostly been ignored by the majority of people who were ignorant to the facts.

I thank you for having the decency to publish a very real account of what happened that day, a day which changed my and every other Liverpool supporters lives for many reasons the main one being that we all lost 96 fellow supporters that day whether they where family members or close friends or someone you only gave a passing nod to as you took your spec on the kop, we all lost someone that day.
Another reason being that on the 15th of April 1989 a very large majority of Liverpool supporters lost their faith in this countries police service, its politicians and in the idea that we have a justice system to be proud of. For 14 years we have had to fight to right the wrongs of that tragic spring day, for 14 years we have had to defend ourselves against ignorant uneducated people who blame the Scousers for 'turning up late with no tickets', For 14 years we have been fighting for justice while the real culprits closed ranks and took part in one of the biggest cover ups & miscarriages of justice that this country has ever witnessed.

So on behalf of all Liverpool supporters THANK YOU.

Justice for the 96 and all affected by Hillsborough.

Steve Daley

P.S I am not a regular reader of your publication but on the recommendation of a Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC) member, I went along to my local newsagent to purchase a copy of 4-4-2. I am now glad I did.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:25 pm

I thought I'd post this on here, It was My 1000th post on the .tv site!

I hope you dont mind:

I have been thinking for the last week or so, trying to come up with a suitable topic for my 1000th post.
Shall I write a tribute to a great player, manager or shall I write about my early Anfield experiences?
So many great memories to choose from, such a hard choice!

In the end I didn’t choose any of those, Instead I want to tell you about a Boy I once knew & his name was Adam.

Adam was in the year below me in our school & like most of the lads then & now he was well into his football.

Adam was a loyal red & we’d have some crackin discussions about how Barnes Beardsley & co had played the game before, when inevitably Liverpool would have played another bunch of no-marks off the pitch again.

Adam was a tidy little footballer himself, a tricky Midfielder in the mould of Ray Houghton, whenever our under 15 side was looking for a bit of inspiration we’d look for Adam to create a bit of magic, & more often than not he would come up with the goods!

Adam was a down to earth lad & I will always remember when we were in the semi final of a cup competition, for our under fifteen side at halftime we were 1-0 down & I’d been having a ‘mare’ in the first half, He came up to me in the changing room & instead of having a go, just said "Come on mate, lets go out there & win this game".
We went out & played the game of our lives & by the final whistle we had turned it round and progressed to the final with a great 3-2 win!
Unfortunately we got beat in the final two weeks later, but what he said to me at half time in the semi has always stayed with me.

Our under fifteen cup run had coincided with Liverpool reaching the semi of the FA cup & I remember his face when, in training one day he was telling the lads how his dad Eddie, had got them two tickets for the semi V’s Forest.
I remember saying to him "you jammy b,stard I wish I was going".
He just gave me one of those looks, the kind that says it all without any words needed, I could see in his eyes how much it meant to him & how excited he was.

Adam died on the 15th of April 1989 at that football match.

So Adam Spearritt, I dedicate my 1000th post to you mate.


I feel I need to state that I didn’t do this for my own sake, I wrote this because I could not think of a more worthy recipient than Adam!
I remember going to Anfield, like so many others did in the days following the disaster & laying flowers in the Kop goalmouth.

I chose to bunk off school on the Monday, I wore my Liverpool shirt under my school uniform because I wanted to feel closer to the club.
But at this time I didn’t know about Adam, I was simply going because like so many others, I felt I had to be at Anfield.

I can remember making my way to my usual spec on the Kop, the place were I would usually stand with my mates on match days. I just wanted to try & comprehend what had happened and why?

The first person I saw as I got closer was my mate Daz, I said “ I cant believe it mate, all those people are dead, because of a football match!” & shook my head.

He gave me a puzzled look & said haven’t you heard about Adam?

At that point I knew, he didn’t need to say another word & that is when the reality of the disaster hit me, standing there in my spec on the Kop.

The whole school attended Adams funeral along with Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen & John Barnes.
It was a weird feeling seeing those players who I had Idolised from the Kop only two weeks earlier, But at that moment in time they were just another face in the crowd.
Football wasn’t important on that day, what was important was that we remembered the life of a 14yr old lad who had, had his life cut short far too early!

By Redboywonder.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:26 pm

What happened next?

Sarah Sims
Sunday November 23, 2003
The Observer

Name: Peter Carney
Date: 15 April 1989
Place: Hillsborough, Sheffield

Facts: Peter Carney narrowly avoided being crushed to death during the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans were killed at the start of their FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. He now runs a campaign to bring justice for the survivors and the bereaved.
All my life I've been an avid Liverpool fan. My wife, Tina, had discovered she was pregnant about 10 days before the Hillsborough disaster and I was about to turn 30. On the day of the match it was beautifully bright and sunny and the stadium was a full house - around 40,000 fans. Our group of five split up, so just two of us headed for pen three, on the Leppings Lane end.

As we shuffled into the pitch-black, 8ft-wide tunnel there was a huge surge, and where the ground suddenly gave way to a steep slope everyone fell forward. The force was so great I entered the stadium with my back facing it. The pen was jam-packed with people. As I turned round to find my feet, there was another huge surge, and another, then everyone around me fell to the ground and people started screaming.

The game had just started, but a dangerous situation was developing. I could feel myself being crushed as the crowds grew more dense. I couldn't raise my arms and my feet could barely touch the floor; then my chest felt very tight, as I found it hard to breathe. The people at the front were screaming at the police to let them out and I joined in, yelling at the top of my voice, but they ignored us. I saw one man trying to climb over the fence, only to be pushed back by the police.

I felt terrified. I gave up screaming for help, trying to conserve what air I had left in my lungs. Then I lost the blood supply to my legs, which went numb: I couldn't feel anything waist downwards. All the pressure was on my chest. I tilted my head back and up to find air and saw the man beside me dying, his face changing colour. As I struggled to breathe, I thought I was about to die. I remember looking higher and higher up, towards the sky and the clouds. I had an out-of-body experience on a cloud, watching myself being crushed. Then everything went black.

I think I was passed back face down over the top of the crowd. I have a sensation of my chest being thumped by hands. I came round at the back of the stadium by the turnstiles, next to a dead man with his jacket draped over his head. When I was told that 93 had died I felt totally dumbstruck. The final death toll was 96.

The near-death experience at Hillsborough became a pivotal part of my life and nothing felt normal any more. I went back to the stadium five times to pay tribute to the dead, acutely aware of surviving an almighty threat to my existence. I convinced myself it was Tina having my baby that had kept me alive. It took me months to sleep properly at night and I was on sick leave for six months from my job as a children's supervisor. Sometimes I would lose my temper for no reason, or cry incessantly.

I started attending a survivor's group each week. When my son Thomas was born, he was such a good focus; I felt I could work again. In the months following the disaster it became clear that the police planning of the match was a total cockup. The club had no safety certificate either, and the engineers had miscalculated the amount of people able to stand safely in the pens - so over 10,000 fans were herded into just two pens, instead of four. There were two inquests, the second of which was the longest ever recorded in British judicial history. Sandwiched in between was the Taylor inquiry. When the Taylor report came out, there was an outcry about a sentence which talked about a 'failure of control' by senior police officers, but no prosecutions were called for at the time.

When Labour came to power they instituted a scrutiny of all the evidence from previous inquiries, along with any new evidence. But when the presiding judge, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, arrived in Liverpool and said, 'I hope the families don't turn up late like the fans did,' our confidence plummeted. Everyone hoped for justice. But we didn't get it. Even the private prosecution instigated by the bereaved families against two senior policemen for unlawful killing and wilful neglect was a farce.

The evidence given by Dr Ed Walker at the Stuart-Smith inquiry was enormously helpful to me, because he described exactly what it had felt like, and people could now understand what I'd been through. It also proved the inquiry's decision that all of the victims were braindead by 3.15pm - which had cleared the authorities at the stadium of any failure of duty - was incorrect. But Stuart-Smith ignored it.

I've never been back to the stadium to watch a match. A few years ago I helped form the Hillsborough Justice Campaign with other survivors and bereaved families. We hold weekly meetings, discussing new developments that could challenge the inquiry verdicts. Survivors are still coming forward with new evidence; some, however, have committed suicide.

I've spent years trying to piece together how I survived Hillsborough. It always shocks me how on earth I got out, and the experience of it is still with me every day. Hillsborough turned my world inside out, upside down and back to front. Whenever I walk into a room, I have the exit already marked out.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:26 pm

Just extinguish the lying

Do you remember the day,
Our friends left this earth,
No fault of their own,
Too soon after birth.

Went to have fun,
And show support for their team,
But in the warmth of the sun,
There ended the dream.

The police lost control,
A novice in charge,
That [censored] gate opened,
They’re guilty as charged.

They killed 96 fans,
Of that we are sure,
But as the bodies were cooling,
They dealt us much more.

Not only were we grieving,
In distress and such pain,
But Duckenfield’s lying,
Meant we’d shoulder the blame.

In front of the World,
The S*n printed his lies,
Saving the a#se of the police,
In the rag we despise.

Nearly 15 years on,
Living in the shadow of pain,
And the people who caused it,
Walk free down the lane.

Wear a badge out of duty,
Or a scarf if you care,
But whatever you do,
Let people know what happened there.

It doesn’t have to cost you,
Just extinguish the lying,
So the truth can then blossom,
And help stop all the crying.

When you see the S*n paper,
Just avoid it like hell,
Never give over your cash,
So no papers they’ll sell.

For the liars must learn,
That their wrongs have a price,
Like the 96 angels,
Taken swiftly from life.

By Mike Nicholson
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Postby leothelion » Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:27 am

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Postby Dom1 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:52 pm

Well i have to give it to you Mottman.

you are well commited :D  :D  GOOD ON YOU :)

when you're 4-0 up..
you should never lose 7-1
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Postby 82-1074641017 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:16 pm

Keep up the good work Mottman hopefully one day justice will be done, I run a couple of forums too, if you want to put your campaign on my sites please feel free to PM me and I will give you the web addresses


Postby Liverbird_1982 » Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:54 pm

i read this page i was only 8 when Hillsborough happened, and still to ths day it upsets me so much, such a terrible thing. lets hope one day they do get justice, they deserve it!
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Postby Dalglish » Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:08 am

Essential reading for every football fan. I 'm a survivor by the grace of God. What happened that day was a sad indictment on football at that time . The routine abuse and treatment of fans, the contempt shown by Police and stewards, the allocation of tickets and the crass state of grounds in the 80's had to be experienced to be believed. Great research Mottman, a work of importance as we continue to fight for the justice for the 96, related friends and families and the lucky ones who survived.

April 15th 1989 - gone but never forgotten ........WALK ON
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Postby steppenwolf » Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:17 am

I was a television spectator on that day, was physically sick for the next three days.

My hearty thoughts go out to all those who have lost loved ones and friends, hope you get peace and justice soon.

Walk on with hope in your heart.

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Postby Sara » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:50 am


I just wanted to add a posting to say that my thoughts are with people at this time of year after the Hillsborough disaster.

May you never be forgotten.

Postby Stan Laurel » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:43 pm

Never forget that day in my life, I was only 12 year old.

I want the truth about thoughts are with them who lost their lives in tragedy. You always never be forgotten.

Mottman, you are doing a fantastic job and keep it up, lad.

Walk on with hope in your heart.

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Postby stmichael » Thu Apr 15, 2004 5:56 pm

i was only eight that day but it will stick with me for the rest of my life. my thoughts go out to every family who lost loved ones on that terrible day. it is at times like this 15 years on that all current predicaments should go out the window.

walk on with hope in your heart!
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