For every single person on these message boards.

Hillsborough remembrance and related information

Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:00 pm

This is a copy of a thread that Andy Roper submitted on LFC.TV.

PLEASE…No matter who you are, How long you’ve been on these boards, The number of posts you’ve made, How old you are, Where your from, or What race, religion, or sex you are. PLEASE just read this post - and reply if you feel comfortable. THANK YOU.

I have been thinking about this subject quite a lot for the past 2 or 3 months, and it has especially brought it to light over the last week with my recent threads.

The subject is HILLSBOROUGH. Now please don’t just exit, just hear me out.

We all love our club, we all love our clubs tradition, and how successful we are, and how many trophies we have won, and how much better we are than almost every club in the world – but what we all don’t seem to share is a knowledge, and a want to know and help with Hillsborough. But in my opinion it comes hand in hand with our club. If you accept the club, then you accept the responsibility to try and understand how close the disaster is to many of our hearts.

Now I don’t know if a lot of people (like me in the early part of my time on these Boards) are scared to post messages on a Thread about Hillsborough, because of a number of reasons

1 – They don’t really fully understand
2 – They are scared of upsetting someone, and causing someone to mock them
3 – They don’t feel comfortable replying as they may not have the same sadness as some other people.
4 – They don’t feel as though they deserve to be able to reply on the threads

These are some of the thoughts that went through my head at 1st. Obviously there are more reasons than this. Now some people get upset when people call them ‘out of towners’ or ‘armchair supporters’, and are all happy to defend themselves against the criticism, but when it comes to a Hillsborough thread they may think “Oh I wasn’t there, I didn’t feel the sadness of the city”, or “I don’t really remember Hillsborough”. But what do you do if you don’t know something about Liverpool football club? You do a bit of research, you ask people questions who know, you FIND out. Now im not saying out of towners are the ones responsible, im just using that as an example. Like I say I felt all of the above at first, and I live 20 mins from Anfield!!!

People shouldn’t feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or silly about replying, or asking questions on a thread. Like I say, if it was football related, you probably wouldn’t think twice.

My memories and knowledge of Hillsborough before I started using this message board and RAWK and RAOTL, were as follows (and they are disjointed)

The day of the disaster I was 9 years old, and I was playing football in the back garden with my mate, when my dad walked out of the house pale as a white sheet, he walked straight past me with a look of fear, and sadness all over it. I don’t ever remember seeing him like that since that day, or even before that moment. He just stopped at the end of the garden, and stared into the sky. I was a bit scared, cos he didn’t answer me, and then mum came out and took us inside to see. Horrible is the only word I can use to explain the memories of seeing the T.V at about 3:10 on that sunny day.

Now my dad had always been a red through and through, but had stopped going the game in about 1986 due to them having my brother, and money was tight at the time, so I am thankful in a way that he did stop, as he could have been there, and that still scares me today.

The next thing I remember was going to ANFIELD straight from school and my mum and dad had took a day off work, and we left at about 3:30, and queued round the block for hours, we finally got into Anfield at about 7pm and we were breathless. This is the 1st time I ever remember seeing my dad in tears.

We laid flowers, and I put my scarf in the kop. Obviously cos I was young, I don’t remember news from the time, or newspapers, cos I never took interest in them (as you don’t as a kid) so my memory of it is limited.

The point im trying to make is that, everyone’s memory of it is different. I didn’t have a family member or close mate who didn’t come home that day, but I knew of people. And some of my mates lost family or their mates there. Yet it has affected me as though I was there.

I have read stories on here, and on other web sites. I have bought books to read and learn more. I always feel like I need to know, and do more.

For anyone who wants to make a start I recommend here:

Basically, to summarise the point of this whole thread is to make people aware that no matter who you are, or what you background is in football or general terms, you can all make a difference. Whether you know it or not, we can all make a difference.
Once voice shouts loud, a crowd cheers…. The more people we have, the more we are heard.

Thanks for reading the post, and I hope you understand a bit better?


John Alfred Anderson (62)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Simon Bell (17)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
David John Benson (22)
David William Birtle (22)
Tony Bland (22)
Paul David Brady (21)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
Carl Brown (18)
David Steven Brown (25)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Joseph Clark (29)
Paul Clark (18)
Gary Collins (22)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
James Philip Delaney (19)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Christopher Edwards (29)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Barry Glover (27)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Philip Hammond (14)
Eric Hankin (33)
Gary Harrison (27)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
David Hawley (39)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Thomas Howard (39)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Alan Johnston (29)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Richard Jones (25)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Carl David Lewis (18)
David William Mather (19)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
John McBrien (18)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Alan McGlone (28)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)
Jonathon Owens (18)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Carl William R!mmer (21)
David George R!mmer (38)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)
Inger Shah (38)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Colin Wafer (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Graham John Wright (17)

AIMS & OBJECTIVES OF THE HJC [Hillsborough Justice Campaign]
The Hillsborough Justice Campaign was formed in response to the belief of a substantial number of people who were involved in the disaster, that after more than nine years and having many judicial decisions ruled against them, a fresh approach was needed in the fight to achieve proper Justice. The Constitution of the membership is reflected in the Group's name and it follows that the Organisation is broad-based.

1) To pursue Justice for those 96 people who died in the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster of 1989, the bereaved Families, the Survivors who came perilously close to dying in Pens 3 and 4 and those unfortunate people still suffering from the ensuing trauma of the Disaster.

(2) To recruit members to the Organisation for the purpose of raising support for the Justice Campaign

(3) To raise funds for the furtherance of the Justice Campaign

Organisational Strategy
(1) To acknowledge at every stage the people who died at Hillsborough and those who survived. Implicit within this is a total support for each individual bereaved Family.

(2) Individual bereaved Families will be fully supported in any reasonable legal activity they undertake in pursuit of their personal fight for Justice.

(3) The collation of any fresh evidence relating to the Disaster and its aftermath will be a primary function of the Group. Survivors providing evidence will also be offered full support.

(4) The Group will operate in an open and democratic manner. It will provide a forum for discussion, debate and activity and will facilitate a means of mutual support.

(5) Regular meetings will take place in order to distribute information and update members.

(6) There will be an Annual General Meeting for the purpose of electing Officers and Committee Members, in line with the Constitution of the Organisation.

(7) Membership will be open to all those who support the Aims and Objectives of the Organisation.

(8) Fund-raising will play a crucial role in the Organisation it will be an indispensible means of sustaining activity.

(9) The acquisition of offices (already achieved) will play a pivotal role in the raising of finance. The premises will operate both as an office/advice centre relating to Hillsboroughand as an outlet for the selling of suitable goods (Tee/Polo Shirts, Caps, Stickers etc.). The latter will therefore operate as a supportive wing to the main fund-raising body. It will assist, in a practical way, the activities of the Group which involve expenditure.

(10) The Group acknowledge the political nature of the decisions reached to date pertaining to the Disaster and will therefore not desist from entering the political arena.

taken from:

By Roper
Minutes of silence we share every year,
Day to day memories that bring out a tear.
Ninety-six roses laid out on the ground,
We stand back in silence, not even a sound.

The fifteenth of April in eighty nine,
Remember the place, remember the time.
Those ninety-six names and everlasting flame,
In memory of those lives, lost at "THAT" game.

A city in mourning, red and blue come to flock,
Respect paid at Anfield, they queued round the block.
The flowers, the wreaths, the poems on cards,
Red white and blue, the kop covered in scarf's.

We don't ask for much, we just want what is right,
But if justice's not done, we'll come together to fight.
Not with our fists, bats, weapons or knives,
Just united in love for those who lost lives.

Cos Scousers are people unlike any other,
We will treat an outsider as though he's a brother.
Come into our house, "d'you fancy a brew?",
Your welcome again with more people too.

Just listen to us in what we have to say,
About what happened, on that fateful spring day.
Don't just palm us off, and ignore the truth,
For there is so much to know, and so much to do.

Everyday is a chance to pass on a word,
Some wisdom, and knowledge of what you have heard.
The word that I'm using, is what's wanted by us all,
It's the word that we mutter, the word that we call.

So listen now, take it in, and remember,
Pass it on to your friends, and each family member.
It's for the ninety-six friends that we all will miss,
The word we all want to hear, is the word JUSTICE.

JUSTICE for the brothers, sisters, husbands and wives,
JUSTICE for those who lost their lives.
JUSTICE for the families who's tears we share,
JUSTICE for the parents, you should know we all care.

JUSTICE is what we all fight to achieve,
JUSTICE to allow the families to finally bereave.
For the pain and the heartache they have had to endure,
JUSTICE will allow them to be angry no more.

Even if you don't read all of this post....please just know that if you want to ask any questions, please know that you will not be looked down upon, and not be mocked....there are a lot of people on here who will be happy to answer them. If you don't feel comfortable asking on here, you can email me directly. My email address is on the bottom of this link:

As fans of this great and illustrious club, we pride ourselves in knowing almost every detail of our history. The years we won the European Cups [1977, 1978, 1981, 1984]. The fact that we've won 18 league titles. In the early years there was Liddell, later we had Hunt, followed by Keegan, then Dalglish and Rush. We even know specifics about games, transfer fees, and opposition teams. Our minds must be over run with useless information about the Redmen, stored away incase needed in that vital pub quiz questions, or argument with mates in an ale house.

We buy things to learn about our club. Books, videos, DVD's, membership to this website, and much much more. It never becomes tiresome...why? because we love the club, and we want to know as much as possible so that when we want to discuss it, we feel comfortable, and confident in what we say. Plus it makes us feel more connected to the club, and other fans when we know lots of information, you feel part of it all.

There is one subject that gets swept under the carpet by alot of Liverpool fans, and it's not necessarily their fault. The subject is Hillsborough... [please don't stop here - read on]

It's a difficult subject for a lot of people to talk about, mainly because it's an emotional black patch in our clubs history. People who weren't there may think they don't deserve an opinion, and that their opinion and help wouldn't be valued anyway. Others may feel that they don't want to upset people by bringing the subject up, and others may even think that threes nothing there to fight for anyway - it happened 14 years ago!!!

As many of you may know, the club decided post Hillsborough that it would stand by the HFSG [Hillsborough Families Support Group] and therefore the fight for Justice that is still carried forwards [strongly] today by the HJC [Hillsborough Justice Campaign] is over looked as Liverpool FC do not associate them selves with the organisation. Therefore when you go to Anfield, or online to purchase your LFC memorabilia, and items of historical significance, you can't get an awful lot of information regarding Hillsborough, and the HJC.

The one thing that you can get openly is Phil Scratton's superbly compelling and accurate books "Hillsborough - The Truth", and I would recommend anyone who can get their hands on a copy of this to do so. As it is so easily available. This book quite literally had me in tears and filled up with anger, but also grateful that Phil could put down on paper exactly what happened at Hillsborough on that fateful day and the injustices and wrong doings in the days and months afterwards.

The HJC [Hillsborough Justice Campaign] is still fighting today as strongly as it ever has done. Anne Williams is the chairperson of The Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The campaign continues the fight for justice for the dead, the bereaved and the survivors of the Hillsborough Disaster, and meets each Monday evening at the offices in Oakfield Road. These meetings, as well as the support she receives, give Anne the resolve to continue the fight for justice for her son, Kevin.

Hillsborough was Kevin’s first away trip to watch the reds, and he arrived early at the ground, standing near the front of pen 3. When a senior police officer gave the order to open the exit gates in order to ease the build-up of fans waiting outside, most fans headed straight for the central pens. These pens were already full but the police made no attempt to divert fans to the unfilled pens on the wings. Sheffield Wednesday FC had not thought it necessary to signpost the fact that entry could be gained to the terracing without entering through the central tunnels. Those unfamiliar with the ground headed for the most obvious entry, which was through the tunnels at Leppings Lane into the pens which were already full. Once in, there was no way out.

Kevin was caught up in the ensuing crush, and at about 3.28pm his body was pulled out of the crowd by other desperate fans, who carried him to the North Stand on an advertising hoarding. There, an off-duty police officer, who was attending the match as a supporter, noticed Kevin moving. Together with a St John’s ambulance man they attempted heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, eventually they found a pulse. They tried to get him to an ambulance but the only ambulance that the police had allowed onto the pitch drove straight past to the original scene of the disaster. At around 3.37 another ambulance man shone a light into Kevin’s eyes and pronounced him dead……..he was not.

Debra Martin, a Sheffield Special Constable, made a statement revealing how she escorted Kevin’s body to a makeshift mortuary set up in the gymnasium below the ground’s North Stand. She attempted, once again, to resuscitate Kevin and amazingly found a pulse. As she cradled Kevin in her arms, he opened his eyes, murmured the word “mum” and slumped back. At 4.00pm Kevin died in her arms.

Debra Martin’s evidence has never been heard in open court, indeed when the inquest into the disaster was held the coroner imposed a cut-off time of 3.15pm. No evidence of events after this time has ever been heard in a UK court, which effectively ruled out evidence into how the victims were treated in the aftermath of the disaster. Peter Carney, a member of HJC, for example, was left for dead by authorities, until a friend saw and helped him.

Specifically in Kevin’s case, it was assumed he was dead by 3.15. At the very least witnesses who claimed to the contrary should have been called to give evidence to the jury. Other pertinent facts were omitted from evidence. Oxygen cylinders, which could have saved Kevin’s life, were available but remained outside the stadium as the ambulances that contained them were not allowed inside. The Police officers, trained in emergency situations, who should have assisted in the admission of these ambulances, stood idly by in a cordon across the halfway line allegedly in an attempt to keep rival fans apart.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded against Kevin and the other victims, with “Traumatic Asphyxia” being given as the cause of death. The inquests were the longest in British legal history (at one point the coroner insensitively announced that ‘We are now eligible for The Guinness Book of Records”). In 1993 a Judicial Review ruled that it was not ‘in the public interest’ to re-open the inquests. A scrutiny chaired by Lord Justice Stuart Smith in 1997 concluded that there would be no new public inquiry into the disaster or its aftermath. In June 2000, other bereaved families brought a private prosecution against Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in overall command at Hillsborough and his deputy, Superintendent Bernard Murray. Murray was acquitted whilst the jury failed to reach a verdict over Duckenfield. It was later revealed that if either had been found guilty they would not have faced a custodial sentence, as this had been agreed in a pre-hearing judgement.

Over thirteen years later Anne Williams, members of the HJC and Liverpool fans remain as determined as ever to establish accountability over the events of 15th April 1989. They refuse to accept the verdict of ‘Accidental Death’ and argue that by imposing the cut-off point of 3.15pm, the coroner effectively ruled out a verdict, which could have incorporated ‘Lack of Care’.

Kevin Williams died through ‘Lack of Care’. His mother, Anne, has courted the opinion of countless professionals, amongst them eminent forensic pathologists, all of whom reject “Traumatic Asphyxia” as a cause of death. The most recent to support Anne’s case is the Home Office Consultant Pathologist Dr Nathanial Cary, effectively the leading UK expert in the field of forensic pathology. His views concur with those of Dr James Burns and Dr Iain West before him, both very highly experienced and highly regarded forensic pathologists.

In a report soon to be submitted to the Attorney General, as part of a memorial to have the inquest into the death of Kevin Williams re-opened, Dr Cary writes:

“I support the view that Dr Slater [pathologist who carried out the autopsy on Kevin] was incorrect in ascribing death as being due to traumatic asphyxia when the term is used properly. Based on the pathological findings described by him and the external findings that I have seen in photographs, the appropriate cause of death should now have been ‘compression of the neck’.”

Dr Cary goes on to explain that Kevin may not have died had relatively simple medical procedures taken place, equipment such as oxygen and tubing may have saved Kevin’s life.

Anne Williams will submit this report of Dr Cary, along with other new evidence, to the Attorney General and will be asking him to quash the verdict on Kevin. She will be arguing that Kevin died of injuries other than those established at the inquest and that he possibly could have been saved had he received the correct treatment at the time. She will also state that as a result of the imposed 3.15pm cut-off, Kevin never received a fair hearing and this is in contradiction of his fundamental human rights.

In spite of all the previous set-backs and the deep-seated failure of the British Legal System to provide Justice for her dead son, Anne Williams remains optimistic:

"The legal system has failed us many times but I believe that in the end the truth will win out. We just have to keep chipping away at the brick wall the legal system has placed in front of us. 96 people died because of a lack of care. This needs to be acknowledged. Maybe then, the dead can rest in peace."

A more complete account of Anne Williams fight for justice can be found in her book "When You Walk Through A Storm".


As you can see, the events of that fateful day are not as plain as a lot of people would like to make believable. When you start to look into the injustices that have occurred you really do find out why it is fought so fervently.

****** Things you may not have known about the role of the police and The Hillsborough Disaster ******

• The initial response of the police was not to send for the emergency services, but to send for dog handlers as reinforcements.

• Fire engines- armed with crucial fence cutting equipment arrived at the football ground- but were turned away by the police.

• Fans who managed to climb over the perimeter fencing to escape onto the pitch, were pushed back by police officers. Gate 3, which opened onto the pitch, actually sprung open twice under the weight of the crush. Fans were pushed back in by police, who then closed the gate, again. Clearly the emphasis for the police was on crowd control rather than crowd safety.

• The Major-Accident vehicle, which was equipped for dealing with disasters, was not sent out until 3.29pm. When it arrived at the stadium however, it was unable to enter the ground as Sheffield Wednesday had made unreported structural changes to the stadium.

• Former police sergeant Martin Long was awarded an estimated £330,000 compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the tragedy. By comparison Anne Williams received £3,500 for her dead son Kevin. Thirteen years after the disaster survivors still contact the Hillsborough Justice Campaign for the first time, because they are still traumatised by the disaster. There have been a number of suicides of survivors.

• In October 1987, Lord Justice Stuart Smith chaired a scrutiny of evidence. At the beginning of the inquiry he turned to one of the bereaved and asked, "Have you got a few of your people? Or are they like the Liverpool fans- turn up at the last minute?"

• The police force that was in charge of investigating the disaster was The West Midlands Police Force. It included a former head of its Serious Crime Squad, which was disbanded the same year because of corrupt practices.

• Before the private prosecution of senior officers Duckenfield and Murray a Pre-hearing ruling was given by Justice Hooper (who presided over the case) that should the defendants be found guilty they would not go to prison.

• The inquiry into the disaster found that "The main cause of the Disaster was the breakdown of police control".


The details of this sad day in our clubs history and the reasons why we need to stand together are there for all to see. We need to know to be able to tell other the truths of that day, and the way the victims, the families and relatives were treated in the aftermath.

The fight for JUSTICE will go on forever, it will not be forgotten, just like the 96 friends who went to watch Liverpool Football Club on 15th April 1989 and never came home.

96 Candles Burn Bright - Gone but never forgotten.

Boycott "The S*n" and its lies.
Link from:

Media coverage of Hillsborough has had significant consequences on a number of levels. This section will argue how the media informed and potentially influenced the outcome of legal cases. It will also be argued that the consequences were far reaching by attacking, not only those involved in the Disaster but Liverpool in general, adding to the already negative reputation of its people.

The coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster brought a barrage of complaints to the door of the Press Council. However all this succeeded in doing was highlighting the inadequacy of the Press Council as a medium for dealing with complaints.

The Hillsborough Disaster occurred in an historical media framework that already labelled Liverpool as rebellious and anarchistic. The 1980's were the heady days of the Militant dominated council in the city. Not only the Thatcher government but also the Labour party under Neil Kinnock waged war on the leaders of the City Council (Derek Hatton and co). In reality they were waging war on the people of Liverpool - they became the real victims as they suffered the direct consequences of harsh measures imposed but also as they gained an undeserved negative reputation not only nationwide but internationally as well. It was this context which enabled the media to act so appallingly in relation to the Hillsborough Disaster.

The immediate reaction of the press following Hillsborough was to blame the fans. The proof is there for all to see and it extends way beyond the Sun's headlines. However as that headline is the most shocking even to this day it is only right that we remind people what they said:

The Truth; some fans picked pockets of victims; some fans urinated on the brave cops; some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life.

This was the front page of the Sun newspaper on the Wednesday following the Disaster. The question that has to be asked is where did the paper obtain its 'evidence' from - all routes lead back to South Yorkshire Police and the Lie Machine that was being put into operation.

The response to this headline on Merseyside was one of outrage - thousand of copies were stolen and burnt and there followed a successful boycott campaign of the paper.

To the present day that paper is still hated in the city of Liverpool and beyond and there are still shopkeepers that refuse to sell.

Responsibility for peddling lies goes beyond the Sun. By the time that article was published there had been four days of offence reporting, nearly all blaming the fans. As early as 3.40pm as the Disaster was unfolding, BBC radio Two reported:

Unconfirmed reports that a door was broken down at the end that was holding Liverpool supporters.

Graham Kelly, the Chief Executive of the Football Association, interviewed by Radio Two in answer to a question regarding the gates, inferred that the police had not ordered the gates to be opened. Later, the reporter stated that he had obtained information from Graham Mackrell, the secretary of Sheffield Wednesday FC who had spoken to "the police officer in charge" and the situation was: ten to three there was a surge of fans at the Leppings lane end of the ground… the surge composed of about 500 Liverpool fans and the police say that a gate was forced and that led to a crush in the terracing area - well under capacity I'm told, there was still plenty of room inside that area… It is important to note " police say". Here you have a situation which has to be interpreted as the police deliberately lying as we know that the police ordered the gate to be opened.

By 6pm that evening Radio 4 stated: Many reports speak of people without tickets having pushed their way in. So the scene had been set and the conspiracy had begun - Liverpool fans, angry at having no tickets had forced their way into the ground with disastrous consequences:

It's clear that many hundreds of Liverpool fans travelled to Hillsborough even though they didn't have tickets for the game. Shortly before the match started it appears that these fans were able to get into the ground through a gate at the Leppings Lane end. One report says the gate was kicked down...

The main culprits in spreading these lies were David Duckenfield, Chief Superintendent in charge on the day (who later admitted that he lied), Graham Mackrell, Secretary Sheffield Wednesday and Graham Kelly of the F.A. By the evening of the Disaster, Peter Wright, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, issued a statement which acknowledged that the gate had been opened on the instructions of the police. Little notice was taken of this however, and other comments by Wright stated that the crush had occurred outside the turnstiles: By the late arrival of large numbers of people. This showed that Wright was merely operating a more sophisticated and subtle method of blaming the fans.

Amongst the most vicious of reports of the Disaster was the Sheffield Star and the Yorkshire Post. It should be noted that these would be the two most widely read papers in the Sheffield area and therefore it would be hard to select a jury for the inquests that had not been influenced in some way by their version of the 'facts'. The Sheffield Star reported:

Many supporters were still propping up the bars at 2.30pm. They raced to the stadium arriving at the Leppings Lane end at the height of the crush. Some of them were the worse for drink, others without tickets were hoping to sneak in. Hubble bubble toil and trouble.. drunkenness and ticketlessness were now added to the equation. The Yorkshire Post continued the attack: Thousands of fans began the fatal charge… thousands of latecomers tried to force their way into the ground...

The military language was a popular theme throughout the reporting of the Hillsborough Disaster. The Manchester Evening News was typical: The Anfield Army charged on to the terrace behind the goal - many without tickets.

Whilst the content and quality of so much of the reporting is appalling, the Evening Standard is deserving of particular consideration for it perfectly highlights the stereotyping not just of football fans but Liverpool people generally:

How long will it take for it publicly to be acknowledged that fans themselves share the blame?… The catastrophe was caused first and foremost by violent enthusiasm for soccer, in this case the tribal passions of Liverpool supporters. They literally killed themselves and others to be at the game.

This view was echoed at an international level in the comments of Jacques Georges, President of UEFA. His view of Liverpool fans was damning:

One had the impression that they were beasts waiting to charge into the arena.

Surprisingly one of the most offensive reports came from much closer to home, the Liverpool Daily Post. An article written by John Williams and entitled: "I blame the yobs" warrants extensive quoting:

So it was at Hillsborough that the yobs made enough nuisance of themselves to convince the police that so-called gates of Hell were opened… the gatecrashers wreaked their fatal havoc. At best it was unfettered zeal. At worst it was uncontrolled fanaticism and mass hysteria which literally squeezed the life out of men, women and children. This was yobbism at its most base. People without tickets who had no right to be there were crushing to death their fellow Scousers. When it comes to apportioning blame, the accusatory finger can also be pointed at Liverpool. Scouse killed Scouse for no better reason than 22 men were kicking a ball.

Given that this journalist was working locally you might think that he would be more likely to have his finger on the pulse. Apparently not.

Neither was this some bizarre response to a disaster, written in a state of shock. In spite of a barrage of complaints the author stood "by every word with no apology". In fact he went on to write a second article reaffirming the contents of the first and also referring to "those who so thoughtlessly took lives away". This article by Williams was in stark contrast to one written in the same paper by Brian Reade only a day earlier and poignantly entitled:"DEAD BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T COUNT". Reade correctly challenged the dangers of stereotyping fans as yobs stating:

...society had been happy to live with the myth that every football fan is a potential criminal. Well, nearly 100 people have just paid the price for this woeful misconception.

The media was drip fed sound bites by the police. The Daily Mail reported Paul Middup, spokesperson for the Police Federation, as saying:

I am sick of hearing how good the crowd were...They were arriving tanked up on drink and the situation faced by the officers trying to control them was quite simply terrifying.

The Sheffield Star was at the forefront of publishing serious allegations from the police:

FANS IN DRUNKEN ATTACKS ON POLICE: Ticketless thugs staged crush to gain entry… attacked an ambulanceman, threatened firemen and punched and urinated on policemen as they gave the kiss of life to stricken victims.

Television news also made great play of comments made by the Police Federation:

Sheffield police officers claimed tonight that drunkenness amongst Liverpool fans was at least partly responsible for the disaster at Hillsborough…According to the Police Federation a large number of Liverpool fans arrived at the ground late after drinking heavily and police couldn't control them.

It seemed as if all South Yorkshire Police officers were giving interviews left, right and centre - all leading to the same kind of headline. The Times reported: Drunkenness and hooliganism were a major factor in the Hillsborough Disaster, police said yesterday.

This is one of the most moving, yet harrowing accounts of that fateful day.
- How old were you?

"17 years old."

- Did you go to most games?

"Yeah, home and away. I was living near Northampton and we went on the supporters coach. We went to the semi-final the year before but I had a seat that year.

"Caught the coach at 11.00am,relaxed mood everyone quietly confident of a good game. Sun shining, not too hot, a little overcast in places. Had already received my £6 ticket for the Leppings Lane terrace and watched as the other tickets were distributed on the coach. I noticed that there were two spare seat tickets. I thought about changing my ticket for a seat but decided not to because the atmosphere would be better standing and that I would save the £2!

"Arrived at the ground about 1.45pm. Seemed busy around the entrance of Leppings Lane, as the coach passed, so decided to stay on the coach and get off further away from the ground. Coach went back up the hill, I got off with Geoff and his son Ryan. We walked down, warm day, seemed to be Liverpool fans everywhere. We were surprised that there was no police cordon stopping anyone who didn't have a ticket, as they did the year before at the previous semi-final. Stopped at a newsagent just outside the ground, met another lad off the coach joked about the shop having no change. Walked through the blue gates towards the turnstiles."

- Did you notice any difference from the year before?

"When you walked down, there was a hill towards the ground and they had metal barriers like a cordon with police on it, you had to show them your ticket before you could pass through the cordon. There was none of that from the year before. There was no filtering. When we were there, there wasn't that many people outside, there was no queuing or control. There was just a crowd of people trying to find their own way in., milling around trying to get near to the turnstiles.

"Everyone was good-humoured, many supporters began to sing, I joined in. I can remember a mounted policeman sitting there not really knowing what to do for the best. Liverpool fans started joking with him, he joked back.

"The whole scene was stupid, the flow through the turnstiles was very slow because of the lack of definite queues for each turnstile. People were eager but not desperate to get in but at least when you are in a queue at least you can see the end and you feel that you are actually going somewhere but not here. Finally the mounted policeman started to look worried, his horse turning one way then another, he shouted across to another policeman who was stood by the far turnstile. He then started to try and sort things out, he shouted for people to move back, forwards, sideways but it was too little too late.

"Eventually I was close to the turnstiles and finally got myself into a position in front of one of the turnstiles, I then noticed that one supporter had entered the turnstile but was involved in a conversation with the bloke on the gate. Suddenly the policeman who was stood next to the turnstile turned and entered the turnstile and started talking to the gateman. The policeman then grabbed hold of the supporter by the arm and tried to push him out of the turnstile entrance but with the crowd there was nowhere for the policeman to go, so he turned said something to the gateman and let the supporter enter through. What the problem was I don't know because I couldn't hear anything, but it was obvious that even at this early stage the police had no control.

"I finally entered the ground through turnstile three, third from the left near a big blue gate. Police officers were on the other side randomly searching people, they didn't search me and I stood and waited for the others. They finally came through moaning that the horse had nearly stood on Ryan's foot. We walked across a courtyard and towards a toilet, which was on the right of the tunnel. As we did I mentioned to Geoff that if it was like that outside what would it be like inside. We bought a programme and made our way through the only obvious entrance to the terracing, through the tunnel.

"The tunnel was a strange design, long, narrow but dark with no light's at all and the floor sloped upwards as you walked through but with the darkness you never noticed the slope. There weren't many other people walking through the tunnel as the three of us did but I can remember half stumbling because you couldn't see the slope in the darkness. Then as you got closer to the end and came into the daylight you were suddenly confronted by the dividing fence separating pen's 3 and 4. We went to the left side of the fence into pen 4."

- How full was it at that time?

"We walked down into pen 4 and stopped about half way down the terracing. The top half of pen 4 was packed but there was space further down and with Ryan only being small we moved so that he could see. As we stood settling into our vantage point I kept glancing behind towards the top half of the terrace where all the singing was starting. I wanted to move backwards, I wanted to be where all the atmosphere would be. I asked Geoff if he minded if I moved, he said he didn't, "Go and stand with the young ones," he said.

"I made my way back and tried to make my way into the singing throng. I can remember a beach ball being thrown around, the large multi-coloured ball bouncing off unexpected heads who weren't watching, cheers from all round. The ball was now being thrown between the two pens. Everyone having a good time, very good humoured with the atmosphere building, the buzz of anticipation as we looked forward to another semi-final win.

"I tried to stand in my new spot for about five minutes but it was packed, the crowd swaying one way then another. I was used to standing, I'm over six foot, had a season ticket for the Kop and had learnt the art of watching football amongst the best footballing crowd there was. But this was boisterous, it was getting packed so I decided to move back down and stand with Geoff and his son. I found them and said that it was too busy up there and joked that I was knackered already!

"A tall bloke came and stood right in front of us so we had to move again. We moved further down the pen, towards the front of the pen, towards the fencing. The middle of the pen down to the bottom was fairly empty, there wasn't many people stood in front of us. There was big, wide open spaces but behind us was busy. We stayed there for a while. We kept looking round for somewhere the Geoff's son could see and we looked across at the corner pen (pen 5) and we thought it would be a good view if we could get up there but we didn't know how you'd get up there. We'd come through the tunnel to get into the ground, there wasn't any other obvious entrances. We thought you might have to have a specific ticket or that bit's not open. We couldn't see any immediate way of getting to it so we thought we'll stay where we are. The ground started filling up a bit more, nothing untoward. It must have been about 2.30 p.m., it was beginning to fill up but again nothing out of the ordinary and again you got the feeling that the pens were full and you couldn't get anymore in. In front of us there was still space, it was obviously filling up behind but you don't really look behind."

- Could you distinguish they were pens?

"Yes because when we came through the tunnel you had the separating fences right in front. We knew we were in pens. As we came through the tunnel it was a case of left or right so we went left, which is probably how we ended up in pen 4."

- Did you notice anything about pen 3 - that it was worse?

When we got in, pen 3 was probably fuller than pen 4. That's probably half the reason why we went into pen 4 subconsciously. It seemed to be filling up but nothing out of the ordinary but then suddenly it seemed really busy.

"You were suddenly aware of people stood around you or next to you or behind you. Then the space in front filled up but even then you thought it's just filling up - it's getting close to the kick-off. All of a sudden it seemed a bit tighter, people were standing on your feet and still trying to come past you, still trying to find some space to stand and they were coming past and seeing there wasn't really anywhere to go. People were trying to level out trying to find somewhere to stand. Suddenly you realised that you couldn't really move that well. You were pinned up against other people. You thought surely there can't be many more people coming in or if there are there couldn't be much space. I couldn't see where my mates were. I shouted out but I couldn't see them at all. There was still people trying to move down and people in front were shouting 'move back' and people were shouting back 'there's nowhere to move to.'

"Then it started to get uncomfortable, I suddenly realised that I couldn't move, I was pinned, sandwiched in place. I was separated from the others, I shouted Geoff's name but heard no reply. I began to try and look around but I couldn't move my shoulders to turn, so I moved my head left and right but I still couldn't see them. I thought the pressure would ease as the crowd would find space but the pressure slowly increased. I now found myself so close to the fence at the front of pen 4 that, if I'd been able to, I was close enough to touch the fence. I was now to the left of the goal (as you looked at the goal from the pens)."

- Were you aware of the gates onto the perimeter track where you could have got out that way?

"No. I can remember everyone cheering as the two teams came out onto the pitch but I couldn't see much and was too concerned about what was happening around me. You kept thinking people would move into a different pen or they would open another pen up or this is as busy as it's going to get, they're not going to let any more in.

There was a woman in front, I couldn't see her, she started screaming, she was shouting out 'let me out.' She was somewhere to the right of me, I couldn't see who it was but this plea for help turned into a full wrenched scream, one long continuous scream. I can remember thinking to myself "Please stop screaming you'll be alright, please stop." I kept thinking if someone's screaming like that, if there's something, someone can do they're going to do it.

"But it continued, she started pleading for someone to help her. Everyone it seemed was shouting at anyone who walked past on the running track, but nobody took any notice. I can remember a steward walking along, how could he ignore all the noise especially the woman screaming. From behind someone shouted, "Hey ******** open the gate, there's people dying in here!" The steward kept walking past pen 4 and then across the front of pen 3, he then suddenly stopped turned and faced pen 3.Surely he can't ignore us now, open your eyes, do something I thought. I could hear others shouting at him pleading, but he gazed into pen 3 for a second and turned away face expressionless. Don't walk away do something.

"I then noticed that a couple of photographers who were positioned on the running track behind the advertisement boards, had turned around and now had their cameras focused towards pen 4 taking pictures, I shouted, "Put the ******* camera down and help us!" But still they crouched moving their cameras to get a better picture. Surely if they had noticed that something drastic was happening it was worth taking pictures of why had no-one else noticed and helped.

- Was the atmosphere one of panic?

"People in front were shouting. People were shouting out behind but you couldn't turn your head to look round. Every so often you would get someone yelling out in agony, then it would stop. Then they would yell out again. There was a lot of noise but every so often you would hear someone shouting out louder above the noise.

"I couldn't see behind. I felt something by my leg. If you were stood on the Kop, you'd get little kids crawl through your legs. I couldn't see a kid but the voice was low down and right behind me. He was half crying and panicking saying 'I've got to get out, get over the fence' but I said 'I can't.' He said 'reach out and get over the fence.' This lad was really panicking. I could feel his chin half way up my back, he sounded young so I thought he can't be that big. I thought I can't have this lad screaming in my ear, so I said 'grab my shoulders, climb up my back and you can get out.'

"He started doing this. I thought as long as my legs don't buckle, I'll be fine. There was nowhere to move sideways or forward or backwards. I told him to try and free his arms, to grab hold of my shoulders to pull himself up and climb up my back. From the position of his head I guessed he couldn't be that tall so he'd be quite easy to support. His hands reached up and grabbed my shoulders, he started to try and scramble himself up, his fingers dug into my shoulder blades. My legs almost buckled under the weight as he started pulling down on my shoulders but I knew that he would soon be there. He was so close I could feel his belt scraping on my back, then he pulled himself up, his feet searching for upwards leverage dug into my back.

"I couldn't take much more of this but I could feel his knees on my shoulders, one final effort and he reached forward and grabbed hold of the top of the spikes. Feet swinging up, scuffing my ears as he placed his feet either side of my head, he leapt forward and he was on the fence and gone. Never saw his face, I can remember his trainers though, he must have been about 12 or 13. He said 'thanks mate.'

"I selfishly thought I'd have a bit more room and I quickly moved my arms down to protect my rib cage, ran my arms straight down and bent them across to try and protect my ribs. That was the last time I was able to move my arms.

"I thought now I've got more room. So I put my arms down to protect my ribs. The woman had stopped screaming. There was pressure but every so often it got tighter. When it wasn't tight, you were trying to gulp and get air. I strained my neck. There was a layer of hot air above your head, it was like a sauna. You'd gulp the air in but then you couldn't breathe out. You were taking sort panting breaths.

"I never saw the game kick-off. There were too many people in front. There was a young lad on the perimeter fence who said 'Beardsley's hit the bar.' You heard a groan from the crowd. This lad started singing 'Liverpool.' Someone shouted 'shut up, this is serious.' The lad got over the fence and went.

"It was still tight, you couldn't see anyway out. There were people who had got out who were on the fence trying to pull people up but if you looked at pen 3 there was more on that fence. But the fence was so high it was difficult. The blue metal mesh of the fence that seemed to reach high above your head, which then met the spiked top that reached back and pointed inwards towards the pens. The design of the fence made it difficult for the un-official rescuers, you could see them as they tried to try and stretch over and beyond the spikes and then find the strength to grip and hold one of the flailing arms, trying desperately, frantically all they could do. Where's the help, its only our own who are trying to help.

"People were shouting 'coming down' and you knew someone was being passed down. Anyone who had been on the Kop knew and had seen the practice of someone injured being passed down to the front for treatment. It was football supporter's unofficial emergency exit. I looked to my right and saw a bloke being passed down. I managed to get my arms up. I had hold of his head and shoulders. We couldn't move him forward. I looked in his face and his eyes were shut. I never thought it would be possible for a person to turn that colour, he was white, seemed as if he'd been bleached in the sun, his lipsand his nostrils were blue. It was as if he was wearing blue lipstick but this was real.

"He opened his eyes, his pupils were dilated and dark but he opened his eyes and looked as though he was slowly trying to focus at me. I started to cry, "It's alright mate your getting out, it's over!" I tapped his face at first then slapped him harder. Some lads got up on the fence. We started to lift him up and he opened his eyes. He looked at me. We lifted him up and I said 'you're getting out.' He didn't blink. His pupils were getting larger. The lads on the fence grabbed him and he was gone.

"It was the strangest, surreal feeling of being in the open air, underneath a perfectly blue sky but not being able to breathe. Choking in the open air. It seemed that a foot above everyone's head there was this layer of hot stale air, no fresh air, no breeze, like an invisible roof above your head. I tried stretching my neck muscles upwards to try and find fresher cool air. It was also hot how but it was the aroma in the air that I had never smelt before or since. I could smell vomit, urine etc but this was something unknown. It smelt similar to other things but at the same time smelt nothing like them. It filled your nostrils, I could taste it, I tried to swallow to get rid of the taste but this was impossible because there was no moisture inside my mouth.

"I used to wake up in the middle of the night and I could smell that aroma. I can only describe it as the smell of fear, a pungent substance that is produced deep down from inside the human body and filled the air around me.

"Minutes seemed like hours, people still screaming, pleading begging for help. I could see glimpses of the pitch, through the metal blue mesh of the fence, the beautifully green grass. Looking through the mesh it seemed as though I was looking at a television picture of the outside window, almost like looking through a viewfinder. Everything was in place in front of you, the other side of the fence but somehow you were detached from all this. Five foot in front of me was safety, the normal world where you could breathe normally not like a fish out of water. It had might as well been a thousand miles away. My brain kept telling my lungs to breathe but you couldn't."

- Did you see police at the front of pen 4?

"The only people I can remember was the steward that walked past, the photographers and a policewoman but that was it. People patrolling up and down just oblivious to what was going on."

- Do you remember people in front you?

"No. There was so many people but no room in front for any people."

- How did you get out?

"Then I noticed that some fans in front of me to the left had managed one by one to climb the dividing railings that separated pens 4and5.Above the heads of the crush you could see them scrambling over the fence. Then the people to the side of me started to move slowly sideways, gaps started to appear, crumbled up figures that had remained jammed unable to move for an eternity started to move.

"Gradually as more people climbed over the fence I saw the first glimpse of concrete terracing strewn with litter, but the first signs of escape. My head nearly exploded as I was released from the iron grasp of the crush, I rushed forward a few steps towards the dividing railings. A man was stood there he put his hand out to slow me down, "Slow down lad, take your time." He was stood there acting like a marshal for people climbing the fence, calming people down and helping anyone who was struggling. Selfishly I just wanted to get out.

"It was only when I was stood next to the railings that I realised how daunting they looked, long,tall and topped by large pointed blue spikes. They must have been 7 foot tall, designed for containment not escape like all the fences that surrounded the Leppings Lane terracing.

"I don't know how I jumped over but I can't honestly remember my feet touching the fence, I remember being on the way over and looking down the other side. I dropped down, my programme fell out of my pocket so I picked it up. I found myself in a gangway (which was lower than the terracing) that separated pens 4 and 5 about 2 foot wide flanked on either side by metal railings. The entrance to the pitch was blocked by a small gate, I walked up a couple of steps and I ducked down but still banged my back as I made my way through the small opening.

"I got onto the running track. The fresh air hit me. I went down on my knees. I then sat at the edge of the pitch because I thought I'd get nicked for a pitch invasion. You still thought 'I'm somewhere I shouldn't be.' It was only then I realised the teams had gone off.

"I fell to my knees and realised how hot I was. My clothes were soaking wet, I was breathing heavily. Someone asked me if I was alright and if I was to move back out of the way. A lad carried another lad out who was wearing a bright white jacket. His hands were the same colour. The other lad shouted 'help me, someone help me.' There was a St John's ambulance man. He got down on his knees and pulled his chin down and started giving him mouth to mouth. He stopped and bent down and put he ear to his mouth and just shook his head. The lad said 'where are you going?' because the ambulance man was walking away.

"I turned round and there was more people being laid out on the ground. Motionless, they looked as though they were asleep in surroundings of crazed perpetual motion.

"I knew people had died. Before that I'd never seen a dead body. I though you would see blood or wounds or some type of injury but these people looked like they fainted. I though I don't want to see this anymore. I can't look at this anymore. I moved to the edge of the penalty area. I remember looking for my mates. I was walking around. I saw them and I remember hugging them. We didn't say a lot.

"There was more people being treated, more people being given mouth to mouth. A lad said he heard there were 12 dead, another lad said 17. I thought, yes, there is that many dead. We stood there in shock. I didn't seem to have the energy. I think now, why didn't I help, go back to the fences. I noticed there was lot of activity on pen 3. There were people off the coach who spotted us on the pitch. People weren't chatting, they were quiet.

"The Forest fans started singing something. There were groups of police moving towards the halfway line. It looked like there were containing fans. All the people trying to help were supporters, the only people doing something. Frantic fans trying to resuscitate friends, loved ones, total strangers, it didn't matter, shouting for help. It wasn't like a scene from a Hollywood film there was no blood, no wounds, no visible signs of injury, just white pale faces, blue lips.

"Then groups of lads started running past carrying the injured on advertisement boards ripped of their hoardings used as make shift stretchers. . We thought it best to get out of the way. Some lad had a bucket, he was giving people water. People were looking after each other. Out the way, let us through," they shouted on mass, anxious, worried frantic expressions on their faces as they sped past, flanking the person lying on the board. Occasionally an arm would drape over the side of the board, hanging limbless, bouncing around with each step of the carriers. Other lads would come rushing past shouting, 'Hurry up, he's alive, out of the way.'

"The majority of these 'stretchers' were being supported by other supporters, apart from the young St. John Ambulance man I saw I can't remember seeing that many other uniforms helping in the rescue, many of them stood around, talking into radios which blurted out all of many of incomprehensible garbage. I can remember suddenly numbers of policeman running towards the half way line to form a cordon, silly clueless *******s even now they didn't know or appreciate what was going on. The logic's simple, Liverpool fans on the pitch, must be a pitch invasion, stop them attacking the Forest fans at the other end of the ground at all costs. Ignore all rumours of people dying or needing attention. This is a public disturbance.

"Someone asked me for a ciggie but my hands were shaking that much I couldn't get one out so I gave him the packet. The three of sat still not saying a word until the pens were empty, a steward or a policewoman asked us to make our way out of the ground. Dazed in a state of shock we left by an entrance at the bottom of the corner terracing that we had previously wanted to stand. It seemed like we were the last people to leave. We remember seeing the lad in the pen with his head in his hands.

"We walked out towards the banking straight out on the street. I couldn't believe how many ambulances there were. It was like a taxi rank. We walked towards the coach then I thought - telephone.

"We saw a massive queue for the phones. A slow patient queue, a pensioner stood in the doorway telling all these strangers were the phone was, embarrassed not knowing what to say or act, he kept saying 'sorry mate.' One by one people ringing loved ones, short messages all the same, excuses saying that they couldn't speak for long because of the queue. Lads leaving change on the table next to the phone, so much that it started falling onto the carpet, thanking the elderly couple and then leaving. I rang home, my dad answered, my mum was screaming in the background.

"We were the last 3 people back to the coach, so they'd sent people out looking for us. We were going down the M1 an stopped at a service station. I went to the toilets. There were skinheads, Forest fans, who were saying 'what's the score, 26-nil or is it 37-nil. No it must be 42-nil by now.' I couldn't do anything. The police ran it and got them out.

"I got back to my car at about 9.30. It used to take me 40 minutes to drive home but it took me 1 hour 10 minutes. I got in and explained what happened but not about the lad I held in my arms.

"The next day, my dad asked if I wanted to go to mass. I didn't really want to go. My body was bruised. I said I'd go but wanted to go straight in, not stand outside talking. The priest said a prayer for all those who'd died. I started crying. It was the last place I wanted to be but they kept me in there.

"I watched the service on the Sunday. People kept coming round to ask what happened. We went to the ground on the Thursday. We put our flowers down on the pitch and I just broke down. A steward come over and took us into the players lounge. Someone gave me a Liverpool shirt and said 'we'll get it signed.' John Aldridge came over to talk to us. I thought it was wrong. Everyone in the lounge was a bereaved family.

"I went to school on the Friday. I was doing my A levels. One lad saw me and said 'we thought you were dead.' The following Saturday, mum and dad took me to watch rugby. We went into the club house and a lad came and sat at the table going on about scousers killing each other. I said 'what do you know about that?' He said 'haven't you read the papers, didn't you see what The Sun said, robbing scousers.' I said 'what do you know?' He said 'what's up with you, what do you know about it?
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:03 pm

"I went to school on the Monday. My eyes would fill up, I was thinking, what am I doing here? A lad walked into the common room and said 'have you heard what's going round? What's Liverpool fans favourite song? Take my breath away.' One teacher said I should go to Liverpool. I found it hard. I felt like I wasn't part of it, people didn't expect me to have been there. I wanted to speak to someone who was there. A lot of people outside of Liverpool didn't hear consistent accounts, so when the papers were out they believed them. I felt guilty. If I could have died but someone else got out, I'd have been happy with that.

"For a long time I wanted to go round bereaved families and say 'sorry I'm here. I survived and I'm sorry.' I wanted to find out if the bloke I helped had died or survived. I'd study pictures looking for him. My dad had asked a solicitor about suing someone but they said I hadn't got a claim because I hadn't died.

"I started work in a bank in November 1989. I thought I was fine at the time. When I went into the safe I was sweating. I'd make excuses so I wouldn't have to go down there. No-one knew how to cope. I told my gran I'd sat in the seats. I wasn't doing very well at work. Reports said I was in a daze, that I was distant.

"It came to the first anniversary. Me and a lad were going to drive up and stay in a bed and breakfast. I went to work and said I wanted the time off. The manager said no. I told him I was at Hillsborough. He still said no. He said 'why do you want to remember it.' I said if I didn't get the day off, I would be ill.' He said if I did, I wouldn't be working there much longer. I got a mate to do a solicitors letter saying I was suing the club and I had to up and see the solicitors. The manager said he didn't believe the paper it was printed on but I could have the day off but to take it off next year's holiday. One lad at work said 'The Sun said you were pickpocketing, they don't print lies.' A year on, the only thing he could remember was The S*n."

Taken from:

Heres what .tv's very own commentator Steve Hunter had to say:
Steve Hunter on Hillsborough
Steve Hunter
April 15th 1989 is a day that all Liverpool fans and football in general can and should not forget.

It was a day when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives. Yes, people from all walks of life and different ages losing their lives at a football match.

I was there that day and to this day I still don't know how I survived the disaster, and I still find it hard to come to terms with just how 96 fans lost their lives at a football match.

We need the Hillsborough Memorial service to remember the 96 and we want JUSTICE! Think of the families and friends of those who died. It must be unbearable at times and the campaign for justice is a way they can keep up the fight and quite rightly so. I have the highest admiration for Trevor Hicks and the Hillsborough Families Support Group. That guy lost two daughters at Hillsborough and that must be simply unbearable. I hope one day in mine and your lifetime that we see justice for the 96.

Just how and why the Hillsborough Disaster happened is something you could go on all day and all week about but the bottom line is it should never have happened, and no-one is prepared to accept responsibility for it. That still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and that is why the campaign for justice must go on. We can't forget it and those football fans of opposing teams throughout this country and the world must know why we cannot forget it.

In the week leading up to the game the build up in Liverpool was gearing up to fever pitch. As a season ticket holder in the Paddock I used to sit right behind my hero Kenny Dalglish's dug-out and I remember queuing up to get my tickets.

For the semi-final at Hillsborough the previous season I was sitting in the stands but this time I remember that my serial number on my season ticket only qualified me for a standing up ticket. That didn't matter though; this was the semi-final of the FA Cup and a chance for Kenny's heroes to do the double again. I wasn't going to miss this game for the world.

I did have a slight apprehension though I have to say because I remember a friend telling me that the previous season that the Leppings Lane enclosure was a little crushed to say the least.

One thing which still annoys me is I have never found an explanation why Liverpool were not allocated the Sheffield Wednesday Kop. FACT, Liverpool have a much bigger fan base than Nottingham Forest and a higher average attendance, and as I say there was a massive demand for tickets.

The explanation I heard on television from the FA and the police was the large standing capacity Kop was easier for the Forest fans to arrive and depart from on the motorway. Now I'm sorry but that doesn't wash with me. It didn't then, it doesn't today and it never will do. Liverpool awarded the small away end for a semi-final with Nottingham Forest was nothing short of scandalous.
The coach journey I took with my mate from Liverpool saw all Liverpool fans in a confident frame of mind that we were going to beat Forest again, and there was the prospect of a second all Merseyside FA Cup Final.

We were all singing and all the talk was 'Would Rush be back and would he replace Aldo in the team?'

We hit heavy traffic but this was normal on FA Cup semi-final day and we arrived at Hillsborough at 1.30pm. When we went through the Leppings Lane turnstile at around 1.45pm it was quite congested but nothing out of the ordinary. Now I remember from previous visits that the standing areas of the away end consisted of three entrances. One for the middle behind the goal and then two to the left and right standing areas.

I asked the steward inside the ground could I go to the left or right corner standing areas and was told in no uncertain terms NO and I must walk down the middle.

So reluctantly me and my mate did and I noticed that at 1.55pm it was absolutely jam packed with no room to manoeveur and we ended up standing sideways holding on to a rail at the back of the stand. Then the Liverpool team came out to warm up and you literally could not see the goal. I saw a glimpse of Alan Hansen warming up and everyone was singing 'Jockey is back' as this was to be Big Al's first game of the season, and Rushie was back on the bench too.

Gradually more fans were piling in to the away section where I was and the feeling was uncomfortable and scary. I was thinking to myself surely whoever was letting these extra fans in could see what was happening, as the corner standing areas were half empty.

I didn't see the teams come out, I just heard a big roar and then we all know what happened next. The next five or so minutes were to be the most harrowing and heart renching experience of mine and every Liverpool fans lives.

We were all oblivious to the fact that there was crushing outside the stadium and that the police had ordered the gates to be opened so everyone would rush inside. When a hoard of fans came down the tunnel I couldn't believe what I was seeing. To say I felt like a sardine in a tin would be an understatement.

I was hanging on to this rail for dear life and then the pressure of fans trying to get through took it's toll and I could hang on no longer. I was swept down the middle and I ended up on the floor and honestly thought I was going to die. How those poor fans at the front must have felt brings tears to my eyes as I'm writing this piece.

I was on the floor with bodies trampling all over the top of me. I was knocked unconscious then dazed I heard someone shout 'christ, there's a lad collapsed down here, let's get him out.' The next thing I knew I was lifted over the top of the perimeter fencing and when I regained my senses I found myself on the pitch witnessing the aftermath of your worst ever nightmare. It's not even a nightmare is it to be honest, it was pure hell and I was living it. I mean you just don't go to watch a game you love and fear for your life.

For the fans sitting in the stands above it must have been unbearable too seeing what was happening before their very eyes, and trying to help people climb up to escape the crush.

I just remember being in a complete daze walking around the pitch seeing a collapsed fence with dead bodies all on the floor. It was a horrible experience and I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Now what happened to my mate I didn't know, and it was some four hours before I met up with him again on a coach. He didn't know how he survived it either. I thought he was dead and vice versa. It was only when I was best man at his wedding last year that I thought 'This day might not have happened.'

The coach journey back was one of disbelief and pure anger. As Radio 2 was telling us how many people had died and our coach was going from hospital to hospital, the empty spaces on a coach that had previously been full told it's own story.

Then the next day as if April 15th 1989 hadn't been bad enough we saw absolutely appalling pictures in the Sun newspaper. I didn't get that paper that day and it was only when I saw on the tv people condemning it I realised just how sickening a national newspaper had dragged themselves down to.

Kenny Dalglish deserved a medal for what he did for the people after Hillsborough, and the players and backroom staff including our assistant manager Phil Thompson were absolutely fantastic. They went to funerals and talked to the families and survivors offering comfort and trying to help people get on with their day to day lives.

Anfield was a shrine and the Kop was littered with scalfs and banners all paying their respects. When football resumed it was fitting Liverpool's first game was against Dalglish's old club Celtic in a friendly and the atmosphere in Celtic was just something else, when the whole 60,000 crowd were singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in unison.

It was fitting that the FA Cup Final was against Everton and it was fitting that we won it for the 96. The emotion of that game was just unbelievablethough and when Gerry Marsden came on the pitch to sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' I bet everyone in that ground must have shed a tear. I did and singing that anthem while holding back the tears was hard but we did it for the 96 so they could hear us.

So the years have come and gone since then and for the families of the victims it doesn't get any easier. How can it?

Now working my dream job as a kid of commentating on Liverpool matches, for Liverpool Football Club's official website, I always think back to that day and say I was one of the lucky ones to survive it. Hundreds were not and that is just so wrong. That is why Hillsborough is something we should never ever forget.

RIP the 96, and in the words of Rodgers and Hammerstein as Gerry Marsden took to the Kop, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

April 15th 1989, saw the worst disaster in the history of English football; 96 Liverpool fans attending their team's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground, Hillsborough, were crushed to death on the Leppings Lane terrace, and English football would never be the same again.
The disaster was basically caused by the failure of South Yorkshire Police to control a large crowd of Liverpool fans outside the Leppings Lane End, and the poor state of the ground, but it was also clear that football's total failure to learn from the numerous disasters that had afflicted it during the twentieth century, and a police force conditioned to view supporters as potential hooligans and so always expecting violence, contributed significantly to the 96 deaths and many hundreds of injuries.

Liverpool had been allocated the Leppings Lane End of the ground, and it was outside this end from, about 2.30pm that a large crowd of fans had built up. Fans were also delayed on their way to the game by roadworks on the M62 motorway. Warnings issued as far back as 1927 about the need to prevent a large build-up of supporters were ignored, and a sizeable crowd of thousands of Liverpool fans was allowed to build up outside the Leppings Lane End, leading to increasing congestion and then crushing at the front. Stewarding was also described as poor at this end of the ground. The police later claimed that fans had been drinking excessively.
The Leppings Lane gates led into a concourse: from this, fans could enter a main tunnel that fed into pens three and four of the terrace. Additionally, there were access points to the left and right of the tunnel that led to the other pens on the Leppings Lane terrace. As the sections immediately behind the goal, pens three and four were the most popular and were already full over twenty minutes before kick-off, a fact noticed by BBC commentators in their build-up to the game, and by match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckinfield watching events from the police control box. Meanwhile, the crowd outside continued to build, with little effort made to prevent the numbers outside the gates swelling any further: the crushing outside was becoming progressively worse, police horses were becoming agitated, and 2.47pm, thirteen minutes before kick-off, police officers outside the Leppings Lane End radioed to Duckinfield (in charge of his first major match), informing him that the crushing was becoming severe, and that people were going to die if the gates were not opened to relieve the pressure. After a brief delay, Duckinfield ordered that Gate C be opened, and close on 2,000 Liverpool fans were directed through the gates into the concourse.

By now however, pens three and four were already over-congested; fans streamed into the tunnel, and then into pens three and four, creating a massive crush and trapping supporters at the front of the pens against the steel perimeter fence. Some estimates claim that there were twice the number of supporters in pens three and four than they were designed to cope with. The resultant crush became unbearable, with the fans at the back unable to see that the pens were already full, and the fans at the front already starting to show signs of distress and asphixiation.
Fans started to try and climb the fences to escape the pens, and some were lifted out of the pens by supporters in the tier above the terrace, but the crushing was becoming fatal as the game kicked off. Fans tried to attract the attention of police officers, but were unable to do so, and later complained that some supporters trying to escape the pens had been pushed back into the crowd by officers who seemed to think they were dealing with an attempted pitch invasion. Other fans reported shouting to police officers to open the gates, but simply being ignored. By 3.05pm, fans managed to alert Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, who in turn pointed out the problem to the referee, as fans were already making their way over the fences before collapsing on the side of the pitch. The players were taken off at 3.06, and the emergency operation began, with Liverpool fans ripping up advertising hoardings to use as stretchers. It was becoming clear that this was going to be a major disaster, and there was later criticism of police officers who stood in a line across the half-way line, apparently to prevent any "charge" by Liverpool fans against the Forest supporters at the other end of the ground. Other junior officers climbed from pen two into pen three in an effort to help the victims by now piled up everywhere inside the pen, while others desperately tried to pull down the perimeter fence.
The game was abandoned at half-time, with fans, junior police officers and the emergency services still trying to get the injured to hospital, with some people still being admitted as late as 4pm. But in total, 95 fans died in the next couple of days, young, old, male, female. One more supporter, Tony Bland, died after spending four years on a ventilator machine.

At 3.15pm, Graham Kelly, chief executive of the Football Association, had gone to the police control box, where he was told by Duckinfield that Liverpool fans had rushed the gate into the ground, creating the fatal crush in pens three and four, despite the fact that he had ordered the gate opened.

At 4.15pm, Kelly was interviewed by the BBC, and he told them the police had implied to him that the gates had been opened unauthorised. The story flashed around the world that drunken Liverpool fans had forced the gates open, and it was splashed all over the newspapers the following morning. The suggestion that Liverpool fans were responsible for the disaster was picked up most strongly later that week by the 'Sun' newspaper, who ran maybe their most infamous headline on the personal instruction of editor Kelvin McKenzie. Acting on information from unnamed police officers, and entitled "The Truth", the 'Sun' claimed that drunken fans had forced the gates open because they did not have match-tickets, that they stolen from the corpses lying on the pitch, assaulted police officers and the emergency services, stolen cameras and other equipment from press photographers, and urinated on police officers helping the victims. Months later, the "Sun" admitted that the allegations were totally false, but it had already generated headlines all over the world, and the damage had been done.

The failure to close or block the tunnel leading into the already full pens three and four once the police had ordered Gate C to be opened was the immediate cause of the disaster, but the public inquiries set up by the Thatcher Government under Lord Justice Peter Taylor found, more generally, that football had simply not learned anything from the numerous disasters in its past, that it and the police were so obsessed with the threat of violence that they were unable to spot people in genuine danger of their lives, that police fundamentally lost control of the situation, and did not demonstrate the leadership expected of senior officers, that safety procedures were inadequate, that the ground was badly maintained and dangerous, that fans were routinely treated with contempt by football, and that fans had been the victims rather the guilty party. His reports, published in August 1989 and January 1990, dismissed the allegations against Liverpool supporters for the disaster, and called instead for a total rethink in the industry's attitudes towards fans, and on the issue of safety. It also highlighted the failures by local authorities to check safety certificates for stadia (Sheffield Wednesday had redeveloped parts of the ground without obtaining a new safety certificate, or telling the emergency services: the result was that the safety certificate was outdated and useless, and that plans Sheffield Wednesday had developed with the local emergency services could not be put into practice, as the layout of the ground had changed). Specifically, Taylor recommended the closure of terraces at all grounds, new safety measures on exits and entrances, and a new advisory committee on stadium design to ensure that best practice was followed. Crucially, Taylor also recommended that the Government's Identity Card scheme (whereby all fans would have to have a membership card to get into a ground) be dropped, on grounds of safety, a suggestion that the Government reluctantly carried out. Taylor's report did not have the force of law, and not all his recommendations were carried out, but his work in identifying the wider reasons for the disaster has been acknowledged as one of the most significant turning points in the history of English football. The result was the total transformation of British stadia, paid for in large part by tax-payers' money, with terraces at grounds in the top two divisions closed by May 1994, and new safety regulations and regimes put in place at every stadium.

The controversy over the disaster has not subsided: Thatcher's Press Secretary, Bernard Ingham, has frequently repeated the allegations made by the 'Sun', as did Brian Clough (Nottingham Forest manager on the day of the disaster) some five years later; a boycott of the 'Sun' on Merseyside (that still goes on to this day) has cost its parent company News International tens of millions of pounds in lost revenue; new Government enquiries were ordered to see if there was a case for criminal prosecutions (undertaken by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith); television documentaries and academics have alleged a systematic police cover-up (written evidence from junior officers to the Taylor enquiry was altered by superiors, for instance); and until 1999, Sheffield Wednesday refused to erect a memorial at the ground to the victims (leading to Liverpool fans boycotting Hillsborough in season 1998-99). Finally, in 2000, families of the victims brought
a private, civil prosecution against Duckinfield and his deputy Bernard Murray, for manslaughter.Murray was acquitted, but the jury were unable to reach a verdict in the case of Duckinfield, and the judge prevented a re-trial. Nonetheless, the Hillsborough Justice campaign remain determined to pursue the truth of what happened that day. Over a decade later, Hillsborough remains a highly controversial issue, with its effects most obvious at every stadium in the country.

Justice For The 96.

Wear Your Hillsborough Justice Campaign Badge with Pride.

Superb thread Andy, For years and years I "locked" Hillsborough in the back of my mind, I tried to forget about it.
It was only once I'd joined this very web-site that I noticed threads concerning the Hilsborough Justice Campaign, and its supporters posting memories and threads concerning HJC fundraising activities. Tommy (Samdoddsreds) and Steve (Redboywonder) amongst others posted their thoughts and dedicatons about mates they lost that fateful day.

The tears ran down my face as I read these threads, something inside me said "put your memories down in writing". I then put my own memories down in writing for the very first time after all those years.

"I have never considered putting my memories of that fateful day into words, but after reading Tommy's post I feel obliged to try.

Before I do, can I just tell you something about me and my brother (this will become clearer later). I'm over 6 feet 2 and my brother is 6 feet 5, we are both large people and both a bit fat.
We had been in the Leppings Lane before the Forest game. Liverpool V Sheff Wed a couple of times in the League and Liverpool V Arsenal (FA Cup semi final).
During the Arsenal semi final, at one point during the game, both of us (along with all the other people in that pen) lost our feet. I mean the pressure of the crowd actually moved us sideways towards the middle, fortunately we were able to retain our footing and nothing serious happened.
When Liverpool were drawn against Forest and the venue was announced as Hillsborough, I can remember Peter Robinson saying Liverpool should be allocated the Kop end and Forest given the Leppings Lane end. We are a bigger Club than Forest and obviously have bigger support.
I think the Police intervened and said if this were to happen, the fans would "mix" together outside as Forest travelled up from the South side of the City and Liverpool entered from the North.
We set off via car very early that day and I think we hit roadworks when entering Sheffield. We parked up in a housing estate about three miles from the ground and had plenty of time to walk up.
As we walked closer and closer to the ground with other Liverpool supporters, it seemed odd that very few people stopped off to visit the pubs we walked past. We decided not to bother having any beer and got some coke and snacks from a local shop.
We turned into Leppings Lane and made our way into the ground. As you may recall we had been here before, we entered the terraces via the right hand entrance at the side. We even had time to go back down to the gents and then get some coffees.
As time moved on, it was obvious other people had looked and learnt like us. It was cramped in the side section and very hot. Liverpool attacked the Kop end and I think Peter Beardsley had a shot that was either saved by their goalie or maybe hit the bar.
It was then that it happened, an almighty surge from the Liverpool crowd in the middle section. We thought a barrier had been uprooted, and then it struck home.
Liverpool supporters were climbing onto the steel fences in the front screaming at the police to open the locked gates, I even saw police pushing and hitting supporters back down into the terrace, they had no idea what was going on.
As time passed, we helped what seemed like hundreds of Liverpool fans climb into our area of the ground. Each one screaming at the Police for not opening the gates, each one telling us people had died.
Eventually they opened the gates and lots of the crowd got onto the pitch, to ease the pressure. Christ!!! What a sight. I’d seen dead bodies before but nothing like this, it was carnage. If I live to be 100, I will never forget what I saw that day.
Some fans started putting bodies onto advertising boards and carried them up to the Main Stand, instinctively we helped to. Time stood still, I have no idea what time we got out the ground but can remember a Sheffield bloke giving us a cup of tea and letting us phone home to let our loved ones know we were ok.
The drive home seemed like forever, it was very quiet.
As day’s passed by Liverpool opened the ground so that people could pay their condolences to the 96. The first time I walked into Anfield tears ran down my face, we walked up to the Kop to our usual place and just stood and looked the full horror of Hillsborough struck home.
Scarf’s, flags, football shirts from any team you could mention where spread out on the Spion Kop it was an awesome sight. The most moving sight I have ever seen in my life has to be the thousands of bouquets laid on the Kop end side of the pitch, how a tragedy like this could produce something so beautiful. I visited Anfield four times during that period, each time the Kop and the pitch grew into something more beautiful and more incredible. It was ablaze of colour, red and white, blue and white and a sea of flowers.
As time passed Liverpool FC announced they would play their first football game against Glasgow Celtic away as a mark of respect. You may recall last year, I told you years and years ago I got badly beaten up by Celtic supporters; another ghost had to be laid to rest.
The game was on a Sunday, we didn’t have tickets and set off by car early that Sunday morning. I was a bag of nerves each mile we got nearer to Glasgow my stomach tightened and tightened and I remembered last time.
We arrived in Glasgow and surprisingly found a car park very close to the ground.
There were hundreds and hundreds of Liverpool supporters already there, my heart missed a beat when one of the lads said lets go for a beer. We got inside some Celtic pub which was half full of Liverpool fans. We got a bevy and managed to find a speck to sit down.
A huge green and white honey monster of a Glasgow Celtic supporter pulled up a chair and sat with us, I was petrified. He and his mates turned out to be fantastic people, they didn’t ask if we wanted a drink, they insisted we let them get them in. They would not let us return the compliment. The honey monster was called Dave what a great person he was / is.
We left the pub and headed for the ground with our new found friends. We approached the Liverpool end and said thanks for the company, we are going in here.
Dave and his mates said don’t go in there, come around here with us, you will enjoy it better. We walked around the ground and joined the line to get into “The Jungle”. Loads of Liverpool fans were ahead of us, so we went in. It must have taken us 10 minutes to get onto the terrace, most of the Celtic supporters kept hugging us and saying they feel for us.
We got onto the terrace to be greeted with a Liverpool banner in our end which said something like “The people of Merseyside would like to thank the people of Glasgow for your support during these difficult times”. As kick off approached the noise from the Liverpool end grew and grew, then it happened.
Celtic supporters and Liverpool supporters began to sing you’ll never walk alone together, the tears flowed from all of us and our new found Celtic mates. Surely one of the most moving sights we had ever experienced.
The game from what I can remember was a slow tempo affair, Liverpool won 4.0
I think, each Liverpool goal was celebrated with more pleasure by the Celtic fans. After the game the big drive home, Dave and his mates walked back to the car with us, as we walked back Celtic supporters hung their Celtic scarves on us shaked hands and winked.
Dave gave me his Celtic shirt and I gave him my Liverpool scarf that I had had for years and years. Some years later we met up with Dave and the lads at Rushies testimonial and repaid his kindness by treating them to some Liverpool hospitality. We even turned up at Southalls testimonial and met them then.
The tragedy at least helped me to learn to trust and respect Celtic supporters, brilliant people I’ll never forget you.
Once the Reds were ready to play football again, we played Everton at Goodison in a night game. Somehow we managed to get tickets for the Everton end, it was full of Liverpool and Everton supporters. The flag we had seen in Glasgow was displayed from the top tier of the Park End stand.
The banter between the two sets of supporters was good, just before the game started we had a minute’s silence which was impeccably adhered to and they played “You’ll never walk alone” over the Everton tannoy system.
Of course the ground was awash with a sea of red and white, and then the Everton supporters behind us held their blue and white scarfs up and joined in to sing
“You’ll never walk alone”.
Grown men Liverpool and Everton supporters were crying side by side as our anthem boomed out at Goodison. It’s a shame so much bitterness has crept into our relationship with some Everton fans, lets hope time can heal their bitterness towards us.

I hope you understand that I wrote this amended version to try explain not just my experience and thoughts, but to try and express the thoughts of other Liverpool supporters just like me from that era.

The 96 victims.
These people were like you and me, just normal honest supporters very proud to be called Liverpool supporters, lucky and proud to get hold of tickets for the match.
They didn’t deserve to die that afternoon and as long as Liverpool Football Club is in existence, they will never be forgotten by you and me.

John Alfred Anderson (62)
Thomas Howard (39)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Alan Johnston (29)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Simon Bell (17)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
Richard Jones (25)
David John Benson (22)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
David William Birtle (22)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Tony Bland (22)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Paul David Brady (21)
Carl David Lewis (18)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
David William Mather (19)
Carl Brown (18)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
David Steven Brown (25)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
John McBrien (18)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Alan McGlone (28)
Joseph Clark (29)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Clark (18)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Gary Collins (22)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
Jonathon Owens (18)
James Philip Delaney (19)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
Christopher Edwards (29)
David George Rimmer (38)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Barry Glover (27)
Colin Andrew Hugh
William Sefton (23)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Inger Shah (38)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip Hammond (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
Eric Hankin (33)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Gary Harrison (27)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
David Hawley (39)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Colin Wafer (19)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Graham John Wright (17)

Lest we forget.

Thank you Dave, Glasgow Celtic and the genuine Everton supporters.

We never walked alone and will never do so.

One Life, One Love, One Liverpool FC."

The pain and the anguish flowed like the tears that covered me and the key-board in front. After a couple of smokes, I posted my thoughts and the response was heart warming to say the least.

I would have never suspected that by posting your inner most personal thoughts on a message board, would help others and indeed myself?

I soon realised the fight for Justice carries on?, I had read a few articles in the local press, but wanted to know more. Thanks to people on here, my education began and still continues.

I thought awhile?. I feel better talking to people on here and sharing our experiences together. I wonderd how the people directly involved, those who lost loved ones, must feel.

I like many, wanted to know more?

Thankfully people, no friends? have directed me to the various sources of Hillsborough information, and with threads like Andy's I hope you to will too will continue to support the fight for JUSTICE.

By posting informative threads such as this, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign will grow stronger, and will gain even more supporters from all over the World. Justice can only ever be achieved once the truth of Hillsborough is out in the public domain, the truth of the victims, the bereaved and the survivors.

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign openly encorages to create a community that embraces its supporters, this will continue to be developed throughout the various Liverpool FC message boards.

Everyone is welcome to take a look around the shop, and indeed make it a "meeting place" before each home game. Facilities are available upstairs for hot drinks etc.

The following was written by Peter Carney of the HJC, and to me sums up our support perfectly.

WHY WE WALK ON (or why have a Justice Campaign)

WE WALK with hope in our hearts and friends at our side in a struggle to continue challenging the verdicts and opinions which contradict the living experiences of those who survived pens 3 & 4 and the who were bereaved by the storm we have come to know as HILLSBOROUGH.

WE WALK ON in order to show our challenge continues through Anne Williams efforts to have the cause and verdicts on Kevin’s death overturned, to show that survivors still suffer the ill effects of the disaster and challenge the legal lice who ripped us off when we needed their help.

WE WALK ON to continue our challenge to the rancid rag and their rugger rat mates, who spit in our face when all we ask for is the real truth to be told.

WE WALK ON to show solidarity and share proper Sun shine with those we know have had to face a similar struggle. Like the father arrested at Walton while his infant child was taken to Alder Hey, or the mother who was taken to Styal, while her infants lay helpless, all killed by a condition which even the new DNA project will take more than a lifetime to unravel or understand.

WE WALK ON to gather and gain support from each other, support from the likes of you here today, support from those who will still listen, support from those who have made donations, support from those who have organised or taken part in auctions, football tournaments, half marathons, support from those who have bought a book or a badge or a T-shirt.

WE WALK ON because we know with your support we CAN get stronger about how we feel, and clearer about what we need to say or do. WE WALK ON because we know WE CAN change the experience, verdicts and tales of Hillsborough, WE CAN change the minds of FHM magazine and gain a retraction from Michael Moore, WE CAN open a shop of our own, and with the help of friends like you, WE CAN continue to show that our living experience is the REAL TRUTH ABOUT HILLSBOROUGH.



When the fight for Justice finally suceeds, as it surely must, it is YOU who support the HJC who will be able to hold your heads up hiigh.

Our 96 fellow supporters Never walked alone.

Through the storm
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:04 pm

I like you Mottman was also at the first semi of 1980, against Arsenal,and being 13 and not very tall,needed to sit on the barrier to get a view of the game.As we looked at the pitch from the Leppings Lane, I was in the right sided pen nowhere near the middle and it was absolute chocker.I don't think I spent more than 10 minutes during the whole ninety on the barrier and subsequently didn't see much of that game.Also coming out of the ground that day in the right hand corner,was a nightmare.If a remember rightly there is a brick wall on the right and as the people going out were channelled through the gap I actually left the floor for a few yards it was that bad.Ironically going to the match in the car,Arthur,the bloke who used to take me asked the other 2 lads with us,who had stand tickets,would they swap with me.No surprise they declined.
Anyway,in '89,I went to the match with 2 mates.I had a ticket for the Stands this time,the one that runs the length of the pitch(north?) and they had tickets for the Leppings Lane terracing.
We got on the Eavesway coach and set of for Sheffield in good time.We took the route through Manchester and over the Pennines and we had got within half an hour of Sheffield with about an hour and half to two hours before kick-off when the coach was stopped by the Police waiting at the side of the road.We was duly informed by the Police that we weren't allowed to continue into Sheffield on our current path and we were diverted towards the M1,as we had to go into Sheffield this way in case we ended up entwined with the Forest fans.Pretty feeble excuse I thought at the time as there was no expectation of trouble and we were on a coach.
So we had to make our way to the M1 and join the hundreds of other travellers in the expected back-ups etc etc.Time was getting on and people on the coach were getting worried we wasn't going to make the kick off.We actually parked up in Sheffield on a steeply inclined main road that leads towards the stadium about 20 mins from kick-off and about one to one and a half miles from the ground.
So it was off the bus,no time for a pee and started to leg it to the ground.Due to me having a stand ticket and my mates terracing the idea was for me to swap the ticket for a terrace one so I could join my mates.Due to the lack of time this didn't happen.We headed for the turnstiles and couldn't understand why I had to go through the same turnstiles as my mates,as I was in a different part of the ground.
When we walked down the terraced street towards the turnstiles there seemed utter confusion and there was hundreds of Reds bottlenecked at the bottom.We just joined the back of the huddle as there was no orderly queing to the turnstiles like we were used to at the back of the Kop.All the Police just seemed to be congregated in the right hand corner where the exit is.So we joined the huddle but didn't seem to be getting any nearer the gates and by this time there were hundreds behind us if not thousands.It was like being in the middle of the Kop on Derby day,and there were moments your feet left the ground.Somehow,with a bit of manouevering here and there,and also losong my mates, I managed to get to a turnstile and made my way through it and headed towards the left into the stand I was sitting.A check of my watch and it was kick-off time and you could hear the roar of the crowd.I was situated at the Kop end of the stand and as I got to my seat either moments before or later Beardsley hit the bar.Didn't realise too much was wrong,then noticed the Forest fans booing.That was when we saw the Liverpool fans in the middle sections of the Leppings Lane trying to get out.Initial thoughts were that there was going to be trouble as the Forest fans kept booing and singing "get off the ******* pitch" obviously not realising what was happening.The teams had left the pitch at this stage.There was a few Liverpool fans ran down the pitch towards the Kop end furious with the Forest fans because they did know what was happening but the Police averted any trouble.
What happened next was surreal,it was like watching a movie,as if I was watching myself watching the rest unfold.There was pandemonium at the front of the terracing,there were people being pulled up into the stand above and no-one near us were non the wiser as to what was going on.There was no announcement on the Tannoy for a while and we just stood there watching supporters carrying fans on the makeshift stretchers into the corner where I was sitting.I haven't a clue how long this was going on for but one thing was for sure,it was serious.I don't even thing the game had been called off at this stage,I still think we were waiting for a decision.The fans on the stretchers kept coming and coming,there seemed to be hundreds of them.
Eventually the game was called off and I decided to leave the stand and head back to the coach and hopefully find my 2 mates.On the way back there was a lot of cufuffle as to what had happened and also heard that people had died.DIED,I thought,and you get that feeling rushing through your body,your hairs standing on yer arms,gut wrenching.
Got back to the coach and there were my 2 mates sat on somebodies garden wall outside the coach.You couldn't imagine the relief inside me.The kind woman let anyone and everyone inside her house to phone home and to tell them they were safe.Still at this time the size of the tragedy was not known,there were rumours of people dying and it was only when I spoke to my mates did I realise exactly what was going on.They managed to get into the ground and headed for the centre tunnel into the terracing.They described what it was like,ten times worse than being in the Kop,and that there were bent barriers and fencing.We had to wait a while before we could leave as Eavesway didn't want to leave without anyone,unfortunately we did and had to go home one light.
On the way home the coach was like a morgue,everyone just staring out of the window,with the news on in the background,explaining the enormity of the disaster,updating us on how many people had died.Everytime a new number of dead come up on the radio,there was gasps,expletives,shock,horror.We came back through Manchester and I can remember staring at the people walking past,who were staring back at us,as it was obvious who we were and where we'd been due to the replica shirts etc,and there faces were shocked and in horror,christ knows what we looked like.
Don't know what time we got home but my mum was rather glad to see me although she knew I was alright,but then I had to make about 20 phonecalls to friends and family who had all seen the pictures on TV and had rung up to see if I was there and was I alright.

Life was a bit numb after that day,with people saying we shouldn't carry on and people saying we should.Not sure which camp I was in at the time,but more than likely the one that went with what the Families and the Club wanted.Went down to Anfield on a Saturday afternoon,the last day I think it was open,and queued for hours from the Stanley car park round the streets and eventually into Anfield itself.Once onto the pitch and laying my favourite scarf onto the pitch I just couldn't hold onto my emotions anymore,and for the first time,as a 22 year old I openly cried in public.I wasn't on my own.

15 April ‘89 I sat, eyes glued to the screen
Some of the most horrifying sights I had ever seen
Living thousands of miles away, I did not know
About the lies printed so very long ago.

June 89 I spent one day in Liverpool
Didn’t pay my respects – you can call me a fool.
The same thing happened in August 95
Call me one of the biggest idiots alive.

Then one sunny April day three years ago
I read a tribute book about Hillsborough
The tears down my face started to flow
Because I didn’t know, I didn’t know.

So many children among the dead, how could this be
Was one of the very first things that occurred to me.
Read more and more about that sad tragic day
The aftermath – what the papers had to say.

Astounded at the S*n and all its heinous lies
A rag that I now totally loathe and despise
Other papers joined in – among them the St*r
But the S*n was the worst offender by far.

Kelvin MacKenzie, may you burn in hell
And Rupert b****y Murdoch as well.
As for Duckenfield and Murray
One day, one day surely you’ll pay!

Amidst the tragedy, a man showed just how humane
He was, sharing his Red family’s sorrow and pain
King Kenny, surely a giant among men
Hillsborough took its toll on him in the end.

14 years on, justice is still denied
The S*n has yet to admit that it lied
Yet the families, the mourning kin
Of the 96 will never give in

Reds the world over, be you from Shanghai,
Malaysia, Norway, Ireland, or Dubai
You can join in the fight for justice, you too can all play your part
Visit the HJC website, join the HJC – for a start!

Credit to all who have shared their feelings and memories of the day, and well done to all those who previously didn't understand what went on.

The original time this was posted was part of what inspired me to write poetry about Hillsborough, even though I wasn't there and only learnt the truth a few years ago:

96 Reasons.

96 people - far too great a number,
Life squeezed out of them, they went under.
Under the crush, with no means of escape,
No justice, though the events are all on tape.

Think just how large the number 96 is.
When you're thinking of that day remember this.
There were 12 disciples, it's a 7 year itch,
2 lottery draws each week to make people rich.

In each lottery draw 49 numbers going,
And each match we sing 'There's only 1 Michael Owen'.
But there's 96 stars that shine extra bright.
96 reasons we continue to fight.

It must have been awful to be around in the wake,
It wasn't a natural tragedy like an earthquake.
I don't think I'd have coped in the days and weeks after,
Trying to comprehend this man-made disaster.

Let down by those whose actions they were forced to trust,
Let down that day, and for years as the law turned to dust.
96 died and we all know who is to blame,
Cheif Superintendant Duckenfield, hang your head in shame.

Each time I go to the memorial, I am pained to see,
The names of more and more people who were younger than me.
The last time I counted it was 39,
It could have been me in a different time.

I stand and think to myself where would they be now,
Though I still struggle with the why and the how.
An unnecessary waste of lives filled with light,
96 reasons we continue to fight.

Mark Ballard - 2003

Justice for the 96 - Education is the key.

Rest in Peace.
I can’t rest Mum,
I’m so tired,
I need to rest in peace,

But I am restless here in heaven,
Because of those inept police,

The caused the worst disaster,
Then lied through their hind teeth,
Make them pay for what they did Mum,
We all require Justice.

Gate C was made for exits,
Not letting thousands in,
Pens three and four were crowded,
Yet they kept letting more and more in.

Oh why didn’t they direct them Mummy,
To the empty pens around,
As I felt my last breath going,
The screams were the only sound.

They made us pay too much Mum,
To watch that football game,
We paid the highest price Mum,
Yet nobody is to blame.

Keep fighting on for justice,
Keep telling the whole truth,
Don’t let that scum rag beat us,
We don’t deserve the pain they caused.

I can’t rest Mum,
I’m so tired,
I need to rest in peace,

By Mike Nicholson.

When we are young we are forced into education. why? So that we are prepared in any eventuallity in future life.

If someone asks us at 20 years old whats 5 times 5?, [most of us] can answer it.

When people dont know certain things about Liverpool football club, they will look them up - and you find once you do this, you very rarely forget.

I mean, if i thought hard enough, I could tell you the players that wore numbers 1-11 in the '86 FA cup final, or How many goals Ian Rush scored in 1989, if i didnt know i would do an internet search or look in my books, or I would ask a friend.

Education, and the finding of facts IS very, very important in life.

Can you remember a time when you were having an arguement with someone, and you absolutely 100% knew what you were saying was right, in fact you were so confident in what you were saying, that you almost felt happy and pleased cos you knew that anyone who was listening, would also know you were right, and also that you knew yourself. Its almost a buzz.

So why is it, that such a fundimental part of Liverpool Football Club, and Liverpool as a city is not know by its inhabitants, or fans - let alone the rest of the UK and world?

Is it because people just cant be bothered? Is it not interesting to know for some people? Is it too morbid? Do some people think that it will be of no use to them?

The subject - if you havent guessed - is Hillsborough, and the 15th April 1989. When 96 innocent football fans, and above that - sons, daughters, mums, dads, family and friends - died at a football match. A football match!. They were like millions of people each year, they went to enjoy a day out watching the team that they loved - the difference being - they never came home to hug there loved ones, or to chat about the game to their mates.

What you have to think is this:

If you were out and about, and someone said "Oh, you support Liverpool. Has anything ever happened about Hillsborough?"

Would you know what to say, or were to start?

If someone saw a HJC badge and asked what it was, or if someone was a red and was reading "The S*n", or if someone was mocking Hillsborough in any way, would you know what to say?

If you dont, why? There is no excuse not to have that feeling of warmth, that buzz of knowing that you are right, and that you can answer that question. Believe me, if you ever get the opportunity to do it, you will revel in it more than if you said "liverpool have won 4 europeans cups or 18 championships" or anything else. What you know and say goes a long way.

If you educate just one person, that one person has the ability to educate another, and so the cycle continues. Dont let yourself be in a situation where you really are stuck. Not only will you feel embaresses afterwards, but you will wish you knew.

Fair enough, you may panic of someone asks you what its all about, because its [admittedly] not an everyday question for most of us, but at least you will be able to fair reasonably well.

Just think: "Do I know enough?".

Its not bad to say no, people are here to help, to educate, and not mock.

If anyone wants to ask any questions I am sure there are a majority on here, including me, who would love to help.

The fight for JUSTICE relies on the truth being told, do you know enough?

Thanks for reading.


Haypark70 (may he rest in peace) posted this brilliant poem:
A sunny day
It's almost May
Spirits are high
A bright blue sky

The sun is shining
The players come out
But from the fans
Rings a different kind of shout.....

No joy can be found
In the shouts that we hear
The voices scream out -
Panic........ Fear..

Etched in the faces
Of both young and old
Desperation and tears
A horror untold

It happened so quick
Life lost in a flash
They stood not a chance
It happened too fast

Fathers and husbands
Never came home
Their wives and their children
Forever alone

Children - my God
No!.......not this way
Mothers will mourn
On this tragic day

Men, women, children
Stare blindly at the sky
No family around
To say.......goodbye.

The 'sun' gives no comfort
It now starts to burn
Treachery, lies
And not a concern

For the damage 'it' does
To the families left here
Twenty odd pence
A profit too dear

To the hearts that don't beat
That were stopped on 'that day'
But not for the 'rag'
Who still has to pay

Pay for it's 'crime'
The hate that it spawned
The lies that is spread
When the next day soon dawned.

Justice! Justice!
The voices cry out
But none in 'our' courts -
The judge expressed doubt

Justice! Justice!
The voices ring clear
But none from the 'S*n'
The cost is too dear

How can they rest?
The mothers still cry.
Their children, their 'life'
'Why did they die !'

....... No answers are given
No one will atone
Is it a wonder
They feel so alone?

We all will remember
Our fans garbed in red
To attest to the blood
Of those who are dead

We'll fight for those left
And let it be known
'Til the end of all days
They'll Never Walk Alone

Justice must be done
Never stop...
Until we have 'won'
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:05 pm

Anne Williams....
To Kevin.

I sometimes feel that I’m pulling you back Kevin, I don’t think that you’re resting in heaven, I know that you will see it from my point of view, after all the lies they told me about you.

When we first lost you Kevin, I just wanted to die, all I could do was sit and cry, people kept telling me that it would get better with time, I did not believe them, not with this loss of mine.

Everybody told me you had died straight away, I was glad you did not suffer that day. It was the day they held the inquest on you, to determine how you died, It was then I found out your injuries were the worst of the 95.

The police told me when you were in the gym, you opened your eyes and spoke a word. The policewoman was wrong, it was body wind she heard. Your injuries were so bad you could not have said “mum”. At 3.55 you could not have been alive.

I knew deep down you would have called my name, I believed what I wanted to ease the pain. After tracking down the people who helped you that day, I found out you were alive and ‘Mum’ was the word you did say.

I found out your injuries were not what they had said, they had lied because they wanted you dead. You were the awkward little boy Kevin, you did not fit into their plan, so they police changed the statements of the policewoman and policeman.

They did not care about our feelings and what telling lies could do. I needed to know everything that happened to you. You were just a boy who went to a football game, since that day our lives have never been the same.

You mean too much to us Kevin to be brushed away, I will fight for the truth of that dreadful day. So walk on Kevin and pray that we win, so that we can both have peace within.

Anne Williams

“My heart pumps for justice”
A line I once read:
Five short simple words yet
They stick in my head.

Said by a grieving father
Mourning for his son Ian.
Fighting bravely for justice
The best that he can.

Thirteen years have passed
He's lost another son.
But he won't give up
Until the fight is won.

There’s not much I can do
As a Red from afar,
Save to spread the word about
The S*n and the St*r.

Support the HJC
In their battle against the Scum
With the help of you and me
One day, we shall overcome!

This is the post I am referring to (written by John Glover)
Posted on RAOTL on 4 July 2001 by Hillsborough Justice Campaign:


For over 12 years now I have been fighting for Justice, and that continues. Particularly since the inception of the HJC we have a group that will carry that on till our experience is accepted as the way we see it, not a patched up contortion of circumstance put together to suit the perpetrators interests and suit the establishment.

For me the past couple of years has been turmoil because I have had to deal also with the death of another son, Joe, who was in Pen 3 with his killed brother, Ian. Joe was also crushed to death, working on a lorry. Joe was instrumental in the setting up of the HJC. He felt that survivors experiences were not accepted in the hfsg when he was a member of that group. He was inspired to set up the Hillsborough Justice Campaign who were a great help to our family when Joe died. The shame is the HJC was not set up straight after Ian and everyone else were killed."

Support the Hillsborough Justice Campaign

by Kevin Mahon:
I just had to put on record my feelings following my visit to Anfield on Saturday.
I went with my two sons and the wife but we could only get two tickets for the game. I insisted the boys used them with the self-sacrifice only a father would understand. They are, after all, the future heartbeat of the club.

We saw the boys to the turnstiles and bade them a goodbye and wished them a good game and then my wife and I spent some time walking slowly around the ground. (I was soaking up the atmosphere while she wondered just when her shopping trip would start)

We visited the Hillsborough Memorial and, as usual it was bedecked with scarves and mementoes of fans paying their respects.
There were several bunches of flowers and accompanying cards. We read them as we paused in front of the red marbled edifice for a time.

One was particlarly moving.

It commemorated the birthday of one of the boys who had died that awful day in Sheffield. It was a birthday card from his mother. It simply read:
"You would have been 32 this week. How I love and miss you still.
Happy Birthday, my beautiful Son."

Beside the card were two laminated photographs clipped together defiantly keeping out the autumnal drizzle. One was of a baby and the other of a fresh faced young man of approximately eighteen summers. They were of the same man and boy who had lost his life following his passion in the support of Liverpool Football Club.

We had just said goodbye to our beautiful sons (one aged 18 and the other 14) and saw them off into a football match. They were excited and full of anticipation. We were left behind, happy for them, pleased that they had had an opportunity to attend the game and looked forward to seeing them again soon after the match when we would be regaled with their accounts of the experience.

In that moment of reading the card written by a grieving mother, of listening to the roar of an excited crowd inside the ground and of waving goodbye to the flowers of our youth, we both felt the same leaden heartbeat of the mother who had lost her son.

We were deeply moved and clung to each other in a reassuring embrace. While we took some deep breaths and stepped back from the shrine, I looked with fresh eyes at the activity around the monument. Many Leicester fans paused respectfully and read the array of names. They were joined by Liverpool supporters and a hushed conversation sprang up between them, made comrades by the terrible event etched into the marble. Other fans wearing red who had obviously paid homage on numerous occasions rushed past but not without a revered nod of appreciation. Several made a point of touching the cold marble slab in passing rather like the players used to do so religiously of the "This is Anfield" sign in the tunnel.

We had drunk deeply at the well of human emotion. A well whose waters encompassed so many conflicting emotions of fear, love, tenderness, grief, compassion, respect and the surge of feeling part of something important in the lives of so many. It is a bitter-sweet concoction. How sweet it is to have had so many loved ones in our midst; we must always value what we have, and how bitter to have lost them so wantonly at the capricious decision to open those doors at the Leppings Lane end.

As far as we can accompany those left behind and grieving, I hope that they do feel that they will never walk alone. It's the only assurance we can give to that mother left with the warmth of her memories of her beautiful son.

God bless you.

As the day breaks,
I think of the day,
When 96 reds,
Were taken away.
Nineteen eighty nine,
April 15th,
Yet still here today,
We fight for justice.
We all know what happened,
But time numbs the rage,
About terrible lies,
Written on the front page.

About police making errors,
That cost us the pain,
Caused by 96 deaths,
In the hot Leppings lane.

And the lies that they told,
While our reds were still falling,
And that the cover up started,
To me was appalling.

Of the screams of the scared,
And the wheeze of the dying,
Of the thousands who helped,
And of the thousands stood crying.

Can you still shake with rage,
14 years on,
When you think of the lies,
Printed all in the s*n.

If you find that your feelings,
Are fading with time,
Please look through a book,
About 96 dying.

Or visit the website,
Read Aldo' and Kenny,
Of how everything went wrong,
And so badly for many.

Read about how,
Duckenfield opened a gate,
And how 96 reds,
Were consigned to their fate.

Read about lies,
And of cover ups a plenty,
So the coppers would walk,
While the Scousers felt empty.

I am sure you will find,
If you let yourself wonder,
That we must not give in,
We must fight on like thunder.

Out there somewhere,
Duckenfield craves,
The news that we’ve quit,
Fighting over 96 graves.

And that he can breathe now,
More easily,
With the sun on his face,
And forget all about,
His darkest disgrace.

By Mike Nicholson.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:06 pm

The blue of the sky,
The green of the grass,
The grey of the concrete,
That housed all of us.
The silver crush barriers,
All mangled and bent,
The bright white of heaven,
Where we were all sent.

The black in my head,
The tears in my eyes,
The feeling of anger,
And hatred, surprise.

For as I stood there,
Not able to breathe,
I saw no one help us,
From South Yorkshire Police.

I heard screams of pure terror,
Saw eyes buldge in pain,
I saw children to fragile,
To stand up again.

I saw people fall down,
In amounst all the fear,
But my body couldn’t manage,
One single more tear.

The red of the jersey’s.
The black of the ref,
Why did so many go,
Down that tunnel of death.

The sweet smell of perfume,
Entered my nose,
Just who did it come from,
Nobody knows.

As I feel myself lifting,
And floating away,
I look down in silence,
At the red Leppings Lane,

See police in the middle,
Not lifting a finger,
And smell the aroma,
Of the death that will linger.

Higher and higher,
I am now in the clouds,
But the screams and the suffering,
Is still everywhere around.

I’m almost at heaven,
Where Shanks’ sheds a tear,
He was made for this club,
That is shattered, and in fear.

So I ask you Mr Duckenfield,
How can you sleep?
When the red of the scarves,
Saw the web of deceit.

The black of the ref,
Was told your vicious lies,
About the blue of the gate,
As we lost 96 lives.

You admitted you lied,
And still got off free,
Now that doesn’t sound much,
Like justice to me.

Do you count lucky stars,
When you think of that case,
Co’s there’s 96 bright ones,
That call you a disgrace.

We were taught my our parents,
To respect the police,
But today’s kids just laugh at,
The South Yorkshire Police.

By Mike Nicholson

I open my eyes,
And everything’s right,
I’ll go and see friends,
or go out for the night.
But within seconds my brain,
Catches on with a rush,
Then the truth hits like lightening,
He’s been lost in that crush.

My morning thoughts turn,
From sunshine to rain,
And immediately sunshine,
Is replaced by the pain.

Those first few seconds,
When I first open my eyes,
Are the magical ones,
Full of hope and surprise.

But those seconds are fleeting,
As my brain clicks awake,
My son’s now in heaven,
I remember the wake.

All our friends cried like babies,
As The Pacemakers played,
And the vicar was kind,
Although visibly swayed.

You see not just my son,
Was lost on that day,
But 95 others,
On a warm April day.

But it doesn’t make sense,
They just went to see the reds,
So how can nearly a hundred,
End up dying instead.

The police were employed,
With a duty of care,
But they let us down badly,
Watching Reds’ dyin’ in there.

But they didn’t open gates,
At the front to relieve us,
No, they lied and they plotted,
To make sure they’d deceive us.

Co’s they’re South Yorkshire Police,
These ‘brave’ bobby’s in blue,
So how could this happen,
Well they know how, do you?

Yes those Scousers turned up,
With no tickets and late,
So the only way in,
Was to break down that gate.

Gate C was forced open,
To let in that crowd,
And they crushed their own people,
And the whole day was soured.

But the truth was far different,
From Duckenfield’s lies,
But the Sun picked up quickly,
And further damaged our lives.

On the Tuesday or Wednesday,
Just days after that day,
That evil scumbag Kelvin,
Set about us again.

It wasn’t enough,
That our siblings were cold,
And never allowed,
Again down our Anfield Road.

No Kelvin decided,
From what Duckenfield said,
That the Scousers were drunk,
And stole from the dead.

He decided to print,
The most damning of lies,
While our brother’s and sisters,
Were ripped from our sides.

No compassion was shown,
To the Merseyside Reds,
As they looked on in anguish,
By 96 lonely beds.

So remember absent friends,
When you turn out the light,
They were just like you and I,
Red loving, with all their might.

But the funny thing is,
If funny’s the word,
Ducker’s admitted he lied,
And everyone heard.

But the judge said if guilty,
He would still walk away,
Despite lying and cheating,
And killing that day.

So Justice is needed,
And justice is right,
And justice is the reason,
We continue to fight.

For what 96 angels,
Pray for this night and day,
Is that South Yorkshire Police,
Arrive at their judgement day.

By Mike Nicholson
From the Guardian
The S*n's circulation has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years after dropping nearly 5% in just 12 months, dealing a blow to Rebekah Wade who is this week celebrating a year in the editor's chair.
Sales of the tabloid newspaper fell below 3.3 million in December for the first time since January 1974, 4.95% down on the previous year.

It reached just 3,277,000, according to audited ABC figures, well down on the previous year but still well ahead of January 1974 when it last fell below the psychologically significant 3 million mark.

December is traditionally a slow month for newspaper sales and the Sun was by no means the worst performer.

But the figures will nonetheless come as a psychological blow for the paper, which has enjoyed a relatively stable circulation over the past three decades thanks in part to its aggressive pricing strategy.

More than 100,000 readers deserted the paper in December compared with the previous month, a fall of more than 3%.

This was more of a drop than any other national daily paper except the Daily Star and the Daily Express.

The 5% year-on-year drop will be particularly embarrassing for Wade, who took over last January and has spent the first week of this year watching arch-rival Daily Mirror dominate the news with its scoop that Princess Diana believed Prince Charles wanted her dead.

In the final year of her predecessor David Yelland's tenure the S*n's circulation increased by 4.2% to just under 3.5 million a day, while the Daily Mirror's fell by 0.75% to just over 2 million.

The one consolation for Wade will be that the Mirror's sales have fallen even further, dropping 6.5% year on year to 1.9 million last month.

The figures for both papers are particularly dramatic because they were artificially boosted by low prices in 2002.

The Mirror called a truce in its bitter price war with the S*n last spring, at the instigation of new Trinity Mirror chief executive, Sly Bailey.

The war, launched by the Mirror in May 2002, is estimated to have cost the Sun £65m. At its peak, more than 2 million copies of the paper were being sold at a discount.

No one at the S*n could be reached for comment.

May it long continue to drop
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:06 pm

The Forgotten Truth (The Police & Hillsborough)
Things you may not have known about the role of the police and The Hillsborough Disaster

· The initial response of the police was not to send for the emergency services, but to send for dog handlers as reinforcements.

· Fire engines- armed with crucial fence cutting equipment arrived at the football ground- but were turned away by the police.

· Fans who managed to climb over the perimeter fencing to escape onto the pitch, were pushed back by police officers. Gate 3, which opened onto the pitch, actually sprung open twice under the weight of the crush. Fans were pushed back in by police, who then closed the gate, again. Clearly the emphasis for the police was on crowd control rather than crowd safety.

· The Major-Accident vehicle, which was equipped for dealing with disasters, was not sent out until 3.29pm. When it arrived at the stadium however, it was unable to enter the ground as Sheffield Wednesday had made unreported structural changes to the stadium.

· Former police sergeant Martin Long was awarded an estimated £330,000 compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the tragedy. By comparison Anne Williams received £3,500 for her dead son Kevin. Thirteen years after the disaster survivors still contact the Hillsborough Justice Campaign for the first time, because they are still traumatised by the disaster. There have been a number of suicides of survivors.

· In October 1997, Lord Justice Stuart Smith chaired a scrutiny of evidence. At the beginning of the inquiry he turned to one of the bereaved and asked, “Have you got a few of your people? Or are they like the Liverpool fans- turn up at the last minute?”

· The police force that was in charge of investigating the disaster was The West Midlands Police Force. It included a former head of its Serious Crime Squad, which was disbanded the same year because of corrupt practices.

· Before the private prosecution of senior officers Duckenfield and Murray a Pre-hearing ruling was given by Justice Hooper (who presided over the case) that should the defendants be found guilty they would not go to prison.

· The inquiry into the disaster found that “The main cause of the Disaster was the breakdown of police control”.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:07 pm

April fifteenth, nineteen-eighty-nine.
Semi-final day, the weather was fine.
Set off for Hillsborough in our mini-bus.
Laughing and singing, all twelve of us.
Bevy in the alehouse. Reds having the crack.
We didn't know then some wouldn't come back.
Walked down the hill on the way to the ground.
This was dead weird, not many bizzies around.
There's normally hundreds. Usually loads.
They must all be busy blocking off the roads.
Forest fans in one way, Liverpool another.
Can't have them meeting. "Don't want the bother."
One bizzy on horseback shouting over the din.
"Stop ****** pushing. You'll all get in."
"Come on lads, they've opened a gate."
"Hurry up, we don't wanna be late."
Straight up the tunnel and into the dark.
Couldn't even see the players out there on the park.
Something's not right. This is all going wrong.
My ribs are getting crushed in this massive throng.
I fell on the terrace, looking up at the sky.
God, I was scared. I don't wanna die!
Punch, kick, scrap, fight.
Got to do anything to get back upright.
I was like a wild animal. What's happening here!
Survival instinct. Stark ****** fear!
"Get outa my way lad. I can't get my breath!"
I didn't realise he was so near to death.
"Open the fence! Please! Let us out!"
That lad went under. It was his last ever shout.
Help me! Pull me up! Grab hold of my hand!
Get me out of this hellhole and into the stand!
I was safe. I survived. I was free from that hell.
How many dead. I just couldn't tell.
Looked down at the pitch, there was that lad.
A man weeping over him. That man was his Dad.
He was trying to revive him with the kiss of life.
But that lad was gone. How would his Dad tell his wife?
Many years on. Still no justice done.
That man's still grieving for his dear son.
Was it me? Was it my fault? Was I to blame?
I still ask that lad at the Eternal Flame.
Peter Etherington
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:08 pm

I was recently asked to pull together all the Hillsborough poems I had written for a new website Brimag is putting together - and I hadn't realised how much stuff I had written. Most of it is spread over several websites, I am going to put it all in here in the hope it inspires the people fighting for justice - or inspires people to join the campaign. Find out more at
A Terrace Called Leppings Lane.

Check the tickets in my wallet,
Then swig my cup of tea,
7.30 in the morning,
One game from Wembley.

Out the door and on the street,
Off to meet the boys,
To sing the songs we love to sing,
When we fill the ground with noise.

The coach pulls up and we all pile on,
Belly full of butterflies,
Then off to Sheffield we all go,
The FA Cup our prize.

9.00am and the songs have started,
I talk about the game,
To a young lad that’s sat next to me,
I didn’t catch his name.

The journeys taking hours,
And we cross the Pennine hills,
But my mind drifts off to Hillsborough,
As I dream of Beardsley’s skills.

“My favourite players Aldo”
Says the boy sat next to me,
His eyes full of excitement,
And his words are filled with glee.

“I’m meeting me mate when I get to the ground”
“He’s travelling up by train”
“I’ll see you back here on the coach”
“When we’ve beaten Forest again”.

The coach pulled up and off he went,
Going to meet his friend,
I check my ticket once again,

It’s getting near to kick off,
And I’m getting close to the ground,
But nobody seems to be moving,
And I’m stuck tight in this crowd.

I’m just about starting to panic,
Then a bizzie opens a gate,
A red tide moves down a tunnel,
Moving closer to their fate.

I remember clearly that tunnel,
And the light that shone at the end,
And as I think back to that fateful day,
I still can’t comprehend.

That the coppers called us vandals,
And drunken loutish liars,
And the media fed us spite and hate,
When compassion was required.

But back to that day and the things I saw,
Unfold before my eyes,
The sight of grown men screaming
As the air was filled with cries.

But I was one of the lucky ones,
Because I came back alive,
I watched heroes in scarves down on the pitch,
Trying helplessly to revive -
Their friends their family and strangers,
Who’d all come to watch a game,
But their lives were crushed that fateful day,
On a terrace called Leppings Lane.

The memories still haunt me,
Every time I go to sleep,
But there is one memory that gets me,
And always makes me weep.

Back on the coach with my head on the glass,
I remember my heart skipped a beat,
When I turned to the young lad next to me,
And I noticed his empty seat.

There were 96 empty seats that day,
96 friends that we’ve lost,
And while Kelvin counted his pennies,
The families counted the cost.

So next time you are at Anfield,
Visit the eternal flame,
Feel the stone cold marble,
And touch a person’s name.

And whilst you say a silent prayer,
And your dreams are tossed and blown,
Remember those 96 empty seats,
That must never walk alone.

Justice for the 96.

You'll Never Walk Alone.


Forever Red

Those 96 forever red
In my heart and in my head,
Across the Pennines that fateful day,
Whilst dreams abound of Wembley Way.

Red and White, Songs and Cheers,
Programmes Scarves and Souvenirs,
Tears and Heartache, crushing pain,
Left to rot on Leppings Lane.

That stuff they wrote - it made us cry,
THE TRUTH thay said when telling lies.

And all of this to watch a game,
We get no justice - just our flame,
With those 96 we'll be as one,
We wont forget - dont buy the S*n.


April Rain

April rain
that made me cry,
April rain
looms dark in the sky,
April rain
for fourteen years,
April rain
with countless tears,
April rain
on a heaving crowd,
April rain
fans that did us proud,
April rain
on the lying police scum,
April rain
on a setting S*n,
We all know what happened that day,
We dont care what the papers say,
We all know Justice must be done,
We've got 96 reasons we must carry on,

So carry on pouring April rain,
We all know who must take the blame,
With our 96 we shall always walk on,
We cannot stop until Justice is done.

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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:08 pm

The S*n
30 pence is all it costs,
Daily news - lots of goss.
"What a bagain," Some may say,
"I buy a copy every day."

"Page 3 girl - what a stunner,
The horoscopes are just for fun.
The sports section is the best,
Man United, Who cares about the rest?"

But here's a poem, to make you think,
To educate you on the **** they print.
For all of those who didn't know,
Of the injustice suffered, years ago.

15th of April, 1989,
96 dead. Do you know why?
Ticketless people? Drunken fans?
How can 12 year olds be hooligans?

Innocent men, women and kids,
Died unnecessarily, due to incompetence.
Did The S*n care? I think not.
"The Truth" was the headline the public got.

"Drunken fans ****** on officers,"
Strage how no arrests were made.....
"Fans pick-pocketed the dead,"
That is the cr#p the people read.

Society led to beleive that was "The Truth",
Years later - the myths still unproved.
An appology would have eased the pain,
Just to clear their loved ones name.

But still we wait - 14 years on.
Still we fight - for our fellow fans - gone.
Justice is why we battle on,
One day, my friends, Justice will come.



The HJC is a wonderful cause,
"Of course it is," then you pause.
"Tell me again, what is it for?"
To fight for justice. Nothing more.

"Justice, thats right. I remember now."
To get what's right, that is our vow.
"So the J stands for justice. What about the C?"
Campaign you fool! Weren't you listening to me?

"No, not really. Makes no difference to my life."
Maybe not, but we want justice for all the strife.
"Strife you say? What caused that?"
Hillsborough of course, you ignorant prat!

"Ignorant? Me? Why do you say this?"
Because the point of the HJC you do miss.
"Missing the point? What would that point be?"
No justice done for the Hillsborough tragedy.

"Justice you want? But no one was to blame."
No one to blame? But 96 died at the game!
"Ninety six? Thats an awful lot."
96 too many. Someone must be locked away to rot.

"Locked away to rot? That sounds unfair."
Unfair? 96 died! Do you even care?
"Of course I care, I just think you go over the top."
Well, is it right that people died due to an incompetent cop?

"But it happened so many years ago..."
And still it makes our tears flow.
"Forget it now, it's in the past."
Forget it? Never! I'll fight 'till the last.

"Why fight on for a cause that is lost?"
Lost it is not - but everything comes at a cost.
That is where the HJC come in,
They raise the money, so the war, we can win.



When you said what you said, you didn’t know how much you hurt me.
I couldn’t believe, that some one like you could be such a hypocrite.
You’ve got your morals and you shout them proud.
I do the same, and you shoot me down.

That rag you were reading, I’d told you before - it’s scum.
Yet you held it in front of me and spat out those vindictive words.
I’d sent you an email explaining the harm that it caused us.
But still, with your principles, you chucked it right back in my face.

What I don’t understand is how you can be such a charlatan.
You think you know, but really you have no idea.
I respected your values and ethics. Accepted them and looked to learn.
You laughed in my face when all I tried to do was educate.

So I’ll ask you this question and you’ll answer me straight.
Why did you say those vicious things?
Was it that you believed them over me? Or was it that you didn’t care?
Doesn’t matter now, what’s done is done. I will never forget it.

I thought you would be the one that I could count on.
For support and to respect my stand.
You wont eat Nestle or drink Coca Cola, in your eyes they do wrong.
Yet you read that revolting rag, and forget of the torment they created.

“Oh my God! It happened so many years ago! Forget it.”
Those evil words will stay with me forever.
Shocked, offended, saddened and disappointed .
You cut me deep with your malicious and wicked phrases.

Now you tell me how do you feel knowing all this?
Do you feel remorse? Or will you continue to feed that evil institute.
I hope deep inside, that you’ll do the right thing and stand against that paper.
But I know in my heart that you are a hypocrite, and that will never change.

Next time I hear you preach your words of evil companies.
I’ll be sure to listen, and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.
You will stand there thinking how honorable you are, but I will know the truth.
You are moral just when it suits you, but still you think you are a saint.

One last thing I’d like to know before I leave you to choose what’s wrong or right.
How do you think a mother feels when she sees you reading that @#%$?
It said her son was drunk and violent, but he was only thirteen.
How do you think you would react if you saw someone reading that @#%$?
It had made your son look like a hooligan, when all he did was go to a game.
The name of your loved one, tarnished forever by one disgusting paper.
How do you think you would react if you were that mother?



Jewels they were, every one.
Unite we will, for the 96 gone.
Suffering and pain was caused to us.
The public couldn’t understand the fuss.
In Liverpool though, the fight goes on.
Continuing until the fight, we’ve won.
Every day we pray for justice. It will come, I promise you this.



Happy they woke up on that fateful day.
They were going to watch their team play.
In silence I mourn for those 96 lives.
96 who were children, fathers and wives.
Lost forever watching the game.
Football was stunned, things would never be the same.
Leppings Lane End is where the tragedy begun
There was a match to see and a game to be won.
Sadly it never reached that stage.
The fans were squeezed in like animals in a cage.
But Duckenfield didn’t care about that.
He ignored the warning signs. Ignorant **** .
On came the players out on to the pitch.
Families left with nothing, but they made that ***** rich.
Ref stopped the game at 6 minutes past three.
If it was 10 years later, it could have been you or me.
Opening the gates would have saved all those souls.
Would you have helped if you heard their howls?
Unabashed lying cost us our justice.
But the fight continues for our friends that we miss.
Ghosts will haunt the ones that did wrong.
For justice we have waited for far too long.
Help us now, the fight goes on.
It will forever, until the injustice is gone.

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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:09 pm

John McCormick posted this on RAWK on 7th August 2003 in response to a question about Justice. This post I feel says it all and explains clearly and fully the meaning of Justice in relation to Hillsborough. If anyone needs to know and understand fully the meaning of Justice then all their questions will be fully answered after reading this.
I have taken the liberty of copying his post for anyone who may be interested. Many thanks John for your post.


Justice is a complex notion and progress towards it can only be measured at a given point.

Justice can only ever be achieved when there is a level of responsibility taken for the disaster, and the lies and misinformation spread in the aftermath as part of an organised establishment cover-up, are fully realised.

The bereaved families should be happy with the process, and each should be given a proper inquest into the death of their loved ones.

The lies and incompetence of the steering group of Liverpool Solicitors set up in the aftermath of the disaster should be fully examined and reported.

There should be a full and frank inquiry into the events that occurred at Hillsborough after 3.15pm. Events like the police refusing entry to ambulances with statements like "they are still fighting on the pitch". events like taking blood from children in order to establish the alcohol levels, to try to enhance the cover-up.

To a certain extent a level of Justice has been achieved in the information that has been uncovered and put into the public domain. The fact that people on this board, for example, are aware of the cover-ups of the disaster. The fact that the Justice Campaign has so much support for its fight. The fact that the Justice Campaign survives and prospers in the face of such adversity is a level of Justice in itself.

The boycott of the S*n, and actions over FHM, the BBC, Maxim and the like in themselves, show us a level of justice.

But justice is not a throw away line, it is not a simple set goal and in many ways Justice over Hillsborough is so diverse an issue that we could write forever on the subject.

If I had to plot a point that will show that we are on the road to achieving justice, it would be to have the inquest into Kevin Williams death re-examined. The weight of evidence is there and if and when it is proved that the coroner both lied and acted with ineptitude, the deaths of others will have to be re-examined.

This is the only way that justice can be achieved, one step at a time, almost like peeling an onion, taking each layer off to reveal another until you eventually reach the core.

Justice is not something that is black and white, justice is the truth of Hillsborough and Justice is a struggle. It will not be achieved overnight, but it will be achieved, and it is only through truth and accountability that it can be achieved.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:10 pm

Peter Hooton in the Guardian.,9753,935567,00.html

Heroes: April 15 1989

Peter Hooton was the lead singer of The Farm and also edited influential Liverpool fanzine The End. Here, he salutes the heroes who showed their true colours on a day that changed lives forever

Tuesday April 15, 2003

It started like any other morning. A bright crisp spring morning, the beauty of the Snake Pass in the Peak District was breathtaking, as we travelled to the FA Cup semi-final being held at Hillsborough, Sheffield between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Little did we know that the coming day would forever change our lives and the game we loved.
After an uneventful journey, we arrived at the ground at about 2pm as we had done the previous year, at the same venue against the same team. Only this year things were different, outside the Leppings Lane it was absolute chaos.

The year before the police had appeared organised with a cordon checking tickets at the end of the road. This year things seemed to have gone badly wrong, with one or two mounted policemen in the middle of a massed motionless crowd. It was the sight no football fan wanted to see outside a ground: non-existent queues, no obvious police presence and no stewards. I had been in these situations many times before outside the Kop during the 70s prior to all-ticket games, and outside many away grounds - most notably Wolves in 1976 and of course Wembley, especially against Everton in 1986.

I knew the futility of getting into a crowd and trying to get to a turnstile! You panic, you sweat, you struggle to breathe and just as you get to within touching distance of the entrance you are sure to hit by a sway that takes you back to where you started. So I decided to go and get something to eat from a nearby shop and wait for the police to get their act together.

By 2.30pm it became obvious the situation wasn't going to get any better. So I reluctantly entered the crowd. It must be emphasised these were Liverpool fans with tickets, the touts I talked to that day were struggling, business was as they say "on the floor" compared to the same lucrative match the year before. This was not a ticketless crowd trying to bunk in or force the authorities to open the gates, this was a good-humoured crowd who deserved proper organisation, who wanted it, who were demanding it. Alas it was not forthcoming!

After ten to fifteen minutes of movement, invariably sideways and getting no nearer to the turnstiles, I saw fans climbing onto the turnstiles screaming at the police inside the ground to do something. Nothing happened. By 2.55pm, a sway took me to within inches of the turnstile. This was it; I was in, relief, emotion, I could hear the teams coming out onto the pitch, the roar of the crowd, another few agonising steps and I had made it.

Once inside, I was met by a jovial group of policemen, I told them in no uncertain terms that somebody was going to die outside the ground unless they did something quickly. They had to open the gates, I pleaded. I wasn't the only one. Most people, who staggered through the turnstiles due to sheer exhaustion, were also telling the police to get their act together. The common consensus was that they had to do something otherwise there would be a fatality or serious injuries outside the ground.

Either side of the Leppings Lane end were stairs into the side sections (which we now know were nearly empty). The gaping black hole of the Leppings Lane tunnel lead directly into the middle of the already packed terracing. No-one could have imagined the consequences of heading into that tunnel. The simple solution to such congestion would have been for club stewards and/or police to block off the central tunnel and funnel fans to the side sections. I had a ticket for the North stand so I went left but if I had had a ticket for the terraces I would have certainly gone into that tunnel.

Once inside I think I saw Liverpool hit the bar as I certainly know the game had already started before I found my seat. After a couple more minutes, a fan appeared on the pitch. He seemed unsteady on his feet, nobody had the faintest idea of what was happening and then more and more people spilled out onto the pitch.

The referee took the players off. I didn't think trouble, I immediately thought overcrowding. The Leppings Lane had been uncomfortable the year before and was well known in football circles for being a cr#p end. More and more people started to fill the pitch and Forest fans began to sing "You Scouse ba#ta#ds" thinking that this was indeed a pitch invasion.

It soon became obvious that something more serious was happening but still the enormity of the tragedy could not have been imagined. After 20 minutes or so, an ambulance appeared at the opposite end of Leppings Lane and drove along the edge of the pitch. Around about the same time the police inexplicably set up a cordon across the halfway line. About 50 or so policemen stood there throughout the duration as the tragedy unfolded, making jovial smalltalk and passing the time of day. Presumably some of these people would have had first-aid skills but were under orders to stay on the halfway line. I know this because at 3.30pm I went onto the pitch and asked them why they were standing there and what was happening. It soon became obvious as the injured, dying and deceased were carried on the advertising hoardings, the vivid image we now know so well.

Most people on the pitch that day were bewildered, feeling either hopeless, confused or inadequate. I saw heroes that day and the majority were not in uniform. The real heroes that day were the ordinary Liverpool fans who seemed to take control of the operation, taking casualties to the opposite end of the pitch and laying the fans in the penalty area, in front of the Hillsborough Kop.

As the Liverpool fans tried to revive lifeless bodies, I felt totally inadequate. I tried to convince myself that these people had simply lost consciousness but in my heart of hearts I think I knew they were dead. The line of police looked on. Some people refused to give up pumping chests of complete strangers or maybe loved ones, giving the kiss of life to fellow Liverpool fans as the line of the police looked on.

The heroes of April 15 1989 were the ordinary Liverpool fans. Whoever you were; I salute you, your role in the tragedy unbelievably tarnished by the gutter press cover-up the following week.

That day, that night, that week, that year, that decade, I was inconsolable. But I was also proud to be a Liverpudlian. I had witnessed the selflessness, courage and dignity you afforded the dead and dying before they were handed over to the authorities. 96 RIP.

Peter Hooton was the lead singer of The Farm and also the edited influential Liverpool fanzine The End and contributed to The Face, NME, Loaded, Goal and the Liverpool FC official magazine. He is currently involved in several arts projects and is a key member of Partizan Media
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:10 pm

The long road to justice,9753,936294,00.html

Peter Carney of the Justice Campaign talks about his near-death experience, while Anne Williams prepares to appeal to the Attorney General for a new inquest into her the death of her 15-year-old son.

Peter Carney and Anne Williams
Tuesday April 15, 2003

The history of Hillsborough begins with the deaths of 96 people and the physical and mental injury of countless others. However it does not end there.
Hillsborough is a metaphor for British society today. It is a microcosm of how society operates. The history of Hillsborough has become the history of injustice, of cover-up and of collusion.

History will place Hillsborough firmly within the bounds of civil rights. The bereaved and the survivors of the disaster will long be remembered for the heroic stances they took against the might of bureaucratic forces in the name of justice.

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC) is made up of bereaved families, survivors and supporters campaigning for justice for the 96 people who died at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough football ground on 15th April 1989.

In 1998, nine years after a near-death experience at Hillsborough, Peter Carney was instrumental in the founding of the HJC to forge links between the survivors of the disaster, like himself, and the families of those who died at Hillsborough.

His work within the group includes counselling other survivors and people, who only now, 14 years on, are coming to terms with the disaster and opening up about their experiences.

Peter Carney didn't know it at the time, but when he entered the Leppings Lane end 10 minutes before kick-off, some fans were already dead. He was on the terrace, Pen 3, where the most of the deaths occurred.

Peter talked to The Guardian's Simon Hattenstone in 1999: "By the time I got into the pen, I was turned around and facing backwards. I was swaying and I was on my tip-toes and swivelling my hips.

"The screaming was terrible, the crush awful, but I was still straining to actually see the match. I wasn't interested in the play: I just had to keep my mind on something other than the crush, because there was less and less breath. I must have been tilting my head back to get air, and I started to focus on the stands and then the hills beyond the ground."

Peter passed out and found himself placed where several of the dead had been laid by the back wall of the terrace. People around him thought he was dead. "I had what is called a near-death experience. The last thought I had before passing out was that I was lifting myself up above the crowd. I think I was just tilting my head to get more air, but I was looking down from the clouds on the crowd below and there is a perfect circle of people all closing in on me."

Unlike the Hillsborough Family Support Group, set up days after the disaster, the HJC includes survivors, "The survivor's role in the rescue has never been looked at," says Peter, "they were lucky to come out alive, but what they went through as rescuers was never considered. There hasn't been the means to deal with the problems of the 10,000 people in the pens that day."

The families and survivors in the HJC continue the fight for justice. Anne Williams, whose 15 year old son died at the game, and her solicitors are currently preparing a memorial to the Attorney General to hold a new inquest into the death of Kevin.

The truth about Hillsborough is still denied by the authorities. Most people don't even realise that events after 3.06pm that afternoon have never been examined.

As Anne Williams says, "Kevin was 15 when he died, he was just a little boy who went to a football match and did not come home and I want people to know what extremes the system will go to, to cover up the truth about what happened to him.

"It took me nearly four years to find out what had happened to Kevin because of all the lies I had been told.

"Kevin had two inquests. Neither of them gave any answers. Witnesses were mentioned but never called, they used parts of statements so the jury never heard the full story of what happened to Kevin so I was left upset and confused.

"I decided to track down the witnesses myself, only to find out a different story.

"The coroner decided to put a 3.15pm cut off point, the reason he argued that the victims would have been dead or brain dead by that time. No evidence was heard after that time.

"Kevin does not relate to the 3.15pm cut off point. After spending hours discussing Kevin's injuries with the top forensic pathologist in this country, Dr Ian West of Guys Hospital, I found out that Kevin would not have died by 3.15pm and could have been saved.

"I tracked down five people who helped Kevin after 3.15 p.m. That day, three Liverpool fans, an off duty police officer from Liverpool and a SWPC who was on duty at the time. I found out that Kevin was lifted out of pen three at 3.28pm He was then put on a hoarding and taken across the pitch by Stevie Hart and Tony O'Keefe, both Liverpool fans. Both told me he was alive. They left Kevin with a police officer by the North Stand who told them he would look after Kevin. The police officer walked away and left Kevin. Johnny Prescott, another Liverpool fan, saw Kevin and realised he was alive and ran to get help from a St Johns Ambulance man.

"In the meantime, an off duty police officer Derek Bruder saw Kevin lying in front of a police cordon moving his head and left his seat in the North Stand to go and help Kevin. Not one of the police officers would break the cordon to help him. When Mr Bruder got to Kevin, Johnny Prescott was with him and a St Johns Ambulance man. They then carried out resuscitation and heart massage. Mr Bruder found a pulse and at 3.37pm an ambulance came on to the pitch and headed towards the Leppings Lane end of the ground. Mr Bruder shouted for someone to stop it, as he wanted to put Kevin in it. Johnny Prescott was going to try but the St Johns Ambulance man went instead. The ambulance would not stop.

"After a short time a St Johns Ambulance woman took over from Mr Bruder after shining a torch in Kevin's eyes, she said he had 'gone'. Mr Bruder was sick himself and then left the scene.

"Johnny Prescott stayed with Kevin when SWPC Martin came to take Kevin to the gym. Johnny helped put Kevin on a trolley. Miss Martin was told to stay with Kevin and carry out heart massage and resuscitation. She put Kevin in the part of the gymnasium that was set aside for the injured. Miss Martin found a pulse and after resuscitation Kevin's ribs started to move so thinking she had him alive, she picked Kevin up in her arms. It was then that Kevin opened his eyes, murmured the word 'Mum', slumped back and died in her arms at 4pm.

"After finding out the truth about what happened to Kevin, I took his case to the Attorney General asking him to give me a new inquest on him. Kevin has not had a full inquest. The 3.15pm cut off point meant the jury never heard what happened to him up to 4pm that day.

"Evidence has been suppressed, statements have been changed, there has never been a full inquiry into how Kevin died. Three times my memorial was submitted, three times it was refused. I have had a Judicial Review, a Cook Report programme and nobody will do anything to have Kevin's case reopened. If Kevin got a new inquest, evidence from 3.15 to 4.00 pm that day would have to be looked into and nobody wants to answer for the mistakes that were made after 3.15pm.

"My son was alive until 4pm. that day. He would not have died had he received a simple procedure to save his life. But because the police never implemented the Major Disaster Plan or let the ambulances on to the pitch, Kevin was left to die.

"I want an inquiry from 3.15pm to 4pm. The time nobody has looked into. The time when the disaster was at its worst.

"The only people that helped Kevin that day were the Liverpool fans. They were the people trying to do their best in a situation that was completely out of control. It should not have been left to the fans to see to the dying and injured. Where were the ambulances? They were cordoned off by the police. Why?

"If we don't get an inquiry after 3.15 pm that dreadful day, the lessons of Hillsborough will never be learnt. I want to know why my son was left to die when he could have been saved, why he did not get the treatment that could have saved him. If the police had done their job properly, Kevin would be alive today and many more. If the Liverpool fans had not thrown themselves in to help the way they did, we would have lost more than 96 people at Hillsborough."
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:11 pm

Hillsborough disaster: 14 years on,9753,936238,00.html

John MacLeary
Tuesday April 15, 2003

Today is the 14th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster at Sheffield in which 96 people were crushed to death during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
That day, the way English football was watched, presented and financed changed forever.

Hillsborough had hosted many semi-finals including the 1988 semi-final, also between Liverpool and Forest. The match program in 1989 showed a picture of a full Leppings Lane end with a paragraph that read: "As you look around Hillsborough you will appreciate why it has been regarded for so long as the perfect venue for all kinds of important matches. It is a stadium that befits such occasions and the large crowds they attract." A year on the story was very different.

The warnings were there from the beginning. Liverpool had a larger support than Nottingham Forest yet they were allocated the smaller end of the ground. By 2.30pm a bottleneck had developed. Three gates and seven turnstiles were available to accommodate upwards of 10,000 fans. Coaches that arrived late having been delayed by road works hindered the situation further.

Already there were many fans inside the ground; and many still trying to get in meant conditions in the paddock were getting desperate. People's movements were restricted due to the number of people already inside, never mind those still trying to get in.

The 96 people who died that day died because of gross incompetence by the South Yorkshire Police. In particular Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who failed, perhaps through lack of experience (many blamed his inexperience of handling such big games), to realise what was going on. And who, by his own admission, "froze" when faced with a decision that took the lives of so many.

If events of that day weren't horrific enough, the events were compounded by coverage of one of the largest football disasters in modern British history by the Sun.

The Sun's editor of the day, Kelvin McKenzie, informed the British public of what he described as "The Truth". Tales of fans stealing from the dead and abusing police who were trying to administer aid to the injured and dying. This, of course, was not "the truth".

The headlines caused uproar in the city of Liverpool and beyond. The newspaper was burned in protest outside newsagents across Merseyside. The headline still haunts Liverpudlians, the families of those who died and survivors. The boycott of the Sun is ongoing and figures released showed that circulation figures in the region have never recovered from the boycott.

To add to the pain, the BBC recently sold footage rights of Hillsborough. The intention being that the images were to be used to highlight the affects of football violence.

The pursuit of justice by the families is ongoing. Battling against the lies and injustice is a daily struggle for all of those involved.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly is constantly quoted as saying: "Football isn't a matter of life or death. It's far more important than that." After reading the accounts of the victim's families, survivors and witnesses you realise how insignificant football really is.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:12 pm

A Forest fan's account of events

Tuesday April 15, 2003

As a long-standing Nottingham Forest fan of over 40 years and, despite emigrating to Canada in 1975, I managed to return to Europe for all of Forest's major triumphs in the eighties and early nineties - the Hillsborough disaster will long remain as the most poignant of memories.
In March of 1989 both of my parents died and I was forced to return to England for six weeks to tie up the loose ends. During this time my eldest son had also arrived in England during the course of a round-the-world trip. We had secured tickets to the semi-final and it was to be our first chance to attend a big game together - he having inherited my passion for the Reds (of Nottingham).

We rented a car and drove up the M1 from Nottingham and arrived in time for a good English pub lunch about a mile from the ground after which we walked the last mile to the stadium. As I remember, it was a beautiful warm sunny day and despite the usual rivalry between opposing sets of fans, the atmosphere was typical of a major cup-tie and everyone was intent on enjoying "the big day out".

We hung around outside the main entrance for a while and soaked in the atmosphere before entering the stands behind the goal at the opposite end of the ground from the Leppings Lane about forty-five minutes before kick off. This of course was the Forest end and although the central section was fairly crowded we managed to find a reasonably clear space midway down and to the side - as my son was concerned about it getting too claustrophobic.

My first recollection of something being wrong at the Liverpool end was the site of someone being hauled up from the terraces to the balcony of the second-tier grandstand. Then we started to notice the police move in behind the goal and the first thought was that trouble was being caused by the "hooligan element". This thought also seems to have occurred to the mass of Forest fans that started the usual harangue and taunts about the opposing supporter's virtues. It was obviously hard to tell exactly what was going on but as soon as the teams came out, the focus changed.

I distinctly remember feeling that things weren't right somehow and remarked to my son about it, who then pointed out people on to pitch-side. By this time the game had started and it was apparent that the players and referee did not know what was happening, particularly as Liverpool came out with a storming attack on the Forest goal, nearest to us. At this point, more activity behind the Leppings Lane goal had swelled, we started to realise the game may have to be stopped but it was still difficult not to think this was caused by hooliganism.

Rumours had started to sweep around the Forest end and some belligerent idiot next to us started yelling abuse about there being fans with no tickets breaking into the ground. This gathered momentum for a few minutes and I remember a sole figure wearing a Liverpool scarf ran the full length of the pitch, rapidly followed by a horde of others, toward the Forest end.

My immediate thought was that a riot was about to break out and my son and I moved further to the left so we would have a clear way to the exit at the back of the stand. After gesticulating wildly at the Forest supporters who, in their defence, were ignorant of what was happening, these 'pitch invaders' started breaking down the advertising hoardings.

It was then that I realised what was happening as they ran in pairs back to the Liverpool end with makeshift stretchers. Silence descended as it dawned on everyone that a serious situation was developing - and it pretty well stayed that way for the next half-hour or so. What I found appalling was that no information came out over the loudspeaker system for what seemed an eternity. I remember hearing fire-engine sirens and ambulances wailing for at least ten minutes before they appeared. One ambulance came on the pitch and we could see people being carried on the makeshift stretchers as well as people helping each other to get away from the crowd behind the goal.

When Kenny Dalglish came on to announce that "we have a serious situation", everyone was still thinking (or perhaps hoping) the game would re-start. Eventually it was announced that he game would be abandoned and would everybody leave quietly.

I remember that rather than feeling disappointed, I was relieved that we had not been exposed to any trouble or violence and we headed back to the car. As soon as we turned on the radio we were shocked to learn that several deaths had been reported.

By the time we reached the motorway the death toll had risen to as many as 50. On our return to Nottingham, some forty minutes later, my father-in-law who had been anxiously waiting outside the house waiting for us greeted us.

He had been watching all the events unfold on television and was obviously concerned for our safety. Word had also spread to Canada by this time and I remember immediately calling home to let my wife know that we were safe.

Early the next morning I drove to Heathrow, picked up every Sunday newspaper I could and spent the entire 10-hour flight back to Canada reading about the dreadful events I had witnessed.

To say the least, I was thankful that my son and I had tickets at the opposite end, and my heart went out to the parents who had lost a son or daughter - it could easily have been us.

I recount all of this first as a parent who bleeds for those who lost loved ones, and second as a lover of the beautiful game who hopes that the lessons learned from this disaster will never be forgotten.

Justice for the families has not been done, nor seen to be done. There is no excuse for the past fourteen years of cover-ups, inaction, and ineptitude. Finally, as a Forest fan, the memories of our epic cup battles with Liverpool will forever be tainted by the events of that day.
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Postby mottman » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:12 pm

A survivor's tale

Robbie Ashcroft and his brother were in the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough. In his own words he recalls the horror of Hillsborough and the immediate aftermath

Tuesday April 15, 2003

Before I put my memories of the day into words, can I just tell you something about my brother and I? (This will become clearer later.) I'm over 6ft 2ins and my brother is 6ft 5ins. We are both large people. A bit fat even.
We had been in the Leppings Lane terrace previously; 1988 for the semi-final - also against Nottingham Forest - Sheffield Wednesday v Liverpool a couple of times in the League, and another semi-final between Liverpool and Arsenal.

At one point during the 1980 Arsenal semi-final, both of us (along with all the other people in that pen) lost our feet. The pressure of the crowd actually moved us sideways and towards the centre of the terrace, fortunately we were able to retain our footing and nothing serious happened.

When the draw was made between Liverpool and Forest and the venue was announced as Hillsborough, I recall Peter Robinson [the then Liverpool executive vice-chairman] saying Liverpool should be allocated the Kop end and Forest given the Leppings Lane end. We were a bigger club than Forest and thus had a larger support.

I think the police intervened and said if this were to happen, the fans would "mix" together outside as Forest travelled up from the south side of the city and Liverpool entered from the north.

We set off by car very early and hit roadworks when entering Sheffield. We parked up in a housing estate about three miles from the ground and had plenty of time to walk up.

As we walked closer to the ground with other Liverpool supporters, it seemed odd that very few stopped off to visit the pubs. We decided not to bother having any beers and got some soft drinks and snacks from a corner shop.

We turned into Leppings Lane and made our way into the ground. Remember, we had been here before; we entered the terraces via the right-hand side entrance. We even had time to go back down to the gents and also get some coffees.

As time went by, it was obvious other people had remember previous visits and learned like us. It was cramped in the side section and very hot.

As the game kicked off, Liverpool attacked the Kop end and I think Peter Beardsley had a shot that was either saved by their goalie or maybe hit the bar.

It was then that it happened, an almighty surge from the Liverpool crowd in the middle pen. We thought a barrier had been uprooted, and then it struck home.

Liverpool supporters were climbing onto the steel fences at the front screaming at the police to open the locked gates, I even saw police pushing and hitting supporters back down into the terrace, they had no idea what was going on.

As time passed, we helped what seemed like hundreds of Liverpool fans climb into our area of the ground. Each one screaming at the police for not opening the gates, each one telling us people had died.

Eventually they opened the gates and members of the crowd spilled onto the pitch, to ease the pressure. What a sight. I'd seen dead bodies before but nothing like this, it was carnage. If I live to be 100, I will never forget what I saw that day.

Some fans started placing bodies onto advertising hoardings and carrying them up to the Main Stand. Instinctively we helped. Time stood still, I have no idea what time we left the ground, but can remember a local giving us a cup of tea and letting us phone home to let our loved ones know that we were safe.

The journey back to Liverpool lasted an eternity. We were very quiet.

As days passed, Liverpool opened Anfield so that people could pay their tributes to the 96. As I entered Anfield, tears ran down my face, we walked up to the Kop to our usual spec and just stood and stared; the full horror of Hillsborough struck home.

Scarves, flags, football shirts from any team you could mention were spread out on the Kop; it was an awesome sight.

The most moving sight I have seen in my life has to be the thousands of bouquets laid on the Kop-end side of the pitch. I visited Anfield four times during that period, each time the Kop and the pitch grew into something more beautiful and more incredible. It was ablaze of colour, red and white, blue and white and a sea of flowers.

Liverpool FC announced that they would play their first football game against Glasgow Celtic - away as a mark of respect. Years before Celtic supporters had beaten me up; another ghost now needed to be laid to rest.

The game was on Sunday April 30, and we set off by car early that morning. I was a bag of nerves as we ate up the miles and approached Glasgow. My stomach tightened and as I recalled the previous visit.

On arrival we realised that there were already hundreds of Liverpool supporters there, my heart skipped a beat when one of the lads said let's go for a beer. We got inside a Celtic pub that was full of Liverpool and Celtic fans. We got a drink and managed to find a seat to sit down.

A huge green-and-white honey monster of a Glasgow Celtic supporter pulled up a chair and sat with us. I was petrified. He and his mates turned out to be fantastic people, they didn't ask if we wanted a drink, they insisted we let them get them in. They would not let us return the compliment. The honey monster was called Dave - and what a great person he was.

We left the pub and headed for the ground with our new friends. We approached the Liverpool end and said thanks for the company, but we were going in the away entrance. Dave and his mates responded: "Don't go in there, come around here with us, you will enjoy it more."

So we walked around the ground and joined the line to get into The Jungle. Loads of Liverpool fans were already in line ahead of us. It must have taken us 10 minutes to get onto the terrace, most of the Celtic supporters kept hugging us and saying that they felt for us.

We got onto the terrace to be greeted with a Liverpool banner in our end that read: "The people of Merseyside would like to thank the people of Glasgow for your support during these difficult times". As kick off approached the noise from the Liverpool end grew and grew, then it happened.

Celtic supporters and Liverpool supporters began to sing You'll Never Walk Alone as one; the tears flowed from all of our new Celtic friends and us. This was one of the most moving moments we had ever experienced.

The game, from what I can remember, was a slow tempo affair; Liverpool won 4.0. I think each Liverpool goal was celebrated with more pleasure by the Celtic fans.

After the game, Dave and his friends walked us back to the car. Celtic supporters tossed their scarves around us and we exchanged pleasantries.

Dave gave me his Celtic shirt and I gave him my Liverpool scarf that I had had for years. A few years later, we met up with Dave and the lads at Ian Rush's testimonial and repaid their kindness by treating them to some Liverpool hospitality. We even turned up at Neville Southall's [ex-Everton goalkeeper] testimonial and met them then.

The tragedy at least helped me to learn to trust and respect Celtic supporters, brilliant people we'll never forget.

Once the Reds were ready to play football again, we played Everton at Goodison in an evening game. Somehow we managed to get tickets for the Everton end; it was full of Liverpool and Everton supporters. The banner we had seen in Glasgow was displayed from the upper tier of the Park End stand.

The banter between the two sets of supporters was good, just before the game started there was a minute's silence which was impeccably adhered to and You'll Never Walk Alone was played over the Everton public address system.

Of course the ground was awash with a sea of red and white, and then the Everton supporters behind us held their blue-and-white scarves up and joined in to sing You'll Never Walk Alone. Grown men, Liverpool and Everton supporters were crying side by side as our anthem boomed out at Goodison.

It's a shame that it took such a tragedy to re-build the bonds that over the years had been broken.

Lest we forget the 96.
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