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Hillsborough - a personal memory

Steve Wilson | 14:43 UK time, Thursday, 9 April 2009

It was a run-of-the-mill conversation with a friend in a pub. The kind of conversation you might have any night of the week - the kind that might change your life.

I had just bought my ticket for the 1989 FA Cup semi-final, a ticket for the Leppings Lane end. I had been to Hillsborough enough times to know that the view from this sunken terrace was of railings and boots almost at eye-level.

My friend Tony, a Manchester United fan, sympathised over a pint and told me that he had found a way to the open segment of terracing over the corner flag. "Less atmosphere, but if you want to actually get a decent view of the game it might be worth checking out. Just get through the turnstile and head left."

At about two o'clock on 15 April, I made my way into Hillsborough and was confronted by the low-ceilinged tunnel that led to the central terracing behind the goal - already looking full. I headed left.

This Saturday, Football Focus will be live at both Anfield and Hillsborough to mark the 20th anniversary of the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's ground - a disaster which claimed 96 lives and which changed British football forever.

Thousands gather at Anfield to remember those who died in the Hillsborough disaster

As part of the programme, I was asked to return to Hillsborough to retrace my steps that day. I had some misgivings about taking part.

Firstly, I felt my story was insignificant compared to that of so many others - I'd been safe throughout and didn't know anyone who died. Secondly, although I had been back to Hillsborough as a commentator, I hadn't stood on the Leppings Lane in the 20 years that have passed. I expected it to be difficult. It was.

The turnstiles are still there, the tunnel is still there. Everything about the place resonates, everything so familiar. Just being there induced a feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach.

For the purposes of the camera, I went through the turnstile and was confronted by that low ceilinged tunnel - empty. Again I headed left for the terracing that had been my vantage point on that awful afternoon.

For 96 people who paused at the tunnel and headed straight on, there would be no chance of safety. No chance to step away from the seemingly trivial decision they had just made. No way to escape from the cage behind the Hillsborough goal.

I was 21 in April 1989 - older than many of those who died. In the 20 years since, I have been blessed with a happy marriage, three children and a fulfilling career. What might the 96 have done in that time? What love affairs have never been, what friendships never forged, what children never conceived?

The game has changed, and some say not completely for the better. But if you are lucky enough to be able to take your children to a match and sit in safety; to be treated with respect by those who police our grounds and to get home again without being crushed or scared, give those 96 a thought.

Honour, for a moment, those whose deaths made it happen.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    R.I.P 96. One day we will get justice!

  • Comment number 2.

    Good article Steve. I am a Nottingham Forest fan who was at the game celebrating my 14th birthday. It's a birthday I will never forget unfortunately. Of course, we were at the opposite end in the Spion Kop but the horror affected us too, which is often forgotten. Most Forest fans just stood or sat silently, unable to move from the shock of what was happening. I was there with my Father and Brother. My Mother just heard on the news that there had been a tragedy at the FA Cup Semi Final, no mention of which fans. With no mobile phones back then, it was only when we got home that she knew we were safe. Sadly, that wasn't the case for every family that day and my heart goes out to them. My Brother has never been back to Hillsborough, unable to face it. I can't believe it was 20 years ago. As I celebrate my birthday next week, I will spare a thought for that terrible day, and a thought for those souls that perished. Just football fans like me that day.

  • Comment number 3.

    Such a shame for people who just went to watch the game that we all love and it cost them their lives.I went to Hillsborough in about 1998 to see villa win there and we sat in Leppings Lane, the stand was in a poor state then so I can only imagine what it was like 20 years ago.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a football fan (Man Utd) I can remember the day this terrible tragedy happened very clearly. If shook me quite a bit. I know that Liverpool fans will never forget the tragic events that happened that day but neither will the rest of the footballing community. I am glad in a way lessons are learned from Hillsborough and no family or club will have to mourn the loss of those close to them. They will never be forgotten. RIP

  • Comment number 5.

    I was at Hillsborough that day too....in the Leppings Lane with my lifelong mate and fellow Liverpool fanatic Steve. We had arrived without tickets and were lucky enough to pick two up outside form other fans. Fatefully we had been the previous year and knew what to expect, we still headed down the tunnel though to be confronted with the sight that we saw the previous year, too many fans in too small a space, so we struggled back out and headed for the side pens near the corner flag....so we both survived to write this comment...lots has been written since then and there have been countless inquests and debates about who's fault it was...now is not the time to reignite the debate...let's just remember the ones who set of on that beautiful spring day, just like me and Steve, full of hope and excitement...it was the last time they woke up on a sunny day...God bless them all...YNWA

  • Comment number 6.

    R.I.P to the 96

    fantastic blog by the way as well steve it has changed football forever, however whilst i think we should use safe standing now the only good thing to come out of this horrific tragedy is that we went to all seater which is totally safe.

  • Comment number 7.

    Great article Steve.

    I'm a Wednesday fan and have been for 43 years. The blame was angled at the police, the fans, the medics, anyone you care to mention. But for us Owls fans who weren't even there, the blame that the club shares lives on for me in sadness and shame, difficult to shift; my club, which I'm so proud of.

    Every time I go to Hillsborough I think about the tragedy, look at the West Stand, and say a few quiet prayers.

    I was at the infamous Gate C Last Wednesday morning, just being alone with my thoughts. All was quiet, no-one around, just a couple of Liverpool scarves tied to the railings.

  • Comment number 8.

    As a Chelsea fan i only heard the news of what was happening at Hillsboro as i left Filbert Street. When i called home from the station and heard the news i was horrified particularly as my brother, a life long Liverpool fan was at the game. While distressed at what i heard had happened felt relief knowing that my brother was on the Kop despite the fact it was given over to Forest fans that day.
    To my horror i later learnt that he had gone to the Leppings Lane end of the ground, identified himself as a Liverpool fan and been allowed in. He entered the ground via the tunnel.As a builder and a Liverpool fan of some 15 years he was able to hold his own on the Kop through frequent fan surges, however, the pressure that day was beyond what he had experienced previously . With a way out via the tunnel blocked due to numbers he had to exit via a fence into a side pen.This was still an hour before kick off.
    Our family name (not one in common use)is engraved on the memorial at Anfield . I thank God it is not my brother. I wish the 96 that perished and their families sympathy and peace.
    I shall be at the Chelsea v Liverpool game on Tuesday hoping all present show there respect, not just for any pre match silence but through the whole game.

  • Comment number 9.


    Like you Steve, I was also 21 years of age in April 1989.

    You turned left, while my father and I headed down the tunnel - the only really obvious entry point. It was too packed and after ten minutes of hell, we came back out of the tunnel and turned right. Another five minutes and we wouldn't have been going anywhere.

    It occurs to me that the fans had three paths to take on this day - which were left, right and centre. I often ask myself, 'what made us move? Why were we fortunate enough to make the right decision?'.

    I've written my own account of that day at:

    http://www.hillsborough1989.blogspot.com/

    Anybody who would like to express their opinion of who was to blame can also enter a poll on this blog entry.

    I think that any genuine football fan will relate to my story - regardless of which club you are affiliated to.

  • Comment number 10.

    It's a miracle the tragedy did not happen the previous year. I was at Hillsborough on both occasions. in 89, I went worrying about the overfilled pens from the year before. The safe stadiums we now have is a fitting legacy to those that perished. So can people please stop whinging about bringing 'safe' terracing back because they want a better atmosphere. I'd rather be safe and lose a bit of atmosphere.

    What the Hillsborough ignorant don't realise is that 'ordinary' people were let down by their Government, Legal system and Police, those meant to protect us; That's what justice is about, not self pity.

    I also agree with the Forest fan above, too many of us forget that they were also involved, and Everton fans should not be forgotten; many of them lost family members and friends that day.

    RIP the 96, never ever forgotten.

  • Comment number 11.

    I wasnt at Hillsbro' that day - but many of workmates and friends were in the Leppings Lane crush. Their stories still haunt me 20 years on. They headed to Sheffield along the M62 - a mass of Liverpool fans, only to held up for hours by roadworks. Though they set off early enough, they arrived at the ground late. It was nearly 3.00pm when they finally parked up and "legged it" to the ground - many other fans were in the same same position. The gate was opened to relieve the crush outside the ground - tickets were not taken from them, there was no control over who entered the enclosure. The crush built as more more supporters were directed into the enclosure, there was no where to release the pressure within the fenced enclosure. The Police were more interested in crowd control than crowd safety even though they could see the crushing against the fences, they didnt open the gates. Within the crush, people couldnt move, and some slid to the ground. Those still stood couldnt do anything but stand on them, not having the physical strength to resist the mass around them - try as they might. They tried desperately to support each other from slipping to the ground, but the young and weak didnt have that strength. 96 died, others were deeply affected. Then came the accusations - Liverpool supporters had stolen from the dead and urinated on them - disgusting accusations made by people who dont understand Scousers (i'm a southerner by the way). Scousers look after their own! The club was magnificent in the way that it worked with the families affected - they were more intergrated into their community than todays elite - and the Merseyside Police interviewed many of those in the crush - who still held their complete tickets! I am not a Scouser, I am not a Liverpool fan, but all supporters should remember what happened that day - when crowd control was more important than crowd safety and why herding people to stand in enclosed pens should never again be allowed to happen in our Football grounds.

  • Comment number 12.

    R.I.P - We Will Never Forget. from a Wednesday fan.

    You'll Never Walk Alone x

  • Comment number 13.

    I was 8 years old when this tragedy happened. i didnt know what was going on and for many years during my schooling days (i live in essex) i read the Sun. When i got to a decent age, must have been 18 so 10 years ago i read up again about the disaster and tears dropped, and then i read about the sun and how it had turned it around blaming liverpool fans for this. Since that day i have never read the Sun.

    I cant believe that many folk especially in london think that liverpool fans are murderers, its actually quite shocking..

    Next wednesday i will be emotional, ill be sitting at my desk at work thinking of the 96 families who lost someone. Tuesdays game against chelsea is irrelevant, i couldnt give a stuff, id rather have those 96 fans back on the terraces.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was 12 when Hillsbrough happened and can remember (probably like a lot of people) watching the horror unfold live on TV, with my Dad. It has to be one of the most awful experiences of my life, watching from the comfort of your own living room, people who had come to enjoy a normal game of football on a sunny afternoon, dieing right there infront of us.

    Watching normal football fans helping other normal football fans that afternoon was a humbling experience. My thoughts, as a proud West Ham fan, are with the 96, LFC, and all those that tried desperately to help them that day. They will never be forgotten.

  • Comment number 15.

    Respect to all of those who died and were injured too. However do not have regret for what might have been but never was. Look forward and live each day keeping the lost ones in your heart. Live life as a memorial to those who no longer can.

  • Comment number 16.

    Your allegiances are showing, Steve. But Hillsborough was a horrid thing and it's good that the BBC has someone to give a first-hand account such as yourself.

    Wasn't Motty commentating on that game? Will he be on Football Focus too?

    Are Chelsea planning a commemoration of any kind for next Tuesday?

  • Comment number 17.

    RIP to the 96....20 years on and still a vivid memory...God Bless

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Great article Steve.

    As an 11 year old when it happened i watched with wide eyes disbelieving the events as they unfolded. I was at a friends with my sister and they were all Liverpool fans.

    As a United fan living on merseyside this time of year is always difficult for everyone connected. You just get the feeling that the families need some real closure..

    RIP to the 96

  • Comment number 20.

    I am a Liverpool fan but was only 2 when this tragedy happened but have read about it on many occasions and it does make me feel emotional especially as the families of the fans have never got justice or answers for what happened and the terrible lies that were in the sun newspaper which is why I would never buy that newspaper if that's what you can call it as well as the news of the world and every time I see somebody reading that paper or an advert for it it reminds me and makes me feel sick.

    Rest In Peace

    You'll Never Walk Alone

  • Comment number 21.

    On April 15th '89
    What should have been a joyous time
    Ninety-six friends, we all shall miss
    And all the Kopites want justice

    JUSTICE!

  • Comment number 22.

    There seemed to be a lot of disasters in the late '80s: Zeebrugge, Piper Alpha, Bradford... but as a then 18-year-old Stoke fan, this is the first one that actually really made me angry and upset.

    I can remember watching the footage from Hillsborough in a state of shock and then with tears in my eyes... the Everton fans on the news coming back from their match, looking stunned... a Liverpool fan being interviewed who just kept saying, "We should have had the big end, we should have had the big end..."

    Only some 15 months earlier Stoke had played Liverpool at a packed-out Victoria Ground in an FA Cup 3rd-round tie. I remember that me and my Dad, stood on the Boothen End, by the end of the game were about 50 feet to the right of where we had started, just through sheer weight of numbers. Then at the end, there was a crush at the back of the Boothen, as the Stoke fans going in one direction met the LFC supporters going the other way. That cleared itself quickly, but it was still quite scary while it lasted, so I can only imagine what it was like on Leppings Lane.

    Ever since 15/04/89 and the events that followed I've always felt a special affinity with LFC, their fans and Scousers in general. The bond between the club and their fans is something special and rest assured: no-one in their right mind believes the lies that The Scum printed that day (never bought a copy and never will - the sight of Kelvin McKenzie whenever he pops up on TV still makes my flesh creep...)

    R.I.P. to the 96.

  • Comment number 23.

    #18, Have you examined the evidence, have you read the Intermim Taylor Report

    Your incorrect, The evidence at the Taylor enquiry deals with this perpetuated myth concerning ticketless fans. Go and educate yoursel! Read the Taylor Interim report. Fans have drank up to kick-off time since the game was invented, again, go and read the report. Have a look at the evidence at what actually happened not what you think happened from anecdotes and what you may have seen in the odd pub.

  • Comment number 24.

    I was there that terrible day. In many ways the worst day of my life. It still haunts me today. I was one of the lucky ones - as a Forest fan I was down the other end and safe.

    My heart goes out to those fellow football fans. People, like me, that left home that morning excited at the prospect of an exciting game of football and the chance to get to an FA Cup Final. I'll never forget leaving the ground that day. I've never witnessed an atmopshere like it. Sad faces, discarded scarfs, discared programmes, the long queue for the phone boxes with people calling loved ones to say they were Ok and worst of all the people wandering around in a daze looking for their friends/loved ones. I'll never forget listening to sportsreport (minus the famous music out of respect for the dead) and the beautiful words spoken by whoever was commentating/presenting.

    Rest in Peace those that died - you'll never walk alone.

  • Comment number 25.

    I remember the day clearly for it's awful contrast. I had taken my 3 year old daughter to the local park to play on the swings. It was a beautiful spring afternoon. The sun was shining, flowers blooming and I enjoyed listening to the sound of innocent children playing. I also had my earphone in to listen to the football scores. I remember being in this lovely setting but listening to a disaster unravelling. As soon as news began to filter through I somehow knew that it was going to be an awful tragedy. As I watched my daughter playing I wept and felt so helpless. I felt for my fellow football fans who were there and were equally helpless.

    Life is so special but so fragile.

  • Comment number 26.

    I was a 14 year old Forest fan that day. Sat in the main stand close to Leppings Lane end, probably 10 rows from the front.

    It was strange for us... part of it but on the periphery. Onlookers to something horrific. Sends a chill down my spine to read all this stuff. The memories are still very vivid.

    May they Rest in Peace

  • Comment number 27.

    As a Chelsea fan I just want to say how I will be thinking of the 96 fans who lost their lives so needlessly. I do believe that justice will be done one day, for Liverpool fans, and for every other football fan. I remember watching the tragedy unfold with my own eyes on the tv. Those events have never left me, and all I can say is R.I.P to the 96. You will never be forgotten and 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

  • Comment number 28.

    When the exit gate was opened in 89 like Steve Wilson I also tried to get up to the top left corner terrace where I'd stood in 88. I thought the covered staircase to the right of the tunnel would get me there so up I went waving my ticket to anyone concerned. Found myself in the stand above the Leppings Lane & ended up sitting on the steps in between the back row of seats.

  • Comment number 29.

    3 days after my 10th Birthday..... I will never forget being 10, hillsborough is one of the reasons why. You will never walk alone RIP...

  • Comment number 30.

    ScottishScouser - there is such a thing as 'safe' terracing you know, and it is being used in many leagues throughout the world

    Making attending a football game a safer experience should have been the minimum to expect after Hillsborough. I think, though, that what we have now - all-seater stadiums, no standing at all at grounds, over-zelous stewarding - is an over-reaction.

    What happened at Hillsborough, and those that died, should never be forgotten. But don't let it be used as a smokescreen to stifle debate.

  • Comment number 31.

    the thing is that the same thing nearly happened in the semi final of 1981, Spurs V Wolves.

    What did the football authorities do?

    What did they do after the Burnden Park disaster in 1946?

    Nothing.

  • Comment number 32.

    The saddest thing about Hillsborough in 1989 is that there were numerous warnings before, which were all ignored. I went to Hillsborough in 1981 to support Wolves against Spurs in an FA Cup Semi Final. I was in the large open kop end with the Wolves crowd while Spurs had the Leppings Lane end. Not long after the start of the match there were obvoiusly problems with congestion at the Leppings Lane end and a large number of Spurs fans spilled out onto the touchline and the pitch. These Spurs fans were lead to the Wolves end where the police attempted to force the crowd back to make some space for them. After a few minutes they thankfully gave up this stupid idea and the Spurs fans sat around the edge of the pitch for the rest of the match.
    I attended many matches from the late 70's to the mid 90's. Looking back I dread to think how many times we all came close to a Hillsborough type disaster. Whilst the behavior of some fans was poor, the main problem was the disregard, and sometimes contempt, most clubs and the police had for football fans.

  • Comment number 33.

    Great blog Steve, I wrote a piece for the matchday programme of my club, Shrewsbury Town last saturday, focusing on Hillsborough and generally rememberance. If I may I'd like the share it with fellow fans here, any feedback is of course welcomed, especially as this was my first programme article.

    "Once again we are at the business end of another season, and by the time this article is printed we will be a little closer to not only knowing if we’re pushing for the agony of the play-off's or the delights of automatic promotion, but also if we’re any closer to capturing those elusive three points away from home!

    It’s also the time of year where in between stresses of near misses, underachievement or relegations; our minds turn to other things and that’s something I’d like to do today. For some of us that might mean looming exams, or exciting summer holidays. For others however, April will always be a particularly sombre time as we are fast approaching April 15th, and with it the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough football tragedy, regarded as one of the darkest days in the history of the sport.

    Unless you were present that Saturday afternoon, it is impossible to imagine what it must have felt like to be caught up in something as traumatic and life-changing as what transpired. The Match of the Day cameras, realising that there would be no football that afternoon made the decision to broadcast their feed live within Grandstand on the BBC. For much of the nation, including me as a six year old lad, those harrowing images will remain in my head for a lifetime.

    There has been continued debate since the tragedy and the resulting Taylor Report as to what actually occurred on the Leppings Lane Terrace and what could have been done to minimise or prevent such a tragedy from occurring. One thing which goes without saying is how much football has changed post-Hillsborough. The recommendation that stadia within the top two leagues be all-seater and the debate of seating vs terraces continues to rumble on to this day, including regular appearances on the Blue and Amber message boards.

    Of course, the deaths of the 96 men, women and children at Hillsborough, the hundreds of those injured and the thousands traumatised, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the grief and suffering experienced by friends and families. Each year at Anfield, thousands stand together on the Kop to participate in a collective tribute to those who set out on what was to become their final journey to South Yorkshire.

    What amazes me are the sheer numbers of people who attend this and other similar services; Heysel, Ibrox, Valley Parade; and have not suffered a personal loss, or been linked to the club in question. Such times really show that for everything the Premier League and Football Association has done in recent decades to change football into a major economic force rather than a game of pride and passion, there still lies a beating heart of a true community. Born from the darkest of circumstances perhaps, but it gives a glimmer of hope that the national football family still exist.

    Most of us have will hopefully never have to witness or suffer an event like Hillsborough first hand; however a large number of us will have lost close friends, fellow supporters or family members over the years. At the time of writing, it has yet to be decided by the Football League whether all clubs will be invited to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Hillsborough, but might I suggest that before today’s game and before Rochdale on 10th April, that we come together again as a ‘football family’ to take a moment to reflect on not only the tragedy of Hillsborough, but also to remember absent friends, family and colleagues.

    Shrewsbury Town Football Club has a long and proud history, as do our visitors today Grimsby Town, and what we see today is built on the foundations laid down over the years by many people who are sadly no longer with us, but whose influence and impact will never be forgotten. They will always be in our minds and our hearts, and they will Never Walk Alone.

    Floreat Salopia."

  • Comment number 34.

    20 years ago football died at hillsborough - it will never be the same again. Passion replaced by sorrow. The game we all love destroyed. Liverpool F.C.s class the only uplifting memory.

    God Bless the 96 and all who were present.

  • Comment number 35.

    As i was born a mere 14 months after the tragedy, i obviously wont remember it. But my Brother who was 4 and my dad, both liverpool fans (im a gooner) still talk about hillsborough, whenever the conversation calls for it. And The three of us all agree that you shouldn't and cant attribute blame any were at a time like this, several football fans of the generations before me, have told me stories of the crushes and charges on the terraces, wether at Anfeild, Highbury, Old trafford or were ever, but surely that was the situation at the time, no blame can be attributed to any one area or indeed to everyone and every factor, it was what you expected to see when you went to a football match, too many people in too small a space. all thats left is too give thought to those who lost their lives at disasters like this, and be thankful that something was done to try and stop it happening again. and i sincerely hope and i expect it will be the case that the liverpool vs chelsea match will be a good tempered game, fans and players, and i hope that the chelsea faithful will show their respect to the liverpool fans, who will obviously be feeling the pain of the anniversary.

  • Comment number 36.

    Sadly a tragedy was fated to happen as football grounds were so unsafe pre-Taylor Report. I remember attending Molyneux in 1976 when Liverpool needed to win to take the title and Wolves (I think) needed to win to avoid relegation. The thousands of Liverpool fans were funnelled into their end to enter via turnstiles and the crush was terrible. Grown men were crying and people were being passed over heads to safety (a not unusual sight at grounds in those days). Then, under the weight of the hemmed in crowd, the big exit doors flew off their hinges and fans rushed into to escape the crush. We were lucky that the crowd stampede didn't cause deaths inside the ground at that point and I was personally very lucky, in that the massive doors which swung up inevitably came down - and missed my head by a whisker! Amazingly I don't think anyone was seriously hurt. This - and many other warnings - went unheeded.

  • Comment number 37.

    I remember the day...it was a glorious warm spring day. I was 16 and went to watch Watford play at Swindon. I had my pocket radio and as news filtered through by half time there was a growing sense of somberness even on a sun baked terrace hundreds of miles away. It changed football & to some extent society forever. I miss the terraces of old - you can't beat the almost narcotic feelings of the crowd when a goal was scored - but as I a parent I also appreciate the safety for our modern stadia.

  • Comment number 38.

    I was deeply affected by the tradegy as a young kid, while I didn't attend the thought of what happened was deeply saddening. My heart goes out to all the families at this sad time. I am a Havant&Waterlooville fan and went to Anfield for the cup tie last year, and the memorial really hits home how it must have ripped the heart out of the city.

    What I would say to Liverpool Football club however, is that they should mark the 29th May 1985 with equal reverence, along with a suitable memorial at Anfield. There is nothing to distinguish between the tragedies, and I think we should remember those that perished in both with equal remorse.

  • Comment number 39.

    Life for 96 people ended all too quickly. Let's hope the blame game stops with this generation. Something good has been salvaged from that disaster; all we can do is to keep that up.

    We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever. - Carl Sagan, Cosmos, pg. 20

  • Comment number 40.

    If the BBC wants to show respect to the 96 who died that day it should stop employing Kelvin Mackenzie. Despite horrible and offensive claims he made in the Sun being dismissed by both the press complaints commission and the goverment enquiry as complete fabrication he has steadfastly refused to apologise to the families and fans he offended so deeply.

    He has since used BBC programs as a platform for his anti-liverpool bias and his clear dislike of the the city and it's people - most noticably his appearance on Newsnight where Claire Short twice challenged him to apologise and he twice refused.

    He was also involved in the most recent Sports Relief. How can a man who is responsible for presenting an image of football fans as disgusting, monstorous animals be involved in a charity that promotes unity through sport?

    The blog post above is sensitive and moving - I'm sure the upcoming programs will be equally respectful but it's a shame this attitude only pervades the BBC whilst the aniversary looms. I wonder if the program will highlight the response by the Sun during the program? It's as much a part of the legacy of Hillsborough as the terrible events of the day and has had a huge part to play in the families continuing sense of unjust and unfair treatment of the victim's memories. The events of the day have many culprits but there is only one man who can take responsibility for the disgrace of the Sun's response.

    YNWA

  • Comment number 41.

    re: ejs864

    I would respectfully invite you and anyone else interested in the facts to visit www.hfdinfo.com, where you will find that Lord Justice Taylor TOTALLY discounted the fact that fans turned up late, he also TOTALLY discounted fans being ticketless in the ground, and as you mention drinking in pubs it should also be mentioned he also TOTALLY discounted drunkeness as a contributing factor. South Yorkshire Police are to blame.

    Please refrain from spreading myths, take the chance to educate yourself.

    JFT96

  • Comment number 42.

    I was 18 years old when it happened, attending Leicester vs Chelsea. I had headphones on and knew something was very wrong. At half-time, we were told over the tannoy that the game at Sheffield had been held up due to 'crowd trouble', and the moronic few cheered stupidly, assuming the normal violence that had long been de rigeur at domestic football matches.

    It was only a couple of days later that it turned out that 2 boys from my school had stood on Leppings Lane and perished - and this was from a school in Leicester, pretty unlikely, even back then when Liverpool was the default team that one supported if one didn't follow the local team.

    I was doing 'A' levels at this time, and was given the privilege of featuring in a school concert, as I was a promising musician. I asked that we do it in memory of Paul and Nick Hewitt, the boys that died, and to his eternal credit my teacher agreed. Their parents were invited, but very understandably, they declined.

    I offer this story as a tribute to all those that died, but especially to the Hewitt family, who must have suffered most terribly.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    I was only 9 years old and can't remember that much at the time about it.

    However no matter how many times I read an article or watch a documentary about this tragedy I have shivers all through me and become extremely upset.

    Any football fan who has a love for going to matches just knows how horrific this was and can picture ourselves being there at that horrible time as we all just go to matches wanting to be entertained. On this very sad day this was not to be the case.

    My thoughts and condolences to all those affected in the past and present.

  • Comment number 45.

    Nice story. God bless our Liverpool brothers and sisters at this time. Will never forget the tribute game they played at Celtic Park following. It was a privelige to be there...although, under the circumstances, we all wish we weren't.

  • Comment number 46.

    I was a Manc who worked in Liverpool at Lewis's Department Store, and was working that day. I had a bet that Liverpool would meet Everton in the final.
    There was an air of expectancy that it was going to be a great day for the City, excitement was everywhere, all talk was of the match and several staff had family at the game. Sadly, we all know what was about to unfold.
    I still work in Liverpool from time to time, and everytime and I mean everytime I reach the end of the M62, I remember that day and the lives that were lost.


  • Comment number 47.

    20 years ago i lost my brother i was 4, we never stop talking about him still to this day. Its hard to think 20 years ago he was alive living a normal life just like every other person in that ground. He was going to take me to the game but i broke my arm playing penalty shoot outs the day before with him. i was gutted and fort it was the end of the world when my mum refused 2 let me go. when we heard there had been a disater at hillsbrough my mum was devostated and had a feelign it was my brother. I didnt really understand what was happening untill my dad told me my brother had died and that i couldnt see him again. that was the worst feeling you could get. I then feel out with my mum because if she let me go i could of looked after my big brother, untill i realised she saved me without knowing it at the time. I still miss him now and allways will.

    Every comment ive read so far has been so nice, and for once there is no arguing just like it should be. Its about a loss of true footballing fans no matter who you surrport or what you belive, Its peaceful.

    Great blog!
    Its a real tribute!






  • Comment number 48.

    i was in telford watching the events unfold on t.v in a pub.We were there to watch Hyde United take on Telford in the F.A Trophy in the semi-final,our non league equivalent.A beautiful spring day,spirits high for the game ahead,all the Hyde fans laughing and joking,enjoying our day away,possibly 1 game away from wembley,,,when the sights of hillsborough started to arrive on the screen.
    I remember leaving the pub to make my way to the ground,not realising exactly what was unfolding in Sheffield.
    All during our match,we kept hearing bits of information,people injured,then people killed,then many people killed.
    My team lost on that day,but it didn't matter,as football was
    a far greater loser,as of course were the families of the deceased.
    Respect and best wishes from manchester.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was comfortably sat at Elland Road when an announcement was made that the game down the M1 had been suspended. I remember the confusion as shreds of information filtered through. I was in a completely different stadium, but that that day has remained deep in my memory. No other disaster has affected me as much. Maybe it's the fact that those people had gone to watch a football match and never returned. That they went through that same Saturday ritual that I did. That they felt that sense of helplessness as they went forward. All I know is that even though I wasn't there and that I don't know anyone who was, I often think about those people who were. My thoughts go out to those who were directly affected by the events of that day, and by the injustices which followed. It wasn't just 96 Liverpool fans that died, nor 96 football fans. They were 96 people who were neglected. We should never forget them.

  • Comment number 50.

    Spurs fan in peace. An excellent article that has sparked some interesting debate. I particularly enjoyed the hyperlink to the first hand account of Samilewis (post 9) which is well worth reading.

    I was 14 at the time and remember watching this on Grandstand. It was a beautiful day and I just remember how awful the day turned; the worst thing was how slowly the tragedy unfolded - like watching a car crash in slow-motion. An earthquake or a bomb is there - sudden but this just kind of evolved. I had been involved in a few hair-raising surges (one game sticks out in my memory in particular at Wembley - an England international against Turkey. When England scored me and my school mates were swept about 20m down the terrace)

    As to who is to blame - it's a bit irrelevant, really. It won't bring the 96 back. RIP, YNWA.

  • Comment number 51.

    To #47 - Gerrard'sRightleg -

    Thanks for commenting on the blog, it's very moving to hear your story.

    I have just watched some of the content of tomorrow's Football Focus and I hope you and your fnmaily will feel it is a fitting tribute to your brother. I wish you well at this difficult time.

  • Comment number 52.

    Wow. What an amazing piece.

    It's criminal that those responsible for the terrible stories and attempted cover-up for that day have not been brought to justice.

    RIP

  • Comment number 53.

    I was at Hillsborough as a Forest fan and can still visualise standing on the Spion Kop at 2pm and saying to my mate; "I wouldn't want to be in the centre section at the other end"! Little did we know.

    As others have commented, us Forest fans are often forgotten and whilst our loss was negligible, I am sure there are many of us who still feel involved.

    The following Saturday, I felt drawn to Anfield to pay my respects and after 4 hours of queuing, I left my Forest scarf in front of the Kop.

    For the last 19 years, I have asked Forest to 'remember' the day on their website, but to my disgrace, they have failed to do so on many years.

    Next Wednesday, I will be at Anfield for the memorial service, which starts at 2:45 and there will be a 2 minute silence at 3:06, when Beardsley hit the bar and the crowd surged forward ...... Gates open at 2:00.

    I hope many Forest fans will attend and like me, again pay their respects to the 96. R.I.P.

  • Comment number 54.

    47, our thoughts are with you and every1 effected by this terrible disaster, this week, and every week!

    great blog steve, really moving and insightful! thanks for that! have you told it to Kelvin Mackenzie!?...

  • Comment number 55.

    My Dad and Myself had watched live football together for 15 years until April 15th 1989 and after watching the disaster unfold on the television at Hillsborough that day, it took us until last season to start going to football together again. However, we can never forget it, we should never forget the 96 ordinary fans, men, women and children who lost their lives watching a game they loved and I suppose a part of my love for football died that day.

  • Comment number 56.

    Hi Steve, Interesting to read your article. Especially the quote that you felt your story was insignificant compared to others. I was in the Leppings Lane section, went through the tunnel and stood to the left of the goal. I was injured in the crush and, until very recently, believed that my story was insignificant too! I think all the people who were there have a story to tell, and they should be listened to.
    Very brave of you to go through the turnstiles. I visit Hillsborough every year on the anniversary and go through the SWFC main entrance and walk to the area that I stood. Not sure I could do the turnstiles, or the tunnel, even now....
    My heart remains heavy, and there is still a certain amount of guilt inside me, that i was lucky enough to survive and that others weren't. That I managed to scramble to safety and had no thought for others that I left behind. That, even today, I feel that I could have helped more than I actually did.
    This year, I am contemplating returning to Anfeld for the first time. But I am unsure whether i will be brave enough to go through with it. Even though my love for LFC burns just as strongly today as it has ever done.
    YNWA
    Justice for the 96

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    I was 15 in 1989 and I was watching my West Brom team surrender a 2-0 lead to Plymouth on that fateful day and can remember the disbelief around the Brummie Road End when the half time tannoy announced that there had been over 50 fatalities. It wasn't until I returned home that the true scale of the disaster unfolded. The fact that those Liverpool fans had, just like me, had woken up that day with that sense of anticipation at watching and supporting your team, brought it home to me as a teenager and I, like many, was deeply affected. I think that others who stood on various terraces in different grounds up & down the country that day would feel similarly, in that the 96 were doing what we all did as part of the footballing community. Who's to say it might have been any of us?

    I visited Hillsborough for the first time in the 90's to visit a friend at University there and we went to watch Wednesday play Coventry. As we approached the Leppings Lane turnstiles it immediately provoked the tragic memories of 1989 and I asked my friend whether these were the same turnstiles. My friend told me not to talk about this openly here at this point as it wasn't the done thing, for it may upset the Owls fans. I didn't expect this response - it seemed until that time I hadn't appreciated the effect the disaster had on Wednesday fans

    Great blog & posts by all. Can feel the emotion even now and I'm at work today

    RIP the 96, never forgotten by this Baggies fan

  • Comment number 59.

    ejs 864

    your comments are insensitive & unworthy at this time. Save your "insight" for another time (& blog).

  • Comment number 60.

    a very moving story.to all related to the 96 & LFC heres thinking of you,from mike of bristol rovers fc ALWAYS REMEBERED NEVER FORGOTEN. R.I.P

  • Comment number 61.

    I am sure ejs864 probably believes that it was the fault of the passengers on the Pan Am plane that blew up over Lockerbie for getting on that fateful flight.

    Speaking as someone who was there, I don't blame Liverpool supporters. Your opinions are that of someone who has obviously not read up on the subject, has a deep dislike for Liverpool FC or is a non-football supporter.

    Keep your opinions to yourself, please.

  • Comment number 62.

    Please also remember those who were left physically and mentally disabled as a result of what happened in Sheffield on 15th April as well as the 96 who never came home.

    Having their lives taken away also.

    RIP

  • Comment number 63.

    Excellent blog Steve and shows how thin the line is between life and death.

    As a fan that day, how does it make you feel when people like Mckenzie to accuse you of urinating on and stealing from your fellow fans? I'm still stunned that the BBC continue to allow his drivel to be spouted on their airwaves, not only about Hillsborough but also any other subject, as his tabloid sensationalism is still his tool of choice. Even after he recently 'apologied' he was recorded as saying he didn't mean it and was still accusing us.

    As for EJS864 in post 18. Perhaps you should actually read up on the subject before joining in. Sadly though, this is the view held by many people, and just goes to show what damage the likes of Mckenzie did by printing their lies.

    A good starting point would be Jimmy Mcgovern's 'Hillsborough' documentary, which i believe is being shown again this week.

    JFT96

  • Comment number 64.

    ejs - Read the Taylor report - a public inquiry - get yourself a copy!

    Blame attributed to:

    Main reason - failure of police control (build up of fans at inadequate turnstiles forseeable, opening of gate C,closing of central pens not done,slow reaction to iniate Disaster plan etc)

    Also criticized F.A (ill considered choice of venue), Sheffield City Council (failed to amend or revise safety certificate), Sheffield Wednesday (layout, confusing signposting, terraces breached guidelines - "unsatisfactory" and "ill-suited")

    Most criticism to Duckenfield for failure to take effective control and to SWP for their (proven)LIES about Liverpool fans.

    Liverpool fans EXONERATED by Taylor report - i.e free of blame!


  • Comment number 65.

    ejs864; STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW BEST. NOTHING. SHUT UP AND BOW YOUR HEAD IN SHAME

  • Comment number 66.

    The point about mobile phones is very true. The problem was that many friends and relatives became aware of a problem at the game but being back 20 years ago people there couldn't contact home and ease the minds of worried relatives. That must have been an agonising wait, and indeed watch for some people, and doubly sad for those friends and relatives of the 96 who didn't come back.

    It was the same for the Ibrox disaster too, people knew something terrible had happened on a stair, they just didn't know until their relatives didn't return.

    At least ground safety has moved on- no railings and seats, and another Hillsborough is unlikely.

  • Comment number 67.

    In my Dads rusty yellow transit van we all jumped in and headed off to the match.Dad driving, passenger's in the back were my younger brother,uncles,now brother-inlaws,lifelong friends.A few of us had experienced Hillsboro the previous year so when that gate burst open we all got together and headed to the left away from the tunnel.We all returned home in Dads van,disturbingly numb!Looking at each other asking ourselves why.Why could this happen.
    Two months later I became a Dad myself that year, twin girls.Every 15th of April for the last twenty years I cry and I pray for those that didnt make it home and their families.I also thank God for bringing me and all the men in my family that were in Dads van and witnessed that dreadful day, home safe.
    To the 96 Mighty Reds who will never be forgotten R.I.P.

  • Comment number 68.

    ejs

    stop looking to blame - think about the 96 and their families, that is all that matters. The fans that day were guilty of nothing more than following their team with a passion and loyalty.
    I was 18 in 89 and a massive liverpool fan, often squeezing into the Kop to watch the reds if I couldn't get into the Main Stand on match days - to me watching them play was the reason for getting out of bed of a morning. I didn't go to Hillsboro but saw it unfold on Grandstand with tears down my cheeks. Every time I go to Anfield, now with my 16 yr old son, I pay homage at the memorial and remember that day.
    I don't think about blaming the Police or the FA - I only think about the 96 and their families.
    YNWA

  • Comment number 69.

    I remember watching it on the tv and it was like a movie a very bad movie. When you hear people say bring back teraceing its a better atmosphere just remind them of the 96 that died that day. I for one am glad to have my seat at the Lane when i get a chance to go.

  • Comment number 70.

    R.I.P 96. One day we will get justice!

    --------

    Justice? There is no justice, there never will be, there was no deliberate crime here, no one to really blame, just a series of incidents that on their own did not mean much but together alligned to produce a tragedy of epic scale.

    There were so many lessons to be learnt, and 99% of them have been, grounds have changed, fans have changed, police have changed and the sport has changed. We can not say that another incident will never happen again but we can be damn sure that it will not be for the same reasons.

    Do not forget, do not ever forget, but the time for seeking justice and vengeance is gone. Most of those still trying only have their own political agendas to puch, do not let these sad little people belittle the lives of those who died in this way.

    I, like so many children of the era will forever remember Hillsborough, every time I see morons stnading on chairs in stadiusm, refusing to sit despite blocking the view of those behind, proclaiming their 'god given' right to stand I think that they should go back and think again. Watch the documentary, I dont think I can for a second time and most I know cant either but if you havent you should watch and learn.

  • Comment number 71.

    ejs shut up!
    This is about remmbering not finding someone to blame
    I dont think anybodys to blame.
    Its something that happend and has changed football forever
    it cant be changed back, we cant get nobody back but we can remmber them and get a positive out of it. Which is that it wont happen again.
    People like kelvin mackenzie just need to get a life, atleast he has one and 96 people dont!
    Its stupid when people try to blame others like you can change anything!
    The main thing is that every single person who died that is remmberd!
    And that people that like to blame others are shown for what they really are.
    They need to get some respect!
    Thank you evebody who has put a comment on my comment from before.

  • Comment number 72.

    Amen to every word Steve.

    As a very young boy, I remember watching the dreadful events of Saturday April 15th 1989 via Grandstand and news reports. I went to Hillsborough for the first time in 2002 and whenever I've been, particularly when I've sat in the Leppings Lane end, I have always been aware of the hallowed ground I am stepping on and of those who went before me.

    They weren't fans of my team. I'm not a fan of theirs. But they, whoever's fault, paid the ultimate price for the disdain and utter contempt in which football fans and football stadia in this country were treated for decades. The loss of those people must never EVER be forgotten.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    Gerrard's Right Leg

    Totally agree with you and am sending my thoughts to you and your family.
    Walk on

  • Comment number 75.

    Sheffield Wednesday fan here. My thoughts go out to all those affected by the tragedy of 20 years ago. And to the 96 that lost their lives, may you rest in peace. YNWA.
    I was 9 years old at the time and not seriously into football at that point. But my first vivid memory of the game was watching Grandstand at my gran's house that afternoon and seeing the horror unfold before our very eyes. Truly shocking.
    I am pleased that people have pointed out that the disaster was not a one-off and that there were some near misses in the preceding years. My father stopped going to matches in the late 70s due to similar near misses - all as a result of the 'pens' being erected to 'cage' the fans. One event that stands out in his mind was a match at Ashton Gate in the 70s - he avoided serious injury after his brother pulled him over a fence and away from the pens.
    People often talk about who is to blame. Without getting into a debate, I thought that I should mention one fact that rarely gets aired. On top of the ticketless fans and (allegedly) failed policing measures, I believe that the FA had a part to play (with their ticket allocation). As anyone who had ever been to Hillsborough knows, the Kop end is much bigger than the Leppings Lane end. Liverpool have more fans than Nottingham Forest. Why were Liverpool not given the Kop?
    Finally, I have noted with appreciation the comments here about one final group of people affected by this - the Owls fans. No-one ever mentions them. I know that the impact on us was nowhere near that on the victims and their families. However, we too have to live with the aftermath of 15 April 1989.
    Great blog Steve. Keep it up.

  • Comment number 76.

    Isn't it a shame that, 20 years on, people do still go to football matches and never come home.

    The needless deaths of those 96 people made British stadia the safest in the world, its just a pity that in places like Africa people are still dying on the terraces.

    I was 16 and heard there had been a crush at the FA Cup semi final. I went away out that day and played tennis, not really thinking much about it, i just thought it meant the kickoff would be delayed.
    When i came back home and watched the news i couldnt believe my eyes.

  • Comment number 77.

    A nationwide act of not buying the Sun would be a great show of disgust for that rag.R.I.P justice has never been done !!!!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    Glover - Dn

    Yes something more does need to be said..and that is you need to show respect to the dead and their families.

  • Comment number 79.

    The thing about April the 15th 1989, at Hillsborough, that has always struck me, is this.
    "There, but for the grace of god go I".
    On that day my team, Manchester City, were away to Blackburn. 5 of us travelled by car and we did what we often did and plenty others did too. We called for a few beers and left it a bit late getting to Ewood Park. We parked the car and ran to the ground to try and not miss the kick off. Once inside we pushed our way in to get a good vantage point on the terracing. Meanwhile over at Hillsborough, Liverpool fans were playing out the very same scenerio, having a beer on the way, leaving it too late to get to the game and then rushing to get in. The difference was 96 people died in Sheffield.
    Were Liverpool fans to blame in any way for having a beer? No, it's what football fans did and to a great extent still do. I've stood on those very same terracing to watch City, before the disaster and I thought it a very unsafe area.
    As I said at the top, "THERE, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I"

  • Comment number 80.

    A life long Everton fan, now living a long way from Liverpool. I will never forget the day, I lost a mate. Reading this blog brought back the tears.

    I now have teenage kids, the two boys both Liverpool fans. The first time I was able to take them to Anfield they read the names one by one including my mate's, in silence. They asked what happened, not who was to blame.

    That to me is how we should remember.

  • Comment number 81.

    bluestreety,

    While I applaud your solidarity and accurate assessment of what happened at every match. I feel people are missing the point. The build-up of fans did not start at 2.45, the build up started much earlier because there was 16 turnstiles for 25,000 fans all contained within a small area. NF had 60 turnstiles. Undoubtably fans that ritually went to the pub and turn up at the last minute would add to that bottleneck but it is a myth to think they were the cause of it.

    Dr Tingle,

    In some ways you can't seperate what happened from who is to blame. There is a cause and effect. Sometimes, someone has to be brought to account. Condolences for the loss of your friend.

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Steve -

    I was 16 at the time of Hillborough. Like others who have posted similar, we were also at the same game the year before and we stood right behind the goal. A year later we turned back up - I remember my mate Stuey saying - its a bit busy, lets stand up on the side, something we never did. I ponder that moment from time to time. Life seems very fragile sometimes, a throwaway comment saved out lives. I try to remember what happened that day - but its like watching a movie with the sound turned down. I live in Australia now, and have felt a bit lost as to how to remember the dead on the 20th Anniversary - this blog posting has helped. I felt a lot of grief for what happened and a lot of guilt as to why it didnt happen to me. I watched the footage on youtube of hillsborough a couple of months ago and cried onto the keyboard. I have a lot of blessings in my life and I am very grateful for what I have. On the 15th at 3.06
    I am going to be silent and say a prayer and remember those who died, and then I am going to think of the people who love me and I love them, am going to hug my wife, and I am going to be thankful to be alive.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    As a young Liverpool fan I remember watching this unfold on the BBC, it haunted me for days afterwards, and still I often think about it. Didn't know anyone going but still felt like personal grief somehow. Perhaps explains why I have a real hatred for Kelvin Mackenzie (the BBC should be ashamed of itself by the way) - sometimes you wish you could bump into a certain person in the street and look them in the eye. Nearly did once when I came across myvideorights.com and had a meeting scheduled to discuss options and found out he owns it! He'll never get any money of mine. I know its 20yrs but I still find him a disgusting individual and a waste of good food when real people are starving in the world.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    A Nottingham Forest supporter. My one and only trip to Hillsborough was on that day 20 years ago when so many Liverpool supporters lost their lives. I remember it well, supporters one and all, doesn't matter who you supported, we were one.
    My thoughts go out to all of those who lost relatives on that day.
    The mass of tributes above say more than I can put down on paper, but sometimes words are not always enough, but from me, my thoughts will never go away. You will never walk alone.

    John (A Forest supporter)

  • Comment number 87.

    Dr.Tingle i agree with you 100%!

    Cheers king Carra

  • Comment number 88.

    As a Forest fan attending the game, it was the worst moment of my life.
    I often think of those 96 who never returned safely home from a game of football. I have never been able to return to Hillsborough and I never will.
    Rest in Peace you will always be remembered this and every April.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    Pol_Potter - why ruin a good rant with facts??

    Have you read the Taylor Report?

  • Comment number 91.

    Glover - Dn

    The people on this blog are remembering Hillsboro and the 96 and in my previous posts I have made the point about rememberance not blame. I am not interested in getting into a debate with you about your view of Liverpool fans.

  • Comment number 92.

    I remember I was only 14 and was watching tv when the pictures came through from Hillsborough. I've been a Reds fan all my life but couldn't believe what I was seeing. The memories of that day and the aftermath (Taylor Report) etc are still fresh in the memory. Those 96 should never be forgotten. Safety at grounds today wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for them.

    RIP

  • Comment number 93.

    amazingYNWA2005, I haven't read the report. What has been confirmed in the report excluding a section of the Liverpool supporters from any blame?

  • Comment number 94.

    From a (admittedly not scouse) Everton fan. Even being five years old at the time Hillsborough had a massive influence on my childhood. I always remember my older brother (a Liverpool fan) telling me of how fans were pulling strugglers up and the absolute horror as events unfolded. This was perhaps the first time as a young child I had to really deal with the idea of death but I was also overwhelmed by the kindness in human hearts.

    My sympathies to anyone who has been affected by this disaster.

    Despite what a certain great manager once said, there are things more important than the game, anybody who mocks this, simply because they are a fan of a rival club earns my total disgust.

    You'll Never Walk Alone.

  • Comment number 95.

    Pol Potter, perhaps you should take the time to read the report before you make judgement. Idiot.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Even as a Liverpool fan who was not at that match it effected me terribly. It does not matter if it is Liverpool;Everton;Man Utd or Skegness Rovers; it was something that should never have happened and I send my heartfelt wishes to the families of those who lost their lives adoring the club they supported. R.I.P. "you Will Never Walk Alone" God Bless.

  • Comment number 98.

    Well done Steve,
    Because I had lived as a student in Sheffied I had the same knowledge as you and so went onto the corner terrace in both 1988 and 1989.However we had been down the tunnel in 1988 before finding the correct route to the corner.
    But for the grace of God any of us in the Leppings
    Lane that day could have perished.20 years on,I still get very upset and not really looking forward to Saturday or Wednesday.

  • Comment number 99.

    Of the day itself I remember I had a match in Runcorn with our pub team. We finished the game at about 3 o' clock and as we jogged off to get changed and head back to watch the game someone shouted from a car that there had been 'trouble in the stands' at Hillsborough. Sadly at the time 'trouble' at the match usually meant only one thing so we never really thought about it. By the time we got back to our local the picture was beginning to develop and I remember just wanting to go home. When I got back my mum (a former Miss Liverpool FC) was in tears and we just sat there together watching the pictures on the telly.
    Adam Spearitt, the kid whose family featured centrally in Jimmy McGovern's 'Hillsborough', died that day. He went to the school I'd left a few years earlier and I knew his brother. They named the local sports hall after him. The council knocked it down a couple of years ago and there's no trace of it now. No clue as to what had been there or the small memorial it had once housed. God Bless you Adam. Never Forgotten.

    We've mourned the 96 for 20 years now and we, as a football community, will never, ever forget what happened that day. I just hope that one day someone has the courage to stand up and admit they got it wrong because what happened in Sheffield that day could have happened to anyone.

    Including the families and loved ones of the coppers on duty.

  • Comment number 100.

    I was 13 years old that day, and sat in my home in Glasgow, far from the devastation when I watched Grandstand. I eagerly awaited news of another Liverpool victory - I'd adopted Liverpool as "my English Team" when I began following football on as erious level and discovered Kenny Dalglish.

    What I saw had a profound effect on me, and still does. Once the dust had settled, I begged my parents to drive down to Liverpool so I could do something, anything. I settled for signing the book at the cathedral and leaving a scarf at the gates of Anfield.

    When Liverpool played at Celtic Park in aid of the victims' families, me and my Dad were there. I've never heard You'll Never Walk Alone sung with such passion before or since. The image that remains with me of that game is one of hope - the famous Jungle terracing of Celtic Park, usually the domain of the green and white alone was covered from side to side with all the colours of the football rainbow.

    From the green of the Celts, to the red of the Kop, with all the blues of Everton and Rangers in between - that day in Glasgow, football was united as a family to remember it's own. That's what football should be, and sadly in this day and age isn't - about.

    Strange that a sight so beautiful and moving should be born from a day so terrible and horrific... like a butterfly emerging from the caterpillar, beauty comes from the strangest places sometimes.

    RIP the Hillsborough 96. Never forgotten.

 

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