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15th April 1989


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On the 15th April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at Hillsborough when they were crushed to death during the the semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest.

Justice For The 96

You'll Never Walk Alone

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Here is what happened first hand to someone (taken from Liverpool website):

Hillsborough By Steve Hunter

Everyone who was at Hillsborough on April 15th 1989 has their own tale to tell of the day. This is just one of them. Neither more or less important than anyone elses.

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 in the summer of 2000 and he and his wife had their first baby boy last year. 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 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 unbelievable though 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?

Every fan was affected by the Hillsborough Disaster in some way, whether it be families of the bereaved, those who were injured, fans watching in the stand above and helping others climb to safety, and fans who couldn't get a ticket listening to the radio and watching Grandstand.

Now working my dream job as a kid of commentating on Liverpool matches, for Liverpool Football Club's official website Liverpoolfc.tv, 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. Justice for the 96!

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

HillsboroughMemorial_15042002_300x200.jpg

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ok, not to sound unsympathetic, but i'm just having a hard time understanding how this could happen. i am a huge sports fan. i go to games pretty often.. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, all of them. i've been to big games, playoff games, so i understand the excitement that goes along with it. i've waited in huge lines to enter the stadium. key word "waited", and ive never seen anything even remotely close to this. i dont understand how people could be allowed to just stampede like that, and even then, how they could do it. it seems like as soon as i stepped on someone lying on the ground, i'd be like "oh sh*t, theres someone on the ground, and i just stepped on them." maybe thats just me.

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ok, not to sound unsympathetic, but i'm just having a hard time understanding how this could happen. i am a huge sports fan. i go to games pretty often.. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, all of them. i've been to big games, playoff games, so i understand the excitement that goes along with it. i've waited in huge lines to enter the stadium. key word "waited", and ive never seen anything even remotely close to this. i dont understand how people could be allowed to just stampede like that, and even then, how they could do it. it seems like as soon as i stepped on someone lying on the ground, i'd be like "oh sh*t, theres someone on the ground, and i just stepped on them." maybe thats just me.

585784042[/snapback]

You don't understand how rabid the fans are in England for soccer games. I've been to both, and people in america do not get anywhere near as excited for games that people in the UK do.

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You don't understand how rabid the fans are in England for soccer games. I've been to both, and people in america do not get anywhere near as excited for games that people in the UK do.

585784629[/snapback]

<<personal attack removed>> The reason those fans died is because of the police control on the day. The police allowed fans to carry on walking through one of the tunnels underneath the stands into the same pens. By the time the tragedy started, it was too late to avert, as people couldn't simply step back out of the pen they were herded into, as people were still pouring in.

I speak as an Everton fan (Liverpool's arch rivals) so believe me, I would be the last person to defend Liverpool fans if they were wrong.

Edited by BOOGSoftball
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as i have said before and as it says in my sig, goto http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/history/index.htm and read. People that make ignorant comments about the english being rabid at football matches and then relate it to the hillsborough tragedy really make me sick.

In england we do not carry guns or flares to games as happens in South America, yes we are passionate about our national pastime but NEVER would that be to the extent that people get killed.

As Garry has stated Ev0l, you are an idiot, if not for your comment, for not doing a little research into the topic before making such an outrageous comment.

I'm sure that no offence was meant however, and the comments should not divert from the fact that due to police ineptitude, 96 innocent people needlessly died on that day.

CatnipOligarthy, there was no stampede, it was nearing 3pm, the traffic was late and the police refused to delay the game, it was a major event and people simply wanted to view what they had paid for. As for stopping because someone has fallen on the ground, look at the pictures and read the accounts of those that were there, it wasnt as simple as a stampede or as people falling over, people were quite literally crushed on their feet. What you have to remember is that this was in the days of terracing and not an all seater stadium hence the term "football stand".

JFT 96, YNWA.

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You don't understand how rabid the fans are in England for soccer games. I've been to both, and people in america do not get anywhere near as excited for games that people in the UK do.

585784629[/snapback]

Excited and crazy are two different things.

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