posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 02:45 PM
For those who aren't aware what happened back on April 15th 1989 at the FA Cup Semi-Final, between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest ,and afterwards
then you need to. Because the higher echelons of the South Yorkshire Police and sections of the media sought to cover up what really went on. A cover
up that hid the the reasons for the deaths of 96 entirely innocent football fans. One of the victims was a 10 year old boy Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the
youngest to lose his life, and cousin of the now captain of Liverpool (and England) football teams, Steven Gerrard. He and the other 95 should never
have died that day and the families should never have had to put up with the smear stories and lies that followed. For 23 long years they have fought
to get to the real truth as to how their loved ones were lost.
Back in the 1980s football was not the sport it is today in England with it's fantastic all seater stadia, international superstars and saturation
coverage across global satellite TV. Games were often played in 100 year old creaking football grounds with scant regard for the fans,especially those
who stood on the open terracing to support their teams. It should not be forgotten that heavy handed policing and high fencing was in operation to
keep the "hooligans" penned in during this time.
What happened at Hillsborough was tragic. Crowds were building up outside as the start of the game drew ever closer. Inside the stadium. in the lower
tier areas behind the goal, fans were already experiencing extreme discomfort and crushing. Some were already losing their breath as the pressure
grew. Unbelievably the policeman in charge ordered a large exit gate to be opened to reduce the crush of fans outside the ground. Fans streamed into
the areas causing more crushing as the game kicked off. Some fans began to climb the high fences to protect themselves. Others who were not so lucky
were crushed, many suffered serious injuries, for 96 of them it was fatal and they never returned home.
With dead and wounded numbers growing the police finally realised what was going on, the game was stopped and fans spill out onto the pitch trying to
resuscitate their fallen friends. However the ambulances and professional medical support were kept out of the ground due to more police indecision
and bungling. People had literally had the life squeezed out of them and now there was no one to come to their aid.
What followed was worse. The South Yorkshire police immediately launched a propaganda exercise via the media that drunken Liverpool supporters had
kicked down the exit gate and "killed their own" by forcing their way into the ground. The Sun newspaper then printed lies about fans stealing from
the dead and even more unsavoury things that simply weren't true. Witness statements were also altered by senior police officers.
Inquests in 1991 into the deaths of the victims returned a majority verdict of accidental death, and ruled all 96 were all dead by 3.15pm. Which now
can be seen as total fabrication.
These lies have been difficult to shake off as they were perpetuated by Kelvin McKenzie, an execrable character, who has finally apologised but down
the years has often claimed that facts should never get in the way of a good story. The initial media reports stuck in the minds of many. To this day
there was a belief that Hillsborough was caused by violent, murdering Liverpool fans because of those early reports.
Although I was working that day and missed the game I do know a few people who were there that day who thankfully came home. My (now) brother in law
was outside the Leppings Lane part of the ground and said he had this terrible feeling of danger and decided to wait outside. He never actually
entered the ground and maybe that is the reason he is still alive today? I also know a few other guys who are still haunted by that day with memories
that bring tears to their eyes. Painful memories of feeling their breath squeezed from them with nowhere to go to relieve that pressure, seeing limp,
lifeless, bodies carried away on pieces of advertising hoarding, and the helplessness and sheer horror of what was unfolding around them.
It has been a long hard road to finally get full disclosure and thanks should go to Andy Burnham, Steve Rotherham, many of the Merseyside (and other
national) MPs and the support groups who campaigned tirelessly to get to this point.
Even if the whole truth is not forthcoming then hopefully the media coverage will wake people up to the fact that this was a carefully executed
cover-up by various high profile organisations. It has finally had the lid prized open on it.
RIP 96 - YNWA