I remember Hillsborough. We had the telly on in our front room, couldn’t believe what we were seeing. I come from a family of mixed Liverpool and Everton supporters, though thankfully none of us had gone to the match that day. We knew people who had.
I remember that Saturday night, I’d arranged to meet a couple of friends and go into town like we did every weekend. The bus into town on a Saturday night in Liverpool could be quite a raucous affair with plenty of chat, banter and laughter. I remember one of my friends laughed about something just after we’d got on, then went quiet. The three of us looked at one another as we realised that the bus, still with plenty of people on it, was silent.
A few days after Hillsborough I got the train down to visit a friend who lived in South Devon. Her dad had left that copy of The Sun lying on an armchair. I looked at it and I knew it was lies. I’d been to plenty of football matches in the mid-eighties. I’d been to Liverpool-Everton derbies where the fans mixed and had a laugh on the terraces. You occasionally heard of trouble, with supporters from opposing teams, although I never witnessed anything other than provocative chants, but no doubt there were some problems and there were some yobs around. Amongst the fans of the same team however, there was a camaraderie not found elsewhere. To think that these people who sang together every week, one voice in support of their beloved team, to think that when fellow supporters were dying around them they would do these things that that rag reported…. well it was unthinkable. What was sickening was that so many people were willing to believe the worst.
I visited Anfield to pay my respects. I took my old Everton scarf and my brother’s Liverpool one, to add to the chain of scarves that were being stretched across Stanley Park to surround the two football grounds, Anfield and Goodison. There was obviously much sadness, there was also a lot of anger about press coverage which included the publication of close-up faces of dying fans on front pages, then came the front covers of The Sun and The Daily Star amongst others.
I’ve never bought a copy of The Sun in my life and I’m proud of the people of Liverpool who’ve made the city a no-go area for that particular excuse for a newspaper. I have huge respect for the families, friends and supporters who fought for 23 years and have at last been vindicated as the extent of the cover-up has been revealed.
I include this link to a video from the Guardian website, (as I couldn’t work out how to embed it here). It expresses much that is difficult to put into words.
- You’ll Never Walk Alone returns to top of charts after Hillsborough report (guardian.co.uk)
- Sun Apologises For Hillsborough Story Shame (news.sky.com)
- Exclusive – Quinn: Dalglish deserves knighthood for post-Hillsborough support (talksport.co.uk)
- VIDEO: ‘Monumental cover-up’ of Hillsborough (bbc.co.uk)