Hillsborough Please Remember Them

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by manx_yessir, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. manx_yessir

    manx_yessir Member

    Today is the 15th anniversary of that terrible day in Sheffield when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives. I've just been looking at the forum on www.liverpoolfc.tv, as I do everyday, and I always come across different stories from that awful day in 1989. It's amazing how many people were affected in some way. Some were there and survived. Some had relatives or friends there who passed away. Some tell stories of going to the next game and realising the fan that usually stood next to them on The Kop wasn't there because they'd died at Hillsborough. I challenge anyone to sit and read any of those stories and not shed a tear.
    This following poem has been written by a fan moved by the events that day.



    I watched in vain the Sea of Red,
    96 they said where dead.
    I watched the TV, in horror and pain
    The Liverpool fans they said to blame.
    What I rebelled with anger and pride
    Not the fans, not the people of Merseyside.
    THE SUN said to blame the fans in red
    YES!! Blame the Scousers for the 96 dead.
    Oh!!! How we watched the truth unfold
    we already knew what the world would be told
    The Yorkshire Police are to blame they now said. Not the Fans, not the Scousers, not the 96 dead.
    It was the police who opened the gates that day. It was the police who said Come on hurry! This way.
    Men, women and children all moved along
    Men, women and children all sang our great song.
    And as You’ll Never Walk Alone echoed with pride. All around Hillsborough and on Merseyside,
    Little did we know that our families where dying. Little did we know our children where crying.
    Aunties, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers,
    Cousins, Uncles, Friends and Mothers.
    All huddled together praying for one more chance. All huddled together in life’s last dance.
    So here we are in 2004
    Time to remember the 96 once more.
    Time to remember what had been said,
    by the SUN, by the Police
    About our 96 dead.
    You’ll Never Walk Alone

    By Paul Coleridge
    Taken from www.liverpoolfc.tv


    Please take a moment to remember those 96 Liverpool Supporters who went to cheer on their team that day on 15th April 1989 and never came home.

    You'll Never Walk Alone
     
  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Beat me to it Chris. I will never forget this day, 15 years ago, so excited about an FA Cup semi final that promised to be an excellent football match. How quickly the game was forgotten. A tragedy in the greatest sense of the word.

    The days that followed the tragedy were very moving and handled with great courage and emotion, not least by the players of Liverpool FC, who attended every one of the funerals that took place because of Hillsborough.

    My thoughs today are with the friends and families of fellow Kopites who lost their lives on that fateful day 15 years ago.

    You'll Never Walk Alone

    J96

    PS. Found this link very moving this morning: http://www.ynwa.tv/ynwa_core.nsf
     
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I remember just feeling numb shock when news of events was being relayed on Grandstand. Though obviously, it never made up for the tragedy, it was fitting that the subsequent final be between Liverpool and Everton, and that it was such a cracking game.

    May they continue to rest in peace.
     
  4. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    My thoughts also go out to those who lost loved ones on that tragic day.

    Be grateful, however, for those lives given, so that an incident of even greater magnitude could be avoided.
    The legislation concerning stadia designs was reviewed following the disaster and proper procedures were subsequently initiated.
    If this had not occured, a similar catastrophe would doubtlessly have taken place. Had it happened in a larger/heavier populated stand instead, a significantly higher loss of life would surely have been suffered.

    Rest in Peace.
    Hope you can all still watch the footy.
     
  5. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Can only echo the previous sentiments.

    Its a day that will forever live in my memory. I was at Villa Park that day watching the other semi final between Everton and Norwich.

    We were completely unaware as to what had happened at Hillsborough until we got back to the car and put the radio on. Just listening to it made you go cold at the thought of so many people being killed watching the beautiful game. Football no longer seemed important.

    May they rest in peace.
     
  6. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Bet they're all still decked out in red and singing that song.

    You'll never walk alone.


    Rest in peace.
     
  7. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    I was there that day. We were pretty late and the police allowed Emlyn Hughes, who had arrived at the same time as us, to gain accesss to the south stand through the police barriers but told us to walk all the way around to the front of the ground. We walked through thousands of people who could not possibly have gained access to the match by kick off time and we fully expected the game to be postponed. Everyone knows what happened next. My thoughts today are with those who were left behind - families, friends of the 96. YNWA
     
  8. manx_yessir

    manx_yessir Member

    I wasn't there that day. But like millions of others, I watched those terrible events unfold on t.v. I'll never forget that feeling of sheer disbelief and sadness. All these people went to do was cheer on their team in an F.A. Cup Semi-Final. Instead they were crushed to death. The South Yorkshire Police force have admitted they got it wrong and it shouldn't have happened. But still no-one has been punished or charged. Why?

    Justice For The 96


    I went to Anfield the week after Hillsborough, not to watch a football game, but to pay my respects. The whole pitch was covered in flowers, scarfs, cards. Scarfs from Man Utd fans. Scarfs from Everton fans. Scarfs from every team you can think of. Football didn't matter so much anymore. Everytime I go to Anfield now, I can still picture that pitch covered in flowers and all the people that had come back then to pay their respects. Many of them I'm sure, had lost a loved one that day. I hope I don't have to see anything so heart breaking ever again.

    To the 96, none of your fellow Reds will ever forget you.

    You'll Never Walk Alone
     
  9. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    The suppoters and officials of Liverpool FC conducted themselves, at the time and to this day with such dignity. Its just a pity those responsible for justice in this country cannot act with the same diginity and bring those responsible to justice.

    manx_yessir, you are so right why has nobody ever been brought to account over this?

    The week after I remember that Norwich were at home to Aston Villa. Before the game the club had organised an SA band (Norwich Citadel I believe) to play. The PA asked for a minutes silence which was strictly observed, then the silence was broken at the end of the minute by the band playing You'll Never Walk Alone. It was an atmosphere I will never forget, I dont think there was a dry eye around.

    3 years later Norwich were involved in the 1st semi final to be played at Hillsboro following the tragedy. Norwich supporters were at the Leppings Lane End and were allowed to place floral tributes behind the goal on the peri track a site again never to be forgotten.

    I now work as a safety steward at football and so much has been learned about crowd safety and over crowding. The question is why did it take 96 innocent lives for football grounds to adopt common sense procedures.
     
  10. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    I never know what to say on this type of thread so ill keep it simple.

    Youll Never Walk Alone.

    craig
     
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  12. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I can't remember that day, I was only 6 at the time, but the effects of it can still be felt in Sheffield today.

    My housemate sums it up best when after returning from watching his side Scunthorpe dump Wednesday out of the cup, his comment was "Being in a not very full Leppings Lane End in a virtually empty Hillsborough is one of the eeryiest things I've ever experienced. It was spine-tingling"

    R.I.P the 96
     
  13. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    On an anniverary like this, how nice to read this story:

    What a tribute to Paul's father and uncle.

    Full story here:
     
  14. akwarose

    akwarose Active Member

    i dont know what happened that day, and i dont remember it, but i was still touched by that poem.

    R.I.P the 96

    You'll Never Walk Alone
     
  15. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    For a full account see http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/, although some of the "chronology" can't be accessed.

    However, as a student at Sheffield Uni myself currently, I found this account particularly moving...

    "A student in Sheffield at the time, Gill Whibley recalls her memories from the stand and the reaction to the tragedy from the people of Sheffield

    Thursday April 15, 2004

    I was a student at Sheffield University in 1989 so an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough meant that as well as going to the game, I could get a lift back with all my freshly-washed clothes and a food package from home.
    My Dad, his friend Dave and I set off from Liverpool in a heavily laden car across the Snake Pass to my student digs. After unloading my belongings, we left the car behind in the Broomhill area of the city and set off for the ground.

    Being an adopted local, and having been to see Sheffield Wednesday play a few times before, I knew which bus to catch and the walk down to the away end. I'd always been in the visitors' end with friends when their teams played away at Hillsborough.

    We walked past several Liverpool fans - who appeared in good form - on our way to the ground. Spirits were high. I was excited, I really believed we were going to Wembley. Dad joked about the prospect of meeting Everton in the final, they were playing Norwich in the other semi-final at Villa Park.

    As usual, we arrived in the ground early. We took up our seats in the stand. I had always enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere inside the ground as tension mounts ahead of the kick-off.

    With about five minutes to go I noticed something odd. The Leppings Lane end looked to be filling up much more quickly in the middle sections, with the section farthest away from me virtually empty.

    I pointed it out to my Dad, who'd already noticed, he expressed his concern. It didn't make sense, he said. Why had everyone with tickets behind the goal turned up, and hardly anyone on the either side of the goal not?

    As 3pm got closer and closer, his anxiety increased. He thought that he should say something to the police. I - and I have to live with this - discouraged him. I'd had run-ins with the police at the anti-poll tax demonstrations and student "grants-not-loans" marches and didn't trust them. I thought he'd be arrested for causing trouble.

    The game kicked off. I kept one eye focused on the crowd, my Dad had both. He just couldn't believe what he was seeing. He was worried, "People are going to die in there," he said.

    A couple of people were already clambering over the top of the fence. One supporter walked round the edge of the pitch in front of us, the game still in play, holding his arm at the elbow. His forearm was broken in several places, it looked like a set of stairs. I felt sick.

    Then came Peter Beardsley's shot at goal, and the surge in the crowd. I watched helpless as people started to pour onto the pitch. It wasn't clear what was going on at first, the Forest fans seemed to think it was Liverpool trouble-makers invading the pitch, and shouted abuse. It didn't last. It was soon apparent what was going on and an eerie hush fell over the Kop end.

    As the injured spilled onto the pitch, I watched in horror with my hand over my face as the first few were carried in front of me on the torn down advertising hoardings, clutching arms, legs or chests. Then a moment I'll never forget. One fan, his coat pulled over his head to cover his face, was carried by four others, heads bowed, walking slowly. I'd been fighting back the tears, now they flowed. I felt helpless, sick, frightened for those still inside.


    People started to leave the stand, no one was being allowed on to the pitch from where we were, none of us had any medical training, so we took the decision to leave. It felt disrespectful to watch the suffering and do nothing.

    The three of us went back to the house I shared. It was just at the back of the Hallamshire Hospital, and as we sat in the kitchen, all you could hear were the sirens ambulances racing from the ground. I couldn't stop crying.

    One of the other lads who lived in the house had also been at the game. He was in the same stand as me with one of his friends, so I wasn't worried about him, well only for a short while. They arrived back not long after us. My Dad and Dave left for the journey back to Liverpool.

    Eventually, the sirens stopped. I spent the night in a sleeping bag on the floor in my friend's room, too distraught to be alone. None of us slept.

    I saw my Dad the next day when he returned to Sheffield, this time in a professional capacity. He was the Principle Building Surveyor, responsible for licensing, at Liverpool City Council and he came back with his boss, the City Building Surveyor, to meet with senior police officers and see the ground for themselves ahead of an emergency council meeting on the Monday.

    My Dad helped to prepare a report, on behalf of Liverpool City Council, into the disaster. His involvement in the licensing process at both Liverpool and Everton meant he was party to the decision to remove the perimeter fences at Anfield and Goodison.

    Now the Chairman of the Football Safety Officers Association, my Dad has seen his passion for football and the provision of a safe environment to watch from become his vocation.

    I found it hard being in Sheffield, close to the scene. I avoided the local papers; after the treatment by the Sun, I feared the city might be defensive and attack the Liverpool fans in the same way.

    It was confusing, being in the city that had seen the death of so many, so far away from Liverpool. In some ways it felt like a betrayal, but it was also comforting to be at home and surrounded, like Liverpool, of talk of nothing else. It would have been harder for me to have been a student somewhere completely detached from what had happened.

    As I remember, three students at the University lost their lives in the disaster. I vaguely knew one of them. The main entrance of the University became a memorial site, everyday there were more flowers and messages. Being so close to Merseyside, there were many students who came from Liverpool at the college, and everyone was moved by what had happened.

    The following Saturday, a friend and I each took a collection box into the centre of Sheffield city centre. The student union had helped organise people to take part, raising funds for those affected by the disaster. We stood outside a large department store and I cried all day. I had no idea what reaction to expect, I was emotional, but determined.

    Most people were incredibly generous and supportive. One woman, choking back the tears, said that on that night she had held her son and sobbed, he'd been to Hillsborough many times as a Wednesday supporter and was the same age as some of those who had died. People couldn't understand how it could happen at a football game.

    Everyone who put money in the collection box had a kind word to say, some were ashamed that this had happened in their city or at their team's ground. A few recognised it could easily have been them or their loved ones. Some were disgusted by the reaction of the police. Others just gave my hand a squeeze as they dropped in their coins.

    There were only a handful who seemed to have swallowed the lies fed by the Sun. They regurgitated the rubbish, laying the blame at the Liverpool "hooligans", "look at Heysel, it must be true", but they really were the minority. Mostly I felt compassion and a shared sense of loss.

    I still take it personally that the city in which I lived could not provide the answers or deliver the justice that are, in many ways, still missing.

    I applaud the work of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and this year I am taking part in the London Triathlon to raise funds and, I hope, awareness for the work that they do."

    Taken from http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9753,935591,00.html
     
  16. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Thanks for posting that Colin.

    No matter how many times I read various people's accounts of that fateful day, I get so emotional.

    RIP 96
    YNWA
     
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    My son Jonathan attended the Liverpool/Fulham game on Saturday as part of his 21st birthday celebrations and was quite overwhelmed by the minute's silence before the game.

    Well-deserved praise to all the Fulham supporters for recognising how precious those moments were.
     

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