The Hillsborough Disaster Warnings That Weren’t Heeded – by Rob Atkinson


Hillsborough - an Anfield tribute

Hillsborough – an Anfield tribute

Incredibly, 27 years have flashed past already, since that awful spring day in 1989, when 96 football fans turned up to follow their team towards Wembley – and never came home again. I was one of a paltry 14,915 at Elland Road that day, watching Leeds United eke out a 1-0 home win over Brighton as Sgt. Wilko’s first half-season meandered to an uneventful close. When the news filtered through that there had been “trouble” in the semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, the initial reaction was as predictable as it was wide of the mark: “the scousers are at it again.” Heysel was still fresh in the memory, English clubs were still banned from Europe – and nobody judges football fans quite like other football fans (or, at least, so we thought until the Sun got going). We were tolerably certain, as a bunch of Leeds supporters, that the Liverpool fans had caused more bother, and we glumly predicted another indiscriminate backlash that would envelop us all.

As we were on our way out of Elland Road, though, the full, awful impact started to hit home. There were deaths – people had actually died at an English football stadium – something that hadn’t happened on anything like this scale before. Apart from the Bradford fire – a very different disaster – the only comparable event in England had been the Burnden Park tragedy at Bolton, when 33 had lost their lives in a crush at a hopelessly inadequate ground with over 85,000 attending an FA Cup quarter final. That had been well over a generation before, in 1946. Surely, it couldn’t really be happening again, on an even greater scale, in the shiny bright late eighties?

But as we looked on in horror, the TV and radio news brought increasingly sombre statistics while the death toll steadily mounted – and later the sheer ghastliness of the event would be magnified as the tale of criminal incompetence and official negligence was revealed – and as the filthy end of the press, abetted by weaselling functionaries in Government and the Civil Service, jumped on the “blame the fans” bandwagon that other football supporters had vacated as soon as the scale and nature of the catastrophe became apparent.

If you were a Leeds United fan, a chill ran through you when you thought about what had happened; when you realised that this had, indeed, been a disaster waiting to happen. The Hillsborough Stadium was so oriented that the organising authorities found it easier, more convenient, to allocate stands to the fans of opposing semi-finalists based on where the bulk of those fans were travelling from. So, in 1989, Forest got the large Kop End, while the much larger Liverpool contingent were shovelled into the Leppings Lane End behind the opposite goal. It was the same the year before, when the same two teams contested the 1988 semi-final. And, similarly, in 1987, when Coventry of the Midlands faced Leeds United of the North, the greater Leeds numbers found themselves packed tight in Leppings Lane, while the smaller Coventry band enjoyed the wide open spaces on the Hillsborough Kop.

So two years prior to the Hillsborough Disaster, I and thousands of others were packed into the smaller Leppings Lane End on that April the 12th of 1987. The atmosphere was electric; it was United’s first FA Cup semi for ten years and Billy Bremner‘s men had been in terrific form as they challenged for a double of the Cup and promotion to the old Division One. We were jammed in like sardines on that terrace; looking up you could see fans climbing out of the back of the crowd, up over the wall and into the upper tier of the stand where space was more freely available.

Down on the packed terrace, it was swaying, singing fever pitch from before the kick-off right through to the heart-breaking climax of extra time. You weren’t an individual, you were part of a seething mass that moved as one, shouted and sang as one and breathed – when it could – as one. When Leeds scored their two goals, it was mayhem in there – you couldn’t move, you couldn’t breathe, you just bobbed about like a cork on stormy waters, battered by the ecstasy of the crowd, loving it and, at the same time, just a bit worried about where your next gulp of oxygen was coming from. Leeds took the lead early, David Rennie scoring down at the far end. That shattering celebration was topped when, having gone 2-1 behind, Leeds clawed it back right in front of us as Keith Edwards headed an equaliser and the United army exploded with joy. It was the single most jubilant and yet terrifying moment of my life to that point.

Later, after the match was over, as we trailed away despondently from the scene of an heroic defeat, there was time to reflect on what had been an afternoon of highs and lows, with the physical reaction of that epic few hours inside a pressure cooker swiftly setting in. With the benefit of twenty-twenty hindsight, it’s easy enough now to look back over twenty-nine years and think: “Yes, we were lucky.” Lucky that the incompetence threshold wasn’t passed that day when we were there. Lucky that enough of the terrace fans got into the upper tier to relieve the pressure ever so slightly – was that a factor?  So lucky that it wasn’t us, when it easily could have been. Lucky, ultimately, to be alive and kicking still. The warning signs were there – they just weren’t perceived by those of us – the fans – for whom it had just been another somewhat uncomfortable but thrilling spectator experience. That those signs weren’t recognised or heeded by the people responsible for public safety is a far more damning fact.

Poignantly enough, the luck we’d had that day wasn’t shared by 96 Liverpool supporters two years later. They set off happily, to support their heroes – and, tragically, they never returned. Twenty-seven years on, the wait for justice has been torturous for all concerned. The families and friends left behind, veterans of over a quarter of a century of grief and loss, have never given up their courageous fight, despite cover-ups and official brick walls, despite scurrilous press coverage which reached an obscene and disgusting low point with the Sun – that vanguard of the gutter press – and its sickening lies. 

Now, there is an inquest verdict at last. We have the official findings of unlawful killing and, surely there is finally justice for The 96. And indeed for all of the friends and family they left behind. Yet, even now, with the South Yorkshire Police Force unreservedly accepting the inquest findings, we still have the likes of Thatcher aide Bernard Ingham refusing to apologise for his own scandalous remarks in the wake of the disaster, now utterly discredited as he himself has been. There is no remorse or regret from Ingham, who stands as a symbol of official ignorance and deceit. All he is good for now, this bitter, bigoted old man, is sitting at home and growing his comedy eyebrows.

Twenty-seven years is far too long for anyone bereaved of their loved ones to wait – but justice is worth waiting for, if only so that the dead can sleep more peacefully and the living can have closure of a sort – and move on with the business of being alive. And – as a footnote – how appropriate it would now be if Liverpool FC could go on to win the Europa League after that thrilling victory over Borussia Dortmund – just for the families, the friends and those that were lost on that fateful day and in its aftermath..

There could be no finer or more fitting tribute to The 96, surely, than this long-awaited justice that has been served today – and the return of the Champions League football to Anfield.

Let it be.

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52 responses to “The Hillsborough Disaster Warnings That Weren’t Heeded – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Hi Rob, I too was there that day in 87. Do you remember the kick-off being put back 30 mins as there was so many still to get into Leppings Lane? the exact same scenario as 89 was in the process of happening as people outside were trying to get in thinking they were missing the game but on that occasion they put the kick off back and announced it on the p.a. and via loudspeakers outside so that everyone calmed down and disaster was avoided. I’ve never known why they didn’t do the same in 89?

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    • I’d forgotten the half hour delay – I do remember our coach waiting just off the motorway to form part of a convoy. I’d been at a party the night before and started going out with the lass I’m now married to – so I was the worse for wear that morning. Don’t think I woke up properly till Rennie scored!

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  2. Steve Silverman

    Hi Rob,yes I remember it all too well and I always think,there but for the grace of God etc etc.We travelled down by car,got pulled onto the hard shoulder a couple of times to be searched for drink,none found !
    Parked up and walked to the ground,also stopped a couple of times.That day has soured my opinion on the Sheffield Police forever,even before what has since emerged about how rubbish they were (and may even still be).Getting into the ground through that tunnel was enough to give anyone the screaming abdabs but coming out onto the terrace and slowly being squeezed beyond the point of comfortable was deeply unpleasant .That day has stayed with me and I suspect lots of other Leeds fans and we know what could have happened.Anyway we we lost,we waited till a good majority of the end cleared before going to the other end of the ground to collect a flag that had been confiscated by those wonderful boys in blue.
    Just to say I enjoy reading your work ,don’t agree with everything though !

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  3. wetherby white

    I was in the leppings lane end that day in 87. I remember entering and leaving with my feet never on the ground-and Im a six footer! The atmosphere, like it always was in the late eighties, was like ive never known it before or since, but Id never known a crush like it either.
    The scousers deserve justice and I hope they win the league to boot.

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  4. Ian Finlay

    I, too was at Hillsboro when leeds played Coventry, as you said it was very crowded and scary , my feet never touched the ground for most of the match, god bless the 96

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  5. A disaster also born out of the design of the stand, it could never have happened in a stand such as the Kop at ER where fans filter in from the bottom and make their way back. The entrances to the Leppings lane end were at the back and therefore the weight of all those coming in builds on the front of the crowd with no relief mechanism. The longer you keep feeding people in from the back the worse it gets!!
    For all it was tragic – those days of jam packed, swaying crowds (trying to find your mates after the bedlam of a goal) were the good old days for most of us. I suppose we all enjoyed it so much we were just too naive to think that anything could go wrong- sadly we were very wrong

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  6. i always remember that day been stopped somewhere up the penistone road by the police who boarded our and other coaches to inform us that the kick off would be delayed by 30 minutes so there was no need to rush. I still believe this was done due to the reputation we had at the time, and probably fully deserved, for causing mayhem wherever we went and the police acted accordingly by giving everyone a little more time and stopping any aggravation at the turnstiles. I was in the seats above the leppings lane so have no idea what the terrace was like but i always wonder if the same decisions had been made in 89 and a delay announced if it would have helped. Sadly we will never know.

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  7. I remember walking from dewsbury with my mate the night before tickets went on sale , we qued all night and the next morning having bought our tickets we walked the ten mile back , but during that night a Leeds fan in the Que said he already had a ticket for the seats for sale so seeing a way to make a quick buck I bought that ticket too , this ticket was also a park and ride ticket from elland road so it had transport to sheffield thrown in too , I then sold the ticket to the leppings lane end , anyway that’s my story of how I got there , but once in there I had a birds eye veiw of the crush in that end and saw a few lads I know being pulled up to the seats above , later when I spoke to my mate who was in there on the ticket id sold him he said it was really scary at times and his ribs were badly brused from the crush , so as you say rob a lot came flooding back when it happened that awful day for the Liverpool fans , a tragic event that could , and should have been avoided ,

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    • It would be interesting to hear a sheff Wednesday fans point of view on this end of the ground rob , they must surley have seen many problems prior to this tragic day , I remember as a lad of 13 being in the leppings lane end in the “battle of the roses” semi v man u, I was desperate to see this match , there was no live coverage in those days , I managed to get my hands on a ticket , but it was for the man u end , this was the leppings lane end , I think the only reason I couldn’t get a ticket for the Leeds end is because the man u fans had managed to buy half of them, anyway off I went , scared to death cos id be in enemy camp but still excited to see the game , anyway I was pulled out by the police , not for being a Leeds fan but because I was getting crushed against a barrier

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  8. I was in the Leppings Lane seats in ’87 and remember looking down on the ‘sardines’ packed down below. I recall after the game having to the gym to collect my LUFC Union Jack, the same gym that 2 years later would be storing the bodies of fellow football fans. All Leeds supporters should remember the (Scouse) Kops’ reaction to us winning the league at Anfield in 68/69 and shout for them all the way to the title over the next 4 weeks. And boy would that upset the lesser Reds down the road in Salford!

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  9. 1987 was the first FA Cup semi-final I missed (I was struggling to bring up 5 young ‘uns by then) but I was in Elland Road as part of the 57,000 record crowd against Sunderland; that was a ground that has since been expanded but now holds less than 40,000! What saved us that night was that thousands spilled over the front walls and the police wisely allowed them to stay there to watch the game. That was some atmosphere!

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  10. Well put yet as per usual Rob, to reinforce Leeds Lad`s point I remember only too well the feeling of sheer terror at the Gelderd End ( Long before seats and Hillsborough) I was 13 years old, and was with my two school mates (Dale and Coops) we were playing Scumchester, they were playing the toothless traitor up front, the crowd was 40,000 (or thereabouts) and the travelling scum fans in those days where many! coin throwing was the norm from them, into the masses of Leeds fans, the only real security from coins and bottles of urine was a rather flimsy net slung down from the roof of the stand, the atmosphere was buzzing,the crowd moved as a heaving, heavy sea, this way and that, the only thing to hang onto where the crash barriers, and even then you did not want to get squashed against one of those, in front of one was safer, as all the free standing fans disappeared toward the goal whenever there was action in the goal-mouth (there was plenty, we lost 2-0), it was terrifying for a small group of School boys, Dale vanished, could`nt find him anywhere, me and Coops hung onto each other for the whole game, hardly saw the action, lost the game and we lost Dale at the same time. Just a little taste of how things where for the modern buffet brigade! Oh, thankfully Dale was safe with the fantastic St Johns Ambulance, (he was passed down overhead to the front) St Johns still attend games now,as they did at Hillsborough.

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  11. Hi Rob, I to was there that day and had the same feelings as you i’d have never have missed it for the world, we were very lucky that day for those people not there picture walking throw a double door size alleyway leading to an area the size of a lower 3 bedroom house and then try to fit in thousands of Leeds fans my recollection there were no signs either right or left anyway I would like to join with you and send all the best to Liverpool families and friends may they never be forgot or walk alone. Rob good post mate, I read it now each time you put post up .
    Thanks Gary.

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  12. Rob, went to a game against Wednesday in about 76 and remember thinking then that the ground was inherently dangerous, just getting in snd out there was such s crush and it was difficult to breath. I was a 15 stone, 23 year old snd I recall lifting my feet off the ground and bring carried by the crowd. There was something inherently dangerous about the place. Now we know that the stand and for me the entrance to the stand was not fit for purpose. Someone should have known! The problem is that there was no ground safety officers in those days snd not at all sure that the regulations were adequate. Let’s hope that they get all the answers soon!

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  13. Great article.

    I don’t know if you’re aware rob, but the people running the hillsborough enquiry want to speak to Leeds fans that were at that semi final, regarding the state of the stadium and policing.

    Wasn’t there myself being only 11 at the time, but I’m guessing the accounts of some of the blokes here might be useful in helping them make a case for lessons not learnt.

    Fitting tribute at the weekend by the way.

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  14. I lost my mate after about 10 minutes in Leppings. Finally clocked his beetroot red mush about thirty feet away amongst the heaving throng. I mouthed the words – ‘are you ok?’- and I remember him shaking his head in the negative. I tried to get a pull up into the upper tier, but was warned by a lad not to bother as apparently the SYP were ejecting those who had managed it. Sounds about right, don’t it?

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  15. Alan Collins

    I was there in 87 with my 14 year old son and his friend. When we arrived we couldnt get down the tunnel because it was packed so we went down the side . The lads could’t see so we agreed where to meet after and they pushed through to get behind the goal (sic)
    My abiding memory of that day as well as not being able to move ,was we were all sun-burnt and dehydrated.
    But as we found out 2 years later we were extreamly lucky

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  16. What disturbed me about the 87 and the tragic 89 semi were this, on route to the ground in 87, I and so many others were stopped by police and made to show our tickets, one bloke was actually held back by police despite his pleas and insistence he was meeting his mate at the ground to pick up his ticket . So we had restriction of movement on an English highway in one case, and gross dereliction of duty on the other .

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  17. Remember arriving at the ground and going through the central tunnel to be met with a packed terrace a long time before kick off.

    We were well used to a packed terrace from the lowfields but that day was something else

    We made away to the corner flag section and watched the sway throughout the match.

    An accident waiting to happen.

    Very very sad and could have been us

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  18. Hi Rob, I wasn’t there in 87, but WAS with my Dad for the Man U semi years earlier. I remember the Leeds fans were in the big open Kop end, but Man U fans had a section of it and the police line to separate them was very thin. I remember seeing it kick off a few times during the game (Dad had got us tickets in the seats so I had a good view of it).
    My abiding memories are (apart from losing) 1) parking MILES too soon and having to walk ages to the ground, in a group of Leeds fans one of whom got hit by a car full of Man u fans as he walked, and 2) Man u fans bricking us from an embankment as we walked downhill towards the turnstiles.
    There seemed to me to be police everywhere but they didn’t seem to do anything about the stone-throwers and it was dangerous as we walked and then queued at the turnstiles. I was only 16 it’s funny what sticks in your mind all this time later!

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  19. Just going back to you geography of arriving at the ground Rob – I wasn’t at Hillsborough in 87 but went to the 72 semi against Birmingham Leeds had the Leppings Lane end then but also a number of tickets for the Kop in what to me as a 14 yr old seemed to be the slap bang in the middle of the Brum (I still remember ‘Keep Right On To The End Of The Road’ over and over) and against Manchester Urinals we were also in the Kop but on both occassions the football specials took us in to a little station (it’s disused now) which was just up Penistone Road and we all walked down to the ground and came in from the Kop end (difference being that in 72 it was a bit of a shock when most of the 600 or so on the train went to the opposite end of the ground to where my ticket was for – squeeky bum time)

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  20. I was at the leeds v man.u. semi final in 77. It was as people have said,luckily I was in the top, I thought that was bad enough I was at the back having problems keeping my balance as the crowd heaved back forth. What it was like for the poor devils lower down I couldn’t imagine. It must have been horrific in the leaping,s lane end . I did not enjoy any of it. The ground was not fit for purpose.

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  21. Newcastle payed sheff wed in decemeber 88- won 2-1 – there were only three teams- according to my sheff wed supporting pal at college, who filled the whole of that end- Manu, Leeds and Newcastle- four I would imagine if you include sheff united. I wasn’t at the match but a couple of close pals who were there told me it was the scariest experience of their lives that day. Apparently they opened the pen that they kept closed for the Liverpool game during that newcastle match. An arbitrary police decision probably saved countless lives that day and if the same decision was taken that fateful day then countless lives could have been saved. The Polis HAD experience of handling big away crowds so why couldn’t a simple decision be made earlier, much earlier. I remember t.v showing a cup semi replay between wolves and spurs in 1978/9 ? and the same problems were being highlighted back then- you could see spurs fans climbing over the fences and at least one person being carried away on a stretcher!! It could have and should have been avoided and yes the polis should accept their fair share of the blame that terrible day but what about the authorities from the club itself who knew years before that they were playing russian roulette with innocent supporters lives? I’ve heard the stadium would have failed a safety report? why did the f.a continually allow semi- finals to be played on a ground where they knew there had been serious problems in the past- yes blame the polis- fuck knows they deserve everything they get but for every bent/thick/useless copper there is some pen pusher at the f.a – people of supposed good character/ people of education- who gambled with the lives of all of us!! and for what? NUFC. RIP 96.

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  22. As a Liverpool fan who was in the Leppings Lane end that day, it is very humbling to read the comments and article. I don’t know whether you guys can remember that crushing occurred in the 1981 semi (think it was Spurs v Wolves)? Here we all are, just simple football fans and we can all identify the issues with the stadium and choice of ends given. Shame the authorities couldn’t on more than one occasion back then.

    Thankfully I got to the ground early and wanted to stand in the middle as me and my mates always sang till sounding like Chris Rea in the Kop. Thankfully one of the lads suggested we go in stand in the elevated corner tier as this was our first real away game (excluding Goodison and the odd trip to Wembley). Whether it be luck, fate, act of God we all agreed.

    Thanks again for all the words and try to make it into the premier league next year as you are missed.

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  23. pattayarag

    Great article Rob. Glad you mentioned Ingham, horrible human being.

    I’ve been in two similar kop crowds, one at Roker Park for an FA Cup game that Leeds won at the 3rd attempt and at Wolves when Leeds were going for the double. Feet rarely touched the ground over 90mins.

    Surprisingly, the press reported the following day that it hadn’t been a capacity crowd at Wolves. Creative accountants having a laugh I think.

    The first domino to fall for the disaster was the FA awarding the semi to a ground with inadequate safety certificates. If that domino hadn’t fallen non of the rest would have fallen. Does that mean the FA could be charged with incompetence/negligence? Just wondering?

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  24. 27 years is a disgrace and says all that needs to be said about are establishment I hope the families and the deceased can now rest in peace

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  25. Rob, An administrative point(might be important if sending to enquiry). The comments/replies are dated 15/04/15 but your article is 26/04/16. Want this to have full impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Rob I remember the day well when the disaster happened you travelled to the game with Jonathan D his dad and myself.We were all speechless in the car on the way home dropping you off at Carlton on our way back to South Elmsall.
    The reason we were speechless were the facts you refer to being at the 87 semi final against Coventry and seeing our own fans getting crushed.I was lucky having a seat at the back of the Leppings Lane stand and Jon and his dad had seats down the side of the pitch.It didn’t help having a sweltering hot day either with fans being dehydrated as well as the crushing impact on their bodies.
    As for B.Ingham the man is a disgrace to humanity,he should be made to watch the video of the disaster every day from start to finish until he has the decency to apologises to the families of the unfortunate 96 supporters.
    This incident should have been avoided after the 81 and 87 incidents involving crushing and the South Yorkshire police were aware of the events unfolding in front of them on both occasions.
    It was a police against the normal man at the time treating everyone like animals as they had done in the miners strike.The whole thing was Thatchers evil baby that was evolving into a brutal animal itself with no remorse for anyone.
    Any working class man or football supporter who purchases the Sun should be ashamed of themselves.I know it was the 96 Liverpool fans that were the unlucky ones on that tragic day but it could have been supporters of any team in the football league who could have gone through the torture the families have had to endure.
    RIP the 96 and all the other supporters who have lost their lives in their quest to watch their beloved teams win any trophy available for them to challenge for.

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  27. Rob,
    I’m a lifelong Leeds fan now living in Calgary and your posts help give me a sense of the current Zeitgeist surrounding our team away from the bunkum and dross I see posted on HITC and the mainstream press. I thank you for that.
    Today’s post brought back 3 vivid memories. I tried and failed to get tickets for the Leeds v Cov semi final, but a mate went and got seats in the Main Stand at Hillsborough and said he spent most of the match watching the sea of Leeds fans swirling around the Leppings Lane end and couldn’t believe nobody got hurt. Maybe that 30 minute delay did save a catastrophe. In May 1988 I went with some mates who were Liverpool fans and watched them demolish the Wendies 5-1. We got there early, got a place on the terrace behind the goal no problem. Within minutes thousands of Scousers arrived, no doubt shoved down that tunnel by the Police and suddenly it was mayhem and kids were being passed over the fences to the right and the left and up to the seats above, much to the obvious annoyance of the cops standing right by us. Eventually they opened up the side gates and we could get out of the scrum and find some space. How nobody got hurt I don’t know, but when I watched with some of the same mates the Liverpool v Forest match on TV, we knew what was happening and why and we kept saying why weren’t Liverpool in the big end, just like Leeds should have been in 87. How many times did that scenario happen over countless years and how many times was it ignored?
    I’m glad Liverpool have got some justice, but everything about the disaster, the cover-ups and the investigations just seems rotten and for me opens up many more questions about the British Establishment and it’s ability to try and put the working man in his place. Fair play to the Justice for the 96 campaign for sticking it out. Vive La Revolution!

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  28. My wife asked me how did it happen? I knew there were barriers to prevent fans going on the pitch which I thought was dangerous anyway!But thanks to you Rob I can tell her why it happened!
    Enjoy your column very much
    Regards Carl
    C

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  29. pattayarag

    Rob – If you haven’t already read this, please read it. Not embarrassed to say I finished reading it in tears. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/apr/26/hillsborough-disaster-deadly-mistakes-and-lies-that-lasted-decades

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  30. I was there in 87 as well,as a previous poster stated, i was in the seats above the terracing and wasn’t really aware of crush, not until afterwards anyway. I do remember being stopped at least once and being asked to show my ticket.I do recall wondering on the day why Coventry had the Kop i always assumed because of our reputation at the time that it was easier for plod to put us in the north end, ok for those travelling from that way not so much fun if you travelled from the south like me. I do speculate that if that awful tradegy had been us, would the feeling of anger and injustice, that it certainly was,been as acute, at the time we were not well liked by the media while Liverpool fans ,Heysel apart, were looked on in a far better light.
    Read all your blogs, do not always agree with you but always worth a read if only to have me spitting feathers!

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  31. Hi Rob
    Yes I too was a lucky survivor from the Leeds semi
    I remember being pointed to the tunnel ahead and was unaware of any other entry points and the heave of people in the underground tunnel pushing to pop the cork of the people in front to get in the behind the goal lapping so lane end
    When in it was a case of swimming backwards up to the back to avoid the heater skelter swirl pool of people. Every time I read of the Liverpool semi I know it was a bullet dodged. Bless them all.

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  32. steve wilson

    Rob.I was there in 87 also, and I can tell you what caused the crush foe the Leeds fans. There were hundreds of Leeds fans who had arrived without a ticket (Was one of them), and we all milled around behind the Leppings Lane end of the ground hoping to get lucky with someone who had a spare. Then a gang of Coventry fans turned up there, they had wads of spare tickets that had gone unsold at Coventry, and these guys had bought them all up to flog to the Leeds fans. The problem was, they were for the kop end at H’boro, and the police didn’t want to have the Leeds fans mixing with the cov fans, so a senior officer instructed the groundstaff to allow any Leeds fans with kop tickets, into the LLend, I know this , because I was one of the fans that bought one of these tickets from a cov fan, and a copper let me into the LLend, that’s why there was a crush, the LL end had way too many people in it due to the extra’s that had bought tickets from these cov fans (who incidentally made a fortune)

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  33. Hi Rob,
    I travelled to the 87 game on a coach from Bolton, we arrived at the moterway turnoff for Sheffield in plenty of time only to be kept waiting on the moterway bridge for an hour like many other hundreds if not thousands of leeds fans by the police and as a consequence arrived with little time to get in the ground.After attending a game there before I knew the best standing view was to be had was in the raised corner area so while full it was nit over full.
    on another ocassion showing the ineptitude of the local police. again on a coach from Bolton while travelling to Grimsby there were familys on the coach including children, we were stopped from leaving the moterway at scunthorpe the coach was searched everybody on the coach was frisked by the side of the moterway they then quizzed us about being flying pickets. honestly the mentality was unbelievable.

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    • I remember that motorway delay well. I’d just the night before started going out with the lass I’m now married to, so maybe it didn’t make the impression on me at the time that it otherwise might have!

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