Today’s news about the latest Hillsborough tragedy made me angry and disgusted. I need to write about this – no frills, no pictures, just my opinion on something that makes my blood boil.
In 1989 I was only 13 years old. Not an adult but old enough to understand what was happening as I watched the unbelievable scenes unfold on TV, old enough to feel sick at seeing people pressed helpless against iron railings, caged in pens like animals and old enough to think what if it was my own dad and sister I was seeing who went to games each week.
People who aren’t into football have negative opinions about football fans – only ever seeing the drunk, violent ones that reach the news every so often. Those that take the time to notice see how it’s a celebration, an occasion with family and friends, something that brings people together in either celebration or defeat.
The reports that were made back then by the police used that negative stereotype to try and cover up their own slack incompetence; calling fans drunk and unruly, obscene and offensive making the accident happen. They also spent time trying to find dirt on those that died to brand them as troublemakers. The Sun newspaper, incapable of ever writing proven truths just regurgitated such bullshit. Repulsive.
The blame could only ever lay in one place both then and now – the South Yorkshire Police.
- They decided to put Liverpool fans into the smaller end of the stadium despite knowing it would be overcrowded owing to the size of the fan base.
- They were the ones that only opened one side gate when they finally admitted there was a problem and failed to filter fans in properly in the first place.
- They were the ones that stopped fans breaking through the police cordon to get fans to ambulances.
- They were the ones that allowed only one out of forty four ambulances to enter the ground
In 1989 I was 13. 22 years later I’m a grown woman, someone who could have been the mother of the ten year old boy that died of asphyxiation that day along with his dad. The same little boy that will never be able to take his own son to a game.
Now I don’t know much about football but I know a lot about Liverpool. Liverpool is somewhere I’m lucky enough to have good friends from. It’s a place where I have never known such a sense of family and pride. People there look after their own. The fact this city and these families have kept fighting and kept believing makes my heart ache. People born there don’t walk alone and I you should be proud to be from a city with such a loving pair of arms around it.
Truth always comes out in the end. God bless.