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The Truth About the Hillsborough Disaster

hillsborough the truth anfield The Truth About the Hillsborough Disaster

It’s been 6,447 days since the Hillsborough Disaster occurred on what many believe was the darkest day in the history of football. On that fateful day in April 1989, 96 innocent football fans tragically died when many of them were crushed to death at a FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough ground in Sheffield, England.

I bring this topic up because many TV viewers in America are new to soccer and aren’t aware of the history of this tragedy. Comments were made on Fox Soccer Channel earlier this week that infuriated soccer fans in the U.S. and around the world, so it’s important than soccer fans know the truth about what happened and respect those who died a horrific death that day.

To learn more about the facts regarding what happened on that day, view the following:

Liverpool fans of all ages died. The youngest was Jon-Paul Gilhooley, aged 10. The eldest was Gerard Baron, 67.

What needs to be remembered is that Liverpool fans were not to blame for this tragedy. According to Wikipedia, “Sheffield Wednesday were criticised for the low number of turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end and the poor quality of the crush barriers on the terraces there. The Taylor Report however stated that official cause of the disaster was the failure of police control.”

“The disaster was caused by the fact that the majority of fans entering the terraces headed for the central pens 3 and 4. Normally a police officer or steward would direct fans away from full pens, but on the day this did not happen. The official capacity of these pens was around 2000, however the Health and Safety Executive later found that this should have been reduced to around 1600 as the crush barriers did not conform to the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 1986. It is estimated that the number of people in these pens shortly after kick off at 3.00pm was over 3000. This overcrowding caused the fatal crush.”

The Hillsborough Disaster could have happened to any club, but unfortunately it was Liverpool.

The Heysel Disaster, meanwhile, can be blamed at Liverpool fans who charged Juventus supporters. Unfortunately the Heysel Stadium in Belgium was a decrepid old stadium, and when the Reds fans charged the Italians, a crumbling wall dividing the fans came toppling down killing 39 fans, mostly Juventus fans who were there to watch the 1985 European Cup Final against Liverpool.

There were other factors that can be attributed to the Heysel tragedy, but no official inquiry was ever made.

When the Hillsborough Disaster happened on April 15, 1989, I remember listening to the BBC World Service on my shortwave radio with my cousin in Florida. There were reports from the BBC that the match had been stopped due to crowd trouble. Listening to the live BBC Sport coverage, I remember that it was difficult to really fathom the scale of what was happening. It was complete chaos.

It wasn’t until the morning after that I realized how horrific the incident had been when I was saw the images of the disaster on the front page of my local paper. Although I didn’t have any friends or family members who died in the tragedy, I do have relatives who live in Liverpool.

When I was in Liverpool two weeks ago, I spoke to my Great Aunt about the tragic day. We discussed how even today, 17 years after the event, The Sun newspaper is despised and hardly sells any copies at all in Liverpool due to the lies it told.

When I was there, I visited the Hillsborough tribute which is next to the Shankly Gates at Anfield. You can view images of the stadium and the tribute here.

This entry was posted in Leagues: EPL, Liverpool. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

41 Responses to The Truth About the Hillsborough Disaster

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gaffer, thanks for putting up all this to set the record straight.

  2. eplnfl says:

    Gaffer thanks for the information. I have followed up on the story and the remarks made on the phone in show. I would welcome Tokyo’s opinion on what Mr. Cohen had to say about the Liverpool fans?

  3. Anonymous says:

    eplnfl

    Cohen can be entertaining but this time he went too far and judging by yesterday’s WSD podcast he seems in no mood to apologise. Heysel was largely caused by Liverpool fans but the Hillsborough tragedy was not – if I were a friend/relative of one of the victims I would now be incandescent with rage (to use one of Steven’s favourite expressions)- it’s not even as if he meant it all as some kind of joke.

    TT

  4. Noneknown says:

    “Heysel was largely caused by Liverpool fans but the Hillsborough tragedy was not”

    Liverpool are hypocritical that setence says it all.

    • Jimmy McC says:

      In what way is the statement “Heysel was largely caused by Liverpool fans but the Hillsborough tragedy was not” hypocritical?

      Your comment is stupid.

  5. Raatzie says:

    As the historical record and evidence suggest precisely that (that Liverpool fans caused Heysel but not Hillsborough), how does this demonstrate hypocrisy, you toolbox?

  6. aj says:

    it will always be with us .and never 4 got.my heart is with liverpool and the 96 that should,nt of died.it will always be with me.rip to the 96 that have died.your never walk alonexxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. neil says:

    i’m not a liverpool fan although this was way way nothing to do with football and completly monsterously terrible,i can’t describe my feelings for the poor poor victims and their friends and familys,i guess blame won’t bring back whats done although we must never ever forget what happened that tragic day in sheffield.
    may the 96 thats died rest in eternal happyness and everlasting peace amen.

  8. bobaaa says:

    So hundreds of pissed up liverpool fans trying to get in with a forged ticket or even without a ticket counts for blaming the police or the stewards???? It was a tragedy it should not have happened but who crushed the 96 fans? Other Liverpool fans! Nobody else!! Yes the crush bars were there but so were the fans rushing to get in as the gate was opened trying to get in anywhere they could. The police were shitting themselves about all these LP fans crushing the turnstiles so they opened the gate hoping that this would aleviate the situation! thus crushing the fans! What would you do in that situation. Thats what you should ask yourself!

  9. Luke says:

    You’ll Never Walk Alone
    R.I.P to the 96

  10. Mark Edwardson says:

    Hi Gaffer. I’ve no idea who this Fox TV character is. That probaby says it all.
    A proper news organisation, the BBC asked me to go back to Hillsborough 20 years after the disaster. I hope you don’t mind but this is the result – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8001086.stm

  11. Dolly says:

    Bobaaa – you’re wrong mate, the Taylor Inquiry exonerated the fans of any blame. South Yorkshire Police afforded no crowd control. The left the tunnel open so that fans kept piling in. If you’d ever been on a football terrace before seats were put in then you would know that there is no way of knowing whats happening at the front when you’ve just come in at the back. The other fans didn’t know there was a problem. There was no police presence to divert the fans away from what the Police knew to be full pens. In short, what the Police should’ve done, and what they have done at many other matches is delay kick off. If they’d done that then all the fans could’ve come in the turnstyles as normal and been diverted into the side pens where there was plenty space.

    Mate, you should really have a bit more of a read on the facts before you comment. Hillsborough is still a very raw nerve with fans, not to mention families and friends of the killed.

    RIP the 96 – YNWA.

  12. Paul Bestall says:

    Facts on Hillsborough:

    1. SYP hid the footage of the day for ten years.
    2. Every senior officer on the day was pensioned off.
    3. The Taylor report exonerated the Liverpool fans of any culpaility
    4. The Police refused to allow the ambulance staff to assist for over 30 minutes and at 3pm said no ambulances were required.
    5. Police claimed the gates were forced open by fans, David Duckenfield gave the order.
    6. Fire Brigade arrived to be told they weren’t required
    7. Hillsborough safety certificate had expired
    8. Leppings Lane stand was deemed unsuitable in 1981 but never overhauled after 38 Spurs fans suffered crush related injuries. Sheffield Wednesday never carried out the work required.
    9. The Access tunnel was closed in 1988, in 1989 the police left it open
    10. The CCTV from inside the ground was wiped clean from 2.30pm until 3.15pm
    11. The police didn’t request medical assistance until 3.30pm
    12. The coroner was advised by persons unknown to take the blood alcohol level of all the victims, including a ten year old boy
    13. No major disaster medical plan was put in effect.
    14. 37 of the 42 ambulances were kept outside the ground
    15. Only 14 victims wer taken to hospital
    16. BBC commentators noticed the congestion inside the ground at 2.40pm
    17. Officers inside the ground begged the kick off be dealyed. The supervising officers refused.
    18. Sheffield City Council were aware that Hillsborough failed 17 safety regulations without censure
    19. David Duckenfield had never managed an event of this size before.
    20. Who stole the video tapes from the police control room
    21. No stewards were on the concourse between the tunnel into the pens and the turnstiles.
    22. Crushes had occured at Hillsborough in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
    23. The capacity of the pen that the crush occured in was 2000. At 2:50 it was estimated that 3000 fans were in that pen. The police allowed a further 2000 fans to go into that pen.

    That do you for facts??

  13. Laura says:

    Bobaa, people like you make me thank the Lord that I received an education that allowed me to read. I suggest you read one of my all time favorites: Hillsborough: The Truth by Phil Scraton and re-educate yourself on the subject before passing any further comments. You clearly believe all the piffle fed to you by The Sun. Here is my question for you:

    **How could the police have prevented the crush developing at the turnstiles and thus shitting their cowardly inept pants?

    Simple: They could have followed the protocol set in 1988 at the semi cup final in which the fans were filtered prior to reaching the turnstile bottleneck, this would have alleviated any poor crowd build up. As any build up occurred and the opening of the gates became necessary they could have closed the tunnel leading to pens 3 and 4, Duckenfield could clearly see on the CCTV that the build up outside was reaching desperate measures and that the crush inside was developing due to overcrowding prior to any additional fans, he could also see how empty the additional pens were. Had he ordered the closure of pens 3 and 4 there would have been no fatalities. They could have not searched every coach with no reason to do so and instead they could have relied on assessing the drunken state of fans outside the gates, this would have prevented late arriving fans…only an idiot would assume that fans would arrive over a steady period of time despite random stop and search methods used by the authorities en route. They could also have familiarised themselves with the warnings issued about the old turnstiles prior to the match.

    Duckenfield openly admitted that he omitted any responsibility for crowd control once inside the stadium and assumed that the stewards would handle it. He failed to liaise with the stewards as did the other officers, this inevitably led to no crowd control. Duckenfield could have prevented disaster simply by using the ability most of us have to communicate.

    Whether the fans were drunk or not, the onus lies with the police to ensure safety. You cannot retract from that. They were negligent and it is only a matter of time before justice is served, be it in this life or the next it will be served.

    I also suggest you read through the points posted by Paul Bestall, God knows he has saved me from writing an essay and he may save you a brain cell.

  14. bobaa says:

    Im just stating the facts that hundreds of thousands of sheffielders believe! Only a minority of us dare speak out about the truth. People are asking for the truth. People in sheffield who were there are willing to tell the truth. But dare not because of the politics behind it plus all the daily rags getting behind it. People a generation on could tell you the truth. Just read the letters this week in the sheffield star especially yesterday! Please do! Even Sheffield United fans hold the same opinion on this matter. The opinion that the fans were to blame. Sheffield wednesday missed out on all those cup ties held there due to the minority of pissed up scousers rushing the gates, no ticket/forged ticket and therefore killing the innocent fans who were there to watch a good game of football. Oh by the way didnt another similar thing happen in belgium with liverpool fans and also another ground?????
    I feel so sorry for the families involved but nobody from scouse will blame the fans so its down to the sheffielders to voice our account of the day. Even Millwall fans detest Liverpool for what they did!!!

    From another website:
    ‘Also helps to reinforce the victimpool mentality, poor scousers with their great sense of humour and knowledge of football quietly discussing moustaches and what the Germans did to their chippies whilst queuing to get in when the police made them rush the gates, storm onto the terraces and kill untold of their own.’

    • lfc says:

      from a wednesday fan this is pathetic. are you so upset because hillsborough was criticised for being a dump that you choose to write rubbish about the disaster? i was at hillsborough and lfc fans behaved no worse than any other set of football fans. in fact it was the forest fans who were the ones roaming around looking for a fight before the game,just as they had done the previous season.

      as for wednesday,you fans are notorious. i remeber your riot at oldham when you threw bricks at your own manager,jack charlton! hey and you just got relegated against palace and caused problems that day too!

  15. bobaa says:

    From wilipedia:

    ‘The Hillsborough Disaster was a human crush that occurred on 15 April, 1989, at Hillsborough, a football stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. in Sheffield, England, resulting in the deaths of 96 people (all fans of Liverpool F.C.). It remains the deadliest stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the worst in international football.[1] It was the second of two stadium-related disasters to feature Liverpool supporters, the other being the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985.’

    • Jimmy McC says:

      From Wikipedia:

      “Ignorance (or witlessness) is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). The word “ignorant” is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used as an insult. “Ignoramus” is commonly used in the US, the UK, and Ireland as a name of someone who is overwhelmingly ignorant.”

  16. bobaa says:

    from wikipedia:

    ‘At the time, most United Kingdom football stadia had placed high steel fencing between the spectators and the pitch, in response to hooliganism which had plagued the sport for several years.[6] Hooliganism was particularly virulent in England, where it often involved pitch invasions, the throwing of missiles, or both pre and post-match violence. English stadia had a history of crushes since the 1960s.[7]‘

  17. scott says:

    I grow up in Sheffield and knew many people who were outside when it happened and they all said you could see the Liverpool fans inside lifting up people from the outside to get in without paying. There was “a sea of people being pulled in” “one after another” That is what crushed all the people, you can blame EVERYTHING but people just won’t take responsibility.

  18. amelia bakewell says:

    Excellent footage,who was filming? as we could really do with a copy for a dramatic piece we are planning.would be greatful if you’d email me back. Thanks.

  19. Bhoyingreen says:

    As a football fan in general and having watched the footage live that day and seeing it now, makes me remember how lucky we are to have a safe environment and better facilities at football matches these days, I cannot believe the reports that the Sun newspaper put in, and also feel the Liverpool fans were unfortunate to be blamed for this terrible disaster by some. My honest opinion is that there are things that happen in this world which make us stronger, and as a whole, the United Kingdom has become a safe and pleasant place to watch our beloved sport. The 96 fans that died did not deserve to, nor did their families. Having read some posts on forums across the internet i am disgusted that rival clubs decided to jump on the back of the Liverpool fans, this was a mistake by the police and the stadium management. Being a Celtic fan, stories of the 1971 incident at Ibrox still haunts the Scottish Football community, and with all bigotry and anger aside, at the end of the day we are all “FOOTBALL” fans. Justice for the 96 and lets hope something like this never happens again.

  20. alice says:

    you knw thinga lyk this happen so puttin a side ever thought ”who should we blame??” just remember the 96 people that lost thier lives

  21. Laura says:

    Bobaa I too am from Sheffield and despite the majority of people I know thinking along the same lines as I do, I do not make infantile claims such as yourself in order to back up ill informed thought processes.

    I also refuse to hold the letters published in any newspaper by arm chair experts (let alone The Star) as conclusive evidence that the fans were to blame.

    As the Taylor enquiry has stated, the fans were exhonerated of any blame. Protocol was not followed and common sense did not prevail amongst the police force. There is a potential for fatal crushes at gigs and festivals every year (where people are also drunk and boystrous), why don’t they happen? Because the police, ushers and health and safety experts do their jobs, that’s why.

    As for your copy and pasted wikipedia excerpts:

    ‘At the time, most United Kingdom football stadia had placed high steel fencing between the spectators and the pitch, in response to hooliganism which had plagued the sport for several years.[6] Hooliganism was particularly virulent in England, where it often involved pitch invasions, the throwing of missiles, or both pre and post-match violence. English stadia had a history of crushes since the 1960s.[7]‘- How exactly does this provide evidence towards your argument that the fans were to blame? It only serves to inform the article reader of previous hoolaganism by English fans and the reasoning for erecting steel fences.

    *‘The Hillsborough Disaster was a human crush that occurred on 15 April, 1989, at Hillsborough, a football stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. in Sheffield, England, resulting in the deaths of 96 people (all fans of Liverpool F.C.). It remains the deadliest stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the worst in international football.[1] It was the second of two stadium-related disasters to feature Liverpool supporters, the other being the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985.’- This excerpt only informs us that it was the second of two disasters related to Liverpool fans. This again has nothing at all to do with providing proof that the fans were to blame for Hillsborough.

    The other website, as I don’t know the source I refuse to comment.

    I would also like to point out that Wikipedia is an ill source of conclusive information, it can be edited and changed by any individual. It is dis-regarded by university and college lecturers worldwide as a source of reliable evidence for academic work pieces and so even if your ill constructed attempt at arguing me down with poor copying and pasting produced valid points, I could not accept them due to the issue of validation regarding the website in itself.

  22. D. SCHOLEY says:

    I believe that the match was a repeat of the previous seasons semi when there was little or no trouble. The policing of the pens was inept.The Football association was inflexible about kick off times (although it was surprisingly flexible when the replay took place and the kick off was delayed to help supporters held up on the M62 to take their places) When it became clear that a life or death situation was taking place in the pens coupled with the opening of the gates and a rush down the tunnel where about half the deaths occurred it must have seemed as though a sort of tsunami was sweeping the ground.You now had Liverpool supporters being brought out onto the pitch and the Nottingham supporters thinking that there had been pitch invasion. This could have been the flashpoint for a further serious imcident on top of the tradegy that was unfolding. At this point the police had lost all control and leadership was sadly lacking. At this point you had to feel sympathy for the policemen at ground level who were trying to cope as best they could with the chaos. But, and it is a big but,why, if you have a ticket to an all ticket match that says please be in your position 30 minutes before kick off ( when you are obviously guarenteed entry to the ground ) why mill around at the turnstiles and cause a situation that culminated in the police opening the gates and causing about half of the fatalities ? Surely the supporters only had to arrive at a reasonble time and queue in an orderly fashion. The biggest tradegy of all is that about half of the deaths occurred to supporters who did arrive at a sensible time. There is no doubt that the police were very poor, but surely the Liverpool supporters must accept some responsibilty for the events of that terrible afternoon ? Still if the report had placed some of the blame on the supporters how long would English clubs have had to wait to get back into European football ? I wept tears for the 96 and I contributed to the appeal, but I just wish the Liverpool supporters would accept some percentage of culpabilty

  23. Jockey says:

    I was there that fateful day, i was stewarding in the upper west stand (Leppings Lane). We could look down and see what was happening, a mass throng of Liverpool fans all came down the road at once, they were late, many of them were very drunk, but they couldn’t wait to get in, they were abusive, like a pack of mad dogs. The ones who were already there, waiting patiently at the turnstile…the ones who had took notice of the ticket and got into the ground early, they were all innocent football fans, many of whom died in tragic circumstances. God bless them all. You can read all the reports, findings you want, I WAS THERE! Blame can be apportioned to many things, and i agree that many things could have been done better re: SWFC, Policing, but if those drunken, wild, abusive ‘so-called’ fans had arrived at the time they should have, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. R.I.P the 96.

  24. christopher whittle says:

    We have the ill-informed bile being spouted by boobaa or whatever his name is, and Jockey, a steward on duty at Hillsborough. Of course he will take the police line and spout lies about what happened. I know what happened. I was there in Pen 3 of Leppings Lane. I was crushed. I received rib and back and chest injuries. I have suffered from PTSD since. FACT – ‘The root cause of the disaster was lack of police care and control.’ THE TAYLOR REPORT

    FACT – Duckenfield, the lying coward lied about that gate being opened and admitted he lied. He has never apologised.

    FACT drunkeness amongst Liverpool fans was not a major issue – if there was drunkeness and abuse why were they not arrested? FACT There were far more Forest fans drunk and being abusive.

    FACT police officers were ordered to alter and change statements. FACT the numbers counted that went in that end was the same as the number of tickets sold for that end.

    During the past 21 years, we have had to defend the dead against the lies of The Scum newspaper, South Yorkshire Police, writers and politicians, as well as ill-informed, and in some cases, moronic members of the public. The whole affair was a fabrication and a cover up to get Duckenfield and his cronies off the hook. They were all in it together, SYP, the Coroner, the tory government, a few handpicked Sheffield residents et al. A lot of the Sheffield residents will tell a different story. Those that offered support, to myself included, that April afternoon and since.

    YNWA

    JUSTICE FOR THE 96

  25. christopher whittle says:

    For those wishing to read about the TRUE facts about Hillsborough, which I have touched upon briefly, then please feel free to go to the following site:

    http://www.hfdinfo.com

    It will tell you what REALLY happened that day.

    A very interesting side issue to this is the demographical and geographical basis in percentage terms, in which members of the public readily base their views and opinions on the disaster. Research shows that overall within the United Kingdom, 90% of people support the view that SYP and others were at fault for the disaster, and think that there should be some kind of JUSTICE FOR THE 96. A mere 10% blamed the fans. If you localise it somewhat and take into account the Sheffield factor it is somewhat different. Yet, even amongst Sheffield Wednesday fans it’s still only a 50/50 split, and with Sheffield United, still 60% support the Liverpool fans cause. The support for SYP lessens as you go around South Yorkshire, in Barnsley for example, 30% blame Liverpool fans, in Rotherham it’s around 20%, Doncaster falls more in with the national average of 10%. Not surprisingly, in Liverpool, 98% support our quest for JUSTICE, a mere 2% (probably prejudicial Evertonians) support SYP. Even in Manchester, a city with an intense rivalry with Liverpool, it pretty much sticks with the national average. In Nottingham, there are some 80% or more which support Liverpool fans version of events.

    It is clear to see, therefore, that the vast majority of the nation hold to the true facts regarding Hillsborough and not the made up lies and fabrications of Duckenfield, Murray and SYP, the coroner, a few politicians and writers and prejudicial, anti-LFC members of the public. And with the new independent panel currently viewing all the papers and documents which have now been released due to public pressure, even more evidence will come out and hopefully the chance to finnaly get some kind of JUSTICE FOR THE 96

  26. Martin Odoni says:

    SCOTT: “I grow up in Sheffield and knew many people who were outside when it happened and they all said you could see the Liverpool fans inside lifting up people from the outside to get in without paying. There was “a sea of people being pulled in” “one after another” That is what crushed all the people, you can blame EVERYTHING but people just won’t take responsibility.”

    I don’t suppose you’ll read this response given how long ago you made these remarks (which are composed of hearsay in any case), but you are mistaken. It *is* true that some Liverpool fans did climb over the outer walls shortly before Gate C was opened, but they were not trying to get in without paying. They climbed over the walls because were pinned against them by the enormous crush of people in the street, which at that point was threatening to take lives. There was no room for them to withdraw to, because the rest of the crowd behind them was blocking up the street.

    This crush developed because all 24,000 Liverpool supporters, at the SYP’s insistence, had to enter the stadium through the Leppings Lane turnstiles, no matter what stand they had tickets for. There were only twenty-three turnstiles at that end of the ground, compared with *sixty* around the rest of the ground for the Forest fans to access. If loads of fans were “getting in without paying”, the *whole* of the Leppings Lane end would have been overcrowded, and the death-toll would have been hundreds. Only pens 3 and 4 were overcrowded, whereas the wing-pens were almost empty, and there was even some room left in the upper tier.

    Every independent assessment of the disaster, such as by the HSE and by Justice Taylor, even by Sheffield Wednesday’s own systems, has confirmed that the number of supporters at the Liverpool end of the ground closely corresponds with their ticket allocation. It wasn’t a case of too many fans, but of a badly-uneven distribution of them.

    BOBAA: “Im just stating the facts that hundreds of thousands of sheffielders believe! Only a minority of us dare speak out about the truth”. Just because ‘Sheffielders’ believe it doesn’t make it ‘fact’ or ‘truth’. The statements you’re making are actually very old hat and long-discredited – far from a conspiracy of silence over them that you seem to be implying here, they’ve been repeated ad nauseam for years. They’re generally dismissed nowadays simply because the overwhelming weight of the evidence precludes their possibility.

    Oh, and your claim that there were “pissed up scousers rushing” is also absurd for chronological reasons. Gate C was opened (by the police, not forced open by fans) at 2:52pm, at least twenty minutes after pens 3 and 4 went past their maximum ‘safe’ capacity (people were getting worried about the numbers in there as early as 2:25pm). The crisis reached ‘disaster level’ at at least 2:58pm, possibly as late as 3:01pm. The distance from Gate C to the interior of the pens is about eighty feet. You’re seriously expecting people to believe that a “rushing” stampede of supporters needed between six and nine minutes to cover a distance of eighty feet? Wow, that must have been the most cautious, half-hearted example of a frenzied stampede of all time.

    In any event, CCTV footage of the tunnel from the ten minutes after the Gate was opened shows clearly that the fans were *walking* into the tunnel, nobody was running. Kind of strange to see such relaxed, orderly behaviour from a “mob of hooligans” who had just “forced a gate down”, wouldn’t you say?

  27. John says:

    To Chris Whittle

    Chris, I’m so sorry that you were there that day, and that the whole thing happened at all. As a fellow Merseysider, and Evertonian, the horror of what happened that day is still with everybody and I don’t know a single person who does not support the call for justice for those who suffered as a result of the events of that day. I feel awful even pulling you up on a small point, but it really saddens me that you assume Evertonians are behind the 2% who assert the blame lies with the Liverpool fans. Real football fans, and human beings know that what happened that day was not the fault of the fans, and most people on Merseyside will know somebody or at least know of somebody who was there, or lost somebody. If you are basing your statement on actual facts, then I apologise, but please know that all Evertonians I know are 100% united with you.

  28. Steve Davies says:

    Even if it is the case that Liverpool fans arrived rowdy and intoxicated it was an FA cup semi final, every big game then, and now, has the bulk of fans arriving late due to wanting to fit more drinking and socialising time in
    before a game (as still happens now, look how sparsely populated all grounds are 15 minutes before kick off)

    In short, Liverpool fans did exactly what every other set of fans had done in previous years.

    The key difference that day: The decrepit ground was not able to cope with it and the police were not trained to deal with it – those mistakes led to the fans being incorrectly filtered into the central pens, and the rest we all know and I can barely bring myself to say…

  29. steve says:

    a major lie about hillsborough is the number of ticketless fans.the taylor report spent weeks investigating this allegation. using video footage,photo’s and eye witness statements. they examined every frame,second by second. counting the number of fans inside the pens,the number of those still outside the ground and comapring these totals with the turnstile count and the capacity of the leppings lane terrace.

    it’s there in black and white,in the taylor report. it states clearly that ticketless fans were not the cause of the disaster. that the total number of fans inside the leppings end and the street outside was between a couple of hundred UNDER capacity and 60 OVER capacity.

    that is the estimation of the taylor report,using cctv footage,examined frame by frame.

    so were do these accusations of ticketless fans come from?

    police? forest fans? the sun? all three i’d say.

    there is no doubt there were ticketless fans there,but not in the numbers everyone says. but they were fans who just turned up hoping to get a ticket. and if they didnt get a ticket they’d see it as bad luck rather than decide to storm the gates!
    forest fans will say they heard scousers asking for spares all day. yes that happened. but these scousers are touts or lads working for touts. the same few lads walk around the ground for 3 to 4 hours trying to pick up any spares as cheap as possible before genuine ticketless fans can get their hands on them. these lads buy the tickets as cheap as ;possible then hand them to the main tout who probably has a few dozen customers lined up.

    ticketless fans know the touts. most ticketless fans go straight to the tout and pay over the odds rather than walk round the ground all day asking for spares.

    that is why so many forest fans heard scousers asking for tickets. they heard the same few scousers!

    as for being pissed up…….i’ve never been to a game yet where fans dont drink before and after the game. forest fans were drinking just as much as us,i mean it was a semi final !

  30. steve says:

    as for what sheffielders believe? how exactly would they know? this is from a city that has one of the fiercest football rivalry’s in england. a city where groups of lads cant even get in city centre pubs on a saturday,such is the tendancy for wed and utd fans to come to blows.
    a city who’s two clubs fans cause major problems everywhere they go in the lower leagues. both sets of fans like to bully fans from smaller twons,take over the towns and run riot. yes i remember the 70′s and 80′s. both sheffield clubs had notorious fans,not averse to attacking their own manager with bricks and wrecking grounds.

    i’m not judging all sheffield people like this,afterall my missus is from sheffield.

    many sheffield people helped greatly that day. letting fans use their phones was much appreciated. i mean they took a risk letting scousers into their houses,they might have got robbed eh?
    i dont believe most sheffielders blame lfc fans for hillsborough.some will use it to taunt us or troll the internet. but deep down they know the truth. hillsborough was dfangerous,that’s not sheff wednesdays fault. a lot of grounds were dangerous back then,but nobody realised just how dangerous.

    i cannot belioeve the sheffield people think lfc fans caused this. they believe the police over working class fans? the same police who 5 years earlier battered their miners into submission? more fool them if they do!

  31. steve says:

    no but i can mention athens 2007 if you like.

    what happened was disgusting and those that did that should hang their heads in shame. however i went to athens,ticketless. hoping to pick one up over there.

    we had already been told on internet forums that the stadium was piss easy to get into. who told us? greek fans!.

    they posted a video of fans charging into the ground at the greek cup final. you see that stadium is not a football ground. it was built for the olympics. there are no turnstiles,no outer fences,no gates…nothing.

    lfc complained before the final about the small ticket allocation for both finalists and the fact that the ground was not designed as a football stadiium. as i remember both finalists were allocated 21000 tickets. with 40,000 going eslewhere,to hangers on etc

    the previous night we had met ticketless italians. they could have got tickets easily if they had paid for expensive club trips. tickets were not available to milan fans who didnt book on the club trips. so they had chosen to get the ferry over and take their chances. they actually told us they would try to sneak in or charge the gates. so doing this is not a lfc or english thing

    we went to the ground the morning of the game,just to have a look round and maybe pick up spares. there were already loads of reds there. most without tickets. someone had got a text from home saying milan had returned 5000 tickets and they were going on sale that day. already several hundred reds where queuing at some shed,thinking it was the ticket office. while local police looked on in bemusement. even when the police told fans it wasn’t true about the tickets ansd that the shed wasnt the ticket office anyway,fans thought they were lying just to get rid of them!

    anyway the ground it’self is in a wide open space. the only fencing around the ground was temporary lightweight stuff manned by police. there wasnt even a gate to let you in. the great plan was to let fans gather in a mob,no queues,pull a section of the fence to one side and allow fans to stream through in groups with a cursory check of your ticket. they actually just asked you to hold your ticket in the air so they could have a quick look at it!
    there were 3 sets of fences to go through and as i didnt even try i can only go on what i was told.

    you could actually walk in easy. you didnt even have to push through let alone charge through mob handed. the outer checkpoint was supposed to be the hardest to get through,as it turned out it was the easiest.
    so much for the crap about scanning every ticket!

    of course i am not excusing how some of our idiotic fans behaved. major cup finals will attract all kinds. loyal fans,part time fans and those idiots who want to get as much as they can for free.

    robbing tickets off fellow fans is disgusting. i dont know how widespread it was. klnowing the press it was exagerrated. but even if it happened once,it was wrong.

    football attracts the good and the bad. all clubs have idiotic followers.

    lfc fans on the whole are better behaved than most. i know this after 35 years of following lfc and england home and abroad.

    i suppose what i’m saying is that any event that attracts a crowd. be it football,music or a new years sale…needs to be properly organised and staged in a suitable arena.

    hillsborough was a typical english ground…unsafe and policed by people who treated us all like scum. athens was poorly organised.

  32. andy says:

    imagine being in that pen at 3pm and thinking I cant breathe I need to get out but they stud no chance died in vain because of one yellow gutless man who was trying to be clever and open the gate, the man needs putting behind bars scum ………r.i.p hillsborough victims ynwa x

  33. steve says:

    people keep making comparisons between heysel,hillsborough and athens. all were years apart. all were totally different situations. and you can bet the vast majority of those involved in any one of the incidents were not involved in any of the other two.

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