Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Justice for the 96

"On 15 April 1989 over 50,000 men, women and children travelled by train, coach and car to Hillsborough Stadium to watch an FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. It was a sunny, warm, spring day and one of the high points of the English football season.

Hillsborough was a neutral venue, like so many stadia of its time a mix of seated areas and modified standing terraces. As the match started, amid the roar of the crowd it became apparent that in the central area of the Leppings Lane terrace, already visibly overcrowded before kick-off, Liverpool fans were in considerable distress.

In fact, the small area in which the crush occurred comprised two pens. Fans had entered down a tunnel under the West Stand into the central pens 3 and 4. Each pen was segregated by lateral fences and a high, overhanging fence between the terrace and the perimeter track around the pitch. There was a small locked gate at the front of each pen.

The crush became unbearable and fans collapsed underfoot. To the front of pen 3 a safety barrier broke, creating a pile of people struggling for breath. Despite CCTV cameras transmitting images of distress in the crowd to the Ground Control Room and to the Police Control Box, and the presence of officers on duty on the perimeter track, it was a while before the seriousness of what was happening was realised and rescue attempts were made.

As the match was stopped and fans were pulled from the terrace through the narrow gates onto the pitch, the enormity of the tragedy became evident. Fans tore down advertising hoardings and used them to carry the dead and dying the full length of the pitch to the stadium gymnasium.

96 women, men and children died as a consequence of the crush, while hundreds more were injured and thousands traumatised."

                                - The report of the Hillsborough Independant Panel 

Today, more than 23 years later, an independant panel have reported their findings into what happened in the events leading up to the diasaster and in the aftermath. The panel concluded that South Yorkshire Police and the ambulance service made "strenuous attempts to deflect blame" for the deaths of the 96, and that 41 of the 96 fans who died had "evidence that they had potential to survive after the period of 3.15pm" if the emergency response had been adequate. An original inquest ruled that all those who lost their lives were dead or brain dead by 3.15pm, meaning the failings of the emergency services after that time were not scrutinised.

The 394-page report concludes that police and ambulance service statements were changed in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the failings of crowd control that were the primary cause of the disaster. Key findings of the report can be found here.

I count myself lucky that I was born 12th April 1989, at 3 days old my dad didn't go to the match that  fateful day. But for other families they were not so lucky.

The people responsible for the covers up regarding Hillsborough now need to be held accountable for their actions. This report symbolises the beginning of the end in the fight for justice campaign for the 96 individuals who needlessly lost their lives at a football match.

John Alfred Anderson (62)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Simon Bell (17)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
David John Benson (22)
David William Birtle (22)
Tony Bland (22)
Paul David Brady (21)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
Carl Brown (18)
David Steven Brown (25)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Joseph Clark (29)
Paul Clark (18)
Gary Collins (22)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
James Philip Delaney (19)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Christopher Edwards (29)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Barry Glover (27)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Philip Hammond (14)
Eric Hankin (33)
Gary Harrison (27)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
David Hawley (39)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Thomas Howard (39)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Alan Johnston (29)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Richard Jones (25)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Carl David Lewis (18)
David William Mather (19)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
John McBrien (18)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Alan McGlone (28)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)
Jonathon Owens (18)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
David George Rimmer (38)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)
Inger Shah (38)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Colin Wafer (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Graham John Wright (17)

1 comment:

  1. I can't read anything about Hillsborough without crying, it's just awful. JFT 96 x