Hillsborough – Justice for the 96

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The Hillsborough disaster is one of Britan’s worst sports disaster. On 15th April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in a FA Cup semi final match. (Wikipedia page on the Hillsborough disaster provides a tragic read to those who are unfamiliar with the incident and the subsequent cover up by the authorities.)

Recently Hillsborough families hope the truth will come out after a latest inquiry. A panel of experts has spent 20 months examining 450,000 internal documents relating to Britain’s worst sporting disaster.

On Wednesday, the panel will aim to deliver a definitive narrative into the events of 15 April 1989, when a fatal crush developed at the Leppings Lane end of the Sheffield stadium before an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Sources say it will find “in favour” of the families and illustrate, in detail, the lengths to which South Yorkshire police orchestrated a “cover up” to hide their culpability by blaming the fans. The city hopes this will be the week that will finally clear the names of the supporters, who were maligned as drunk, ticketless and unruly, a portrayal perpetrated by police and articulated by the Sun newspaper under the headline: “The truth”.

Read Hillsborough families hope truth will out at last on a day of reckoning

An old article from BBC provides a timeline to this tragedy.

” Liverpool fans had begun arriving at the ground from midday, but had to enter their designated stand at Leppings Lane through a small number of decrepit turnstiles.”

” By about 1450, pens 3 and 4 – those directly behind the goal – were full, but outside the ground thousands of fans were still waiting to get in.”

” At 1452, police ordered a large exit gate – Gate C – to be opened to alleviate the crush outside the ground. Around 2,000 fans then made their way into the ground and headed straight for a tunnel leading directly to pens 3 and 4.

This influx caused severe crushing in the pens. Fans began climbing over side fences into the relatively less packed pens 1 and 5 to escape.”

” At 1500, the game kicked off. Five minutes later a crush barrier in pen 3 gave way, causing people to fall on top of each other.”

” At 1506, a policeman ran on to the pitch and ordered the referee to stop the game. In the chaotic aftermath, supporters tore up advertising hoardings to use as makeshift stretchers and tried to administer first aid to the injured.”

” Of the 96 people who died, only 14 were ever admitted to hospital.”

” In his interim report on 4 August 1989, Lord Justice Taylor wrote that the key element of police control at fault was the failure to close off the tunnel leading to pens 3 and 4 once Gate C had been opened.”

Read the full article including the findings of the Taylor Report on the BBC website.

Steven Gerrard says the memory of his cousin who died in the Hillsborough disaster has inspired him to reach the pinnacle of his profession. Liverpool’s captain will lead the club’s squad into Anfield for Wednesday’s memorial service marking the tragedy’s 20th anniversary and his thoughts will be dominated by recollections of his late cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley.

Gerrard was only nine at the time but the graphic horror of the deadly chain of events unleashed by policing failures at Hillsborough’s Leppings Lane end on 15 April 1989 has never left the England midfielder, who watched the tragedy unfold live on the BBC’s Grandstand.

Continue reading Steven Gerrard says death of his cousin at Hillsborough was biggest inspiration.

The Hillsborough Football Disaster Justice Campaign website can be accessed here. They also have a history of the incident and a build up to the incident.

UPDATE: A new report has shown the ammount of police work that has been done to cover up the episode. The police incorrectly blamed Liverpool fans for being drunk but went further and doctored police statements.

Hillsborough report key findings:

• Police carried out criminal record checks on deceased to ‘impugn reputations’
• Senior officers privately discussed ‘animalistic behaviour’ of ‘drunken marauding fans’
• New evidence suggests dozens survived past 3.15pm inquest cut-off point
• 116 of the 164 South Yorkshire Police statements were doctored
• South Yorkshire Ambulance Service evidence was misleading

• No evidence to support police account that fans were drunk and aggressive
Weight placed on blood alcohol levels among the dead was ‘inappropriate’
• The Sun’s allegations originated from police and a local MP

Read more in The Telegraph Hillsborough: prosecutions likely over ‘the biggest cover-up in history

 

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