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Old 04-02-2007, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default Hillsborough

As you may or may not know, on 15th April 1989 96 people went to a football match and did not return. There is a website covering all of the details (it is temporarily down at the minute, but will return soon) - www.contrast.org/hillsborough/ However, the truth of that day is that the tragedy was caused by police failure and the fact that football fans in those days were treated like cattle, forced into cages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster

We are trying to raise awareness through the HJC (Hillsborough Justice Campaign) for yet another trial so that the families of the victims, the victims themselves, and those widely believed to be at fault - the fans, can get the justice they deserve. The Sun newspaper carried a headline shortly after the disaster - THE TRUTH - under which they claimed that fans had picked the pockets of the dead, urinated on policemen trying to save the dying and plenty more shite that has since been proven to be just that - shite! They did offer a half arsed apology a few years ago which did nothing to help lift the current boycott of their rag on Merseyside and with every Liverpool fan outside of the city. The excuse for a man who let the article be published (Kelvin MacKenzie) stands by his story and regularly jokes about it when doing the rounds on the after dinner speaking circuit - actually, he only stands by it unless he's asked about it in front of an audience containing Liverpool supporters as he was recently on Question Time where he tried worming his way out of it!

I'd very much appreciate it if you would sign the following petitions and post them on any websites you frequent to further our cause.

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/JusticeForThe96
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/JUSTICE96/

Plus there is a book that I consider essential reading on sale at Amazon that will blow your mind at the extent of the cover up:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hillsborough...l-Scraton/dp/1 840181567/ref=sr_1_1/203-0644051-0977548?ie=UTF8&s=books &qid=1175498256&sr=8-1

Finally, Jimmy McGovern wrote an excellent and truly moving docu-drama which aired in 1996, here is a link to that film (I assume you understand torrents, if not I'll show you the way best I can):
http://btjunkie.org/torrent?do=downl...3df84b.torrent

Here is one man's account of that terrible day, thanks for reading:

ONE FOR SORROW BY DAVE KIRKBY

I?ll never forget that morning on Anfield Road. It was as if the great man was looking over us as the sun lit up the Shankly gates. No one could have wished for a better day.
I was standing with a small Kirkby firm; some reading papers with their backs against the shaded wall. The mood was calm and quiet, but gradually became louder as cars and taxi?s pulled up from all over the city. Most of the lads were ridiculed for looking rough on arrival especially Riley, a South-ender mate who looked like Peter Beardsley crossed with Tommy Smith. It wasn?t long till the sunshine crept across the road onto two sandstone gate posts on the opposite side.

I remember hearing the rustle of leaves and a weird bird call, like a kind of chirpy rattle. Back in 1989 magpies didn?t venture into towns and cities like they do today; you rarely saw one, which made this sighting all the more vivid. I looked up. The branch was still shaking, but was empty. I turned to the lads. ?What was that?? I said. Alan was looking directly over my shoulder. ?Where?s your mate?? He shouted. I turned round again and there it was; a solitary magpie staring across at us from one of the gateposts. ?I hope that?s not a sign of things to come? Alan said, meaning the ?one for sorrow? superstition that usually goes hand-in-hand with the sighting of one of those birds. At the time his words were only spoken in context with the big match that afternoon. To be honest, the worst thought in any of our minds was that we?d be knocked out of the FA cup semi final; that the bad luck would be confined to the simple score-line of a football match. But just five hours later some 70 miles away in South Yorkshire we were to witness the most inconceivable heartbreak that the magpie?s message could ever bring, as the horror of Hillsborough unfolded before us.

?Nottingham?s that way yer little ba#ta#d!? Someone shouted to the bird, bringing a buzz from the fifty or so lads lined up against the wall. It eventually took off when a ham sarnie from Alan?s lunch was lashed at it. ?Throw it two for joy? was another shout. Everyone was bouncing. Humour was everywhere. Our coach arrived to cheers. A few of us turned round and touched the Shankly gates then boarded the bus.

The journey that morning was like deja vu. Nearly 12 months ago to the day we?d crossed the Yorkshire moors at the same stage of the FA cup to the same venue to face the same team, Nottingham Forest. That day in 1988 will also stay with me forever. Not so much for the result of the match which Liverpool won, but for being the main reason why all of us survived the nightmare just one year later. Like the previous April we all had tickets for the Leppings lane end, a small Victorian terrace dissected into caged pens. Back then most terraces were fenced in, mainly due to the deluded perception that all fans were animals. Every stadium including Anfield had metal railings erected, but unlike most terraces Hillsborough?s Leppings lane was a death trap lying in wait.

As we neared the ground that previous year there was a heavy police presence. Everyone was funnelled through metal crowd calming barriers situated a few hundred yards from the turnstiles and made to show their ticket before being allowed past. It seemed a bit heavy at the time, but on reflection was well organised. The main problems though were all inside the stadium. As we entered the ground we were confronted by a tunnel. From the turnstiles it looked the only point of entry to the terraces. We could see the white goal posts and part of the green pitch through it so like everyone else we headed down naturally assuming it would lead to all sections behind the goal. The crushing was unbelievable.

Like most football fans back then we?d experienced similar situations, it was nothing new; so everyone was giving it the old cattle impersonations; mooing as they herded their way through, but that soon stopped. This time it was more intense and prolonged than anything I?d been through before. I couldn?t turn my shoulders and my arms were totally out of it, pressed firmly against my sides. I just went with the cattle flow through the intense heat of the tunnel. The pressure was vice like. At times my two feet were pinioned off the floor. My six foot two, fourteen stone frame helpless as it was carried along in a sea of human life.

My brother was just about visible to my left. The rest of the lads were somewhere behind, but by this time all?s I wanted was to get onto the terracing for some badly needed relief. The situation was made worse by bodies coming back out. ?You can?t see a f##king thing in there? someone said as we crossed paths. I ended up facing backwards, spun around by the weight of the surge outwards. We eventually filtered out into the sunlight which lit up pen number three.

Things weren?t any better inside. We pushed our way along the back wall towards the tall blue railings that separated the pens. Like thousands of others we believed there?d be gateways or some kind of opening where we could disperse into the other enclosures, but to our disbelief there was no way out, we were trapped in a cage without a single outlet apart from the tunnel through which we arrived. ?f##k this, lets get out of here? my brother said, tugging his shirt collar as he blew for air. His blonde hair was unrecognisable, dark and saturated, stuck to his forehead. Now we knew why so many were heading back through the tunnel. We decided to do the same. It was an unbelievable scenario, like a continuous flow of bodies circulating inside the pen then retreating as they realised there was no way out. There was understandable anxiety and anger as bodies grid-locked in the dark passage. Tempers rose with the heat while anxiety came out of claustrophobic frustration. I?ve never been as relieved as when we got back out.

I squatted down for a breather near the turnstiles then looked up. ?Did you see any of the others?? I said to our kid. He was crouched forward with his hands on his thighs. ?You?re joking aren?t yer? They?re probably all still swirling round in that f##king toilet.? Although he didn?t realise it at the time his analogy perfectly summed up the experience. We now knew the feeling of being flushed down a dark passage into a sealed chamber, and how it felt to be treated like human sewage. We ended up walking around the back of the West stand to an area high and left of corner flag.

Of the thirteen lads who entered the ground with us that day we were now just two, scattered and lost within 15 minutes of entering the stadium. The next time we met was back at the coach, but nobody really cared. Being split up happened to football fans all the time those days, you just accepted it, and anyway who cared when your team had just reached the FA cup final.

Riley gave the orders from the back seat. ?Right boys, you?s all know the score, whatever yer do, don?t go in that middle bit. If we get split up make your way up to the corner on the left.? Everyone agreed. ?Only cos you can?t fit down the f##king tunnel!? Was Alan?s reply, triggering a ripping session across East Lancashire. Everyone within earshot got onto the banter including two young lads sitting across the aisle to my left. They buzzed off Riley, especially when he started singing Liverpool songs into a sausage roll. ?He?s off his head him isn?t he mate?? The younger one said to me. I pointed at a Tupperware box that was by the kid?s feet. ?Not half lad, and if I was you I?d hide those sarnies. He?ll end up bumming them off yer.?... ?It?s alright? he said. ?Me mum?s made extra ones in case there?s no shops on the way home.? The naivety of the lad was apparent. I could tell by his accent that he was a Merseyside lad but not from the inner city. He was bright with the innocence of a kid. We spoke a lot on the way mainly about football. He talked about his Idol, John Barnes, saying how much he?d love to meet him and how his bedroom was covered top to bottom with pictures of the brilliant winger. He also told me of his dislike for anyone who abused Barnsey because of the colour of his skin.

On the outskirts of Sheffield we came to a virtual standstill. Road works and police checks slowed the traffic to a crawl. It was now 1-15pm and we were flapping in case we missed the start of the match. Four policemen boarded our coach. ?Ok you lot, If anyone has any alcohol I?d advise them to hand it over now. We?ll be searching the coach in a minute. If we find anyone?s hidden any we?re impounding the coach and none of you will get to the match.? The attitude of the bizzie was cold and uncompromising. Whatever orders he?d been briefed with that morning certainly didn?t include any light-hearted diplomacy or sense of humour, these fellas meant business.

In the 1980?s There were heavy fines for coach firms who were found with alcohol onboard football excursions. If you had any booze you weren?t allowed on. We all knew the score so never bothered bringing any in the hope of getting a drink in Sheffield before the match. One of the bizzies who searched our bags was grossly overweight. I don?t think I?ve ever seen a copper as fat. Alan was onto it. He shouted down the coach to the sergeant. ?Excuse me officer can I make a complaint?? The reply was moody. ?What?s your problem?? He said. ?It?s this policeman here, he?s robbing all the f##king pork pies out of our bags.? Within seconds he was getting dragged off the coach to the sound of laughter, returning severely bollocked five minutes later to a round of applause.

We arrived near Hillsborough at around 2-10pm and made our way towards the ground. The weather was amazing. We scoured surrounding streets looking for an off licence, but no joy. We made do with cans of soft drinks then headed to the stadium along Leppings lane. There were no crowd control barriers like the previous year. This was obvious by the unorganised mass of fans building up outside the 3 turnstiles. We joined the swaying queues then at around 2-35pm I barged my way through the turnstile and into the ground. The first thing I heard was Riley?s voice. ?That?s f##king ridiculous that, they haven?t got a clue.? he said fixing his white shirt back into his jeans. The turnstiles clicked none stop above the shouts and commotion outside. We waited a few minutes for the others, watching flushed faces cursing as they burst through the turnstiles.

Everyone apart from us was heading down the tunnel into pen three. There were no stewards or police at the entrance and it was starting to back up like last year. Riley looked at me blowing his cheeks out ?f##k that!? he said. I nodded then we both headed up to our arranged meeting place by the corner flag. We couldn?t believe the sparsity inside. It was only 10 minutes to kick off, but there were glaring empty spaces all around us. Alan appeared with our kid and stood in the huge empty space with his arms outstretched. ?What the f##k?s going on here?? He said. ?Are Everton playing or something?? From where we stood we could see across the length of Leppings lane. The opposite corner and side pens were as deserted as ours. In complete contrast pens three and four behind the goal were bursting to capacity, apparent by the constant swaying of heads that rolled up and down like breakers on a surf.

The last two of our firm arrived as the teams came onto the pitch. One of them was shaking his head. ?You wanna see it out there, it?s f##king bedlam. There?s thousands trying to get in.? A few of us walked to the back and looked outside. There was pandemonium going on out there. Control and order had been completely lost. Police horses were rearing up with people pinned up against walls as thousands fearing they?d miss the start of the game tried desperately to get in. ?They?ll have to delay the kick off? I said to Alan who agreed. ?They?ve got no choice lad, there?s more out there than in here.?

We were totally stunned when the match was allowed to kick off at 3pm. A decision, or rather indecision, which played a major part in the events that followed. My recollection of the six or seven minutes of football actually played that day is vague, but what I do remember was Liverpool hitting the Nottingham Forest crossbar. It was a moment which brought that familiar roaring sigh heard at football grounds every Saturday. To the thousands massed outside those roars must have been torturous to hear. There is no worse feeling than standing outside a stadium while a match is underway. Magnify that ten fold when the match is an FA cup semi final. The decision by police to open exit gate C was made as a result of the crushing and hysteria which had been allowed to build up outside. Combine that with a caged death trap and an appalling lack of leadership then it would prove to be a fatal decision as desperate fans charged into pens three and four.

?Get off the pitch lad! You?re gonna get the game called off.? was a shout from behind us. It was the first sign that something was wrong. The middle sections of pens three and four had now swelled to damn bursting proportions. Hands and arms waved aimlessly through the blue bars around the cage. Some fans scaled and hung from the railings trying to escape while others were pulled up to safety by people above and behind in the West Stand.

There were people on the pitch clearly distressed, running to the players and pointing frantically towards the terrace. Some fans even punched and pulled at the mesh fencing at the front of the cage until their hands bled. The game was stopped and the players slowly left the field, unaware like all of us of the carnage that was unfolding. The realisation that we were witnessing a living nightmare came when we saw two young lads stretched out behind the goal in their red football tops being given the kiss of life. Many walked around on the pitch dazed and confused stopping only to kneel and vomit. Some had dark wet stains on their pants where they?d urinated. ?Something really bad?s happening here lad, I can feel it.? Alan said. He was voicing something we all felt, but were too scared to admit. The churning in my stomach was getting worse. Some of us moved down towards the fence. The sound of people screaming and pleading for help became unbearable.

The despair of hearing the death shouts of innocent people mainly kids, crying as they reach out to you to save their lives is the most painful and harrowing sound that could ever be unleashed on a human being. The vexation at being unable to help served only to augment the pain and distress to levels that go way beyond normality, cutting deep into the mind and soul.

We were now near the front looking through the bars just a few yards from the pitch. Fans who?d escaped were breaking up advertising hoardings using them as makeshift stretches. These people acted in a manner known in military terms as ?Services above and beyond the call of duty.? One after the other they placed the bodies of dead and injured fans onto the boards then raced along the length of the pitch to the gymnasium situated underneath the North stand. The noise of ambulance sirens flooding down the surrounding streets added to the mayhem.
Just then only a few yards from where we stood, the body of a man no more than 40 years old was placed down on the pitch. His eyes were open, but lifeless and his hair wet and matted to his scalp. He wore a red Liverpool top with blue denim jeans which were undone and pulled down slightly below his middle. Both shoes were missing. The two lads who put him down were a similar age. One tried desperately to revive him with mouth to mouth while the other one held his hand. It was obvious to everyone but the two lads that he was dead. They tried so hard to bring him back, pleading with him to wake up in between kisses of life. In a state of complete devastation one of them started thumping and pressing on his chest. His cries of ?Wake up lad! Wake up!? will never leave me. The thumping gradually gave way to weak taps, before he rested his head onto the white letters of ?candy? that were written across his mates shirt. Everyone around that fence cried with them.

Like us, those lads probably set off that morning saying goodbye to wives, kids, or parents on their way to a simple football match. To be lying on a sun drenched pitch later that day over the lifeless body of a mate or relative must have been the most traumatic ordeal imaginable. I couldn?t take any more. I turned to Alan. ?Let?s get the f##k out of here!? We walked back up then out through the back of the West stand.

Outside, the scene reminded me of traumatised soldiers sitting shell shocked after battle. The smell of death was everywhere with people unashamedly crying and hugging each other. Some understandably vented their anger at two passing policemen who walked aimlessly holding their hats. I don?t know what roll they?d played, but one was in a bad state. A shout came at them through fits of tears. ?You ba#ta#ds caused that, you f##king killed them all.? Unlike any of his superiors the distressed one of the two covered his eyes and cried. The deafening sound of sirens grew even more amplified as blue flashing lights converged from every possible direction around Hillsborough. I remember covering my ears and closing my eyes. I just wanted to be somewhere else.

The lads arrived in ones and two?s and sat silent on the coach; all of us deep in our own thoughts. The only sound was the coach radio which was broadcasting live from the ground. The death count rose every minute. When we boarded at around 4-15pm the death toll was 34. By 4-45pm it was 78. Alan cried inconsolably at each bulletin. My stomach was now knotted so much that I had to embrace it tight to take away the constant feeling of nausea. At nearly 7pm we were still two passengers short. The two young lads who sat opposite me on the outward journey were still unaccounted for. The steward walked to the back. He spoke quietly. ?We?re gonna have to go back to the ground boys, to see what?s happened to these two kids.? Everyone nodded in agreement. He had a list of passengers names so we made our way back to Hillsborough.

The sirens had now eased to the occasional wail, taken over by the surreal sight of hundreds of silent flashing blue neon lights. We waited while the steward went into the temporary morgue under the North stand. An hour later he returned alone clearly upset by whatever he?d seen inside. The two lads still couldn?t be traced. It was now nearly 9pm so a decision was taken to return to Liverpool without them.

No one spoke a word on the journey home. The only sound was the coach engine as it headed back on the A roads across the moors. Although I tried not to, I was constantly drawn towards the two boy?s empty seats to my left. One had left his beige coat crumpled up near the window while on the seat nearest me was the youngest lad?s Tupperware box. I stared out the window at the dark eerie Yorkshire moors. Just like the feeling inside all of us they lay barren and desolate. On any other occasion the endless blackness of these unearthly wastelands would almost certainly have brought that chilling feeling experienced in nightmares. Only this time eyes stared through the dark undaunted. Our nightmare had already been lived out, the mother of all nightmares, which unfolded not in darkness, but in broad daylight.

It was around 11pm when we arrived back at Anfield road. Families and relatives hugged their sons and husbands, many in tears. There were already a few scarves tied to the Shankly gates. Red and white entwined with Everton blue as the city united in grief. We asked the steward for the missing boy?s names then all shook hands before going our separate ways.

In all the time I?d known my wife she?d never seen me cry. For nine years before the tragedy I?d shown no emotion; mainly due to a macho type self esteem which is the mark of my generation. That all changed in the early hours of April 16th 1989. Curled up on the bed like a kid holding its mother I wept unashamedly. As long as I remain on this earth I?ll never forget the grief I felt that night. I woke the next day, and for a split second the nausea wasn?t there. For just one moment I thought that maybe I?d dreamt everything; that the pain and horror would turn to relief like those horrible dreams you sometimes shake off. But the sound of the radio and my wife?s tears signalled the realisation that the nightmare was a reality. The churning returned, this time more severe. I couldn?t move for a while as the devastation and enormity of what had happened hit like a sledgehammer.

I was alone in the garden when the phone rang at around 11am. It was Riley to tell me that the two boys from the coach had been killed. I?d prayed so much that morning for those two kids. I kept hearing the youngest lad?s voice telling me about Johnny Barnes. Kept seeing his mother putting his sandwiches in the Tupperware box he left on the coach; while all the time feeling shame and self condemnation for not taking him with me to safety. I grieved for that kid as though he were my own brother and have done so ever since.

In the fifteen years since Hillsborough, I?ve had many dreams about that day. Sometimes I?m on the coach telling the lad not to go down the tunnel. Other times I see him as he?d be now, smiling outside a church amid a snowfall of confetti with his bride holding a bunch of yellow daffodils. But always as I approach him the flowers wither as the scene changes to mourners at a graveside, and there standing amongst them is his idol Johnny Barnes.

Hillsborough affected all of us in different ways. Understandably, thousands found it too traumatic to ever return. For nearly 30 years Alan had watched Liverpool; always the joker and life and soul of the party. He?s never attended a football match since. His mind scarred too deeply with what he saw and heard that day. Scenes which nobody should ever have to witness interweave with sounds that envelop and soak deep into the memory to be released with tears in moments of solitude. His words ?Something died inside me that day,? can be applied to everyone who was there or was affected by this monumental senseless tragedy.

Each year when the daffodils light up the fields or when I wake to some early season sunshine, I always drift back to that terrible day. Springtime fills me with so many emotions. Visions combine with sounds that will haunt me forever, and there amongst them is the rattled call of a magpie. A call that will torment me till the day I die.

Dave Kirby

JUSTICE
R.I.P.96
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Hilsbrough was and always will be a sadly remembered event and I'm sorry for the loss of those involved but dragging it all up again won't help the matter. If nothing has been done about since then nothing will happen now.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:07 PM   #3
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Whilever the families want to try and get justice mate, we will be behind them! One of the victims' mothers is awaiting news from the European courts as we speak and the signs are promising. Injustice should never be accepted no matter how long it takes to get sorted in my opinion, especially when it's a cover up by the people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart - that just gives them free reign to do with us whatever they like! If this was your brother/sister/mother/father or had you simply been there that day, I doubt you'd have this attitude towards it.
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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As a football fan, good luck.
I doubt whether you will get an apology from that paper and I hope the circulation figures are still down for the LIVERPOOL area.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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Cheers rich2rob, had some amazing support from Scotland and, yes, the SxN still doesn't get much money out of Merseyside although you do amazingly see the odd copy at Anfield on a matchday - You can't force this on anyone, just try and educate. Different strokes etc - Thanks a lot chief :thumbsup
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