Hillsborough Tragedy

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Hillsborough Tragedy. If you have been listening to the news lately, you will have heard about it but maybe not know what it was all about and why something that took place is still be so important.

I work with a guy who loves football and his team is Liverpool. I do my best to stay on top of football and feel lucky I played soccer as a child so I know a bit of what I am talking about. How am I doing Daniel?

Anyways. On April 15, 1989 there was a game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough ground. They were competing in the semi-finals for the 1989 FA Cup. If you have not been to a football game in the UK, they group the supporters by teams to prevent any altercations. I have heard of people buying tickets on base for football games for 'neutral areas' but these do not exist so be advised.

So the Liverpool fans were going into their designated entrance. The turnstiles were slow to let people in and so fans were starting to push to get in. At that time most places were just standing, there wasn't any seating as seen today. After this tragedy that is when seating became common place. There was fencing put between the crowd and the pitch to prevent spectators from going on the field. It was more first come, first serve. The pens behind the goal filled up first.

The police allowed another gate to be opened to relieve the stress on the people trying to get in. That gate lead people into the pens behind the goal which were already too full. People began to climb the fence to get into the pens next to their which were not as full.

The game started and six minutes into it, the fence of one of the pens behind the goal fell over because of all the people. 96 people died as a result of overcrowding and only 14 made it to a hospital. It is still being talked about because there was a huge cover-up with the police and emergency responders because their response was slow.

The Sun reported the fans were said to have been drunk, urinating on the police and rescue workers and pick-pocketing the victims. The Sun is not sold in most newsagents in Liverpool still to this day despite them apologising for their article.

Only recently they have decided that they are going to do another full inquiry into this because of the covering up and false reports that has recently come to light. This will never bring these people back, many were children, but hopefully they will get the justice and truth that they are looking for.

On Sunday, Liverpool won against Manchester City and the football captain, Steven Gerrard, had a tear in his eye. He said "I'm speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough." In fact, he lost his cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, who was 10 years old and the youngest person to die in this tragedy.

Here is a good timeline of what happened.

All the Best!

American to Britain