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Mister Chops

Hillsborough, 20 years on

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[quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="Say Hello To The Angels"][quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"][quote user="jas the barclay king"]

Those who make jokes about Hillsboro bneed to remember 1 thing and 1 thing alone... that one ball Earlier in the draw for the Semi Final was Norwich City...

It could of been your son, your brother, or even you.....

thank lady luck and fate it wasn''t.

jas :)

[/quote]

Not sure that I could completely agree with this, the fact that it was Liverpool wasn''t a coincidence, remember that it was their fans who only 4 years prior to this killed 39 Juventus fans at Heysel, many of which were charged with manslaughter. We don''t see Liverpool having 10 and 20 year memorials for that, instead they sweep this under the carpet and refuse to accept responsibility for it, yet cannot accept that their own fans had a part to play in what happened at Hillsborough and want to find others to blame.

The worst thing is that after all these years, of all sets of fans with their history they STILL don''t appear to have learnt their lesson with other cases of fans turning up without tickets and stampeding at both Instanbul and Athens.

[/quote]

Sorry but that is not right, it is well established that the fault lies with the policing of the match and has nothing to do with hooliganism, the actions Liverpool fans in the aftermath of the disaster saved many lives. Their behavior was impeccable. To suggest otherwise especially on a day like today is at best ill informed and at worst disgusting.

Hooliganism was rife in the 80''s and was not confined to Liverpool fans, you may well be correct about Heysel but that is not what todays about!

   
[/quote]

I''m sorry i don''t agree. Hillsborough was an absolute tragedy but was down to a whole host of factors including the fact that many Liverpool fans turned up late and without tickets and tried to get into the ground for free. amnyone who went to football around the time will tell you Liverpool fans 9probably more so than any other set of fans) were reknowned for doing this at the time and almost prided themsleves on blagging their way into games free all over Europe.

Many people have said above "there but for the grace of god" or words to that effect but i genuinely do not believe the same would have happened had norwich been in that semi and had that terrace because our fans generally did not, and do not, behave like that in such numbers. As has been pointed out above they even tried the same trick at the European Cup Final in Instanbul recently - talk about not learning your lesson!

Hillsborough was due to the unfortunate coming together of a number of factors. yes the police panicked and screwed up. yes the ground was arguably not fit for purpose. however the total and utter refusal of Liverpool fans to even acknowledge that the behaviour of some of their fans was in any way a factor beggars belief and i really don''t understand what they want in terms of "justice for the 96?" What do they want? Compensation? Someone''s head on a stick? will it really make things better for anyone to have a public scapegoat? I know its easy for us to say as we did not lose family members and I fully understand why, in situations like this, people look for explanations and people to blame but i really don''t see what would be served by a further inquiry for something that happened 20 years ago and i hope the Government are not going to buckle on this one and spend a fortune on such an inquiry.

 

[/quote]

I have to be honest with what i believe and i agree with what you say Jim. It was a tragic event with many factors to its result but an element of Liverpool fans must take blame for that day along with the Government, due to their total disregard of REAL football fans in the 80''s and the local Police. Liverpool Fans have a nack of pushing the blame on others, even after Heysal they blamed an outside hooligan Element from London clubs on that disaster. The fact that in those days the ones at the front of terracing were made up of mainly Families and children makes it very sad, Those that poured in late would''ve been the ones Drinking till Kick off time just like the old Barclay. I generally feel sorry for those effected by this but Liverpool must face some blame and stop being a ''self pity city.

God Bless those 96 souls

RIP

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[quote user="Georgie Bless"][quote user="Jim Smith"]

[quote user="CT "]I respect what you''re saying but I''m a 17 year old lad and before the lead up to yesterday I didnt know anything about what happened 20 years ago (apart from the 96 deaths).

Where ever I got the information from would have made me biased to-wards the Liverpool way of seeing things. 96 people died and the police were severely at fault.
[/quote]

 

I expect you may have had a different perspective if your knowledge of the event had been gleaned from chatting to members of the south yorkshire constubulary or local Hillsborough residents about the day in question.

I don''t disagree that the police were at fault. My point is that its too simplistic to blame any one body or person for this tragedy and that some liverpool fans were in some way at fault as well (but say that and you will be demonised) and that little would be served through having another expensive inquiry over the whole incident.

[/quote]

The Yorkshire Constabulary who lied that the gate was forced open by a mob of Liverpool supporters, or who told a man watching his daughters be crushed to death to shut his f''n prattle, or mislead the ambulance staff into beleiving there was a riot making it unsafe to help the injured. Frankly the polices job on that day was to protect the people inside the stadium. They failed and then tried to pin the blame onto innocent people, regardless of what Liverpool supporters have or have not done in the past.

[/quote]

 

Not saying the yorkshire constabulary view is the truth. Just making the point that your judgment of an incident is clouded by whose side of the story you listen to and therefore if CT had formed his view of the incident throigh talking to a bunch of police officers then his view would probably have been rather different.

I agree with the comment above - it is unfortunate that people are talking about who to blame for this at all - it was a truly tragic occassion and on anniversaries such as yesterday poeple should just remember and pay respects to those who lost their lives. That in a way is my point about "justice for the 96." It is looking to find someone to blame for the whole tragedy when in my eyes there is no one such person or organisation on whom the blame can be pinned.

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[quote user="K Lo"]Yes, I was at Upton Park for the 1/4 inal and Villa Park for the semi. I certainly remember Upton Park being a complete squash but never for a minute thought any harm could come to anyone. Like I said earlier, the Barclay was always a squash and my mate & I were only 14 to 16 over those years and never really appreciated any danger. Of course, amplify the Barclay "Pen" to Hillsborough and it becomes clear that there was always that danger. I don''t think that true crwod control was ever considered back then. Surely some blame lays there. They could have even cordoned the surrounding area off for ticket holders only but hindsight is a wonderful thing.[/quote]I was at Upton Park and remember being frightened. I had damaged my shoulder playing football and perhaps as a mid-twenties something then, it gave me a greater insight into what it was like for older/frailer supporters. Entering and leaving the ground was a real crush as we were herded like cattle through one entrance/ exit.At Villa Park it wasn''t as bad but on the way home we stopped for a drink in a pub. Five "professional" males (including a teacher and two social workers!) having a quiet drink but we were required to leave when they worked out that we were football supporters. Similarly I remember leaving a London ground - Spurs - and being forced out with all the other supporters even though I lived in London at the time. Predictably, the local fans gathered around to give us "a merry send off" - none of the Police gave a monkey''s that we had to break of from the group of Norwich fans and integrate with those hurling abuse at us.That was the root cause of the problem imo - all football supporters were regarded as scum/ trouble makers/ hooligans etc. As such, there was relatively little regard given to our safety - all that mattered was that we did not cause trouble, which of course, the huge majority had no intention of doing.

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[quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="Georgie Bless"][quote user="Jim Smith"]

[quote user="CT "]I respect what you''re saying but I''m a 17 year old lad and before the lead up to yesterday I didnt know anything about what happened 20 years ago (apart from the 96 deaths).

Where ever I got the information from would have made me biased to-wards the Liverpool way of seeing things. 96 people died and the police were severely at fault.
[/quote]

 

I expect you may have had a different perspective if your knowledge of the event had been gleaned from chatting to members of the south yorkshire constubulary or local Hillsborough residents about the day in question.

I don''t disagree that the police were at fault. My point is that its too simplistic to blame any one body or person for this tragedy and that some liverpool fans were in some way at fault as well (but say that and you will be demonised) and that little would be served through having another expensive inquiry over the whole incident.

[/quote]

The Yorkshire Constabulary who lied that the gate was forced open by a mob of Liverpool supporters, or who told a man watching his daughters be crushed to death to shut his f''n prattle, or mislead the ambulance staff into beleiving there was a riot making it unsafe to help the injured. Frankly the polices job on that day was to protect the people inside the stadium. They failed and then tried to pin the blame onto innocent people, regardless of what Liverpool supporters have or have not done in the past.

[/quote]

 

Not saying the yorkshire constabulary view is the truth. Just making the point that your judgment of an incident is clouded by whose side of the story you listen to and therefore if CT had formed his view of the incident throigh talking to a bunch of police officers then his view would probably have been rather different.

I agree with the comment above - it is unfortunate that people are talking about who to blame for this at all - it was a truly tragic occassion and on anniversaries such as yesterday poeple should just remember and pay respects to those who lost their lives. That in a way is my point about "justice for the 96." It is looking to find someone to blame for the whole tragedy when in my eyes there is no one such person or organisation on whom the blame can be pinned.

[/quote]

I can see where your coming from that it can taint a day that should be just for remembering the tragic loss but all I know if it was my daughter, my son, my sibling I would want answers as to what happened that day (a point made by John Aldridge). Unfortunatly I dont think they will ever get them, they feel that they need to find where the responsibility lies to finally move on and get closure. Whether it would help I really dont know.

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I for what its worth think that its hard to disagree with Jim Smiths post. I like many was at Villa Park in the Holte End and the only thing i remember from the game is the scoreboard flashing up ''Liverpool v Nottm. For kick off delayed.'' I can clearly remember the morning of the match and travelling home after the match but that scoreboard message is the only thing that i remember from the game.

Its difficult to say anything about ''Hillsborough'' even now as its such a sensitive subject and there seems to be both sides of the debate coming across on here. Attending matches in the 70''s and 80''s bares little resemblence to attending matches now. Someone said in a post about how much of a crush it was at Upton Park in the quarter final. I was at that game to and the poster is probably right but i dont ever remember pre Hillsborough feeling scared or worried for my safety it was just the way it was.

I think it was Jas who said that if the balls had been drawn in a different order we''d have played our semi-final at Hillsborough. Well we may have but thats not how it works, the venues used to be decided after the ties were drawn. Liverpool had also played Nottm. Forest in the previous years semi which had also been at Hillsborough so i suppose it was the obvious choice again. Because of the direction Liverpool and Forest fans approached Sheffield Forest had the much larger Kop end which seems a strange choice given the fanbase of both clubs but it had obviously worked the year before.

I watched the History channels programme last night and no one can fail to feel the grief of the families who lost loved ones. 20, 30 or 40 years is never going to change those feelings and rightly so but i as Jim Smith said in his post am uneasy if thats the right word about the whole justice for the 96 campaign. The booing or whatever it was when a message from the prime minister was read out i don''t know it just sours it all somehow. Mistakes were made by the police yes we all know that but as was clearly shown on the documentry last night if the gates hadn''t been opened fans would have died outside the ground instead of inside but some of the blame has to lie with the Liverpool fans that turned up ten minutes before the start of the game who were going toget inside to see the kick off no matter what. They have there share of the blame and there have been two or three incidents in europe over the last few seasons that show Liverpool fans have not learnt many lessons from 1989. Even back then the idea of getting to a game as big as a semi-final with minutes to spare and hoping to see the start of the game was stupid.

I like a few others feel the way Heysel seems to have been wiped from the memory by Liverpool fans to be in really bad taste and not because it prevented Norwich from playing in europe. People died there too just because they weren''t English or from Liverpool makes there families grieving no different. As someone else said Liverpool has as a city a very anti-establishment attitude and i dont get what they want by this justice campaign or how they think its going to make things any different for the families if someone says ok it was me i''ll take the blame.

Remember Hillsborough and the 96 but remember Heysel and Bradford as well without the blame culture that comes with Hillsborough.

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It is a shame that to this day there is such bitterness over it. I guess it''s the same with Heysel and the Juventus fans. Perhaps it''s just a part of British culture that somebody is always to blame, but it''s almost certainly likely that the ones that come out of this worse off are those least deserving; the poor families at the front or the (perhaps) inexperienced and youthful officers who were given orders that we now know were wrong but were the standard procedure at the time. The important thing we should take out of this disaster is not who was at fault who was to blame, because there were many issues that ultimately (and unfortunately) came together to cause it, but that we make sure that things like this never happen again. That is why it still worries me greatly when you see for example, the champions league final and liverpool fans again turning up with no tickets and getting their way in and the recent disaster in Ivory Coast. We should never forget those that lost their lives that day nor the lessons that we have learnt.

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My thoughts are:

Leaving young inexperienced officers on duty without senior police officers around was a mistake.  They only did what they had been briefed to do, which included opening entrance gates if conditions outside seemed to dictate this, and not letting ambulances get on the pitch too quickly as it might put the ambulance drivers and the equipment at risk.

Not anticipating that liberally refreshed Liverpool supporters would turn up en masse at 2.53pm, a large percentage without tickets, and would pursue a tactic of trying to force the gates open to let them in free, was also frankly pretty stupid and should have been pre-empted with contingency plans.  The tactic of giving in to Liverpool (and other club''s) fans at past matches was the wrong decision as it only encouraged their bravado. 

Caging in fans was the wrong approach as well, but this was a response driven by the media in the 1970''s, as was the general view that if someone is trying to get out of the cage onto the pitch they must be a football hooligan, therefore slowing down the opening of gates leading to the pitch as an escape route.  The media pre-Hillsborough had pretty much damned all football fans as hooligans, so at least post-Hornby it is fashionable to do a Delia.

The architecture of Leppings Lane, if you''ll excuse the play on the pun, allowed at the time (and still does but for the increased control seating and OCR scanning of tickets allows to prevent over crowding) the p''s to be turned into m''s in the name of the stand very quickly, and the FA really should have thought more about the logistics of a full crowd on that day.  Wednesday themselves should have invested more in that end of the ground - they still haven''t to this day really and have lost rights as a big match ground as a result (and not to link this to other arguments on this site, but just when should a football club invest in off the pitch infrastructure?).

Senior officers offered their resignations after the match but they were not accepted by the politicians who too were trying to save face, although frankly none of those officers were ever able to work effectively again thereafter.  Same can be said of the Wednesday Board.  However it is not true of the FA though, most were senile then and still are!

All parties involved should have looked hard at themselves by now.  I just think the only real outcome of any Justice for the 96 is that of all involved the only organisations that have not really been bought to account and amended substantially their view on life (aside from Kelvim Mackenzie) there are only two.  The FA and those Liverpool supporters who arrogantly attended the match without tickets, went drinking right up to 2.45 pm, and thought that bullying police and stewards into opening the gates allow themselves in was acceptable.  Sorry but if I upset your view on life you will not change my view on this, and it has nothing to do with our not getting to Europe in 85. 

As for terraces, they are okay if you can guarantee a maximum loading of people per square meterage will never be breached.  Easily achievable outside the top two divisions in England, apart from Cup matches (and the FA to some extent recognise this), but I will never be convinced this will be achievable in the top two divisions where capacities would be 6,000 plus per terrace, and I am sorry but it will only encourage the hooligan minority to assert themselves again.  I too like a drink before the game, but having experienced a full Hillsborough with a valid ticket before the terrace bans, I would hate to go back to the days of trying to get on the terraces there after staying in the pub until just before kick-off - a pretty pointless exercise in watching football if like me you are not "up for a fight" to try and and get a good view of the pitch.  I much prefer arriving, having my ticket scanned without human intervention, and walking causually to my seat having only been asked t show my ticket once in the process. 

I feel truly sorry for families of the young innocents that died, they had valid tickets, were in the ground by 2.15 pm, sobre, standing ready to focus on a great game of football.  If only others had been I still truly believe they would still be alive.  There were thousands of equally chaotically policed and organised matches before where 96 did not die.   

Indeed, each and every one of us, should never forget those that lost their lives that day nor the lessons that we have learnt.

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Lets cut the emotional cr@p the papers feed us and go beyond the area that pussy  footed politicians were prepared to go - the plain truth is 96 people died because 5000 [mostly under the influence of alcohol] Liverpool fans forced their way into the back of a stand and killed their so-called fellow supporters, who were crushed at the front of the stand.The media, society, politicians, the Taylor Report - were too scared of an emotional backlash to point the finger where it belongs and instead blamed the police and the state of the Hillsborough stadium - 5000 scousers off the hook to milk public sympathy for 20 years from a naive public and press.3000 - 5000 people die on British roads every year, it''s a good guess more than 96 people die on Norfolk roads every year, just as tragic, just as horrific, - 179 British deaths in Iraq, - 52 deaths at Valley Parade, Bradford FC,  - 39 deaths and 600 injured at the heysel Stadium - surprise, surprise caused by drunken Liverpool supporters!

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[quote user="foreva yella"]You really are a first class T**t for writing crap like that on this board, how would you have felt if it was your family you idiot.[/quote]Probably the same as a family who had lost somebody in a road accident or the same as a family who had lost somebody in Iraq, or same as a family who had lost somebody in the Heysel Stadium or Bradford Stadium - you naive T**t

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[quote user="John Boubepo"]Lets cut the emotional cr@p the papers feed us and go beyond the area that pussy  footed politicians were prepared to go - the plain truth is 96 people died because 5000 [mostly under the influence of alcohol] Liverpool fans forced their way into the back of a stand and killed their so-called fellow supporters, who were crushed at the front of the stand.

The media, society, politicians, the Taylor Report - were too scared of an emotional backlash to point the finger where it belongs and instead blamed the police and the state of the Hillsborough stadium - 5000 scousers off the hook to milk public sympathy for 20 years from a naive public and press.

3000 - 5000 people die on British roads every year, it''s a good guess more than 96 people die on Norfolk roads every year, just as tragic, just as horrific, - 179 British deaths in Iraq, - 52 deaths at Valley Parade, Bradford FC,  - 39 deaths and 600 injured at the heysel Stadium - surprise, surprise caused by drunken Liverpool supporters!
[/quote]

You on the other hand seem to have swallowed the Sun''s dogma whole. I don''t doubt that Liverpool supporters acted badly and contributed to the situation, but to suggest that the South Yorks police were whiter than white in the face of known facts frankly beggars belief. I dislike Liverpool football club intensely, and certainly don''t buy the loveable scouser act or admire the propensity for self pity, but for God''s sake man, there are families who are still being denied information about how and when their children died, and, more importantly, whether everything possible was done to save them. Hate the club and the people if you wish, but show a little compassion for the families....would it really hurt you so much to do so.

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I''m not naive you t**t, I have lost a family member through an accident and yes it hurts a lot, I''m just showing some compasion to a group of people you went out one day to enjoy themselves at a football match and never got home, could of been one of us if draw had been different. its been proved that the disaster was not caused by as you put it drunken scousers. May I suggest you watch the programmes on tv about it, you could learn a lot

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[quote user="Beauseant"]

[quote user="John Boubepo"]Lets cut the emotional cr@p the papers feed us and go beyond the area that pussy  footed politicians were prepared to go - the plain truth is 96 people died because 5000 [mostly under the influence of alcohol] Liverpool fans forced their way into the back of a stand and killed their so-called fellow supporters, who were crushed at the front of the stand.The media, society, politicians, the Taylor Report - were too scared of an emotional backlash to point the finger where it belongs and instead blamed the police and the state of the Hillsborough stadium - 5000 scousers off the hook to milk public sympathy for 20 years from a naive public and press.3000 - 5000 people die on British roads every year, it''s a good guess more than 96 people die on Norfolk roads every year, just as tragic, just as horrific, - 179 British deaths in Iraq, - 52 deaths at Valley Parade, Bradford FC,  - 39 deaths and 600 injured at the heysel Stadium - surprise, surprise caused by drunken Liverpool supporters![/quote]

You on the other hand seem to have swallowed the Sun''s dogma whole. I don''t doubt that Liverpool supporters acted badly and contributed to the situation, but to suggest that the South Yorks police were whiter than white in the face of known facts frankly beggars belief. I dislike Liverpool football club intensely, and certainly don''t buy the loveable scouser act or admire the propensity for self pity, but for God''s sake man, there are families who are still being denied information about how and when their children died, and, more importantly, whether everything possible was done to save them. Hate the club and the people if you wish, but show a little compassion for the families....would it really hurt you so much to do so.

[/quote]Denied information on how their children died! - it was live on TV -  5000 drunken Scousers, with no tickets breaking into the back of a stand and crushed their own supporters to death! The police were not whiter than white, they made mistakes but ultimately 96 fans died at the hands of their own supporters.It''s not about denying the families compassion, it''s about being realistic, they want answers, the answers are pretty obvious but the media/politicians/reports have all sucked up to Liverpool supporters in general because of the potential emotional backlash if they said otherwise, it''s led the British public to believe it was the entire fault of the S.Y.Police Force and Liverpool supporters were 100% innocent.You can believe that if you want and many people do - But the truth is out there!

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I have to disagree with the poster that it would be hard for tearraces to re-appear in the Premiership and Championship. The Nordbank (formerly AOL) Arena in Hamburg is a relatively new ground with a capacity of 57,000. There is a large terracing area behind one of the goals. As you would expect German policing and stewarding is very effective, you have to go through two cordons, one to ensure you have a bona fide ticket for the game, the second to make sure you are not carrying anything you shouldn`t be. There is absolutely no reason that terracing/stadium fencing cannot be safe in the 21st century.

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SOB, as you rightly say, the German policing as expected is very effective and makes large scale terracing a possibility in Germany.  However in England we are currently facing the very real situation that several police forces around the country will restrict the number of officers they provide for matchdays IF they aren''t paid what they believe is due direct from the clubs for the provision of such high profile policing.  I believe that the current credit crunch wil only accelerate such a stance and soon Police forces will turn their back on policing stadia leaving it to the clubs own stewarding.  With such a background there is zilch chance of any club wanting to pursue a policy of terracing if they have to police them out of their own pocket.  Local politicians would also probably not allow planning pernmission either without a strong commitment to funding the policing of such areas that they require.  Would any supporter approve of gate money going to the pockets of coppers rather than to those of their players (well we give it to the players agents at the moment so might as well I suppose!).

So I have to disagree with you SOB as it will be a very long time before there is any return to large scale terracing in the UK - probably only when alcohol is banned completely!!

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shefcanary - I am not saying there will be terracing any time soon, what I am saying there is no real reason for there not to be from a safety point of view. I totally agree with you that it all comes down to money, and I would add that clubs can charge fans more to sit than to stand.

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