Update: Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor of The Sun when the paper ran a front page story blaming fans for the Hillsborough tragedy, today offered his “profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool”.

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Writer Steve Downes on how the news filtered through to Norwich City fans

I was a 15-year-old Norwich City fan, standing on the Holte End at Villa Park with my dad and brother. For most of the match I was terrified, because the end was so overloaded with supporters that I thought something disastrous was going to happen.

At one point a big surge ended with me pressed against a crush barrier with a bruised rib. News of what was happening at Hillsborough began to filter through via people’s radios in the first half.

The talk of the terrace was that the Liverpool fans had “kicked off”. Then the story began to clear, and it was obvious that some supporters had died. Nobody knew how many, or why.

At this stage, if I’m being honest, I remained more concerned about Norwich City, who were putting on their usual FA Cup semi-final no-show.

When the final whistle blew, we went back to our bus and the driver told us the grim reality of the Hillsborough disaster. Scores of people were dead. And suddenly the match that I had just watched meant nothing – absolutely nothing.

After the initial “it could have been me” reaction (we were similarly squeezed in at the previous match, the FA Cup quarter final at West Ham), I was left with a sick feeling in my stomach, thinking about the awful demise of so many people.

The journey home was quiet, as the fans reflected on something that was far more important than football.

Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor of The Sun when the paper ran a front page story blaming fans for the Hillsborough tragedy, today offered his “profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool”.

Mr MacKenzie, who wrote the headline The Truth on the controversial report, said in a statement: “Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline.

“I too was totally misled. Twenty three ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium.

“I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster.

“As the Prime Minister has made clear these allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame for the tragedy from themselves.

“It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline The Lies rather than The Truth.

“I published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong.”

Trevor Hicks of the Family Support Group said the apology offered by Kelvin MacKenzie was “too little too late” and referred to the former editor of The Sun as “a lowlife”.

The report has revealed how police and emergency services made “strenuous attempts” to deflect the blame for the Hillsborough disaster onto innocent fans, newly published documents about the tragedy revealed today.

The disclosures were made by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which has been overseeing the release of thousands of official documents relating to Britain’s deadliest sporting disaster.

Ninety six Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989, where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

Norwich City were playing in the other semi-final on that day, against Everton at Villa Park.

Introducing the report to the Hillsborough families at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, Bishop James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool and chairman of the panel, said: “For nearly a quarter of a century the families of the 96 and the survivors of Hillsborough have nursed an open wound waiting for answers to unresolved questions.

“It has been a frustrating and painful experience adding to their grief.

“In spite of all the investigations they have sensed that their search for truth and justice has been thwarted and that no-one has been held accountable.

“The documents disclosed to and analysed by the panel show that the tragedy should never have happened.

“There were clear operational failures in response to the disaster and in its aftermath their were strenuous attempts to deflect the blame onto the fans.

“The panel’s detailed report shows how vulnerable victims, survivors and their families are when transparency and accountability are compromised.

“My colleagues and I were from the start of our work impressed by the dignified determination of the families.”

He added: “The panel produces this report without any presumption of where it will lead. But it does so in the profound hope that greater transparency will bring to the families and to the wider public a greater understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath.

“For it is only with this transparency that the families and survivors, who have behaved with such dignity, can with some sense of truth and justice cherish the memory of their 96 loved ones.”

In its summary the panel said: “It is evident from analysis of the various investigations that from the outset South Yorkshire Police sought to deflect responsibility for the disaster on to Liverpool fans ... there is no evidence to support this view.”

The documents also reveal the “extent to which substantive amendments were made” to statements by South Yorkshire Police to remove or alter “unfavourable” comments about the policing of the match and the unfolding disaster.

The documents show, for the first time, that South Yorkshire Ambulance Service documents were “subject to the same process”, the panel said.

They went on to say the wrongful allegations about the fans’ behaviour later printed in some newspapers, particularly The Sun, originated from “a Sheffield press agency, senior SYP officers, an SYP Police Federation spokesperson and a local MP”.

The panel said the Police Federation, “supported informally by the SYP Chief Constable”, sought to develop and publicise a version of events derived in police officers’ allegations of drunkenness, ticketless fans and violence.

“The vast majority of fans on the pitch assisted in rescuing and evaluating the injured and the dead,” the panel said.

The panel said their report raises “profound concerns about the conduct and appropriateness of the inquests”.

The documents go on to reveal the original pathologists’ evidence of a single, unvarying pattern of death was “unsustainable”, the panel said.

The families have always disputed the accidental verdict which followed the inquest into the deaths.

The report found that 116 of the 164 police statements identified for “substantive amendment” were “amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to SYP.”

One police officer said he only accepted the changes because he was suffering from post-traumatic stress and that he considered it an injustice for statements to have been “doctored” to suit the management of South Yorkshire Police, the report found.

The panel also found that access to Cabinet documents revealed that in an exchange about her Government welcoming the Taylor Report into the tragedy Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expressed her concern that the “broad thrust” of the report constituted a “devastating criticism of the police”.

Tell us your memories of that day, how you found out about the tragedy and what you think of today’s findings by leaving a comment below.

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• Follow and take part in our live coverage of today’s events by clicking on the link to the right hand corner of the page.

43 comments

  • I was at Villa Park that day. There but for the grace of God go I. I consider myself lucky to be alive. It could have easily been us

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I was also at 'the forgotten semi' that day and concur that it was pretty terrifying in the Holte end. I can remember watching the game trapped side- on with only one foot on the terrace. A lot of us did not hear what had happened till leaving the ground. I spoke to some Everton supporters who were frantic because they knew friends and family had gone to the other game. Footbal fans had been treated as cattle for years and if any good could be said to have come from this horror, it was that eventually fans were treated as human beings again.

    Report this comment

    Eam

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I remember the day clearly. As an 11 year old boy, heading up with my Dad to Villa Park, full of expectation to watch us play Everton in the other FA Cup Semi Final. As we all know we lost 1 nil to an Pat Nevin goal. I left the ground in tears after our loss and remember listening to the chaos unfold at Hillsborough on the radio on the drive home. My most vivid memory is my father telling me to stop crying and that we had only lost a football match. To think of the Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough and what they were going through. This thought still sticks with me very clearly to this day. Whenever I get stressed about a Canaries poor performance or result. It IS only a football match.

    Report this comment

    Adam Firrell

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • So, the police are mainly to blame, the incompetence of the ambulance service increased the death toll? I always had believed it was a combination of events, which led to the tragedy. Good to see things in black'n'white, no grey(?) I never mentioned Bloody Sunday.

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    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • my son,aged 8 at the same,his milkcrate to stand on and me were in one of the first coaches to aririve so we were early into the ground and therefore got right down the front hemmed in by the large fencing.As a result i chatted to the Villa stewards and they were passing on dreadful unbelievable information about Hillsborough.The coach home was silent and sombre.Later that night it dawned if the FA Cup draw had been different it could have my son who would likely have died at Hillsborough.I did not return to any football ground after this for many years.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Mackenzie's apology is not worth the paper I use to wipe my backside with. He still presents excuses and is NOT demonstrating responsibility for his own actions. He should be blacklisted by all media.

    Report this comment

    micklynn

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • On that fateful day I was playing football for Darlaston Old Boys in the Birmingham AFA League within earshot of Villa Park. When we kicked off, a huge roar went up and the strains of On the ball City could clearly be heard.It was quite surreal for me as an avid City supporter playing there at that time. We won our match and headed back to our Darlaston pub base to celebrate. My team mates were giving me stick about City losing but then news started to filter through about the dreadful events unfolding at Hillsborough. We gathered together around a portable radio in the pub and listened in stunned disbelief to the news. It was hard to believe that something so horrific could happen and it put so many other things into perspective.

    Report this comment

    billpuntonswig

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I was in my early 20's and had recently moved from Norwich to Birmingham. I was at Villa Park and because of the discomfort and overcrowding in the Holte End, I had moved into the terracing which ran along the side of the pitch. Some vague stories about the Hillsborough situation started to filter through and by the end of the game we knew that something awful had happened. I went for a drink in Brum and talked to some Evertonians who even then were doubting what they were hearing about how things had happened as they were sure that it didn't sound like the behaviour of their friends and neighbours. What people have to realise is that at that time the police and politicians ALWAYS told lies about football fans. Most of the worst acts of thuggery I've ever seen were by police at football matches in the 80's...from the casual violence of them beating up innocent fans for no apparrent reason to tripping up people running away from trouble and leaving them to be attacked. It was pointless protesting about it as you'd be arrested and no one in authority would believe a football fan ahead of a police officer. That's the background of the disgusting cover up and I hope all those responsible are dealt with harshly and that the humanity they denied others is denied them. Thank you to the activists who never gave up demanding the truth that they knew was being suppressed, I hope they use equal vigour to press that those who can are brought to justice.

    Report this comment

    norwichinwolves

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Want to know what prevailed in 1963, City v Leicester, FA Cup. Carrow Road's highest attendence? 43,000 . Youngsters, kids, were passed over the main fence, to sit on the gravel, beyond the grass pitch. Now, I wonder how I would know that? Mmmmm,Want to know what prevailed in 1963, City v Leicester, FA Cup. Carrow Road's highest attendence? 43,000 . Youngsters, kids, were passed over the main fence, to sit on the gravel, beyond the grass pitch. Now, I wonder how I would know that? Mmmmm?

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • There should be a national boycott of the Sun - only by hitting there income will the Press be held to account.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I'm glad that the families of the bereaved will now get some justice, now that 'the truth' is out in the public domain. However, I have one thought that is still nagging at me: will all those fans who didn't have a ticket that fateful day and still entered that stand now come forward?

    Report this comment

    Mark King

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Mackenzie's apology is not worth the paper I use to wipe my backside with. He still presents excuses and is NOT demonstrating responsibility for his own actions. He should be blacklisted by all media.

    Report this comment

    micklynn

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • @dissaster I probably didn't express myself too well. I was trying to say that the picture given at the time was of drunk hooligan Liverpool fans breaking down the gates to get in and thereby inadvertently triggering the tragedy. Crowds do indeed have an incredible momentum, that no strong man can stand against, and it builds from the back without anyone realising it. I'm not blaming anyone, in that situation at West Ham, none of the City fans funneling down towards the entrance knew of the crush taking place only a few yards ahead - I'm sure something like that is what unfolded at Hillsborough. Human failings of judgement in difficult situations are forgiveable, what does anger me is that there were deliberate attempts notably by the police to cover up the truth. This is being reported by ITV as I type, so it is no longer speculation but must be accepted as the truth .

    Report this comment

    SussexYellow

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I was also at 'the forgotten semi' that day and concur that it was pretty terrifying in the Holte end. I can remember watching the game trapped side- on with only one foot on the terrace. A lot of us did not hear what had happened till leaving the ground. I spoke to some Everton supporters who were frantic because they knew friends and family had gone to the other game. Footbal fans had been treated as cattle for years and if any good could be said to have come from this horror, it was that eventually fans were treated as human beings again.

    Report this comment

    Eam

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Will there be a witchhunt? I will always recall a servce mate's thoughts, his take on events, when the 'brown stuff' went airborne. "Come monday morning, behind a desk, well rested, warm, with a coffee, surrounded with hindsight". Aren't they marvelous?

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • @Sussex. The whole 'episode' was a terribly sad tragedy . .and it was. However, don't like the 'blame-game' - rarely are things so simple, life has taught me that, at least. Never underestimate the sheer power - the frightening surge that people, however well-meaning can have. Yes, I still believe the Liverpool supporters did play an aweful part - HOWEVER INNOCENTLY, in that sad day. Try managing mega-enthused crowds??

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    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I was at Villa Park too with my Dad, crammed on the terrace with the thousands of other fans. News came through of a delay and then abandonment at Hillsborough, then you hear bit by bit of fans deaths and i like everyone else was so shocked, never has the result of a City game been so irrelevant. In my mind it was the saddest day in football. Then a few years later when we played Sunderland in the first semi at Hillsborough after the disaster, we was in the same end as the Liverpool fans had been, the singing of abide with me by the whole ground before the game still brings a lump to my throat

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    Mark Nolloth

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I am a Forest supporter, now living in Norfolk, but at the time I lived in Nottingham and travelled to Hillsborough that day. We were in the opposite end from the Liverpool fans and saw all the terrible events unfold before us. Bodies and the dying were laid out in our penalty box and yet I remember seeing only one ambulance on the pitch. I also remember the police forming a line across the middle of the pitch to prevent the Liverpool fans from attacking us. Today confirms what any Liverpool or Forest fan could have told 23 years ago - this disaster was the result of (a) initial crowd control and (b) a subsequent failure by the emergency services, NOT the fans. Shame it took so long to get the truth. I hope that football fans of ANY team NEVER have to go through or witness the terrible events that I saw that day. BTW I still support Forest but have quite a soft spot for Norwich City now!

    Report this comment

    Mark Oakden

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I just wish we lived in a society in when something goes wrong, when mistakes are made, there is a culture of being able to openly admit to it, so we can all learn from it. A terribly sad day for so many people...

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    Surrey Canary

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Just like Steve Downes, I had travelled from Cromer to Birmingham that day and stood in the Holte end to watch Norwich City. I didn't hear much about events at Hillsborough until I got back to the coach after the game.......spent the entire journey home staring into space, the game I had witnessed was completely irrelevant.

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    Neil Harbour

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Just like Steve Downes, I had travelled from Cromer to Birmingham that day and stood in the Holte end to watch Norwich City. I didn't hear much about events at Hillsborough until I got back to the coach after the game.......spent the entire journey home staring into space, the game I had witnessed was completely irrelevant.

    Report this comment

    Neil Harbour

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I was in my early 20's and had recently moved from Norwich to Birmingham. I was at Villa Park and because of the discomfort and overcrowding in the Holte End, I had moved into the terracing which ran along the side of the pitch. Some vague stories about the Hillsborough situation started to filter through and by the end of the game we knew that something awful had happened. I went for a drink in Brum and talked to some Evertonians who even then were doubting what they were hearing about how things had happened as they were sure that it didn't sound like the behaviour of their friends and neighbours. What people have to realise is that at that time the police and politicians ALWAYS told lies about football fans. Most of the worst acts of thuggery I've ever seen were by police at football matches in the 80's...from the casual violence of them beating up innocent fans for no apparrent reason to tripping up people running away from trouble and leaving them to be attacked. It was pointless protesting about it as you'd be arrested and no one in authority would believe a football fan ahead of a police officer. That's the background of the disgusting cover up and I hope all those responsible are dealt with harshly and that the humanity they denied others is denied them. Thank you to the activists who never gave up demanding the truth that they knew was being suppressed, I hope they use equal vigour to press that those who can are brought to justice.

    Report this comment

    norwichinwolves

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I, along with many other Norwich fans, only heard snippets of info whilst at our Semi. Being 18 at the time it was a big adventure for us thinking that we would be playing in our first FA Cup final if we could beat Everton. The whole day was a party atmosphere, from leaving Carrow Road on the Club Coaches, to stopping for breakfast (amongst other things !!) at the infamous Farm Shop in Long Sutton. All we heard during the game was chinese whispers as to what was going on at Hillsborough but it wasn't until we got on the coach that the enormity of the situation hit us. I've never travelled in such silence with the death toll going up and up as headed home. Somewhere in my parents loft is the copy of the Pink Un I brought that day. All i remember of our semi final is that we lost but that paled into insignifigance compared to what i eventually saw on the news the next days and weeks. Heysel was still fresh in the memory as were the terrible scenes at Bradford but it seemed as though that was the day that football changed forever.

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    A Drinking Consultant

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I well remember being at a big game in the 80's, I was with another robust, mature male, alongside us was a father and his young teenage daughter. All around us were enjoying the day - until 15 minutes before kick-off. Then THE SURGE, good natured human beings, clamouring, pushing, to get on the terraces before kick-off. The pressure was so bad, even my eyebrows were becoming raised . . . the young girl started to cry. Her father finally relented, and got her (not easy) under the terrace rail, the 'spot' they had guarded for the previous hour. That memory will live with me always. The Match in question??? Did I not say?? Norwich v Sunderland, Wembley 1985.

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    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I am in total awe of my fellow Britons. They of immediate insight of a problem, the resolution of such, near instantaneous, the deployment of their subordinates, in varying roles, posted without delay, and, unerringly correct. You have my humble respect. Britain needs you!

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    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • A day burned in my memory. Travelled up to Villa Park in my old Fiat Panda with two mates to see the Norwich game and was involved in a multi car pile up on the M1. had one of those near lifes end moments but got away with only being rear ended by a butchers van, Drivers was covered in blood in a white coat. Fortunately not his!. Very shaken but managed to get back on the road and to the game only for this to happen. Recall some initial jeering from Everton fans when news of pitch invasion stated to come through only to switch to eerie quiet once the truth started to filter out. very emotional

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    Alex Baxendale

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I'm glad that the families of the bereaved will now get some justice, now that 'the truth' is out in the public domain. However, I have one thought that is still nagging at me: will all those fans who didn't have a ticket that fateful day and still entered that stand now come forward?

    Report this comment

    Mark King

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • My son Duncan and I were at Villa Park for the semi-final v Everton. We had previously been at the replay at West Ham, experiencing the frightening crowd surges that others have commented on. We noticed at half time that the other semi-final, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, had been abandoned, though no reason was given. It was only when we switched the radio on in the car as we set off for home that we realised the horror of what had happened. I don't think we had mobile phones then to let the family know we were ok, as they only knew we were at a football match!

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    longshanks

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Even the vile Mackenzie was misled by the even viler dissembling of a senior police officer and an MP.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I was at the other semi and wasn't surprised that the other game was delayed (didn't know about the seriousness of it all at the time) as I went to Highbury to see Arsenal v Liverpool about a month before. There was no ticketing and 100's of Liverpool fans were trying to get access to the clock end with minutes left before kick off. There was no police support outside the ground and stewards were nowhere to be seen. I went home as I didn't support either team and I wouldn't get in anyway. I knew nothing of the Hillsboro' disaster until I was in the bull ring at about 6 and was told by a local about it in a pub. He said the dead numbered 50 then I heard it was worse on the train back to London, from an Everton fan that evening. I did notice that we were packed in like sardines in the middle of the Holte End that afternoon while there were some Norwich fans in another part of that terrace who had plenty of leg room-no stewarding there...Football was very different then. No seats and politicains thought football fans were all trouble and should have passports.

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    sinclair

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I think it is very easy to be wise after the event, especially as crowd control measures and stadium safety have had so much attention and vastly improved since the disaster. Being old enough to have been to a few matches at some of the more high profile grounds of First Division football in the early 70s I think we must also bear in mind the nature of football at the time and why the barriers were there in the first place. It was a bit of a different animal in those days. Whilst not wanting to blame either party I think it must have been on the minds of Sheffield Police that they had a large number of potentially volatile fans waiting to get into the match. Obviously there were shortcomings but I believe the disaster was a product of football itself which at the time was being whipped into something like a frenzy of partisanship by the giant clubs ( and the media) for their financial gain-more fans, more merchandising revenue but never mind the warfare on the terraces. Don't forget what happened at Heysel.This probably affected in some way the attitude of the police officers in control and their professionalism. And the urgency the fans felt they had to get into the ground. I think all clubs and fans could do with repeating Adam's wise words.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I remember the day all too clearly, being a 12-year old at Villa Park for the other semi-final played at the same time on the same day. It was a gloriously warm day also. I remember seeing the scoreboard flash up mid-way through the first half, "Match Abandoned at Hillsborough". My first instinct as I turned to my dad was; 'great, it will be all-Norwich on the highlights this evening'. How wrong could I be. The disappointment of a poor match was put into pure insignificance after the game and the journey home felt awful. I remember our coach stopping at Watford gap services and the queue for the pay-phones was long. Although it was the other sem-final, in the days before mobile communication, loved ones wanted to check in with those at home to ensure they were coming home safely. Upon getting home, I remember my mum tucking me up in bed and holding back the tears, saying about the poor people who didn't come home. As for the disaster itself, so many things went wrong at Hillsborough that day, but what I just don't understand is why no-one was checking on each 'pen' filling up. All it took was for the single tunnel to those 2 pens to be sealed off when full. The side pens were accessible around the corner of each stand, so was not as obvious as it should be that those were accessible points also. What simple errors that would have avoided such a big disaster. It does, however, show how far football has come and why standing areas would be a backwards step, even though the safety would be far different to that in 1989.

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    Adams is God

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • Memory: sat listening to the radio, hoping to hear a City win over Everton in the other game, stunned, shocked, and shaking. Today's reports brought tears to my eyes again. Justice must now follow this report.

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    Soglio Star

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • @Sussex. A polite, well balanced reply. Thank-you. The perceivedactual cover-up? Methinks that COULD have gained a huge momentum, once the death toll was known.Such was the enormity of the day. I surmise (only), the uniformed panicked a little, such is the power of the mob, and accompanied hysteria. Should you need reminding, I can provide Biblical proof, historical proof, AND personal experience of what resolutes from that.

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    Dissaster

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I'm glad that the families of the bereaved will now get some justice, now that 'the truth' is out in the public domain. However, I have one thought that is still nagging at me: will all those fans who didn't have a ticket that fateful day and still entered that stand now come forward?

    Report this comment

    Mark King

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Firstly, my thoughts go out to all those who were there or lost friends or loved ones in the disaster. For years I believed the line that the behaviour of some Liverpool fans may have contributed to the disaster. Today's news has completely changed that for me. At the time, I remember thinking that exactly the same thing could have happened to us Norwich fans in the grossly overcrowded away end at Upton Park to see Norwich play West Ham in an earlier round of the cup the same season (If I recall correctly). The crowd were funnelled down a narrowing passage to one or two turnstiles, the crush outside the ground was unbelievable, the terraces so crowded that it was impossible to move or leave the terraces at half time. That is the most frightening crowd situation I have ever been in. On the day, I was at Villa Park, in the Holte end. I seem to recall we knew the other game had been abandoned but had no idea there had been a major disaster until afterwards in the car park as we switched our radios on. I can remember an air of chilled silence in the car park, and distraught Evertonians wondering about their friends and relatives. Awful day. The only time in my life I have been glad in retrospect, that City didn't win a game. It was fitting that the final was all Merseyside. Rest in Peace, it could have been any of us.

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    SussexYellow

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • My father had recently retired from South Yorkshire Police and had he not, he would have been the senior officer on duty for the Force that day. He has never been able to rationalise how or why events occurred that enabled it to happen. I was a newly qualified registered general nurse and had just moved from Sheffield, where I'd trained, to work as a staff nurse in London. Two great friends, who were working as junior doctors in Sheffield had gone along to Hillsborough to watch the match. As events unfolded they went straight down to help on the pitch and attempted to ressuscitate the injured fans. They came to visit me soon afterwards and their own feelings of helplessness at how little they could do, as I'm sure you can understand, were overwhelmingly traumatic and life changing.

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    Fox Moth

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I, along with many other Norwich fans, only heard snippets of info whilst at our Semi. Being 18 at the time it was a big adventure for us thinking that we would be playing in our first FA Cup final if we could beat Everton. The whole day was a party atmosphere, from leaving Carrow Road on the Club Coaches, to stopping for breakfast (amongst other things !!) at the infamous Farm Shop in Long Sutton. All we heard during the game was chinese whispers as to what was going on at Hillsborough but it wasn't until we got on the coach that the enormity of the situation hit us. I've never travelled in such silence with the death toll going up and up as headed home. Somewhere in my parents loft is the copy of the Pink Un I brought that day. All i remember of our semi final is that we lost but that paled into insignifigance compared to what i eventually saw on the news the next days and weeks. Heysel was still fresh in the memory as were the terrible scenes at Bradford but it seemed as though that was the day that football changed forever.

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    A Drinking Consultant

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I remember the day well, standing in the Holte end, after having queued to get to the turnstyles, now this may not be the PC thing to say, but "some" liverpool fans turned up without tickets and barged their way to the ground causing a crush outside before the tragedy unfolded inside, fences were up to stop fans getting on the pitch(due to Liverpool fans rioting in Heysel). The sad thing was the innocent fans at the front were the ones that got killed, but some blame does have to go to the Liverpool fans that turned up without tickets with the intent to force their way into the ground. Norwich fans were in the biggest terrace in the country that day, and we had queued and waited our turn to get in.

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    CanaryCitizen

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • There's not a lot that make this big fella cry, but this just breaks my heart.. May peace be with all of you, our 96 football fan brothers. xx

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    Cannock Canary

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

  • I wondered how long it would be before the political consensus broke down. Not even a day has passed before Jack Straw made some extraordinary remarks this morning on the radio. His 1997 inquiry into Hillsborough was itself a bit of a disaster and on this occasion I think he should have just kept quiet rather than indulging in party politics. No one wants this to turn into a witch hunt. Decisions need to be made on the strength of the evidence, so hopefully someone has had a quiet word in his ear and he and the other politicians will keep out of it and let the legal establishment sort out what needs doing.

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    BG

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I have often defended Daisy Root's comments but not today. Those comments are insulting and stereotypical. The are also in my opinion generated from ignorance and fed by the now proven false media coverage. For many of us yesterday, the disclosure of the proof of the falsification of Police and other records, of the co-ordinated deliberate smearing of the victims of Hillsborough came as no surprise. We knew what had happened we just need access to the evidence. Yesterday that evidence was put in the public domain. As a member of the HJC, since its foundation, I have always known and along with many others I tried to ‘educate’ those who did not. Yesterday was vindication of all our belief in the truth. It is also the start to a long process to hold those responsible to account. I do not support Conservative politics neither am I a fan of David Cameron, especially after he had once said that the search for the truth was a bit like ‘a blind man in dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there’. I have to say I watched with a (restricted) degree of admiration how our Prime Minister made his statement, issued his apology and then answered questions, some of which were not possible to answer until all the evidence has been examined thoroughly. (I also very aware that he is a political animal.) But that feeling I had, when I heard him say that on behalf of the Government and the country he was profoundly sorry, I find very difficult to describe. Simultaneous joy and sorrow? I don’t know but it was very moving. I have always been very proud of my Liverpool and Irish roots and my association has always gone beyond my association through birth and mere football. It always provided me with my sense of identification, especially when living and travelling alone or going through a few tough times. Yesterday that bond was made even stronger with the respect to those who did so much and went through so much to bring about THE TRUTH after 23 years of struggle.

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    micklynn

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Sitting in a shepherd's cottage on an isolated hillside in mid-Wales. Miles from even the nearest road. Beautiful sunshine outside, birds singing, sheep wandering around the cottage as we started a short holiday break. No running water, no electricity - just perfect peace as we gathered round a tiny portable radio to listen, hopefully, to City marching on the the Cup Final. Then the disaster unfolded and everything just seemed so surreal. We were miles from anywhere hearing the nightmare unfold. Isolated and insulated, listening in disbelief as the horror grew. Suddenly the remoteness of our location seemed oppresssive and we felt the need just to be near other people and share the grief....

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    Mikey B

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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