Hillsborough Remembered Pt 2: The Days After

Published: Apr 15, 2014 11:07am EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 15, 2014 @ 11:07am EDT

 

It was 25 years ago and I had only just turned 10 a few weeks before. I remember the images vividly though as reports came in, through the television, of trouble at the Sheffield Wednesday ground, Hillsborough. That was the neutral venue for one of that years FA Cup Semi Final matches, in this case Liverpool faced Nottingham Forest for a place in the Final. The game on that day would not finish and 96 Liverpool fans who went into the ground that sunny, Saturday afternoon, wouldn’t come back out alive. This is their story and over four days I will do my best to give you a feel for the events of that day and the justice still being pursued today.

 

AFTERMATH:

 

Yesterday I spoke of the events leading up to and including the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989. Today I focus on the aftermath and reactions to the disaster. There was a worldwide outpouring of sympathy and condolences, ranging from the then US President George H.W Bush and the Pope John Paul II to the Chief Executive of Juventus Football Club. It was four years earlier that both the Liverpool fans and Juventus fans were involved in another stadium disaster in which 600 people were injured and 39 killed. On the day of the Hillsborough disaster 766 were injured with an initial 94 losing their lives on the day with one other dying a few days later. The last official death came almost four years after the disaster when the feeding and hydration tubes were removed from a 22 year old who had been in a vegetative state since that day.

The day after the disaster, Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister and then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd traveled to the stadium to meet with survivors and the Liverpool ground was opened in order to allow the people of Liverpool to show their respects and pay tribute. Flowers were laid at the gates and scarves tied as the stadium became a shrine. In England the game of football is known as a religion and the stadium of each fans club is, of course, then known as the church. In that respect there would have been no other place for these tributes to have taken place as a City and country mourned.

In the actual church of Liverpool ex Liverpool players were front and center as red and blue came together for a remembrance service. The FA Chief Executive said that a full investigation would be undertaken and also initially paved the way for the all-seater stadiums we see in the Premier League now.

It is fair to say that not everyone were sympathetic after the disaster though with some National papers describing the Liverpool fans as hooligans and placing the blame for the disaster firmly at their door. Even the UEFA President at the time, Jacques Georges, described the Liverpool fans as ‘beasts’. That, being drunk and a hooligan element would all be accusations the fans, both survivors and the people died, would have to live with, and fight against for the next 25 years.

Meanwhile life continued for the footballing world, the survivors and relatives of the victims. As a disaster appeal fund was set up with large donations by the British Government, Liverpool FC and the three Cities involved. Charity songs were released including a version of ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’ which was collaborated on by famous Liverpudlian singer songwriters.

At the beginning of this article I had said that 96 was the official death toll for the disaster but the truth is that as the tenth anniversary approached in 1999 at least three of the survivors had since committed suicide. Add to that the number of people who turned to alcoholism and drug abuse in order to cope and the number of those who survived but essentially their lives ended that day are much higher.

Back to 1989 and the match between the two sides was replayed and Liverpool won to get into the Final. It was perhaps ideal for the healing that the red side would play the blue side as Liverpool traveled down to the Capital. Black armbands were worn by both sets of teams and a minutes silence was observed. After John Aldridge initially put Liverpool ahead it was tough to see Everton equalize. Score they did though, Stuart McCall scored to take the tie into extra time and equalized again after Ian Rush had scored Liverpool’s second. Before the half time whistle went in extra time Ian Rush popped up to score the final goal and bring the trophy back to Anfield.

With this being the actual 25th Anniversary I think it would be inappropriate not to end the article and not remember the 96:

John Alfred Anderson (62)

Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)

James Gary Aspinall (18)

Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)

Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)

Simon Bell (17)

Barry Sidney Bennett (26)

David John Benson (22)

David William Birtle (22)

Tony Bland (22)

Paul David Brady (21)

Andrew Mark Brookes (26)

Carl Brown (18)

David Steven Brown (25)

Henry Thomas Burke (47)

Peter Andrew Burkett (24)

Paul William Carlile (19)

Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)

Gary Christopher Church (19)

Joseph Clark (29)

Paul Clark (18)

Gary Collins (22)

Stephen Paul Copoc (20)

Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)

James Philip Delaney (19)

Christopher Barry Devonside (18)

Christopher Edwards (29)

Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)

Thomas Steven Fox (21)

Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)

Barry Glover (27)

Ian Thomas Glover (20)

Derrick George Godwin (24)

Roy Harry Hamilton (34)

Philip Hammond (14)

Eric Hankin (33)

Gary Harrison (27)

Stephen Francis Harrison (31)

Peter Andrew Harrison (15)

David Hawley (39)

James Robert Hennessy (29)

Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)

Carl Darren Hewitt (17)

Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)

Sarah Louise Hicks (19)

Victoria Jane Hicks (15)

Gordon Rodney Horn (20)

Arthur Horrocks (41)

Thomas Howard (39)

Thomas Anthony Howard (14)

Eric George Hughes (42)

Alan Johnston (29)

Christine Anne Jones (27)

Gary Philip Jones (18)

Richard Jones (25)

Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)

Anthony Peter Kelly (29)

Michael David Kelly (38)

Carl David Lewis (18)

David William Mather (19)

Brian Christopher Mathews (38)

Francis Joseph McAllister (27)

John McBrien (18)

Marian Hazel McCabe (21)

Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)

Peter McDonnell (21)

Alan McGlone (28)

Keith McGrath (17)

Paul Brian Murray (14)

Lee Nicol (14)

Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)

Jonathon Owens (18)

William Roy Pemberton (23)

Carl William Rimmer (21)

David George Rimmer (38)

Graham John Roberts (24)

Steven Joseph Robinson (17)

Henry Charles Rogers (17)

Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)

Inger Shah (38)

Paula Ann Smith (26)

Adam Edward Spearritt (14)

Philip John Steele (15)

David Leonard Thomas (23)

Patrick John Thompson (35)

Peter Reuben Thompson (30)

Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)

Peter Francis Tootle (21)

Christopher James Traynor (26)

Martin Kevin Traynor (16)

Kevin Tyrrell (15)

Colin Wafer (19)

Ian David Whelan (19)

Martin Kenneth Wild (29)

Kevin Daniel Williams (15)

Graham John Wright (17)

Rest in Peace

 


 

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Jason Bardwell
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