Part m3….April 15th 1989..
and my mum and dad went to Anfield to pay our tributes like the
many thousands who had placed flowers and footy memorabilia.
got there, the hushed queue to get in was a mile long – and I
at least a mile long – so I placed a scarf and old Reds
shirt on a
wall at a house on Anfield Road like many others had already
My mum broke down crying and so a steward came up to us.
‘Did you lose anybody, love?’
My mum put her arm around me. ‘We nearly lost him.’
The steward asked us to follow him and let us through a gate
ground and then onto the pitch where I showed my mum and dad
the place, stepping around the carpet of flowers which made
smell sweet. I showed them my spec and my dad pointed to
had a season ticket.
Dave’s and Sef’s funerals were hard work. The Friday and
respectively, if memory serves me right. Alan Hansen and
Whelan came to Dave’s and Everton’s Ian Snodin came too.
McDermott and Phil Thompson were at Sef’s and Tottenham
Gary Mabbutt came too; he was Sef’s favourite player.
The news had only one main story for days. It was ages
anything else was the headline story. All flags everywhere
half-mast. I went back to work and held everything together
it all hit me. I felt like I’d been smashed into a thousand
My head was battered; I couldn’t concentrate. I had loads of
off work and wasn’t much use when I was in. Two lads from
(who I never knew) had been killed. I was in such a rage and
a few walls. My mum took some shouting at from me when I was
wound-up – which was pretty much all the time. Sometimes
playing footy, the shouts of the players reminded me of the
from the Pen and I’d walk off.
I took counselling, partly for the sake of it, but in
definitely did the right thing. I was really struggling to
Going to the Hillsborough Centre – set up in Anfield Road
those who had been affected – at least made me realise that
trauma was understandable (or to be expected) and was not a
weakness. Linda, who worked there, formed a great
me, coming to see me at home too. It was my fault when we
After the lies in the media, I decided like many others to
legal complaint against the police. Money had nothing to do
I wasn’t going to let them get away with a whitewash. I knew
truth and wanted to make sure it came out – nothing had more
importance. I’ve never wanted anybody in jail for all this;
wouldn’t bring anybody back. I just want the world to know
happened, why it did and the blame officially placed
it should be – and I don’t think anybody should have been
retire to avoid facing the consequences of what they have
responsible for. I also want those who lied to be shown up
they are. I don’t think I’ll ever have the strength to
Like John Aldridge, I didn’t want us to play on but we were
and got on with it. I went to the remaining home league
stood away from my usual spec where it would be less
Goodison derby and the replayed Semi and the Final. I cried
replayed Semi when we sang, ‘We’re on the march with Kenny’s
In the first match back at Anfield (against Forest, of all
left when we were awarded a late penalty – I couldn’t cheer
everybody else. A woman outside the ground comforted me as I
walking to Kirkdale Station and I heard the crowd roar from
obvious late winner we’d got.
I went the following season for a few matches on autopilot
at ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and quit. I sold a
season ticket for buttons to a lad in work – twenty quid, I
never thought I’d go back. It was overwhelming to support
It was too intense. I know exactly why Kenny Dalglish quit;
our greatest ever player and a very successful manager. That
be enough reason for the esteem in which he’s held but it is
he led us after the disaster that I love him. He’s the only
I’d go across the street for to shake hands with.
Old Bob from by ours had a boss spec as a shareholder, in
behind the directors’ box where you could even rest your
was a true gentleman and gave me tickets for two of the last
of the 1989/90 season as the tickets were spare and that got
into it. I wonder if they were really spare or if he had
my mum and dad in the Tawd Vale about helping me around?
RIP. I renewed my season ticket for 1990/1 after my dad had
to somebody at the ticket office and I was back. I’m a
although it could never be the same.
For the inquiry I made a statement to West Midlands police
investigating. They got back to me, naming the policeman who
been abusive to me and asked did I want to make a formal
against him. I declined. I only talked about him because
asked me to tell them everything. They brought videos in and
in work. This policeman hadn’t turned up that day to
hurt me or anybody else. He was wrong but had been presented
terrible situation and a lot of horror himself. WM police
they’d had stories of him from fans commending him for
lives (obviously after me then) and so credit must be placed
him where it is due.
In 1991 I went to RAF Wroughton, Swindon to meet Sqd Ldr Dr
Turnbull, a nice man who assessed me psychologically. He
many survivors and said that we’d all sounded similar to the
War veterans he’d debriefed; when he first interviewed me in
Liverpool in 1990 he had diagnosed me as having Post
Stress Disorder to a moderately severe extent.
For a long time, if I went out on the ale I’d return home
I’ve never had flashbacks of specific events haunting me; it
taste of the sorrow and the horror and the impact on all of
bothered me and the injustice of the subsequent legal
I’ve always had that special relationship that mums and sons
and I know that the son she had, who left that morning for
match, never came home. I feel that worst for her. It
that she hadn’t been there to say goodbye to me that fateful
You expect the truth. You’re brought up to think British is
when you find out it isn’t, it hurts and you feel betrayed.
don’t expect those in power to be anything other than fair
an agenda – because that’s their job – but they do. I’m sure
around the country most people would correctly say, when
failure of police control was the overwhelming cause of the
disaster. However there are some out there who don’t know
and the ticketless and drunken fans lies that were fed by
suits them perfectly.
How could they do this to us?
I can’t go back as far as the blitz in Word War II but this
certainly our generation’s darkest hour. This is why an
apology – and not the half-lecture we recently got about
moving on –
is so important. They should put out banner headlines, make
first item on the national 6 o’clock news and say it was
telling everybody who ever believed any of this crap should
– period. They should make it plain that it was lies. That’s
not a mistake – but lies! Only then would we even have
talk about you Godless b******s.
This is a story to outsiders, like any story we hear from
world, but it will never be just a story to us. As much as
wish it had never happened, it is part of us, we live with
God knows, if I could ever change just one thing, stopping
ever having happened, then this would be it. If the Echo
goes on for
another 125 years, they will still talk about Hillsborough
defining moment in our history.
I’m an optimist by nature but I can honestly say that from
the sun had never truly shone again in my life. I cannot say
now as a father but I’d have swapped myself that day in
everything that happened. I’ve smiled and laughed with the
them in the days since but it took a long time. I can now
at the events and have them in their rightful place; really
important and never to be forgotten. I have and never will
annual memorial service.
It’s important to deal with whatever happens to you because
otherwise the bitterness eats away and you lose even more.
There were long periods in the early years where the world
seemed too much of a let-down to be bothered with and there
light at the end of this long, dark tunnel but the love of
good people around me has helped. I’m a lucky man who has
pleasure to know so many nice people.
I have never walked alone. I have never felt guilty about
It was a comfort to know that there were so many people who
exactly how I felt. I must have been given plenty of slack
would know why I was off-track. Our people rallied around
I’ve visited many places following the team and met many
you could warm your hands on (my favourite other place to be
Glasgow). ‘Ain’t life great lads – all you need is the green
and a ball,’ is my favourite Shanks’ quote. I have never
been in a
goal celebration better than after Michael Owen’s winner
Arsenal in the 2001 FA Cup Final – my 2nd favourite goal
It is well documented about LFC protesting at us getting
tickets than Forest for a match even though our average gate
approaching twice the size of theirs. Much too is known
lies in the media. We, as fans, were victims of failure of
authorities to do their jobs properly – that was the first
The second was the cover-up; Trevor Hicks of the
Support Group was spot-on about that. It is important to
history. When that history is distorted, it’s wrong and I
just for the hurt it causes. If our fans had been at fault
say so and want us never to make the same mistakes again for
I’ve never written anything like this before. There have
writers than me to put their account forward and people who
more than I did. However, Peter Carney of the Hillsborough
Campaign helped me to see that every little bit of the truth
important and so here is my eyewitness account without
well, except for the truth. If one day this helps just one
understand what happened better then it’s been worthwhile.
My son James doesn’t know it yet but he has been the final
me to write this. I’ve been taking him to the home matches
past couple of years now and he loves it – the 5th
generation of our
family to support our team from the Kop. One day he’ll ask
about all this and it will be so important that he knows the
(I hope without ever knowing such horror).
I understand now what Geoff said all that time ago about it
easier for him than me. Even though he lost Dave in the most
horrific of ways and had had to identify him, he had his
take him forward.
James has made the sun shine again in a way that I just
describe. I’m as rich as any man ever could be. Becky is a
RIP the 96 and those I heard about who have taken their own
over all this. Justice for all of those who have been
Hillsborough – too many to name.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Remember the 96.
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
David John Benson (22)
William Birtle (22)
Tony Bland (22)
Paul David Brady (21)
Mark Brookes (26)
Carl Brown (18)
David Steven Brown (25)
Thomas Burke (47)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Paul William Carlile
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Paul Clark (18)
Gary Collins (22)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
James Philip Delaney (19)
Barry Devonside (18)
Christopher Edwards (29)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Harry Hamilton (34)
Philip Hammond (14)
Eric Hankin (33)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Andrew Harrison
David Hawley (39)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Louise Hicks (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Gordon Rodney Horn
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Thomas Howard (39)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Alan Johnston (29)
Anne Jones (27)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Richard Jones (25)
Peter Joynes (27)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Michael David Kelly
Carl David Lewis (18)
David William Mather (19)
Christopher Mathews (38)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Alan McGlone (28)
Keith McGrath (17)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Francis O’Neill (17)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
George Rimmer (38)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Colin Andrew Hugh William
Inger Shah (38)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Philip John Steele (15)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
John Thompson (35)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Stuart Paul William
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
Christopher James Traynor
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Daniel Williams (15)
Graham John Wright (17)
“Our lives begin
to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
still matters. Speak out.
You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Rafa Benitez today paid tribute to the people of
Liverpool for the way they remember the 96 victims of Hillsborough.
The Spaniard will attend his sixth Memorial Service this afternoon on
what is the 21st anniversary of the tragedy.
And he said: "Since I’ve been here it’s always been very, very
"All the players and all the staff are always there trying to support
the families because it is a very important day for the club.
"The first time I went to the Memorial Service I was so impressed by
what happens at this club. You can see the people and all the feelings.
"It’s a poignant occasion to keep everyone remembering."
CS>additional notes from me…
theres not much to add, I was NOT there..it changed me, I couldnt and didnt watch Footy for some time. I lost my appetite..anyone who knows me (?) may find that impossible to believe..
April 15th is a very special day / time for me in many ways,..
FB…21 years ago we lost 96 brothers and sisters…
in 1995 I also "died" …in a coma,
today is a very special tragic day, and yet the fight for Justice goes on..
(relationshiip with JD also "died" on the 15th april 2009)
please stop today and remember…and fight for Justice, for the 96, for yourself, and for ALL!