Hillsborough Memorial Thread

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Post by RealGunner Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:51 pm

96 people lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago, the world still remembers them and they will never be forgotten.

Paying my respect to all of those who passed away in that tragic incident, and thoughts with the Family and friends of those 96 innocent Human Beings.

96 Never Forgotten. RIP

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Post by Raptorgunner Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:12 am

RIP. Sad

I hope nothing like this ever happens again.
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Post by Die Borussen Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:22 am


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Post by •MilanDevil• Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:18 am

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Post by Emaharg Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:35 am

Raptorgunner wrote:RIP. Sad

I hope nothing like this ever happens again.

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Post by RedOranje Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:33 am

KENNY DALGLISH, Liverpool manager in 1989:
We had been the previous year to the same venue and to play the same opposition, so we had prepared in exactly the same way. We stayed in the same hotel, the training preparations were the same and everything was normal. We ate at the same time on the morning of the game and left our hotel as usual to travel to the ground. There was nothing to suggest it was any different to the year before.

STEVE ROTHERAM, Lord Mayor of Liverpool and fan at Hillsborough:
I remember that we made our way to Sheffield and got there 20 minutes before kick-off. I just remember it being a glorious day. We'd been there the year before but there didn't seem to be the same order and control. I'd swapped my ticket just before the match to go into the stand above the Leppings Lane and I got into my seat just before kick-off.

RAY HOUGHTON, player in 1989:
It was a lovely day for football. The players were excited, everything looked normal to us and all we were concerned with was getting out there, putting a good performance in and getting into another final. Six minutes in, Peter Beardsley had just hit the crossbar and I remember being on the pitch and a Liverpool fan came running up to me and said, 'There are people dying in there.' At the time I couldn't comprehend what he meant by that. My first thought was that some of the opposition fans had gotten into the Liverpool end and there had been a fight. But I never could have imagined it would be anything like it turned out to be.

NEIL FITZMAURICE, actor writer and survivor:
There was a large group of people there - most were just hanging about soaking up the atmosphere. When we did start heading in, the first thing that struck me was the size of the turnstiles. They were basically gaps in brick walls - you were almost having to go in sideways. That was where the crushes started, though perhaps you could say they were the kind of crushes you always had to put up with at the football. Once we got in, there was a huge blue gate that was closed, and the area was swelling up like a bottleneck. I can remember a policeman on a white horse and he was adding to the congestion because the horse was kicking out if anyone got too near. The gate was eventually opened and fans started to pour in. My brother Peter travelled separately and he came up to me. He'd been before and knew of a really weird design fault. He told me there was another two entrances that you couldn't see. I'd presumed there was only one way in. Our Peter left then, so me and my mates started walking down this really dank, dark tunnel towards the stand. The game had already kicked off at this stage and we heard our fans singing, so we joined in. We were midway down when this wave hit us. We were literally lifted.

BRIAN READE, Daily Mirror columnist and fan at Hillsborough:
The fans in the central pens looked like sardines packed in together. You could see on either side that there was more space and it seemed weird so many were in that same area. The noise was strange too. There was like a muffled murmur in the air - very different from a normal match day.

JOHN BARNES, player in 1989:
I didn't realise anything was amiss on the Leppings Lane terrace until a couple of fans ran on to the pitch shouting, 'There are people being killed in there.' I thought they were exaggerating, like when players say 'that tackle nearly killed me'. I just thought the fans were getting a bit squashed. But Bruce Grobbelaar, who was closest to the Leppings Lane terrace, quickly realised there was something terribly wrong when he went to retrieve a ball and heard fans screaming - 'They're killing us, Bruce, they're killing us'. Bruce shouted at the stewards to do something.

JOHN ALDRIDGE, player in 1989:
I was the Liverpool player furthest away from the Leppings Lane terrace when a fan decked out in Liverpool red approached Ray Houghton and shouted something at him. I assumed it was some kind of pitch invasion. The last action I could remember was Peter Beardsley hitting the crossbar with a fierce shot. But soon a policeman with a look of concern approached referee Ray Lewis and began talking to him. The game was brought to a halt. I remember Steve Nicol saying something to the referee, though I was too far away to hear anything. I didn't have a clue what was going on.

IAN RUSH, substitute at Hillsborough in 1989:
What followed was a complete nightmare. The players began to run off the pitch and chaos ensued. We were trying to stay focused in the dressing room and the referee told us we'd be back on in five minutes. But we all knew something wasn't right and when Kenny appeared he looked extremely concerned. I then heard a voice shouting 'People are dying', before the referee appeared to tell us it was abandoned.

CHRIS MANN, Hillsborough survivor:
For a few minutes in those enclosures, everybody shared the same fear. I survived because somebody went under a barrier. I was pushed up against it with no way of lifting myself over. My ribs felt like they were about to snap at any second and my lungs were on fire. I reached out and pushed up on the nearest thing. As I was pushing myself up, I looked around and realised that I was pushing someone else down. I wanted to stop, but I knew if I did, I would go down with him. So I didn't stop, and he went down, and I still don't know if I killed him.

EDDIE SPEARRITT, Survivor who lost his 14-year-old son, Adam:
There was a policeman on the track. He must have been five or six feet away from me, and I was screaming and begging him to open the perimeter gate. You can scream your head off when you're trying to save your son's life. I was really screaming, but he didn't open the gate. I was right at the front and I'm screaming that Adam had fainted. I think at one stage I even said he was dying, but he didn't open the gate. I woke up in hospital on Sunday evening to find that Adam had died.

The confirmation that Liverpool fans had died reached us while we were getting changed. Some of us were showering, though some had already put their clothes back on. Again, I don't remember exactly what I did. I cast my eyes over to John Barnes and could see tears in his eyes. He was sitting there quietly, not wanting to be disturbed. A few of the other players looked stunned. I couldn't talk. Nobody could. There was a strange sort of silence. Usually there is much conversation and banter when the lads are all together in the dressing-room. Not now. Too many thoughts were flashing through our minds. The sense of logic was disappearing.

ALAN HANSEN, player in 1989:
It was surreal. We could not believe what was happening. It never really sunk in until we went upstairs and saw what was happening on television. Our wives and girlfriends were in tears and that's when we realised the magnitude of the disaster that was happening in front of our eyes. Without a shadow of a doubt it was the worst time of my career.

ROY EVANS, coach in 1989:
The journey back home was one of numbness. We didn't have all the details at the ground but on the coach home we were getting phone calls from friends. Both my son and Kenny Dalglish's son had gone to the game with a friend of ours. At first you begin to wonder if they were involved, but we got a phone call from the lad who had taken them and he gave us a better picture of what had happened.

DESI FOX, lost his 21-year-old son, Steve:
The hardest thing was trying to get information on the day of the tragedy. We weren't able to get through to the stadium or to the police in Sheffield at any time of day or night. The only information we received was from Tommy who was at the match. I remember being interviewed by the police at home some days after the disaster. The detectives were asking me if Steve or his mates drunk very much that day. I threw them out the house. Following the inquest and inquiry into Hillsborough not one person or organisation was blamed for the tragedy. The inquests were a complete whitewash. How can 96 people die and nobody be at fault?

It taught me the value of life, really. Football is very, very important but for two or three weeks after Hillsborough it became unimportant. The most important part of that time were the people's lives. Those who lost people were the ones who made the decision of whether we went back to play or not. For me, the greatest thing we did was to win the FA Cup that year.

I went to bed that night and I had the worst sleep of my life. I had this horrible nightmare and drenched the bed with sweat. I had to go to the spare room and I drenched that too. The toll of the day was just coming out of me. I needed to get it out of me, so I wrote a piece. I worked at the Daily Post at the time and titled it 'Dead because they didn't count'. It was about how society had mistreated football fans to such an extent that this is what happens. People die behind cages because they are football fans and they don't count.

These fans only turned up to watch a football match which had been organised by a Football Association which dictated the ground, the kick-off time and what ends the clubs were at. They put the organisation in charge of it - the police. Something went wrong. Everything was perfect the year before, so something went wrong somewhere. If somebody would just stand up and hold themselves accountable for it then I'm sure the families would rest happily with that. They are not looking for a great deal, just for someone to take responsibility for what happened.

The supporters were criticised for turning up late, but I don't see how they can be when you look at the roadworks which were on the motorway at that time. If the authorities had communicated with each other and reported there were buses stuck on the motorway then we could have delayed the match. Whether it be for half an hour or an hour, what difference would it have made? Kick offs had been delayed before and it could have been done again. The families just want someone to say 'look, it was our fault and we should have done better.'

Quotes from:
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Post by RealGunner Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Fantastic post man

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Post by donttreadonred Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:44 pm

Chilling quotes.

No one should should ever go to a football match and never return.

Hillsborough Memorial Thread HillsFlame
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Post by Rebaño Sagrado Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:11 pm

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Post by RedOranje Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Nacho Huertas Ortiz ‏ @NachoHuertas10

Just i need to say that the memorial was a really good experience, this is my first time that i've been so i'm so happy! #JFT96

Ryan McLaughlin Ryan McLaughlin ‏ @RyanMcL2

Just in from the memorial, very emotional. Jft96!

Kristoffer Peterson Kristoffer Peterson ‏ @KrisPeterson7

Just back from anfield, great experience to see and I feel for all the people involved and my thoughts are with the family's, Justice for 96

Ryan Babel ‏ @RyanBabel


Joseph Barton ‏ @Joey7Barton

Justice for the 96!

robbie fowler ‏ @Robbie9Fowler

In memory of all those who sadly never returned..... #JFT96

Daniel Pacheco ‏ @dani37pacheco

Justice for the 96. Always. YNWA. Never forget them.

Michael Wilson ‏ @MikeWilson95

Nearly at anfield now! Thoughts go out to all effected by hillsborough #JFT96

Marc Pelosi ‏ @marcPelosi

my thoughts are with all the families that lost someone in Hillsborough, they will never walk alone!

Gary Lineker ‏ @GaryLineker

Would have thought everyone in football hopes the bereaved get their questions answered. And from that gain some sort of peace #JFT96

Lucas Leiva ‏ @LucasLeiva87

“ Thoughts and prayers going to Merseyside today. Justice for the 96. Always.”

Xabi Alonso ‏ @XabiAlonso

They will never be forgotten #JFT96 http://img.ly/gR6Q

5h Steven Irwin Steven Irwin ‏ @steirwin

Another year passes but never out of our thoughts!! #JFT96 #YNWA

6h Yossi Benayoun Yossi Benayoun ‏ @YossiBenayoun15

RIP to the 96 people who were tragically killed 23 years ago at Hillsborough. Today, we remember. #JFT96

Tim Cahill ‏ @Tim_Cahill

RIP to the 96 people who sadly passed away. Today isn't about football, it's about remembering them and their families. #JFT96 #respect

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Post by CBarca Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:52 pm


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Post by Arquitecto Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:13 pm

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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:17 am

Not sure if I should of made a new thread, but I'll use this. Today is the day the truth will come out.

Hillsborough: Brian Reade on the day that changed football forever

How English football became a golden magnet for billionaire owners and millionaire players from every corner of the earth... at the cost of 96 lives
Floral tributes are left outside Liverpool's Anfield stadium, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster Floral tributes are left outside Liverpool's Anfield stadium, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster

English football is different today.

The stadiums are home to middle-class families watching pre-match entertainment from comfortable seats and corporate clients sipping chilled wine over three-course meals in plush boxes. Potent symbols of the most lucrative brand in global sporting history.

Twenty years ago our grounds didn't smell of wealth and fine cuisine but resentment, from fans fenced into crumbling terraces by law- makers who viewed them as an unruly mob.

Their potential for tribal violence, not their consumer rights, were uppermost in politicians' minds. Crowd control, not crowd safety, the guiding principles of police charged with keeping them in check.

In those decrepit sheds, many of which had changed little since the Victorians built them, a tragedy was waiting to happen.

Way to tragedy: The gates at the Leppings Lane end

It came on April 15, 1989, during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, when police lost control, opened an exit gate and allowed thousands of fans to enter, and stream unguided, into crowded pens. They then ignored the desperate pleas from those who were perishing behind 10ft high, spiked metal. It was Britain's worst sporting disaster and it changed football forever.

An inquiry would demand all pitch-side fences were ripped out, seats put in and fans treated as human beings.

English football became a golden magnet for billionaire owners, millionaire players and satellite customers, drawn from every corner of the earth. But at what cost? Ninety-six people - half of whom were 21 or younger - lost their lives at Hillsborough, more than 750 were physically injured, numerous suicides have been laid at its door, and thousands still bear the mental scars.

The families fought long and hard for justice for their loved ones, but despite Lord Justice Taylor laying the blame squarely at the door of the police, not one person has lost a day's pay or a day's liberty. Two decades on the wounds are still raw. But on Wednesday September 12, after years of trying, families of the dead will finally get to see confidential government and police documents which they believe will show how the blame was shifted from panicked policing and flawed stadium design to innocent supporters.

Here is English football' s most harrowing and shameful story told by Brian Reade, the Mirror man who was there on the day and with the families throughout their elusive struggle for justice.

Brian Reade with his son Philip Reade True Reds: Brian Reade at a Liverpool match with his son Philip

The morning could not have been more perfect. A cobalt blue sky, blood orange sun and a warm air filled with birdsong and blossom. Spring's optimism flooded Liverpudlian hearts.

It was the second year running we'd been drawn to play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough and those of us in that red procession which snaked along the M62 to Sheffield had few worries about reaching Wembley again.

But different kinds of doubts were creeping in. Major roadworks, an accident and persistent police checks were causing delays, and fears spread that the kick-off might be missed.

On reaching Hillsborough those fears were realised. At 2.30pm, Leppings Lane, the entry point for all Liverpool fans, was human gridlock.

No police or stewards were on hand to filter the thousands of fans into queues.

The only visible authority was half-adozen forlorn figures in blue on horseback and a few on the ground, screaming at the swaying crowd to back away from the turnstiles. For the second year running, and despite protests, Liverpool were given 4,000 fewer tickets and the smaller end of the ground - despite having a much bigger following than Forest.

Geographically it made the police job of getting fans in and out of Sheffield easier.

Ensuring safety is how they termed it. It meant all 24,000 Liverpool ticket-holders, whether in Leppings Lane or the West and North stands, had to pass through 23 turnstiles, most so old they constantly jammed.

At the much newer Kop end Forest had 60 modern turnstiles. As the ground erupted with expectation at the entry of the teams, outside in Leppings Lane, there was pandemonium.

Fans, angry at the lack of movement and organisation, berated the police, some of whom were screaming into their radios for assistance. Many of us moved away from the turnstiles and looked on from a distance, convinced the kick-off would be put back while they sorted out the chaos.

Instead, at 2.52pm a huge blue exit gate opened and 2,000 of us poured in.

Hillsborough disaster (Pic:Mirrorpix) Lift of life: Fans help fellow supporters out of the crowded pens to safety

At the back of the Leppings Lane terrace, stewards who were supposed to be dispersing the supporters evenly into five pens had vanished. Consequently the bulk of fans ignored the lesser populated pens at the sides of the terrace and headed into the two central ones behind the goal, already over-crowded. Those at the front became packed tighter and tighter. The game was now under way and fans at the back, ignorant of the crush, concentrated on trying to get a view of the pitch.

They weren't to know that ahead of them on this shallow-sloping concrete there was panic, fear, hyper-ventilating, fainting, hair drenched in sweat and vomit matting on the metal fencing.

And death. Survivors speak of faces pushed against them that were wide-eyed and blue, of their bodies going numb and limp, and their minds suffering neardeath experiences. Eddie Spearritt, whose 14-year-old son Adam died in the crush, lost consciousness. He said: "They've said it was a surge but it wasn't. It was a slow, constant build-up of pressure, like a vice getting tighter and tighter until you couldn't breathe."

Fans screamed at passing police to open the perimeter gates but they walked on by. Some who tried to climb over the fence were battered back down. Others crawled on all fours above heads towards the back of the terrace and were hoisted to safety by fans in the stand above.

Despite the obvious density of the crowd, the screams, and the pain etched on the faces of the suffering - and despite CCTV cameras feeding these images back to the police control room - the perimeter gates remained locked.

When one was temporarily forced open by fans and a few spilled on to the pitch, the police thinking became clear.

Reinforcements moved in with dogs. They believed what they were seeing behind the cages was not innocents trapped in a killing field, but hooligans orchestrating a pitch invasion.

Help us: With the game still progressing, fans who made it over the barriers are trying to aid others

Goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, a couple of yards from the unfolding disaster, was one of the first to raise the alarm.

He said: "There were people with their faces pinned against the fence saying to me, 'Bruce, can you help me. We can't breathe'. So I asked a policewoman to open the gate and she said, 'We have to wait for our boss to give the word'."

By 3.04pm, when Liverpool striker Peter Beardsley crashed a shot against the bar causing a surge, many of the 96 had already lost their lives.

Some died standing up, of traumatic asphyxia. Others were crushed or trampled when a crash barrier gave way.

At 3.06pm after the police reinforcements had signalled the severity of the problem, the referee led both teams off.

The perimeter gates were opened and hundreds of seriously injured fans spilled on to the grass and collapsed, desperate for ambulances, stretchers and oxygen that never arrived.

The penalty area looked like a battlefield.

Between the bodies, casualties staggered around, dazed, confused, weeping.

Apart from a handful of St John Ambulancemen, the only medical aid for the dying came from fellow fans.

They tried resuscitation and tore down advertising hoardings to ferry victims the length of the pitch to what quickly became a makeshift mortuary. Some policemen joined in. Others berated fans for ripping down the hoardings to make stretchers.

Together in the darkest hours: Hero supporters carry the injured on makeshift stretchers made from advertising hoardings

Dozens more police were drafted on to the pitch, not to help casualties but to form a wall across the half- way line to prevent rival fans getting at each other.

Clearly back in the control room the carnage was still being put down to hooliganism.

Half an hour after the players had left the pitch a solitary ambulance made its way slowly towards the Leppings Lane end. That even one made it was a minor miracle.

Tony Edwards, the only professional ambulanceman to reach the Leppings Lane end, recalled what happened outside the ground. He said: " A policeman came to my window and said, ' You can't go on the pitch, they 're still fighting'."

He went on nonetheless, but his job was made impossible by the scale of the casualties.

The memory of bodies being piled on to his ambulance, of people pleading with him to take their friends and loved ones, of the anarchy that made his job impossible, haunts him to this day.

But what haunts him most is the knowledge that he was the only paramedic trying to help. He said: "There were 42 ambulances, including mine, waiting outside the stadium. That means 80- odd trained staff could have been inside the ground. They weren't allowed in because they were told there was fighting.

" But there was no fighting. The survivors were deciding who was the priority, who we should deal with. The police weren't. We weren't . Can you imagine a rail accident where all the ambulances wait on the embankment while survivors bring the casualties up?"

Of the 94 who died that day ( 14-year-old Lee Nicol died four days later and 18-year-old Tony Bland had his life support machine turned off in March 1993) only 14 made it to hospital.

Trevor Hicks was one of the few who got a loved one into Tony Edwards' ambulance. He was trying to resuscitate his 19- year- old daughter Sarah when he spotted her 15- year- old sister Victoria being placed into the ambulance.

Too little, too late: An ambulance makes it way onto the pitch

Trevor tried to push Sarah in alongside her but the bodies were piled high and he had to lay her back on the pitch.

He said: " The ambulance started to move away. I saw the door close and I had to make a decision in that split-second. I thought 'the fella with Sarah knows what he's doing, I'll leave her with him and another ambulance will be along in a minute'."

Another one never came and both of his girls died. Trevor, now 63, added: "In the ambulance, I was sucking the vomit from Vicky's throat. I couldn't get rid of that taste for six months.

"A psychiatrist said I was either trying to hang on to the last contact with my daughters or it was guilt - I was punishing myself for not saving them.

"The hurt I suffered that day was so extreme I can't be hurt any more."

Outside the ground as we devastated fans made our way home grief turned to rage when word spread that we were being blamed for the disaster.

The FA's Chief Executive Graham Kelly, told the media that the policeman in charge, Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, had accused us of kicking down an exit gate and flooding the terraces.

Duckenfield, in charge of his first big football match had given the order to open the gate without ensuring the thousands who entered Leppings Lane would be funnelled into the outside pens.

He had seen the over- crowding and suffering on the terraces on CCTV cameras with zoom facilities and done nothing. And when asked for an explanation he mouthed something he believed outsiders would buy.

Lies, damned lies: In their haste to cover up, police and politicians created their own narrative of the disaster

A hooligan mob had stormed the stadium and killed their own.

It was a lie which would travel all the way around the world before it was corrected.

A calculated slur that would never go away.

Uefa president Jacques Georges picked up on Duckenfield's words and laid the blame squarely on the Liverpool fans.

He said: "They were beasts waiting to charge into the arena." When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher turned up at Hillsborough on the Sunday, she expressed her sympathy but little else.

However, her closest aide, Yorkshireman Sir Bernard Ingham, was blaming a "tanked-up mob".

This was the line now being peddled by South Yorkshire Police as the enormity of their culpability hit home.

Before a single corpse had been buried the second Hillsborough tragedy was under way. The cover- up.

A Sheffield news agency and Tory MP Irvine Patnick, were fed lies by an unnamed

Police Federation official and soon a fantasy tale, copper- bottomed by officialdom, was in the public domain.

Hordes of Liverpool hooligans had turned up drunk and ticketless and caused mayhem outside the ground leaving police with no option but to open the gate.

As brave emergency service workers battled to save lives, the yobs abused them in the vilest of manner and stole from the dead.

The Establishment was putting a classic smear on the fans to duck the blame for almost 100 deaths and so low did the public hold football followers back then, it swallowed it.

Shame: The Sun fell for the smear campaign and libelled the dead

One man in particular, Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, made a terrible miscalculation.

Under the headline THE TRUTH he cleared the front page to tell the world: "Some fans picked pockets of victims. Some fans urinated on the brave cops. Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life."

The words that accompanied it claimed that " drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims" and " police officers, firemen and ambulance crews were punched, kicked and urinated upon".

One anonymous copper was even quoted as saying that a dead girl had been abused, while fans " were openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead".

With Merseyside still trying to come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy and families making arrangements for burying their dead, it felt like a knife being forced deeper and deeper.

Scousers, regardless of their football leanings, were apoplectic. To accuse them of killing their own was bad enough but to state as fact that they picked the pockets of the dying was a call to arms.

Overnight thousands of copies of The Sun were destroyed. There were public burnings.

Delivery men refused to touch it, shopkeepers refused to stock it. The boycott is still observed by the vast majority of Merseysiders to this day.

In 20 years, not one witness has come forward to back up any of those allegations. Not one image has been unearthed from thousands of photographs and hours of film to vindicate the slurs.

That's because they were outright lies.

Behind the scenes police were attempting to harden up the case of the drunken, ticketless mob.

Fans, including myself, were interviewed by West Midlands CID, who were charged with finding out the causes of the disaster.

But the main thrust of their questions was how much people had drunk before the game and whether anyone travelling with them did so without a ticket. Bereaved parents told how, when they arrived in Sheffield on the night of April 15, their dead children were being treated as suspects in a criminal investigation.

Grief: A woman weeps at the floral tributes outside Anfield

All were asked how much their loved ones had had to drink.

It later turned out every corpse had been tested for alcohol content, with small amounts or nothing found in all of them.

But why had it suddenly become a crime to have a drink before a sporting event or turn up ticketless in the hope of buying one off a tout? Were they implying you'd never see that at Wimbledon, Twickenham or a Rod Stewart concert? Of course many fans had been drinking before the game and some turned up without tickets.

It had happened every year at FA Cup semi-finals. Why suddenly, at this particular game, did police decide that doing either made you a potential murderer? Amid the slurs and questions, Liverpool was trying to come to terms with its grief. The day after the disaster people drifted towards Anfield seeking a focal point for their mourning.

The club's chief executive Peter Robinson opened the ground and the Kop and its goalmouth, became a shrine to the dead.

Within days, a third of the pitch would be blanketed with flowers, scarves of all colours from followers of different clubs and heart-felt messages of support from around the world.

1989 Hillsborough disaster Tribute: A carpet of flowers and scarves at Anfield in the days after the disaster

The players became social workers, sometimes attending half-a-dozen funerals a day. Striker John Aldridge said: " It hit me very, very hard. To the point where I couldn't cope.

"It weakened me physically, emotionally and mentally. The thought of training never entered my head. I remember trying to go jogging but I couldn't run. There was a time when I wondered if I would ever muster the strength to play. I was learning about what was relevant in life."

He did go back to playing though, and three weeks later, scored twice against

Nottingham Forest to knock them out of the re-scheduled semi-final .

Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup in an emotional final against neighbours Everton. But many believe the fact that the competition wasn't abandoned that year was yet another insult to the dead.

As spring turned to summer there was little to extinguish the pain and anger among Liverpudlians. Until August 4, when the late Lord Justice Taylor published his interim report into the disaster and finally the truth was heard.

And it was the complete opposite of the lies being peddled by certain people in Yorkshire and Wapping.

He ruled that drunkenness, late arrivals and fans turning up without tickets were red herrings. That there was no evidence of any kind of hooliganism and that fans were not to blame for the crush. He even described their role in trying to save the dying as " magnificent".

Instead, Lord Taylor laid the blame squarely at the door of the police.

He highlighted their planning failure which allowed " dangerous congestion at the turnstiles" and ruled that "the immediate cause of the disaster was gross overcrowding, namely the failure, when the exit gate was opened, to cut off access to the central pens which were already overfull.

"They were overfull because no safe maximum capacities had been laid down, no attempt was made to control entry to individual pens numerically and there was no effective visual monitoring of crowd density."

He hit out at the police's "sluggish reaction and response when the crush occurred" and claimed that the total number of fans who entered the Leppings Lane terrace " did not exceed the capacity of the standing area".

So much for the thousands of ticketless fans theory.

And he lambasted Chief Supt Duckenfield who he said "froze" after ordering the exit gate to be opened.

"A blunder of the first magnitude," he called it.

The real truth: Lord Taylor's report nailed police lies

Taylor's report not only vindicated the fans but gave hope to the bereaved families that they would receive justice. That the people into whose care they had entrusted their loved ones would face up to their responsibilities for allowing a wholly avoidable disaster to happen. But their hope was shortlived.

The inquests, held before a Sheffield jury, and a coroner who was in the pay of Sheffield Council ( themselves culpable for not issuing Hillsborough with a valid safety certificate) delivered verdicts of accidental death. The coroner had imposed a 3.15pm cut- off time, claiming that every victim would have been brain- dead by then and ruling out any evidence relating to events after it.

It automatically hauled the emergency services off the hook, making it that much harder to prove there had been criminal neglect. The DPP threw out all charges against the police on grounds of insufficient evidence. No senior officer was prosecuted and a disciplinary case against Duckenfield was stopped when he took early retirement at 46 on medical grounds, with a full pension.

No legal, moral or financial compensation came the families' way. The majority receiving little more than funeral expenses.

In contrast, 14 police officers who were " traumatised" by what they saw that day picked up £ 1.2million.

Astonishingly, their claims for compensation were based on the insurers accepting that their superiors had been negligent.

However, there was a momentum gathering behind the belief that a major miscarriage of justice had taken place. Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern was commissioned by Granada TV to tell the families' stories in a two- hour drama- documentary.

Researchers unearthed new evidence which undermined the police case, crucially that the CCTV camera trained on the Leppings Lane end, which they said had not been in operation, was working.

The ground engineer swore an affidavit to that effect which proved South Yorkshire Police had been lying when they told the inquest they couldn't see the extent of the crush from the control box.

This could not have been challenged at the inquests because, mysteriously, the CCTV tapes from the day were " stolen" and never found.

Memorial outside Anfield Memorial: The names of the 96 are immortalised outside Anfield

RIP the 96

Jack Alfred Anderson, 62

Colin Mark Ashcroft, 19, student

James Gary Aspinall, 18

Kester Roger Marcus Ball, 16, student

Gerard Baron Snr, 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

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

Steve 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 Hewitt, 17

Nick Hewitt, 16

Sarah Louise Hicks, 19

Victoria Jane Hicks, 15

Gordon Rodney Horn, 20

Arthur Horrocks, 41

Thomas Howard, 39

Tommy 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 Kelly, 38

Carl David Lewis, 18

David William Mather, 19

Brian Christopher Matthews, 38

Francis Joseph McAllister, 27

John McBrien, 18

Marian Hazel McCabe, 21

Joe 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 Rimmer, 21

Dave Rimmer, 38

Graham John Roberts, 24

Steven Joseph Robinson, 17

Henry Charles Rogers, 17

Andrew Sefton, 23

Inger Shah, 38

Paula Ann Smith, 26

Adam Edward Spearritt, 14

Philip John Steele, 15

David Leonard Thomas, 23

Pat Thompson, 35

Peter Reuben Thompson, 30

Stuart 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

On December 5 1996, Hillsborough was back on the front pages of a national newspaper. This time The Mirror splashed with a headline THE REAL TRUTH urging every reader to watch McGovern's drama.

The Mirror's phone lines were swamped with angry readers demanding justice - 25,695 adding their names to the paper's petition calling on the Attorney General to launch a new inquiry. Within weeks of Labour winning power in 1997 Home Secretary Jack Straw appointed Lord Justice Stuart-Smith to scrutinize the new evidence to see if it merited a fresh public inquiry.

Once again the families believed justice would soon be delivered. But within minutes of meeting Stuart- Smith they knew they were walking into the latest brick wall.

When there was a delay at the start of proceedings, due to the absence of some family members, Stuart- Smith turned to Phil Hammond, who lost his son Philip in the disaster, and said: "Are they like the Liverpool fans, turning up at the last minute?"

The Lord Justice cross- examined nobody and studied the evidence in private. And despite discovering that 183 police statements had been edited to remove criticism of senior police management, he ruled there was not enough evidence to merit a fresh inquiry..

By now the families were running short of stamina and options but still they fought on.

They took out private prosecutions against Duckenfield and his deputy on the day, Supt Bernard Murray, who went on trial at Leeds crown court in July 2000 charged with manslaughter and wilful neglect of duty.

But once again justice eluded them. Murray was cleared of all charges and when the jury failed to reach a verdict on Duckenfield the judge halted the trial, cleared him, and ruled there could be no retrial.

This was their last collective shot at justice. It ended with eight armed police officers escorting the families out of the court building. Presumably in case they caused trouble.

Eleven years after their loved ones lost their lives for being viewed as a problem they ended their legal fight in the exact same way. But they'd battled their hearts out for some vague notion of justice. For the belief that when you bring children into this world, the facts on the birth certificate are accurate.

Fans lay tributes outside Liverpool's Anfield stadium, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster Still hurting: Fans lay tributes outside Anfield stadium on the 23rd anniversary of Hillsborough

And when they leave, the least you can do for them is put the true facts on their death certificate.

Jimmy McGovern said: "All the families ever wanted was for someone to put their hands up and be accountable for the deaths of their loved ones.

"But no one has said sorry. Now that runs contrary to basic human instincts. If we bump into each other, we both say 'Sorry'. It's a basic human response.

"But not in tragedies of this scale. They can't say sorry. It implies liability. That's why the families kept on fighting."

And those of us who walked through that opened Leppings Lane gate and have felt guilty ever since for coming home alive owe them.

For seeking truth in the face of vicious lies and prejudice. For fighting for the memory of people whose only crime was being naive enough to turn up at, supposedly, one of the country's finest football grounds in the belief that their safety was paramount in the eyes of those charged with their care.

If you are a football fan you should remember them when you look around today's affluent, cage-free, well-stewarded, all-seater stadiums.

You should remember the agony they went through in the first Hillsborough Disaster and the suffering their families went through in the second one.

And you should never forget that for English football's bright tomorrow they gave their todays.

"The Vigil will unite the city", taken off LFC.tv

Mayor Anderson, first of all, can you just explain exactly what Liverpool City Council has organised for Wednesday, September 12?

In conjunction with the families, we have organised a vigil for Wednesday. Quite simply, for me, it is a way of the city showing, not only to the families, but those who were affected by Hillsborough, that we continue to support them and that we are there for them. It's about showing solidarity as the city has done for 23 years. That's really what it's for - so people can unite and we can support one another and be there together. I've often said that Hillsborough was a momentous day in the city of Liverpool's history for all the wrong reasons but nevertheless a momentous day. And I hope that Wednesday, September 12 will be a momentous day for the right reasons. And I think it is right and fitting that the people should unite and come together to support the families of the 96 and also those who have been impacted (by the disaster). To support those who have been injured and those who were mentally scarred by the events on that tragic day. It is an opportunity for us to come together and pray together and be together.

What exactly will be going on at St George's Plateau?

We've got a number of people who are going to be there. It will be a solemn occasion. It will be a vigil and it will be, in many ways, an event that will be similar to events that occur on the anniversary of the disaster at Anfield. It will be reflective, it will be dignified and it will of course remember all of those people who tragically lost their lives. It will be an opportunity for the club and the families to speak on hopefully what will be an occasion where the truth is finally established and finally out there. People have waited 23 years for this particular opportunity to occur.

I guess truth is something that you are hoping the panel and its reports are finally going to achieve on record and in its totality?

Yes. As a football fan, who happened to go to the other semi-final that day (between Everton and Norwich City) I've always looked at the tragic events and thought, 'there but for the grace of God go I'. It was a flip of a coin that decided who played where and I could have been at Hillsborough rather than at the other semi-final. And I've argued for many, many years, as have lots of other people, that we wanted the truth and that we needed the truth. (We have needed the truth) for the families, in order to close the door, in terms of their grief and their loss and also to lift the cloud that has hung over those individuals who lost their lives so tragically. Also, for every other football fan that was there at Hillsborough and also football fans across the city of Liverpool, Red or Blue. I think the character assassination of all football fans from the city, as a whole, can be lifted and it can be lifted by revealing the truth. If we get the truth, I believe that justice should rightly follow and hopefully that is what we will get from this independent panel. Hopefully we will get all the information revealed and the truth revealed about why these events occurred and why they were allowed to occur. The cover up, the lies, the way authority covered up events; I think that if that is revealed on Wednesday, then it will be a momentous day for the right reasons. Then hopefully, following from that, we will get justice. We shouldn't have to argue for that, we shouldn't have to campaign or demand it - it should come as a natural human right. When the truth is revealed, somebody should own up and apologise but actions should be taken to make sure that those held accountable and responsible do receive justice and the families can then grieve and take closure from their grieving process.

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, has called for a full apology from the Prime Minister on Wednesday. Do you expect and hope that will happen?

It's very difficult because until Wednesday we won't get to know all the information. We know a certain amount of things; we know statements were changed, we know words were said about actions of people which were just falsified, we know that tapes went missing, we know that there was no safety certificate (at the ground) - we know a whole host of things that, in any other civilised country, people would hold their hands up and say, 'look the authorities and those responsible got it tragically wrong and we apologise for that'. I just hope that the Prime Minister takes the opportunity, when all that information is revealed along with new information, to stand up and say sorry to the families of the people who have lost their lives. (And say sorry) to those who were injured, those who have suffered mentally and to the city of Liverpool for the cloud that we have had hanging over us for 23 years. So I hope he does (apologise) and I hope he has the courage to do so - I don't think he would have anything in particular to lose. The panel inquiry was set up by a (Labour) government that wasn't in power at that particular time (in 1989). Andy Burnham and Maria Eagle (Labour MPs) deserve a lot of credit for pushing and challenging for that, along with others. And I think Cameron should, whether he is of a different political party or persuasion, accept the fact that whatever party that was in control at that time, that they got it wrong and that they helped with the cover up that will go down in the annals of history as a miscarriage of justice beyond anybody's wildest imagination.

The fact that we are about to get the whole truth and nothing but the truth about Hillsborough is a great testament to many people who have campaigned so hard for so long, nobody less so than the bereaved families. What can you tell us about the way they have conducted themselves?

We owe them a real debt of gratitude. I have spoken to the families about the vigil and other things recently and I know they have always felt in some way they could not have done it alone. I think the fact that they have unstintingly carried on the fight for justice and the way they have done that with such dignity, with such determination and passion, has been something that we all need to be grateful and thankful of. Time passes by and you could forget the enormity of what happened on that day. But 96 people, who only went to watch a football game, were killed and that was something that people have tried to brush aside. The families would not allow it to be. We owe them a great deal for doing that. What gives me such a lift is that finally they will be able to - not get complete composure, they never will - but be able to have their loved ones' names cleared. (It gives me a great lift that) they can feel a sense of joy at that. I use the word joy because I'm sure that's how they will feel if finally they get some recognition of the fact that the 96 were unlawfully killed. We all know that was the case and so do they but hopefully recognition of that will come. And it might not come on Wednesday but it might follow from that. We can see a large chunk of light at the edge of the tunnel now which is, I hope, a great relief to them.

Wednesday will of course be a hugely difficult day for the bereaved families of Hillsborough and a difficult day for the survivors of the disaster as well. How do you expect the people of Liverpool to respond to the day's events?

One of the things that we have done as a city is work with other neighbours and we've got a group of people on stand-by to comfort the bereaved and comfort those who need support. That is the physical side of it but I think emotionally, the city being there (at the vigil) and rallying behind the families will give them an enormous amount of strength. And I know that is the case because I have spoken to individuals who have said that, like when you go to the memorial services as I regularly do, the support is always a great source of comfort to them. I'm sure there'll be thousands of people there and I think the fact that the news will be shared with the city and the city will be there behind them, standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them, as they have done for 23 years, will give them a tremendous uplift.

Once again, Reds and Blues will be stood there united and together...

Absolutely. I'm an Evertonian as most people know but I'm a fighter for justice and will champion that all along. I'm proud to be part of this campaign, even in a small, small way because it's right and it's just. Some of my family are Reds fans and this isn't an issue about blue or red, it's about our city being totally committed and totally united behind the fight for justice to make sure those who lost their lives 23 years are remembered. I'm sure we'll all be there on Wednesday - Blues and Reds together.

Kudos to Sheffield Wednesday FC.

SWFC Club Statement

"Sheffield Wednesday FC welcomes the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of hard work by all involved during what was, and continues to be, an extremely emotive process.

Throughout the compilation stage, the club has worked closely with the panel and the other donating organisations to ensure that, in line with the ethos of maximum disclosure, we have been totally transparent.

Sheffield Wednesday would also like to record its gratitude for the thoroughly dignified manner with which the Hillsborough Family Support Group and its representatives conducted themselves throughout all levels of consultation with the club.

Since the acquisition of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in December 2010 and the subsequent decision of the previous board to dissolve the former parent company Sheffield Wednesday PLC , chairman Milan Mandaric and the current board of directors have adopted a policy of complete compliance with the requests of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and on behalf of the club would like to offer our sincere condolences and an apology to all the families who have suffered as a consequence of the tragic events of 15 April, 1989.

We can only hope that the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report goes some way to providing the closure sought by all those involved.

The thoughts of everyone at Sheffield Wednesday FC remain with the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives, their families, and the wider Liverpool community who have all been affected so deeply by the disaster of 23 years ago."
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:30 am


To the best of our knowledge the full timetable for today is as follows:

9am Release of report to families
10am Release of report to invited guests (campaigners, survivors)
12pm Release of report to the media
12.30pm PM Statement in House of Commons & Parliamentary Debate
2pm General release of report, web archive of all the documents goes live
2.30pm Statement from the Families
3.06pm 2 minutes silence in the city of Liverpool (Town Hall and Parish church bells will toll 96 times)
5pm - 7pm Vigil with speeches on St Georges Plateau (all welcome)
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:42 am

Free live LFC.tv coverage for today.


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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:45 am

Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary who represents the Liverpool constituency of Garston and Halewood, said the release today of thousands of documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster could reveal the workings of a police "black propaganda" unit.

The MP suggested that such a group could have been set up to smear Liverpool fans after the 1989 disaster in order to shift the blame for the deaths of 96 people at a FA Cup semi-final game at Sheffield's Hillsborough stadium from the emergency services.

A coroner's report into their deaths, which concluded that they were accidental, ruled that there were no fatalities after 3.15pm on the day of the tragedy, effectively clearing the police and other services of failing to act swiftly enough to save those who may have perished after the cut off point.

David Cameron will today express regret over the disaster in a statement to MPs which he will deliver as thousands of secret documents into the events of April 15 1989 are finally made public.

Miss Eagle said that the release would shed a full light on the tragedy for the first time. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, she went on: “It has never been looked at, and no documents have ever been seen, and I think that will be one of the most important things that emerges today from this process – what happened after 3.15.

"For the families it will be very hard because there may be information about their particularly loved ones and what happened to them, that will be very distressing and difficult, but it also may has implications for the inquest verdict of accidental killing.

“And I think the third thing is evidence about the black propaganda unit. I’m convinced of it, I’ve made speeches about it in Parliament going back many years about this.

"I hope to see some documents, internal documents from the South Yorkshire police, about the way in which they behaved, particularly the way in which they interacted with certain tabloid newspapers – and why. I think those are the three big things for us to look for, initially, today.”

In the days following the tragedy, newspapers were falsely briefed that the crush at Hillsborough were caused by drunken fans, some of whom robbed the bodies of the fallen as they lay dying.

Miss Eagle said she hoped that the disclosure would end the need for the families to defend the reputations of their loved ones, adding that she suspected the rumours were deliberately spread by the police to deflect attention from their own failings.

She went on: “I think there was effectively an establishment cover-up, and that’s why the campaign in Liverpool and the efforts of the have intensified over the years.

"We know who was to blame, but thereafter the police conducted this campaign to muddy the water, to blame the victims.

“They did so at the inquest, to the incredible distress of the families, and ever since, whenever Hillsborough has been mentioned, the families feel like the first thing they have to do is defend the dead, defend their relatives and Liverpool fans against this calumny, these lies, these myths – and that is why they have kept going on for all these years.

"You talk to them, the first thing they say is ‘I want the reputation of my love one’... many of them were children ... ’I want their reputation cleared’.

“And that, I think – I hope – is what we will see revealed in the panel’s report today: that they were not to blame, that the police were to blame. And then we want to see whatever we can see about why that happened.”

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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:17 am


HIP findings confirming what we've known for 23 years, that this was a smear campaign lead by the establishment on an unprecedented scale
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Post by Guest Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:19 am

96FF96 RIP Sad


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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:23 am

New Hillsborough inquiry shows police were in 'chaos' as the tragedy unfolded
Newly released records about the Hillsborough disaster reveal that systematic failings by the police that resulted in "chaos" were covered up.

An independent panel has found that evidence detailing panic, a lack of officers and resources were deliberately distorted to deflect blame from the police.

The alterations were made to previously unpublished witness statements written by police constables, who were all on duty at the Leppings Lane end on the disastrous day of Liverpool's FA Cup semi final with Nottingham Forest in 1989.

They show how the documents, originally prepared for an internal inquiry, were altered prior to Lord Taylor's official inquiry later that year to ensure that South Yorkshire Police emerged from the tragedy in a significantly more positive light.

One statement highlighting how police numbers "appeared to be a bit thin on the ground for the numbers of people involved" on the fateful afternoon of 15 April 1989 was crossed out.

Another that said there was a "poor supply of personal radios" when the catastrophic decision to allow fans to enter the Leppings Lane end through an exit gate led to many being crushed to death inside a stadium was doctored.

The evidence removed according to the Independent said "it seemed very bad that only one in our serial – the sergeant – should have a personal radio.

"We had great difficulty in finding out what happened and what was happening and for too long a time we were basically working in the dark."

Another redacted statement said "basically it was chaos".

A similar picture of institutional failing emerges in another statement which stated there was "no leadership"

An attempt to deliver praise to Liverpool fans appears to have been crossed from the testimony of a fourth officer who says that "many fans assisted in the removal of the dead and injured from the field".

The apparent manipulation of evidence is revealed in documents placed in the House of Lords library several years ago when the former Labour Home Secretary, Jack Straw, ordered that South Yorkshire Police disclose them.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel has looked at previously unpublished papers from around 80 organisations including the Government, police, emergency services, Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire coroner.

The families of the 96 football fans who died in Britain's deadliest sporting disaster will be the first to see more than 400,000 pages from 8am.

Later, Prime Minister David Cameron will address MPs in the House of Commons and the documents will be uploaded to a website for viewing by the general public.

A report explaining the contents of the documents will be published by the panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones.

The 96 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.

A report into the disaster by Lord Justice Taylor, published in 1990, found that the main reason for the disaster was a failure of "police control" but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

The victims' families say it is an injustice that no individual or organisation has been held fully accountable for the disaster.

They believe a major incident plan was never initiated by South Yorkshire Police and fans in the Leppings Lane end were denied emergency medical attention.

The families also dispute the findings of an inquest into the deaths, which ruled that the victims were all dead, or brain-dead, by 3.15pm and which subsequently recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said they hope the documents will answer some of the questions they have about the causes and aftermath of the tragedy.

"This is what the families and the fans have been fighting for 23 years. Without the truth you cannot grieve and where there is deceit, you get no justice," Mrs Aspinall, 65, said.

The families will see the documents at Liverpool Cathedral and are being advised by two of Britain's best known lawyers, Michael Mansfield QC and Lord Falconer.

It is expected the families will meet in the coming days to decide what action to take, if any, following the disclosures.

The panel was created by then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith following the 20th anniversary of the disaster in April 2009.

Central to the panel's work is to prepare and publish a comprehensive report based on in-depth research into the documents to "add to public understanding of the tragedy, its circumstances and its aftermath".


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Post by Chippy Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:31 am

I remember watching this match live and the scenes were horrendous.

RIP and hopefully this will help bring some closure to all involved.

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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:35 am

Picture of Everton's club shop has the back of a top saying:
"Remembering the 96."

Class. I'll try get the picture.
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:36 am

Luke Traynor ‏@LTraynorMirror

Being told revelations are monumental. Families have stood up and applauded the panel in cathedral
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:57 am

Word just in from our Liverpool-based football reporter Andy Hunter who has just sent me a quick note:

Been told the families have just given the panel a standing ovation after what they heard.

A home office spokesman has said its "massive" what's about to come out.
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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:09 pm

Jim Boardman ‏@JimBoardman

#HIP. Norman Bettison (ex chief const M/side) in Police Fed meetings that were part of strategy to deflect blame onto fans, inc Sun lies

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Post by Red Alert Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:14 pm

Letter from Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram in the Mirror

We come from the different halves of one great footballing city.

In 1989, we were at different FA Cup semi-finals – each hoping the other would lose, but with the expectation that rivalries would be renewed at Wembley that May.

But, on that fateful April day, the city of Liverpool learned that Bill Shankly was wrong about one thing: Football is not more important than life and death.

From that day onwards, reds and blues across Merseyside have stood united in solidarity behind the Hillsborough families as they have pursued their dignified campaign for truth and justice.

In Parliament, we have worked together in that same spirit.

It’s been a hard and lonely road, with many setbacks for the families along the way. But it’s because an entire city never wavered that today, finally, the families will prevail and the full truth about Hillsborough will at last be told.

We have not seen the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

But we know enough about the tragedy to say this with confidence: It will be confirmed as one of the greatest injustices of the 20th century.

Hillsborough brought one of the biggest losses of British lives on British soil in one day since the end of the Second World War.

But what makes it even worse is that the the victims and survivors were wrongly blamed as the authorities sought to deflect attention from their own failings.

The failure to ensure Hillsborough had a valid safety certificate.

The failure to act on many “near-misses” at Hillsborough down the years.

The failure to ensure people’s safety on the day and the shambolic emergency response.

Almost immediately, a campaign began to portray the Liverpool supporters in the worst possible light.

Even as the horror of Hillsborough was unfolding before people’s eyes, the first lie was told.

Early media reports carried a statement from the officer in charge that “the fans had forced the gate”.

In fact, he had ordered it to be opened.

Families arriving at Hillsborough from Liverpool later that night to identify their loved-ones spoke of being treated as though they were under suspicion.

Blood alcohol levels were taken from the then 95 bodies.

It is hard to imagine now how such crude tactics could ever have worked. But Hillsborough belonged to a different era.

If all this was not bad enough, at the official inquest, a crude cut-off point of 3.15 was introduced and no evidence heard afterwards.

Unbelievably, only this week will bereaved parents learn personal details about what happened to their children.

From today (Wednesday), the families will be at last able to say they have cleared the names of their loved-ones, of the survivors and of the Liverpool supporters.

It is impossible to put a value on that.

After truth comes justice.

We will ask the Prime Minister for a new inquest without the cruel cut-off.

We will fight to remove the unsound verdict of “accidental death” from the official record.

Today, truth.

Tomorrow, justice for the 96.

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