On April the 15th 1989, Liverpool football club were due to play Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. As is normal with semi-finals, the game was to be held at a neutral ground. The Hillsborough stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday was chosen. The game never took place. Before the game, a tragedy unfolded.
96 Liverpool football fans died at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England. It remains the worst stadium disaster in British history, and one of the worst football disasters in the World.
A few days after the disaster, Britain’s best selling newspaper “The Sun” ran a cover story with the headline “The Truth”, The story said that Liverpool fans were responsible for the disaster, had been drunk and disorderly, stole from dead victims and even urinated on them.
This week, previously secret documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster were released. They reveal an appalling cover up by the Police, doctors and, it would see, anyone else who could be held responsible for this appalling disaster. They also reveal that the Sun’s story was fabricated, in an apparently concerted attempt by various groups to shift blame for the disaster onto the Liverpool football fans. Only now, 23 years later, is the truth coming out that the Liverpool fans were, in fact, innocent victims of a series of errors and bad decisions by Sheffield City authorities, the Police and emergency officials.
I cannot begin to imagine how painful it must be to lose a loved one in such a tragedy. But, it must be twice as hard to have the blame for such a disaster put upon the very people who were innocent victims of it. What an appalling indictment of the cowardice of the authorities to not only try to avoid blame and criticism for their ineptidues, but to deliberately lie to shift the blame onto others.
Although the Prime Minister and a few others have apologised, I sincerely hope that those who lied during the offical Taylor enquiry will now face criminal prosecution for perjury and/or perverting the course of justice. Nothing can bring the loved ones who lost their lives back, but at least the families of those who died can gain some comfort from seeing the people who tried to cover up the reasons for this tragedy being prosecuted. This will be some level of justice.
Here is a video of a newsflash from the day of the disaster
Britain is very quick to condemn injustice and corruption in other countries, and yet here is clear evidence that such practices occur in the Disunited Kingdom too. The hypocrisy. The shame.