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mickjj

The Hillsborough Disaster

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With best respects to the families, friends, and others, and to all who were involved, directly and indirectly in the disaster,

SheffieldHistory will not be, nor have any intention of posting any video or links to links of footage.

Any such links posted will be removed as a matter of taste/respect.

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Original meassage poste by SteveHB

edited by RichardB (April 2012)

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While this tragedy happened at Sheffield Wednesdays ground I feel that it was a major moment in the history of Sheffield as a city. Following are accounts and

images that still bring a feeling of grief and disbelief that such an event could have happened.

THE DISASTER

Liverpool F.C. faced Nottingham Forest F.C. in the semi-final of the 1989 FA Cup, at Hillsborough, the home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C.. FA Cup semi-finals are traditionally played at neutral venues so as not to favour either club involved. Liverpool and Nottingham Forest had also met at the semi-final stage of the same competition at the same ground the previous year without incident.

At the time, most stadiums had placed high steel fencing between the spectators and the pitch, in response to hooliganism which had plagued the sport for years. Hooliganism was particularly virulent in England, where it often involved pitch invasions and/or the throwing of a variety of missiles. Hooliganism was not a factor at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster, but the fencing itself was later identified as one of the main factors leading to the tragedy. The part of the stadium where the problem occurred was also a "terrace" area, a cheaper standing-only section without seats. Terraces were frequently sub-divided by further fencing into sections called pens to aid crowd control by stewards and police.

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809438.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809425.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809416.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809406.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809396.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809378.jpg,http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_04_2009/post-14-1238809385.jpg,

The scene outside the ground as the disaster beganHillsborough Stadium was segregated between the opposing fans as was customary at all large matches, the Liverpool supporters being assigned to the Leppings Lane End of the stadium. Kick-off was scheduled for 3.00pm but due to a variety of factors, including traffic delays on the route to Sheffield from Liverpool, many of the Liverpool supporters were later than usual in arriving. Between 2.00pm and 2.45pm there was a considerable build-up of fans in the small area outside the turnstile entrances to the Leppings Lane End, all eager to enter the stadium quickly before the match started. A bottleneck developed with more fans arriving than were able to enter the stadium. With an estimated 5,000 fans trying to get through the turnstiles and increasing security concerns over violence within the crowd leading to a dangerous situation, the police decided to open up a set of gates, intended as an exit, which did not have turnstiles (Gate C). This caused a rush of people through the gate into the stadium.

The resulting influx of thousands of fans through a narrow tunnel at the rear of the terrace and into the already overcrowded central two pens caused a huge crush at the front of the terrace, where people were being pressed up against the fencing by the weight of the crowd behind them. The people entering were unaware of the problems being experienced at the fence � police or stewards would normally stand at the entrance to the tunnel if these central pens had reached capacity and would direct fans to the side pens, but on this occasion did not, for reasons which have never been adequately explained.

For some time the problem at the front was not noticed by anybody other than those affected; the match had already started and most people were absorbed by that. It was not until 3:06pm that the referee, after being advised by the police, stopped the match � several minutes after fans had started climbing the fence to escape the crush. By this time a small gate in the fencing had been forced opened and some fans escaped the crush by this route � others climbed over the fencing, and further fans were pulled up to safety by fellow fans into the West Stand directly above the Leppings Lane terrace.

Liverpool fans desperately try to climb the fence onto the safety of the pitchEven at this point there was still much confusion among the authorities at the match. Senior police initially assumed that they were witnessing a "standard" pitch invasion by hooligans and responded by sending in reinforcements to keep people off the pitch rather than helping the fans out of the crush. Fans were packed so tightly in the pens that many died standing up. The pitch quickly started to fill with people sweating and gasping for breath, those with crush injuries, and with the bodies of the dead. The police and stewards were slow to recognise the scale of the disaster, and by the time that they had realised the size of the problem the small ambulance service present at the stadium was overwhelmed. Other fans helped as best they could, many attempting CPR and some tearing down advertising hoardings to act as makeshift stretchers.

As these events happened some police officers were still being deployed to make a cordon on the halfway line of the pitch, with the aim of preventing Liverpool supporters reaching the Nottingham Forest fans at the opposite end of the stadium. Some fans attempted to break through the police cordon to ferry injured supporters to waiting ambulances, and were forcibly turned back.

94 people died that day, with 766 other fans receiving various injuries. The death toll reached 95 four days later, when 14-year-old Lee Nichol died in hospital from his injuries. The final death toll became 96 in March 1993, when Tony Bland died after remaining in a coma for nearly four years.

Graphic television footage of the disaster was shown live on BBC Television's Grandstand as the tragedy was unfolding and this, along with the large number of fatalities, made an extreme emotional impact on the general UK population.

A permanent tribute to those who lost their lives can be found alongside the Shankly Gates at Anfield, home stadium of Liverpool F.C. A further tribute was set up in 1999 at Hillsborough stadium itself.

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Unfortuntately I was down there with my brother at the Leppings Lane entrance and it was absolute madness.

I remember walking from the West Stand away end where the crowd was building to the back of the South Stand after a while because it was all just too much outside and too many people there.

We used to always go down there for events at Hillsborough like that and the internationals etc

I remember coming home on my own and watching what had happened on the telly (nobody knew outside what was happening obviously) and my brother was still down there.

It was a worrying few hours - and in those days no mobile phones to ring and make sure someone is ok

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I have just remembered that it is the anniversary today of this tragic event.

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I went into town on this dreadful day, I was with the now Mrs Grinder, as our bus the 93 went past Midland Station I commented on the number of police. At that time the 93 bus used to go along Flat Street and stop outside in Fitzallan Square

Town was full of police, with dogs, on horses never seen anything like it, we did what we had to do before getting back on a bus home.

Having seen all the police when we got home about 2 O'clock I put on Radio Sheffield to see what sporting event was going on, decided to keep listening little did I know what was going to unfold :(

For me one of those days where I will never forget what I was doing, the day of the Hillsborough disaster.

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With the twentieth anniversary of this dreadful event fast approaching I have puuled this topic back to the top. It is hard to believe that twenty years have gone by since what must be one of the darkest events in our city's history.

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What is the date of the anniversary please ?

Never been to a game since ...

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What is the date of the anniversary please ?

Never been to a game since ...

April 17th according to Mickjj's earlier post

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With the twentieth anniversary of this dreadful event fast approaching I have puuled this topic back to the top. It is hard to believe that twenty years have gone by since what must be one of the darkest events in our city's history.

Do people really want to re-live all this again --20 years is too short a time, too many people are still around to whom it is very painful to be reminded. I know it is history, but please don't dwell on it.

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I agree, I can't bring myself to read the above postings fully.

For me, one to mark with appropriate respect on the day but not to dwell on.

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I agree, I can't bring myself to read the above postings fully.

For me, one to mark with appropriate respect on the day but not to dwell on.

I believe that the facts of what happened should be left on record, to be viewed by young people who want to learn about what happened, but, 20 years on, we don't want people re-living it all and remembering where they were and what they were doing etc. We can all pay our respects on the anniversary -- in private. Keep the thread there to look at, but don't allow debate and counter debate or additions at this late date. We don't want that "Hillsborough Disaster" headline catching our eye every time we enter the site!

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April 17th according to Mickjj's earlier post

It was Saturday 15th April 1989.

I have cousins that live in Liverpool, and they were at the game that day.

It took me from the Saturday, until 10pm on the Monday night to actually get a line through to Liverpool, to my relatives' house, to find out that they were okay, albeit a bit (!) shaken up. You can imagine what a relief that was, to know they had escaped injury.

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hello...

this was a really sad day in history my dad was in the disaster when he was 15 years old and when i found out i couldnt stop thinking about the fact that he would of been in soo much pain. x

i am thanking god for keeeping him alive though because i wouldnt be here today if he died as well as them poor other 96.

Ijust wish we could go back in time and change the events that led to this awful disaster..

R.I.P 96 xx

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hello...

this was a really sad day in history my dad was in the disaster when he was 15 years old and when i found out i couldnt stop thinking about the fact that he would of been in soo much pain. x

i am thanking god for keeeping him alive though because i wouldnt be here today if he died as well as them poor other 96.

Ijust wish we could go back in time and change the events that led to this awful disaster..

R.I.P 96 xx

Welcome to Sheffield History beckyboo

The Hillsborough disaster was a very sad for for everyone involved in it, a sad day for the City of Sheffield and a sad day for the City of Liverpool where so many innocent families lost a close relative because they had done nothing more out of the ordinary than go to a football match on a Saturday afternoon to support their team.

Although this happened 20 years ago if your dad was only 15 at the time you must be one of our youngest members.

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Welcome to Sheffield History beckyboo

The Hillsborough disaster was a very sad for for everyone involved in it, a sad day for the City of Sheffield and a sad day for the City of Liverpool where so many innocent families lost a close relative because they had done nothing more out of the ordinary than go to a football match on a Saturday afternoon to support their team.

Although this happened 20 years ago if your dad was only 15 at the time you must be one of our youngest members.

Yes i only nearly 16 myself. x

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I was there that day. I was 22 at the time and did a lot of growing up that day..I worked on the turnstiles for nearly 15 years until I moved away.

my ten penn'th...poor antiquated ground much like villa,everton,wolves,birmingham and many others of that era. Fatal mistakes made by people who should never ever have been in charge that day. Alcohol was a factor on the day and I wish people would not try to rewrite history and claim its not...many many people turned up after 2.30 and many the worse for wear...whilst this was not the main or only cause it was a contributing factor and it saddens me that people won't take their part of the blame.

RIP to the 96...there for the grace of god go I and many others who watched football week in and week out in those days...it could have happened anywhere..

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Brought this to the top again as it is the annversary of this tragic event.

RIP the 96 and my thoughts are with the families

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R.I.P.

I still find this difficult to discuss all these years later; how everyone wishes it had never happened and that the day was remembered for nothing more than the result of the game. Important that we do and that the lessons learned are applied wisely so that this can never happen again; anywhere.

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I agree there should not be posted links to footage. I cannot even bear to look at the whole account. I remember my fiance and I were in a cafe at the time and the match was on the radio and we sat listening with increasing horror as it became apparent that a terrible disaster was occuring. In my memory was the disaster at Ibrox when the stand collapsed and the fire at Bradford stands so I knew how serious this was. I remember ambulance after ambulance heading towards Hillsborough, not just NHS ones but red cross ones. It was a horrible day and I don't want to relive it. I won't ever forget that day and I don't think anyone else in Sheffield and Liverpool will.

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In my defence the original link was to a tasteful documentery that included clips from the scenes at Hillsborough. None of them were of people suffering but of fans climbing into the West Stand , the ambulance arriving on the pitch and commentary from the BBC announcers who were there etc. This event happened wether we like it or not burying our heads in the sand will not make it go away.

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I don't think any of us are burying our heads in the sand. Most of us will have listened and read the enquiries reports. That is different from dwelling on it.

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