Saturday, 11 April 2009

You'll never walk alone...

Moving scenes at Liverpool today, on the nearest Saturday at Anfield to the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster that claimed 96 lives. It is unusual to see a full minute's silence on television, but that was what was shown on BBC1's 'Football Focus'. As I write, Fernando Torres has scored for the Reds against Blackburn - whose players commendably joined in a memorial event by laying a wreath before the game.

There is a report on what unfolded from 15 April 1989 here in the Liverpool Echo. Though Lord Taylor's report led to vital safety changes within the football world generally, friends and relatives are still pressing for a further investigation into Hillsborough itself. Anne Williams, whose son Kevin, aged 15, died that day, is challenging the official coroner's inquest ruling that all the victims were dead or brain dead by 3.15pm after suffering “traumatic asphyxia”.

At the Hillsborough ground today, Sheffield Wednesday are playing Derby County. The respective managers, Brians Laws and Nigel Clough were both in the Nottingham Forest side that was playing Liverpool in the Cup on that fateful occasion.

The Sun "newspaper" is still boycotted on Merseyside because of its disgraceful coverage of the tragedy, seeking to pin the blame on supporters with allegations subsequently disproved by film and video evidence (and the Taylor report). But this is one animal that doesn't change its spots. In December 2006 then editor Kelvin Mackenzie told a business lunch in Newcastle: “I went on the World At One the next day and apologised. I only did that because Rupert Murdoch told me to. I wasn’t sorry then and I’m not sorry now." That's not the only reason for despising the rag, of course. But it's a start.

The picture above shows the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough stadium during the disaster.

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