On April 15th, 1989, a soccer game turned into one of history’s most tragic incidents. It was the semi-finals between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest being played at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Stadium. Little did the Liverpool supporters know that the day, instead of hailing their cheers, would crush their lives.
It wasn’t the enmity of the fans at the opposite sides and neither was it any political agenda, the disastrous demise took place when Liverpool fans were exiting a gate due to the stadium becoming overcrowded. The police had ordered the supporters to leave through a tunnel which would lead to two pens however the incursion caused so much of a chaos that fans began collapsing on top of the other in the most harmful manner which caused an irreversible commotion. The upheaval took the lives of 96 supporters, 94 on the spot and two later that day. The last victim was in a coma till 1993 and could not survive. The match was stopped and so was time at that point. Game day became gone day.
Inquiries were made and accusations were pointed at the police control facility at the venue. After this incident all standing terraces in every stadium were taken off. This became one of the most catastrophic sports disasters in British history. After that, there were alterations in witness statements and police records to try and cover up the mess. The blame regrettably came onto the victims: depicting them as hooligans.
And now more than 22 years later, the incident comes to news yet another time. Prime Minister David Cameron gave out a formal apology to the victims’ families saying that it was wrong to project those who died as hooligans and to put the blame on them for the incident. He said that the police manipulated the reports, and presented them in the most biased manner as possible. Findings were hid, conclusions were predisposed and eventually the flame fell on the fans.
“The Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster. The panel has quite simply found no evidence in support of allegations of exceptional levels of drunkenness, ticketlessness or violence among Liverpool fans, no evidence that fans had conspired to arrive late at the stadium, and no evidence that they stole from the dead and dying,” Cameron said.
How much of a difference this would make to the families is difficult to assume as the human hurdle of death continues to haunt the affected even today.