The Bells Are Ringing


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The Hillsborough 96

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The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:11 pm

This could have been any football supporter from any club.  They deserve our support now more than ever.
The 96

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:16 pm

Well said. I hope that justice is finally achieved.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:56 pm

Absolutely Fergal. An issue that should unite all sports fans, everywhere.

The semi-final was shown live on Irish tv, I think they were the only network to have live coverage. I have a vague memory of my aunts and uncles watching this game. I would have been three and used to ask them about it when I was older. They thought it was a riot at first and then the horror unfolded.

About a year ago somebody uploaded that footage to youtube and it is truly haunting as the usual excited big match commentary gives way after six minutes.

RIP

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:14 pm

The thing that really annoys me was my belief at the time. I was caught hook line and sinker into believing what I was being told by the press, the police and the government.
I suppose I am more annoyed than embarrassed at believing the stories that came out on the day. If the Police had put the needs of the fans first then we would not be talking about the 96 it would have been a damn sight less.
Liverpool fans were being accused of vandalising advertising hoardings, and they were, to use a stretchers because not enough ambulances were allowed in.
I have read reports that people who were still alive after the 3:15 watershed were dumped in with the dead.
Families refused access to their dead sons/daughters/fathers etc, because they 'belonged' to the Police as evidence.
Stories made up about Liverpool supporters stealing from corpses or urination on them or stopping the emergency services getting in.
Stories about Liverpool fans being pissed and starting to riot.
Lies and I believed the lot until I had my eyes opened.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:23 pm

Holtender1982 wrote:The thing that really annoys me was my belief at the time.  I was caught hook line and sinker into believing what I was being told by the press, the police and the government.

Aye, looking back (I'm too young to remember it) it is sickening how the lies were spread by the media and those in power.

Justice for the 96. They deserve it and it is a national disgrace that if they get it it has taken so long.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:00 pm

I'm no lover of Liverpool but am strongly behind the campaign. As Holtender says it could have happened to any club.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:57 pm

Nigel Lowe wrote:I'm no lover of Liverpool but am strongly behind the campaign. As Holtender says it could have happened to any club.
Indeed, and it very nearly did on several occasions.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by whiteensign on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:23 pm

There's more than a few scousers with blood on their hands from that day!!!

Were Villa not playing that day? I was down at Dorchester watching Redditch United lose 4-1, we were getting reports off people on their radios of riots at the FA Cup semi!!!

Back to my first comment, I know a few Forest fans who were there, and although they can't say what was happening round at the Leppings Lane end, they can tell me of the general behaviour of Liverpool fans before the game!!! I also know someone who's aunt and uncle owned a shop close by that got totalled by drunken Liverpool fans before the game!!!
So, despite;
1. Being a monumental fuck up by South Yorkshire Police (the ones who battered striking miners during the strike and falsified evidence) which they then covered up.
2. The Leppings Lane End being sub standard (which most were back then) We had just gone through the hooligan years, investment in football was at an all time low, and if Thatcher had her way the sport would've been banned!!
3. Being one of the biggest disasters in football ever (along with Bradford, Heysel, Bolton, Ibrox....)

I still believe, that the root cause of this unfortunate incident was drunken, ticketless Liverpool fans turning up just before kick off!!!
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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:46 pm

Read this, people turning up to football games with a drink in them has always happened.
I used to believe that the root cause was pissed up scousers turning up without tickets. Whilst that did happen it did not contribute to the disaster in any meaningful way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by whiteensign on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:53 pm

Holtender1982 wrote:Read this, people turning up to football games with a drink in them has always happened.
I used to believe that the root cause was pissed up scousers turning up without tickets.  Whilst that did happen it did not contribute to the disaster in any meaningful way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster

I know, and i'll hold my hands up, i've turned up pissed and late on many many occasions, but fortunately it hasn't resulted in a disaster!!!
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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:43 pm

It had nothing whatsoever to do with that. Nothing.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:36 am

25 years ago this weekend.

I think starting all matches 7 mins late is a nice touch.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:37 am

I went to my first away games that season, one of which was West Ham - my only memory was being very scared as it didn't seem safe.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:45 am

All this happened in those few years where we had the Kings Cross fire, the Bradford fire, the Heysel tragedy.... Some salutary lessons were learnt about not caging people in, not leaving combustible material lying, making football grounds more fit for purpose.
Whatever caused Hillsborough was exacerbated by the fences. Without them, it would have been a different story. They were put there to stop people invading the pitch and fighting each other. A vicious circle.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:02 am

Uncle Villa wrote:25 years ago this weekend.

I think starting all matches 7 mins late is a nice touch.

Indeed, they will be remembered with the greatest of respect .

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:08 pm

I don't buy or read The Sun but I have been told that, considering this is the 25th anniversary weekend of the disaster, there is not one comment about it in the paper today.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:14 pm


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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:27 pm

Horrifying

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:30 pm

Eastie wrote:
Uncle Villa wrote:25 years ago this weekend.

I think starting all matches 7 mins late is a nice touch.

Indeed, they will be remembered with the greatest of respect .

Unfortunately not by some of our supporters. If ever there was I day that I wanted some people to be struck down, this was it.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:47 pm

I heard a few shouts on TV, wasn't sure from which end though.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:51 pm

I remember a few years ago I was in Meadowhall shopping centre near the food hall and there was a 2 minute silence. Some little gobshyte near me started making silly noises and making his mates laugh, before I could get to him and his band of shitheads this bloke grabbed him by the throat and held his windpipe till he almost passed out.
He got a round of applause and when the little fucker tried to complain the security chucked them out.
Respect costs nothing.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:23 am

Wish I'd have been there at 'Medderall', Ferg. I'd have throttled the little fucker myself.

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:25 am

Firestarter wrote:Wish I'd have been there at 'Medderall', Ferg. I'd have throttled the little fucker myself.
A few of his little group of buddies did get a few slaps on the way out, I am proud to say I restrained myself for the duration of the silence. I did grab one by the ear and gave it a bit of a twist :)

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:14 pm

I felt sad all afternoon yesterday, and kept thinking of those poor souls. The very least they deserve is respect, justice and to never be forgotten. My mom had moved to Cornwall at the time, and I was driving down to see her in my knackered Escort. Unfortunately I had a double blow out on the M5 not far from Exeter, and sat in the car in the pouring rain listening to the tragic events unfold on the radio, in total shock. I waited hours for the breakdown guy, eventually arriving hours late at my mom's. She was in bits, she was worried I'd gone to the game at Hillsborough for some reason (I had a habit of going to random games back then).

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Re: The Hillsborough 96

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:56 pm

Good piece this

Bruce Grobbelaar: Hillsborough disaster still makes me angry


Bruce Grobbelaar closes his eyes as I ask him to recall the day he will never forget.

"I can remember it as if it was yesterday," he says. "It was a beautiful day. I remember the sunshine."

He puffs out his cheeks and sighs as he begins to talk through the events of 15 April, 1989. Liverpool v Nottingham Forest, the FA Cup semi-final. The most infamous day in the history of English football. He speaks quietly, his voice heavy with emotion.

"It haunts me," says the former Liverpool keeper. "It all happened right behind my goal. I can see those images today, if I think about it. They will never leave. It doesn't get removed from your mind. I will never forget."

He talks me through his memories of a day when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at Hillsborough. Grobbelaar was the closest player to the Leppings Lane end.

"We went out to look at the pitch before the match. The middle pen of the Leppings Lane end was getting filled up. At the time we thought nothing of it. We went back into the dressing room to get ourselves ready," he says.

"The game kicked off. After 90 seconds we hit the crossbar. Then the ball went into the Leppings Lane End behind me. I went to get the ball back."

Grobbelaar describes what he saw and heard, images that have lived with him for 25 years. (With new inquests into the tragedy under way, we cannot describe what Grobbelaar saw for legal reasons.)

The match was stopped. The players were taken off the field. The 56-year-old recalls the scene in the dressing room. "Kenny [Dalglish, the manager] said: 'Keep yourself warm we might be going back out.' We didn't know the extent of what had happened," he says.

"Then one of our fans burst into our dressing room. We knew him. He broke down in front of us. He said he had seen 10 bodies carted off already. He said it was like a warzone. Kenny ushered him out because he didn't want to upset the players.

"Then the referee told us the game had been abandoned. From there it was just a sombre mood."

The Liverpool players showered and boarded the coach from Sheffield to Anfield. "Nobody said anything," Grobbelaar says.

"For two hours on the journey back home we just listened to the radio. Every 10, 15 minutes we would hear an update - 20 deaths, 25 deaths. When it got to 30 deaths we switched off the radio - we couldn't listen to any more."

These days Grobbelaar, who made more than 600 appearances for Liverpool over 13 years, winning six league titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups and a European Cup, lives in Newfoundland, Canada, but we meet in a hotel on the outskirts of Liverpool.

His heavy southern African accent - born in South Africa, he represented Zimbabwe in internationals - is a distinctive as ever, as is the trademark moustache, though it bears more grey hairs than it once did.

He recalls the advice to the players in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"I am not too sure when the call was made, but Kenny, his wife Marina and the management said: 'The best thing for you to do is go to see the families.' It was for us to counsel ourselves and the bereaved."

One particular visit stands out in Grobbelaar's mind.

"I went to see a family in Birkenhead," he says. "I knocked on the door, it opened and they told me I was the guy who killed their son. And they closed the door. Their son went to watch me play, watch us play - they blamed me."

He touches an ear-ring hooked in his left ear as he remembers what happened next.

"I stood there for a moment. Then I knocked on the door again," he says. "And they said 'no, go away'. And I got sworn at and everything.

"But I didn't go anywhere. I knocked on the door again. And then we started talking.

"I realised they held me responsible, in some way. I explained that their son only wanted to watch me play for the team that he loved. And I told them I had no part to play in what happened and that their son only wanted to watch us be triumphant on the day, to play the game. That is what he loved.

"When I explained that to them, they came out. They embraced me and I embraced them. And that was counselling for both of us. I know from the other players that they went through very similar experiences."

For three weeks, football was an afterthought. "There were a few of us who thought about never playing again," Grobbelaar says. "But the families we went to counsel asked us to carry on playing. They gave us the confidence to go back and play again."

Did the tragedy change him? "Everybody changed from that day onwards," he says. "It didn't shatter just Liverpool fans. It shattered a city. I don't think any other city could have handled it the way Liverpool has, or could have done as much."

On Tuesday, the city and the wider world will pay tribute to those whose lives were irrevocably changed at Hillsborough. After 25 years, the families of "the 96" are getting closer to a resolution.

"I still get angry because the answers have not been forthcoming," Grobbelaar says.

"Twenty-five years - for the families not to have had answers. That is totally wrong. Twenty-five years is a long time. Families have gone now. They never saw justice for the sons and daughters. None of us will find peace until there is an answer.

"That is what we are fighting for - we have to stand with them. They have asked the same questions but have never got the answers. They have had part-answers. They need the answers.

"Thankfully and hopefully they will get that answer. It has taken this long because they thought this would go away. But it hasn't. It never will."

The inquests continue and the families, along with those traumatised at Hillsborough, believe the time for answers has finally arrived.

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