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April 15, 2009

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Colin The Culture Hunter

The day even now is etched into my memory .Being a Liverpudlian I had spent many years as a creature of habit standing in the approximately the same place at Anfield or the away stadium equivalent week in week out .On the day of Semi Final I was now working in London and rushed home to catch the game on TV. From then on the day consisted of worry- failed phone calls to my parents and panic.

For 4 or 5 hours I was quite sure my brother was dead, the media coverage had convinced me of that because I knew where he stood (the same place I did!) and I knew he was at the game .


Now 20 years on and a parent , it's only now do I really feel any true understanding of what the effects of that day had on my family and friends and others who had their loved ones at the game.

My parents and thousands of people like them must have gone through absolute hell until the "Im OK" phone call came from their son or daughter . For far too many that call never came and the hell still remains.

I just wanted to hug my daughter today.My bet is that it was an emotion being shared by families all across the country.

If you want to go some way to understand what the experience was like and wrealise the reasons people are still so angry about the aftermath I recommend you go to this programme from BBC Five Live and listen .Some of the contents are quite shocking but please listen if you can.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00jsnyy/Hillsborough_Stories/

SKM

Just to respond to the closing query... "You'll Never Walk Alone" became the unofficial LFC song when it was recorded by local boys Gerry and the Pacemakers and became a #1 hit on the pop charts. Their version is done at a lazy Merseybeat swing pace that's easy for a crowd to sing, as occurs shortly before the start of every match at Anfield.

Zelmo

http://wfmu.org/listen.ram?show=2861&archive=2463&drop=71

Signed D.C.

Synth-heavy but lovely Hollies track on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GSOWHOf6k8

Richard

The source for Gerry & the Pacemakers' YNWA was GENE VINCENT

Rather Not

All due respect to the victims and their families, and I really, really mean that. I do truly believe that police misconduct was overwhelmingly to blame for the incident.

The police, the government, poor stadium design, a condescending view of football supporters as worthless proles less deserving of safety standards all contributed. But what also contributed, were supporters who arrived late on purpose, who arrived without tickets, or with forgeries, and took advantage of he prevailing attitude to gain admission as they had on previous occasions. A practice certainly undertaken by supporters of other clubs as well.

It was a terrible tragedy, and certainly the Sun's reporting on the incident was unforgivable, deserving of approbation. However, Liverpool supporters' ensuing culture of victimization and self pity is over the top. The incident was one of many that plagued the period; including Heysel, ironically for which the overwhelming amount blame should, and has been, apportioned to Liverpool supporters.

Again, all due respect to those who suffered and their families, but their were others, and Liverpool supporters collective persecution complex is galling particularly given their previous culpability. It is typical of the Liverpool supporter to not only believe by default they support the "greatest" club in the world, but seemingly the only club in the world.

I'm not sure what I intend by this post, surely more then a callous, "get over it", though I'm sure that's how it will be interpreted. Rather, I admit it is an emotional, and complex topic, and I wish it were addressed as such rather than as a stigmata to Liverpool supporters' singular victimhood.

Colin the Culture Hunter

Hillsborough was a tragedy waiting to happen somehwere sometime in British football.

What I was trying to get over in my own way was that the TV coverage elevated the disaster to a national event. Every person who followed football and stood on terraces in the 70s and 80s must have thought of some of the near misses they had had in the crushes that were regular occurences at many of the big games and thought- "You know? That could have easily been me."

Alarm bells had been ringing for years .There had been plenty of "near misses" and plenty tragedy before that hadn,t changed a thing -the Hillsborough stadium had had overcrowding problems before, there was a terrible crushing incident at Ibrox that killed 66 in the early 70s there had been that appalling fire at Bradford in 1985 and the Heysel disaster to name just a few.

The Hillsborough disaster could have been avoided and of course it should .It was the last straw for the sport and its public- so many people had witnessed the situation and the terrible events afterwards that I think it really made plenty of football punters feel threatened by the game they loved.

Eagle

This Song Offical Web Site http://www.youwillneverwalkalone.com

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