Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hooligan (n.): A rough, lawless person.

THE world was a different place 23 years ago.

It was a world where men kicking a ball around a pitch was not so much a family day out as an excuse for violence and thuggery. The police did pretty much as they pleased and journalists were not much different.

Or at least that was how it seemed to everyone else - in truth most of the football fans, coppers and hacks were decent people who did their best but were tainted by association with a handful of idiots. It was easier to cross the road, pretend not to notice them, and keep your head down.

And who can blame them? One dad out to watch the match with his boy is never going to be able to stop a horde of drunken yobs hurling concrete blocks at riot police. It is not a practical fight to pick.

So they got away with things they wouldn't today. There weren't cameras everywhere, it was difficult to know what other people were thinking, and there weren't a lot of rules.

So when 39 football fans were killed and 600 were injured when two rival groups of hooligans clashed at the Liverpool vs Juventus match at Heysel Stadium in 1985, it was easy to think that everyone involved was a murderous thug. In fact most of the dead were innocent, and in trying to escape the fighting knocked over a badly-built wall and crushed the fans sitting behind it.

In those days there were no cameras to pick out the ringleaders so 14 Liverpool ticket holders were jailed for involuntary manslaughter, and their club was barred from European matches for six years. Every other English club was barred for five.

The newspapers which have always sold millions of copies on the basis of their sports coverage blamed the 'hooligan element', and people like me grew up thinking football was about violence.

A couple of decades on we can all see hooliganism across Europe had a lot to do with Far Right agitators, and still does. And that because the 1980s saw the value of football transfers rocket as players became media stars, money that should have gone into maintaining and modernising Victorian grounds went into the pockets of players and agents.

Four years after Heysel it seemed to happen again - only this time it became the worst disaster football, the police or the newspapers had ever seen.

Liverpool fans - people then reviled by almost everyone in Britain for that European ban - delayed by unexpected roadworks turned up late at a FA Cup semi-final at the Hillsborough Stadium to watch their side play Nottingham Forest. After all the violence of the past, the stands were now separated into vast wire cages.

The man in charge of the police operation, Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, expected only trouble.

He decided that although there were more of them them the Liverpool fans should go into the smaller end of the stadium, to avoid having to cross the path of Notts Forest fans. There were too few turnstiles and a crush developed, made worse when they decided not to delay kick-off even though thousands of people were late and still outside.

As the crush got worse Duckenfield ordered a side gate to be opened to relieve the pressure. Fans poured in, but there were no stewards to direct them into the empty areas. Instead they followed stadium signs pointing them into cages that were already packed.


Each cage should have held only 1,600 people - they ended up with more than 3,000 packed in.

As the people at the front began to climb over the fences to get out, TV commentators called it a pitch invasion. When fans began pulling down hoardings they were called hooligans in homes up and down the country, where millions watched it live on Grandstand.

Duckenfield, in his control room, decided it was thuggery. He sent a line of police officers onto the pitch to prevent fans getting to the Notts Forest end. The referee called off the match six minutes after it began.

But as time ticked past it became clear there was more to it. The hoardings were being used as makeshift stretchers, people were being hoisted up and out of the crush by those who'd scaled the wire, and some who could not get out tore holes in the cage with their bare hands.

Sports photographers caught every second of it on film. Grandstand kept on broadcasting. The country sat on its sofa, aghast.

Forty four ambulances were called but only one allowed into the stadium. Those makeshift stretchers were turned back at the police line as they tried to get to the paramedics.

Many of the dead were children - the youngest was 10. Ninety four were killed that day, in their cage and left to die on the pitch. Two more severely-injured died later. Still others have since reported suicides, post-traumatic stress, alcoholism and other problems.

The first newspaper reports were done in a rush, for the Sunday editions. Most of the photographs, even by the gung-ho standards of the time, were too gruesome to use. Relatives were identifying the dead from Polaroids. No-one had a clear idea of what happened. Duckenfield was said to have told officials fans without tickets had forced open the side gate.

On Monday the Mirror printed photographs of fans dead in the crush under the headline 'Never Again', and as one of the first newspapers to use colour the true horror of blue faces and bloodied bodies caused huge shock.


There were angry radio phone-ins, and the paper's legendary editor Richard Stott spoke publicly about his decision and why he thought it was important to get across the true scale of what happened.

On Tuesday the Sun said the police were being made 'scapegoats' for a disaster caused by ticketless hooligans, and on Wednesday it reported claims by Tory MP Irvine Patnick and an unnamed police source that in the crush Liverpool fans picked the pockets of the dead, urinated on police and attacked rescue workers.

The reporter who pulled the story together told the editor Kelvin MacKenzie he was worried about it and stressed they were allegations, not facts. The 18 or so staff sent to cover the disaster and more aware of who to trust and what went wrong were in Liverpool, not the newsroom. The editor laid out a front page with the headline 'The Truth', and in the pub his hacks sat around shaking their heads and predicting trouble.


When the paper hit the streets it was greeted with fury, but MacKenzie refused to give interviews or explain why he'd done the story. Rage grew, copies of his newspaper were burned in the streets, and it became the greatest Fleet Street disaster of all time.

The Sheffield Star, Daily Star, and Liverpool Post wrote similar stories - but they weren't noticed. There has never been any proof for the allegations.

Shortly afterwards an official inquiry found the police were largely to blame, with the stadium's age and layout contributing to problems along with a 'small minority' of drunken fans. The coroner refused to consider anything that happened more than 15 minutes after kick-off, despite evidence many of the victims were still alive.

Duckenfield retired on medical grounds before he could be disciplined. In 2000 he faced a private prosecution but the jury failed to reach a verdict. He admitted lying about the cause of the disaster and several other officers were accused of leading a cover-up, tampering with evidence and statements. Among them was Norman Bettison, who later became the local chief constable.

And for 23 years, mums and dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, sons and daughters, were told to stop wallowing in self-pity. The relatives of the 96 said there had been a cover-up, that the police were telling lies, and their antipathy towards the country's biggest-selling newspaper was blamed on the fact it had recently laid off workers in Liverpool.

The dead were dismissed as hooligans who got what they deserved.

Today we have learned all the victims - even children - had their blood tested for alcohol. The police searched their criminal records to see if their characters could be impugned after death. They significantly altered 164 official statements to change the record of events, and removed 116 comments blaming them for the disaster.

We have had it confirmed the ground was poorly maintained and inadequate. There had been a crush at a match the year before and nothing had been changed to prevent a repeat. There were medics who could help the injured, but did not. There were 41 people who perhaps did not need to die, but did.

Following the disaster, football stadiums were given health and safety rules and clubs were forced to spend money on safety. Shortly afterwards all the editors in Fleet Street signed up to a code of practice, which when followed keeps us out of trouble. The police have rules, too, about crowd control, public safety, and evidence.

Perhaps more important than any of those things we all have a camera in our pockets, and can tell the world what we're thinking in a few seconds. Not only could Hillsborough not happen again, the lies told after could not take hold.

David Duckenfield retired on a full pension. Norman Bettison was knighted, as was Irvine Patnick. MacKenzie was ordered to apologise but later recanted. Barely any shop on Merseyside will stock the paper he left 18 years ago, and Sun reporters still hate that story as much as they did on the day it was printed.

None of them ever really said sorry, but then hooligans don't.

The world is a different place today, which is why I can write that hooligans were the cause of the Hillsborough disaster. Hooligans in the police force who made it worse, hooligans in the football business who saw no reason to spend money on safety barriers, proper signs or exits.

Hooligans who lied and smeared to cover up the fact people had died unnecessarily, the hooligan who was running the nation's biggest newspaper, and the hooligans running the country who saw no reason to reveal the truth any sooner.

They are the hoodlums who took a football match and turned it into 23 years of torment. No-one stood up to them, because it was an impractical fight to pick.

No-one except the families of the 96.

It would have been easier for them to keep their heads down. Sorry is no kind of justice, but perhaps saying 'thank you' is because the world is slightly better for their stand.

It's just a shame the real hooligans aren't in cages.







67 comments:

DomC said...

awesome piece

jelltex said...

The anger I feel cannot be put into words, I was at the other semi final that day.

You put it into words for me. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

Well Said.

Mrs Sandra Field. said...

This is one of the most powerful pieces of journalism I have ever read.

In Memory.

From Australia

Yewtree said...

Excellent article, well said.

Looking at the way that football fans are still herded and trammeled, it is amazing that this sort of thing doesn't still happen. I was coming back from London and had to get on a train where football fans were being herded within railings and had to queue for ages to get on the train. The fans were good-humoured as they were used to this sort of treatment. I was horrified at the way they were being herded and corralled. It made me feel like starting a riot.

Davis said...

Brilliantly observed piece, brought back the tears of rage from English football's darkest day...

BenSix said...

When the paper hit the streets it was greeted with fury, but MacKenzie refused to give interviews or explain why he'd done the story.

And he's spent the last 23 years being pampered for droning on about everything but the one event it would be interesting to hear him speak on. I'll be disgusted if I ever see that man running his mouth on the television again.

Anonymous said...

Read, rage and weep!

SaneLynch said...

I am pretty, pretty certain that no Liverpool fan ever served time for the incident in Heysel. They may have been sentenced, but were quickly deported and did not serve time when they arrived back in Britain.

Fiona said...

Thanks Foxy. Those families fought a fight that was too hard on every level - and won. Kevin McKenzie over to you.

swanseninaellie said...

An extremely powerful and brutally sobering piece of writing.

I salue you.

@waltontoffee said...

Thank you

Bercher said...

Well done for the article Foxy, it was the the day The real truth was revealed and admitted in Parliament.

Cloud Cuckoo said...

Great piece.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly well written, and said!

Malcolm Kelly said...

After 23 years,perhaps today may finally lead to some closure to everyone affected by this tragedy.I think most fair minded people realised that an almighty cock up had been made and most evidence pointed the finger squarely at the police.
Newspaper editors,politicians and the police authority all tried to collude to form the one opinion-that the fans were at fault and brought about this horrendous act of their own volition.
The natural conclusion should be,exoneration,compensation and prosecution.
Sadly the cynic in me doesn't hold out too much hope for the latter two but 2012 is a different world compared with 1989.I ,and the families of the 96 innocents, live in hope.YNWA.

Leo Roberts said...

I was in the Leppings Lane End that day - pen C. I was lucky enough to have been pulled out onto the pitch by a police officer. I had 2 ribs broken as someone tried to restart my heart and my trachea ruptured by a tube put down my throat as a St John Ambulance volunteer administered moth to mouth resuscitation.

Maybe I can now, 23 years later, stop feeling guilty for having survived or for somehow being responsible for the deaths of others.

sunshineonheath said...

At uni (studying Journalism) we had a talk on the reporting with the father of one of the victims and the editor of the Liverpool Echo. Some hideous stuff went on, stuff that makes the Leveson revelations seem tame.

Sadly, somehow I doubt that if it happened now much would be changed. We would still have papers reporting on how much alcohol the victims had consumed (based on coronary reports that give a mis-leading total, based on "a minimum of..") and instead of doorstepping relatives to nick pictures out of family albums, they'd grab them off Facebook.

Commendably harsh on McKenzie - how does he sleep at night?

PS - minor point, but please can you change Notts Forest to Nottm - Notts is a contraction for the County and used in the name of the local rivals. /Pedantry

DaniC said...

Amazing article......so pleased that all the families now have the truth....let's hope they can now get justice!!

@waltontoffee said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Why is Mackenzie still allowed on TV programmes pontificating in his unpleasant manner? Keep him off our screens!

Nick Reeve said...

I almost don't want to post under Leo's comment - it seems fitting his should be the final word. But I wanted to say thank you for writing this. I was 3 in 1989, but as a lifelong football fan I have been made acutely aware of what Hillsborough meant.
It's only after reading this, though, and feeling so angry, sickened, sick, horrified and a dozen other things, that it puts it all in perspective. The next hurdle, now the truth is out there, is will those responsible be held responsible?

Anonymous said...

nice piece well written an dto the point where might the justice be?

a baggies fan

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, but I really disagree with the idea that such a cover-up couldn't happen again because of camera phones, Twitter etc. Hillsborough took place in front of God knows how many journalists and tens of thousands of witnesses, many of whom have been very vocal for the past 23 years but have been dismissed as whiny Scousers with a victim mentality who just can't let go of the past. What's so depressing is just how effective the smear campaign was. Everyone wanted to believe it.

Anonymous said...

Very well said & very good piece. Thank you.

ARI-Boy said...

A great summarisation of the Hillsborough tragedy…

Football fans, and seekers of justice alike, should be appalled at the way the powers that be tried to evade all responsibility of what happened.

Leo Roberts said...

You're pretty, pretty wrong. 14 'fans' were sentenced to imprisonment and served time, quite rightly. I assume the point of your post is that the innocents who died at zhillsborough were paying penance for the criminal actions of hooligans 3 years before?

tonetalk said...

The admiration and sorrow I feel for the families of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough is hard to put in to words. To fight this long for justice in the face of a bureacratic cover up on all sides is an incredible feat and I am so pleased that today, at last, they have been vindicated for never giving up.
Your article sums up the disgust I feel for those who stopped these poor families from being able to recover from this horrific trauma. Wonderful job Fox.

L Graham Smith said...

A great summary for anyone not familiar with the tragedy and its aftermath and a fitting tribute to the families for those who are familiar and would seek to echo your sentiments of respect for all their courage and persistence.

Will the UK establishment actually follow through with justice? Fire Mackenzie from the BBC? revoke a knighthood?

SaneLynch said...

Not according to this academic journal article - http://www.springerlink.com/content/aw10162650175323/fulltext.pdf. Feel free to set me straight, but I've heard, read, watched numerous times that no one actually served any time for Heysel despite being found guilty of manslaughter. I was merely seeking to correct the authors assertion.

Russell Lei said...

Thank you for this article. Although the tragedy never affected us on this other side of the world, I have since read much into the history of the struggle of the families. My thoughts go out to them, and on this great day of reckoning, I hope they can find some peace.

From Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

It's taken far too long, but finally the truth that Liverpool fans and the families of the 96 have known all along is out there. That is purely down to the dedication and unwavering spirit of the families and those people that supported them throughout, and now maybe the 96 can finally rest a little easier. Let's hope the next step is to get the inquest verdicts quashed and the real cause of death established, and maybe then we can finally see justice for the 96

Jim said...

Wonderful piece of truthful writing. We shall not forget.

Merseysider said...

Powerful piece of journalism, which I hope is widely read. Even today, I am seeing people on the internet who seem to think that the people of the City of Liverpool are making too much of a fuss.

The families and campaigners have shown amazing bravery and tenacity - we should applaud them.

The scale of the cover up and the smear campaign waged against the fans is such, that not everyone seems ready to believe it yet.

I hope other journalists and editors are also now ready to use their skills and influence to redress the balance of information.

Thank you.

pirate said...

Today history has not been rewritten history never alters. What has happened is the truth has come out and lies have been quashed.

pirate said...

There is at least one disgraceful story yet to be exposed and that is how Norman Bettison who helped amend to police statements as a member of South Yorkshire Police became Chief Constable of Merseyside and the manipulation by some of the members of that authority, it's officials and the police.

The Oncoming Storm said...

Great article!

There's a brilliant episode of Life on Mars based all around football hooliganism, at it's conclusion Sam Tyler berates a ringleader how it was people like him who took football away from the genuine fans and made it inevitable that the authorities would respond in a harsh way and then "One day, something happens..." The responsibility for Hillsborough lies solely with Duckenfeld and the other senior officers on duty that day, but had some people not spent the previous 20 years using football as a vehicle for their own agendas then football fans wouldn't have been corralled into cages on that day and the police attitude on the day would have been very different, every football fan who invaded a pitch, beat up people on the terraces or behaved like morons in the streets outside was responsible for football having the poor reputation it did and 96 people would have come home safe that day.

Alex Greene said...

Mercury-worthy material. Second time this week. If you don't win an award for this writing, Foxy, someone in Fleet Street needs to eat their hat. On fire.

Anonymous said...

This piece ought to be reproduced on paper.

Ger said...

That picture from the Mirror has just stunned me. Horrific scenes. I remember it unfolding on tele but seeing that picture has brought it all back again so vividly. May the 96 rest in peace.

Ger

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying the words I cannot.

Anonymous said...

People are saying '2012 is a different world'! REALLY...editors, journalists, MP's, Ministers, Police all involved in scandal, phone tapping, expenses fraud...Do you think for one second 2012 is a better place, more socially moral?
I think not.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Foxy. A wonderful piece. Loved the play on the word hooligan. I've never seen my dad cry like he did on that day when we lost friends in that tragedy. Maybe now Liverpool can start healing as a city in some way.

chimplet said...

I'm a Liverpool fan who's supported the campaign since becoming aware of it when I moved to the city to start Uni. Many native fans couldn't believe that in the rural midlands, many weren't aware of the full details or the boycott of that 'newspaper' and the continuing fight for justice. No one can be unaware of what happened now. I don't think it could happen again with what we know now, and with social media being such a huge part of every day life.

I could read at the age of 3. I used to read the paper when Dad had finished with it (usually in secret). I remember being 5 years-old and reading that abhorrent headline and the subsequent story. I asked my mum why the football fans had been so naughty. She said that I shouldn't believe everything that the paper said. "But the policemen said it, and they don't tell lies," I said back to her. How could she tell me that she thought it was a lie, when she always told me if I got lost that I had to find a policeman? That day really troubles me. I'm all for a free press, but they have to have responsibility. I still don't think they do.

Later on, Souness wrote for the that publication, as did the club captain, Paul Ince. Both did their bit to hold back the cause for justice.

Thank you for this incredible piece of writing, and to everyone for their thoughtful comments - all of you are helping to ensure that the lies cannot continue to be believed.

Justice is coming. YNWA

blackwatertown said...

Excellent piece.

Goat Burglar said...

"Sun reporters still hate that story as much as they did on the day it was printed."

There's precious little evidence of that. Indeed, they seem to tacitly support the story, or else they wouldn't continue to work at the paper.

Foxy said...

yes, workers everywhere should leave their jobs in disgust at the actions of a boss they never worked for 23 years previously. Plonker.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Just remember one thing: it's taken you 23 years to get the truth. Over the water, on a small island not far from France which doesn't have the freedom or variety of press the UK does, people are still being lied to about gross, systemic abuse of children in care - 29 years after the closure of the main home where it was perpetrated.

The 96 have some degree of "closure" (though some wounds will never heal). Those abused in the care of the States of Jersey do not. Please remember us.

Picky said...

I can just about accept that on the 15th of April 1989 at Hillsborough Stadium, appalling mistakes were made by individuals that led to the deaths of 96 human beings. People make mistakes, it's an intrinsic part of our species. I'm not accepting those mistakes as justified or forgiveable, just that they happened on the day.
What should have happened afterwards is acknowledgement that mistakes were made, the culprits dealt with robustly, fairly and properly, and steps taken to ensure that similar mistakes could never be made again.
What I find utterly unacceptable is people in positions of trust lying and dishonestly falsifying evidence to deflect blame from the guilty towards other people and organisations.
I hope with all my heart that the real truth can revealed and any individuals identified as falsifying evidence or perverting the course of justice be dealt with openly, fairly by the Judicial system. Transparency is of the utmost importance now. No more cover-ups, no more corruption. Ninety six families would like the peace and justice they should have got in the weeks and months following the events at Hillsborough in 1989.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece. Should be required reading across the country, in every school, every police station, newsroom, court and pub. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is wrong to say 39 were killed at Heysel "when two rival groups of hooligans clashed". The deaths occurred because Liverpool fans launched a series of charges into a neutral area and panicking spectators fled. It is also wrong to imply that any of the 39 killed were involved in any fighting. The nightmare of Hillsborough should not be allowed to lesson the horror of Heysel.

Anonymous said...

Compelling and authoritative – I agree this is one of the most powerful pieces of journalism I have read. The scandal of Hillsborough tells an all too familiar story. The police whose job it is to protect the public treating victims as perpetrators. Worse still, we again find some police officers and some journalists scurrilously invading the dignity of the dead and their grieving families in search of material that could give credence to their tissue of lies. And again doing so at a vulnerable and painful time for the families. What is unique about Hillsborough is the number of victims involved; the scope of deceit, and length time the truth was covered-up. It amounts to abusive defamatory law breaking on an industrial / scale. Justice demands that those with serious questions to answer are dragged back from retirement and that they face criminal charges. Honours should be stripped from all those who dishonoured the truth; and those most guilty, they should be jailed. @WindsorFellow

Anonymous said...

A superp piece of w rioting. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wrong.

The casualties occured when innocent Liverpool and Juventus fans tried to flee an incresingly intense hail of missiles thrown between hooligans of both sides and a wall collapsed.

"As kick-off approached, the throwing..." (i.e between BOTH sets of hooligans) "...became more intense. A group of Liverpool fans moved towards the side perimeter wall, near to the corner flag. Some tried to climb over the wall to escape. Many escaped; however, the wall could not withstand the force of the fleeing Juventus supporters and collapsed.

It was at this point that the majority of the deaths occurred"

Anonymous said...

You'll Never Walk Alone, thanks for what you have done for every football fan.

Wolves Fans salute you.

Anonymous said...

An open letter to Jeremy Clifford, Editor of the Sheffield Star

Dear Mr Clifford,

On a day when other organisations were apologising for their actions before, during and after the Hillsborough Tragedy, the lack of any apology from the Sheffield Star is conspicuous by its absence.

The Sun Newspaper have apologised unreservedly for their reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy and described it as "the blackest day in this newspaper's history". However late and hollow this apology is I am saddened and disappointed to see that the Sheffield Star has made no reference to its own reporting of the tragedy.

Under the front page headline "Fans in Drunken Attacks on Police: Ticketless thugs staged crush to gain entry" your newspaper reported the allegations of the police which have now been entirely discredited. Yet the Sheffield Star has chosen to make no reference to this in the days following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report.

Although the Sheffield Star's reporting may have been made with a "lesser degree of certainty" to that of the Sun’s, the fact remains that these lies were printed on the front page, under a headline which forced these untruths firmly into the public eye.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel found no evidence to support the story that your newspaper ran on the 18th April 1989 and yet your organisation has done nothing to distance itself or apologise for reporting these lies.

It is almost beyond belief that in May 2012 you saw fit publish an apology to “Sheffield United Football Club, its fans and people who were upset by this” for an advert placed in your newspaper by Sheffield Wednesday supporters mocking Sheffield United’s inability to gain promotion, and yet you have chosen to ignore the hurt and upset that you caused the families and friends of the 96 dead, and the people of Liverpool, by your reporting of the despicable lies surrounding the events of this day.

Many Sheffield organisations have come under the spotlight as a result of the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, and most have had the dignity and grace to apologise for the part that they played in the disaster. Today your organisation should feel ashamed that you have not sought to do the same.

The Sheffield Star 18/04/1989;
http://hillsborough.independent.gov....0000030001.pdf

Anonymous said...

RIP the 96 and prayers for all affected then and now. Thank you for such a straight, beautifully written piece of true journalism - you renew my respect for your profession... Moved to tears of sadness and fury. Thank you. @GlasSydney

Anonymous said...

...and police still choosing security over safety with tactics of kettling.

Anonymous said...

Chapeau. Well written.

Anonymous said...

Exactly....

helen casey said...

well said and written

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece. I read it with tears at the terrible suffering caused and fury at the injustice done. We have been badly hiplet down by those we should be able to depend on; police, politicians and elements of the press. You have pointed the finger of blame firmly at the real hooligans involved. I’d like to think that this sort of thing won’t happen again and that those who caused or covered it up will be brought to justice – but i doubt it. Thank goodness the relatives and friends of those involved have been. prepared to struggle for so many years to get at the truth and make it public. @Jackoherts

Spawny666 said...

The only fault I find with reading this today is that it's a clear re-post of an article that you obviously wrote just after the Hillsborough Independent Panel released their report last year. That being said, you still state with great eloquence the reasons Liverpool fans in general, and the families of the 96 in particular, didn't just shut up and get on with their lives. We finally got the truth last year, hopefully this year we'll get the justice. #JFT96 #YNWA

Bercher said...

A well written, concise and honest piece of journalism Foxy. Well the Truth has been written by a respectable journalist and I believe this to be the only version that happened that day.

Foxy said...

That's why it's got last September's date on it. D'uh.

Tony Winyard said...

Excellent article. I sat there that day watching it unfold on TV dumbstruck, and it's still shocking to think that authorities would even think of attempting the cover up that they did!
Re.Heysel; Very little is ever mentioned of the coin throwing that prompted it all. Juventus fans were throwing coins at Liverpool fans before the Liverpool fans, understandably had enough, as the police did nothing to stop it. I'm an Arsenal fan, but a good friend of mine was there that day and told me what happened.
Why anyone would ever buy The Sun has forever baffled me!

Spawny666 said...

I realised that the second time I read it, and after I posted my response. The second part of my response stands though. Thank you for writing this. I hadn't 'discovered' you back in September :-)

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