Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy that claimed the lifes of 96 Liverpool football fans.

I still remember the day of the tragedy as the news came through. Standing on the terraces at Bayview, watching East Fife draw 1-1 with Stenhousemuir.

At the back of three, the tranny men in the crowd related the news that there had been crowd trouble at the game and the game had been halted. Hooliganism we thought.

Then they related there had been reports of deaths. We could only listen on in disbelief.

Then the tannoy announcement at half time that the game had been abandoned and that a major tragedy was unfolding. Any events at Bayview barely mattered after that.

After the game, some went to the social club to watch the news unfold. I went home and I remember sitting motionless and glued to my TV screens for the rest of that night, scarcely able to take in what had happened to innocent people going to cheer their team on in a big match.

20 years later and it's still hard to comprehend the scale of things and I still shed a tear when I watch the images repeated.

I made time to watch yesterday's memorial service at Anfield today, along with some of the other programmes dedicated to the events of that tragic day. I've had tears in my eyes from start to finish.

That no one has been held accountable or reponsible for those events to this very day is sickening. Those affected have acted with such grace and dignity on the ensuing years and are an example to everyone.

With the day being back fresh in everyone's minds again it is time to repressurise the UK governement to relook at the tragedy. Every football fan should act to bring the justice for the 96 and not stop asking "why, why, why?" until the answers are known.

No one should die watching the team they love. No one should die because of the mistakes made that day.

Everyone would be moved by watching and hearing about the events that day, but as a football fan if affects you the most. The 96 that died were part of your people, just perhaps a different family.

That could have been any one of us that was taken that day. That's how it feels.

There has to be justice for the 96. Only then may they rest in peace.

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