Never forgotten

Today has been a special day in Liverpool. A day of truth and vindication. The day the Prime Minister of the day at last said ‘I am profoundly sorry’ for something that happened over twenty three years ago.

On 15th April 1989 ninety six Liverpool football supporters were killed during a match at Hillsborough, in Sheffield. And it has taken the families of the dead until today to have the truth of what happened that day proved and acknowledged.

This morning at the Cathedral the Hillsborough Independent Panel presented their report to the bereaved families. Having been given access to all the papers, including those previously withheld or edited by South Yorkshire Police.

Today I walked down Bold Street in possession of the truth. We all did.

Today we learned the truth. That it was not the people of Liverpool who had caused the deaths of their fellow fans. But the actions of the Sheffield Wednesday football club, South Yorkshire Police and the emergency services. Who then immediately compounded their errors on the day by immediately briefing against the Liverpool fans to the UK gutter press. Causing twenty three years of grief and discrimination to the bereaved, the survivors – and the city of Liverpool.

And this evening we gathered at St George’s Hall. The people of Liverpool.

To remember.

And to bear quiet witness. Justice for the 96.

A quiet first hour of solemn music and contemplation.

Candles for the 96.

Then the city dignitaries and the families of the 96 began to arrive.

With their copies of the report, the vindication of twenty three years work.

All the families now here.

Kenny Dalglish on the left, manager of Liverpool in 1989. Revered then and ever since. Went to all of the funerals. Will later be one of those to read out the names.

Margaret Aspinall, mother of one of the deceased, welcomes Andy Burnham. The minister who finally got the files opened.

Young Liverpool FC players complete the display of candles.

We are all here.

And what followed was dignified and deeply moving. A mixture of vindication, faith in each other and a determination to now see that justice is finally done. We are glad to have had our apology. Deeply grateful to everyone on the Independent Panel for the quality and depth of their work. For the information they have given us all to work with, to get justice, at last, for the 96.

‘ A heart as big as Liverpool’

‘You’ll never walk alone’

Today we got the truth, at long, long last.

And coming home on the bus, it’s full, but everyone is quiet and thoughtful. Just one murmured voice from a woman in the seat in front of me. I think at first she’s reading a message on her phone to the man beside her. Then I realise she’s reading him sections of the Independent Panel’s Report. Studying the evidence.

See also: Everton and Liverpool, a walk.

11 thoughts on “Never forgotten

  1. Jan Baird Hasak

    Thank you for alerting your readers to this injustice and apology. It’s a part of world history of which I wasn’t aware until now. I’m glad that the truth came out, and was acknowledged. xo

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Jan. Yesterday was emotional for all of us here. A mixture of being glad to have the truth, at last. And fury at the extent of the British establishment’s cover up of the evidence for almost a quarter of a century.

      Reply
  2. stan cotter

    Has anyone yet seen the front page of tomorrow’s “Sun” they are absolutely so unbeleivable. They stirred so much up, they made up so many lies , and they stirred up so much hate towards Liverpool people. And today they have the nerve to show their front page as “The truth at last.” I havent bought this rubbish that calls itself a newspaper since that day and never will. In the days of outside toilets its only place would be on a nail “down the yard.”

    Reply
  3. Jay

    This post is a superb photographic record of the day. A lovely post.

    Let’s hope now the incompetent officers responsible end up in a court room to answer for what they did.

    Peace!

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thank you, Jay. What they did, for all those years, goes well beyond incompetence. As Steve Rotherham said at last night’s service ‘What we are seeking is not retribution but responsibility. We want those responsible to be held responsible.’

      Reply
    2. stan cotter

      Sadly Jay that day should never have happened. The police Sheffield council Sheffield Wednesday club and the F.A. were all at fault.

      It’s just been made so aggravating, when we know of the cover up made over this day, and the absolute rubbish that was printed in The Sun, which we knew then and has been proved since was a pack of lies.

      All of these people should be hounded until they pay for their ignorance. It will not be a victory for the families of the 96, but I believe only then will there be a complete closure on the case.

      Reply
      1. Jay

        I totally agree with you fella! I know every single Wolves fan round here support justice for the 96 100%. I’m sure that goes for every club. They should never be forgotten but they should not have been lost at all. There has got to be criminal proceedings now. I really hope the families get their day in court and see the criminals responsible jailed for what they did. Take it easy man. The world of football is with you on this mate.

      2. Ronnie Hughes Post author

        Thanks for the Wolves support Jay. Much appreciated. We’re all so glad we can go anywhere now and not ever feel we have to apologise for ourselves.

        Strange how vindicating this is. And realising how much it’s hurt so many of us for so long.

      3. stan cotter

        Hi Jay, I’m not a football fan, I’m a Scouser, my only sport ever was cycling. We all like to see good sport and fair play, and we didn’t here.

  4. Jay

    Ronnie, Liverpool fans have never had to apologise for what happened (not in my house anyway!). No one in their right mind ever believed the reports that we read about the tragedy. If the South Yorkshire Police hadn’t been Thatchers boys stamping on the miners you’d have seen a different Taylor inquiry. It was all a fix, from the highest levels down. I’m glad Cameron apologised even though I hate the Tories and that toff. But fair play to him for his speech apologising, at last he’s actually done something worthy with himself. Long overdue man, long overdue. And remember, you’ll never walk alone.

    Reply

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