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.
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 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.
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.