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Hillsborough 1989

This is merely a Swedish Liverpool fan point of view of what happened at Hillsborough that tragic day.

The Background on the Hillsborough disaster

April 15 1989: a semi-final in the English FA cup was to be played at Hillsborough, Sheffield. The game was between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest.

On the morning of April 15, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield arrived at Hillsborough to have his one and only speech about the match. The tactic was easy, "firm but fare" police activity. No one gets in without a ticket, no one gets in drunk.

All the Liverpool fans had to enter through the same gate "Leppings Lane"; 24,000 LFC fans through one gate of 5-6 entrances. While Forest fans had 60 entrances to their stands. The number of Nottingham Forest fans I have no knowledge of. Outside the ground, there was no queue system so the order was terrible and 24,000 fans through the same gate forced Chief Superintendent Duckenfield to open an exit gate to take off the pressure outside the ground. Inside the ground there is a tunnel leading the fans to the terrace behind the goal. If the tunnel had been closed the remaining fans would have been forced to go around and enter the terraces that still were half crowded. But the tunnel was never closed. And 24,000 Liverpool fans were trapped in the same terrace.

The kick off gave Liverpool the match underway and after 6 minutes Peter Beardsley had a shot just over the crossbar. If he had scored the number of deaths would have been much higher. That was the last thing that happened in the game. Liverpool fans started to climb over the safety fence onto the pitch. The safety fence had gates that could have been opened, but that never happened. During the pitch invasion Chief Super Duckenfield was paralyzed and so were his Bobbies. Nothing happened for a while. The fans and civilians and some of the police helped the dying fans on the pitch. Only one ambulance drove onto the pitch the rest of the ambulances stood parked outside the ground with highly skilled medical trained personel and they remained there. Some of the injured got to a hospital and the rest of them were taken to the Hillsborough gymnasium. 95 of them died at Hillsborough or the hospital. One died 4 years later with brain damage caused by the disaster. He was kept alive at a hospital.

Chief Superintendent blamed drunken and ticketless Liverpool fans for having the exit gate forced down. Then he said that the Liverpool fans robbed and urinated on the dying people on the pitch. The Sun printed this as "the truth" and is still to this day boycotted among Liverpool fans all over England.

There were and still are video cameras placed along the terraces so that fan violence and overcrowding are to be recognized. But the police claimed that the shape of the cameras were so poor that they were no good. It is said that the Liverpool terrace was filmed just before the exit gate was opened but the tape was lost at the trial. But if the cameras were so poor they should have put some stewards at the terraces and at the stands. But that was also never done.

Chief Superintendent Duckenfield had no knowledge of the exits, his knowledge of Hillsborough was limited. At the trial he refused to say how many times he had visited the football ground before the game.

1991 at the trial, the jury came to the verdict of accidental death, which gave no punishment whatsoever to the policemen. Chief Superintendent Duckenfield retired at the age of 46 on medical grounds. The families are still fighting for justice. Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest have joined forces to straighten out what really happened at Hillsborough to give the families what they deserve, peace and quiet after 9 years. 96 people died for nothing and their crime was that they went to a football match.

Justice for the 96.

-Mika Mäntynen member 25695 LFCSCSB (Liverpool Football Club Supporters Club Scandinavian Branch)