Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Memories Of Hillsborough

Even those on Merseyside who are too young to remember the event know about Hillsborough. In a grimly necessary way it's been passed down from the generations(s) affected to the succeeding ones. The injunction is crystal clear: never forget what happened, never forget who were at fault, never forget the attempts by those responsible to evade action, & never forget the lies & smear campaigns utilised by those culpable & the tabloids to pin the blame on those most affected.
Next month, of course, sees the 20th anniversary. Each anniversary is painful, but this one doubly so.
Last Sunday's Observer ran a curiously-timed piece on the tragedy, carrying descriptions of that day & its aftermath from six people intimately & irrevocably affected ( ).
One of them notes that the youngest of the 96 to lose their lives, a 10-year old boy, was a cousin of the current Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard. The testimonies expose not just the astonishing lack of crowd control by South Yorkshire Police (I'll never forget being told by a constable from the force on the way out of the ground that he had no radio communication), but their callous & indifferent attitude even when the scale of the disaster began to emerge.
The article quotes a woman, "Jenny" (all the names in the piece have been changed for obvious reasons) whose husband "Ian" was behind the Leppings Lane goal. He committed suicide in 2007:
"About two or three weeks before Ian died, there was all this stuff about Kelvin MacKenzie being on Newsnight, and Ian got really angry. I didn't realise just how much it bothered him. His sleep was being disturbed, but he was also worrying about his business. He gave up nursing 10 years after Hillsborough and he set up a computer company. For seven or eight years it went well, then it started going downhill."
The article also features an account from Anne Williams, whose son Kevin lost his life in the disaster & who has campaigned ever since for a new independent inquest into the events of that day.
Hillsborough Justice Campaign: .

No comments: