Anybody else at work, and not able to concentrate? If you’re a Liverpool fan, chances are your lack of focus today won’t be a result of usual office boredom for once.
The files of documents and evidence relating to the Hillsborough disaster are released today, and as I write this at lunchtime, the early information coming out is appalling:
First news trickling out and it’s ugly. Blood taken from bodies to test for alcohol. If none, they checked for criminal records (@TonyEvansTimes)
On a personal level, I find it very difficult to describe my feelings regarding Hillsborough. I was only nine years old when it happened, I wasn’t there, I don’t personally know anyone who was there, I hadn’t been to a football match at the time, and I never experienced the dark days of going to football when fans were fenced in like animals.
Yet, as a Liverpool fan, whatever your age, race or religion, Hillsborough’s always there, isn’t it?
People in my office aren’t talking amongst themselves about the files being released today, but a few people have asked me about it. Aside from saying I want the truth come out, I don’t know what to say. But then who doesn’t want the truth to come out?
And even if it does, how does that affect me, really? I’ll be pleased for the families and friends of the victims, but beyond that? My feeling (whatever it is) won’t go away entirely. The tragedy and subsequent lies will have still happened to a group of people who I am proud to consider myself a member of – Liverpool supporters – but not to me directly.
Maybe this rings true with someone reading this, maybe it’s rubbish, maybe I should delete it…. Having posted this on a Liverpool forum I know one thing though; I feel better for putting these thoughts out there.
Justice for the 96. YNWA.
UPDATE: Since I published this at lunchtime, Kelvin MacKenzie (the editor of The Sun when the ‘The Truth’ front page was published) issued a statement, which included the following:
“Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline.
“I too was totally misled. Twenty three ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium.
“I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster”.
The last line I have quoted there really sticks in my craw. In essence his ‘apology’ is a rewording of what MacKenzie has said all along; “it sounded true so I printed it” in other words. So the following, taken from today’s report sounds true, does it?
We are as sorry and shocked as anyone about these tragic deaths but to paint all the Liverpool fans as lilly whites [sic] is wrong. As we struggled in appalling conditions to save lives, fans standing up the terrace were openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead. As policemen on the pitch tried to save lives they were hampered by other Liverpool fans running and kicking and punching them.
No reason to believe that this was a lie? Stick your apology, Kelvin, it’s far, far too late.