In the last hour, I sent the following email to Alex Beam and his editors at the Boston Globe. Beam is the author of the article titled “Hardball in Liverpool” published in the Globe today and linked earlier on this site.
Hillsborough 7 December, 2010 18:45
“Mr Julian Lee”
Your column of today titled Hardball in Liverpool is deeply offensive and further illustrates the ignorance in the wider public of one the worst disasters to hit soccer in the late 20th century. While I am not overly familiar with your work, a brief search has indicated that you write for maximum impact with complete disregard for the truth. Your main aim is to elicit a response. With the aforementioned article, I believe you have achieved this aim.
To call Hillsborough a riot is misguided at best but more accurately it is a complete fallacy and one of the many lies perpetuated to this day by the initial coverage in the now boycotted publication to which you refer in your column. Below I will give you a brief history of the Hillsborough disaster, and if you bother to read it, I hope you will understand why “their excitable internet fans” still agonise over this event.
On April 15th 1989, Liverpool FC were to meet Nottingham Forest FC in the semi-final of England’s premier knockout competition, the FA Cup. Sadly, this game passed into memory for all the wrong reasons. At precisely 15:06, 6 minutes after kick-off, referee Ray Lewis, was forced to abandon the match with spectators coming over the perimeter fencing in an attempt the escape the fatal crush.
Lord Justice Taylor was appointed to conduct an inquiry into the disaster. The Taylor Report named failure of police control as the primary cause of the disaster. While a crush was developing outside the ground, an inexperienced match day commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield ordered the opening of exit gate C. This merely transferred the crush from outside the ground to the even more confined spaces inside Hillsborough and in particular the central pens of the Lepping’s Lane terrace. I suggest you visit this site for further education on the Hillsborough disaster, http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/history/index.shtm.
96 fans never came home that day. That’s 96 brothers, sisters, sons, cousins, daughters, and fathers, who did not return. Thousands of lives touched by tragedy and your crass, insensitive remarks have done little to alleviate their suffering which continues to this day.
Justice for the 96.
I urge you all to email similar and of course better to the addresses above.
YNWA and JFT96