By Emily Cooke @Emily_C_B1ondi3
15th of April 2011 a day like any other to many but for those who are aware it’s a day of almighty significance. Today marked the 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. Where at 3:06 pm on a beautiful sunny day tragic events rippled through Sheffield Wednesday’s home ground. An estimation of 20,000 fan of Liverpool hoping to see their mighty reds victorious instead though it’s become iconic in all our hearts as the day our brother and sister never came home.
The match was a FA Cup semi final fans all buzzing with anticipation and excitement at watching their heroes in action. The match was scheduled to kick off at 3pm but due to unannounced road works many fans we late getting to the stadium causing a build up at the smaller Leppings Lane end of the stadium. This in its self was an issue as it had been previously assigned that Leppings Lane being the smaller end would accommodate the Liverpool supporters regardless of them having a larger following than than of their opponents on the day Nottingham Forrest. So as the build up grew and the bottle neck began to build up the problem began as those who had been refused entry could not get out to leave and those trying to get in could not proceed. The police officer in charge then ordered the opening of a gate that had been meant as an exit that had no turnstiles to be opened causing a huge flow of fans entering the stadium. There was no officials or officers to redirect fans from the already over flowing central pens and so the huge force of people went they only way they could see to into the tunnel and the full pens. At 3.06pm the match was stopped because of what many thought was pitch invasion but as players approached fans who had gotten on to the field they were faced with what the fans told them the chilling words of “there’s people dying in there”. The aftermath of this day lead to a boycott of the Sun newspaper for its foul and slanderous claims. And also to a fight that has so far lasted 22 years in getting those at fault named as responsible for the tragic events of that day the South Yorkshire Police for who failed to manage the crowd in in opening that gate. In total 96 lost their lives that day brothers sisters fathers sons mother daughters cousins nieces and nephews never to return home.
The anniversary of the disaster is a very sad day for not only Liverpool fans but unites most of the football community. Today watching the memorial I was reminded of just how united as a team and fan base we stand in our quest to ensure no lives ever be lost again by mistakes of those who should no better and should be capable of dealing with situations they are said to be trained for.
Today showed great solidarity as players past and present and fans old and young stood together shed tears for those lost and maintained our willingness to keep on fighting for the justice of 96 angels gone too soon. 96 who should never of died. 96 who we will never forget.