Hillsborough Disaster

On April 15, 1989, 96 Liverpool supporters died while attending an FA Cup Semifinal at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

 

Hillsborough_memorial_at_anfie
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the darkest day in the history of Liverpool Football Club, know simply as the Hillsborough disaster.

 

Although the press initially reported this as an incidence of fan rioting, it was later found to be an extraordinary case of negligence by the authorities in charge of the event.  The Lord Taylor Report (commissioned by the British government) found the cause of the disaster to be poor police handling of such a large crowd.  Please click on that link to learn more about this event.

 

At the time sections of soccer stadiums in England were standing room only.  Another factor that came into play that afternoon was that there were fences around the perimeters of the field to keep the fans from coming onto the field.  No one ever assumed that these fences would be a detriment to the safety of the fans in the stands.

 

On that fateful day the control of the flow of the crowd was poor and thousands of Liverpool supporting ticket holders were led into a pen that was severely overcrowded.  The official capacity of the pen was 2,000 people; the Taylor Report estimates that over 3,000 people were shepherded into this pen by kickoff.

 

This led to a crush of humanity inside the pen.  The fans were so tightly packed in that many of the fatalities of the day died standing up of compressive asphyxia. That’s right, they were crushed together so tight that they died standing on their feet because they couldn’t breath.

Photo removed per request.

 

For someone from the United States, this entire concept is difficult to grasp.  It seems barbaric the way the ticket holders were treated at that time in Britain.  I’ve grown up with the concept that a ticket to a sporting event entitled you to a seat.

 

96 dead, 766 injured, and countless lives and families ruined by the events of that day.  79 of the fatalities that day were aged 30 or younger.  The oldest fatality was 67, the youngest aged 10 (a cousin of current Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard).

 

Rest in peace to the 96 who went to watch a soccer game that day and never came back.  You’ll Never Walk Alone!
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7 Responses to Hillsborough Disaster

  1. Louisa says:

    I just wondered if anyone know who the poor lad is in the red jacket and if he survived. This image has haunted me for years. RIP the 96

    • Andrew says:

      I have felt the same way. I did some research and I’m now fairly certain that the individual in the red jacket is a young woman. Sadly, she lost her life that day, as did her friend to her immediate right. It’s not obvious from this single photo, but both women were at least unconscious when this photo was taken. I’m not sure many publishers would know that. There are other photos taken from this same camera, and from photo to photo, neither woman moves an inch. They appear to be suspended against the chaotic backdrop. A sad and tragic end to beautiful lives.
      May they rest in peace.

  2. Christine mayor says:

    Why the photo could be someone’s loved one that has passed …

  3. Lisa says:

    This photo is one of the lasting memories I have of that disaster. I remember the front page of the newspaper the following day with those poor people’s faces crushed against the fence. When I think of the Hillsborough disaster, that image is one of the most vivid I have….. RIP the 96

  4. Cormac O'Kane says:

    I feel sorry for the familys of all those people who lost there lives on that day and I wish that would never happen again

  5. Kai says:

    A very very sad day. The lady in the red jacket is Marian McCabe, the guy in the white top behind her is Francis McAllister, the blonde lady is Marian’s friend Inger Shah. The majority at the front, at the center where this is taken lost their lives. RIP the 96, you will never be forgotten

  6. Lorenzo Grimaldi says:

    yehhh!! this picture is dramatic!!! I was 13 when the disaster happened and I do remember this picture and many more relating the poor Marian Mccabe….however tthe guy behind her with long hair and beard is not Francis Joseph McAlilister but Martin Christopher Malone who thanks God survived!!!!

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