Hillsborough disaster was a human crush at Hillsborough football
stadium in Sheffield, England on 15 April 1989, during the 1988–89
FA Cup semi-final game between Liverpool and
Nottingham Forest. The
resulting 96 fatalities and 766 injuries makes this the worst disaster
in British sporting history. The crush occurred in the two
standing-only central pens in the Leppings Lane stand, allocated to
Liverpool supporters. Shortly before kick-off, in an attempt to ease
overcrowding outside the entrance turnstiles, the police match
commander, chief superintendent David Duckenfield, ordered exit gate C
to be opened, leading to an influx of even more supporters to the
already overcrowded central pens.
In the days and weeks following the disaster, police fed false stories
to the press suggesting that hooliganism and drinking by Liverpool
supporters were the root causes of the disaster. Blaming of Liverpool
fans persisted even after the
Taylor Report of 1990, which found that
the main cause of the disaster was a failure of control by South
Yorkshire Police (SYP). Following the Taylor report, the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ruled there was no evidence to justify
prosecution of any individuals or institutions. The disaster also
led to a number of safety improvements in the largest English football
grounds, notably the elimination of fenced standing terraces in favour
of all-seater stadiums in the top two tiers of English football.
The first coroner's inquest into the Hillsborough disaster, completed
in 1991, ruled all deaths that occurred that day to be accidental.
Families strongly rejected the original coroner's findings, and
their fight to have the matter re-opened persisted, despite Lord
Justice Stuart-Smith concluding in 1997 there was no justification for
a new inquiry. Private prosecutions brought by the Hillsborough
Families Support Group against Duckenfield and his deputy Bernard
Murray failed in 2000.
In 2009, a
Hillsborough Independent Panel
Hillsborough Independent Panel was formed to review all
evidence. Reporting in 2012, it confirmed Taylor's 1990
criticisms, while also revealing new details about the extent of
police efforts to shift blame onto fans, the role of other emergency
services, and the error of the first coroner's inquest.
The panel's report resulted in the previous findings of accidental
death being quashed, and the creating of a new coroner's inquest. It
also produced two criminal investigations led by police in 2012:
Operation Resolve to look into the causes of the disaster, and by the
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to examine actions by
police in the aftermath.
The second coroner's inquest was held from 1 April 2014 to 26 April
2016. It ruled that the supporters were unlawfully killed due to
grossly negligent failures by police and ambulance services to fulfil
their duty of care to the supporters. The inquest also found
that the design of the stadium contributed to the crush, and that
supporters were not to blame for the dangerous conditions. Public
anger over the actions of his force during the second inquest led the
SYP chief constable David Crompton to be suspended following the
verdict. In June 2017, six people were charged with various
offences including manslaughter by gross negligence, misconduct in
public office and perverting the course of justice for their actions
during and after the disaster.
1 Before the disaster
1.1.1 Previous incidents
1.2 Yorkshire police command changes
2.3.1 SYMAS response to the crush
2.5 Disaster appeal fund
2.6 Effect on survivors
4 1989 coroner's hearing
5 Taylor Inquiry
5.1 Police control
5.2 Behaviour of fans
5.3 Police evasion
5.4 Effect on stadiums in Britain
6 Stuart-Smith scrutiny
7 Hillsborough Independent Panel
8 Second coroner's hearing
Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation
9 Criminal and civil cases
9.2 Psychiatric injury and other litigation
10.1 Permanent memorials
10.2 Memorial ceremonies
10.3 10th anniversary
10.4 20th anniversary
10.5 Other tributes
11.1 Media portrayal
11.1.1 The Sun
11.1.2 The Times
11.1.4 The Spectator
11.3 Charles Itandje
11.4 Jeremy Hunt
11.5 Fans' chants
11.6 Oliver Popplewell
11.7 David Crompton
11.8 Civil servant
11.9 Steven Cohen
11.10 Bernard Ingham
12 Television and theatre
12.1 1989: After Dark
12.2 1996 drama
12.3 2014/2016 documentary
12.4 Stage plays
14 Further reading
15 External links
Before the disaster
The West Stand of
Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium, where
the disaster unfolded, seen two years later in 1991.
Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, the home of
was selected by the Football Association (FA) as a neutral venue to
host the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and
football clubs. Kick-off was scheduled for 3:00 pm on 15 April,
and fans were advised to take up positions 15 minutes beforehand.
At the time of the disaster, most English football stadiums had high
steel fencing between the spectators and the playing field in response
to both friendly and hostile pitch invasions. Hooliganism had affected
the sport for some years, and was particularly virulent in
England. From 1974, when these security standards were put in
place, crushes occurred in several English stadiums.
A report by Eastwood & Partners for a safety certificate for the
stadium in 1978 concluded that although it failed to meet the
recommendations of the Green Guide, a guide to safety at sports
grounds, the consequences were minor. It emphasised the general
situation at Hillsborough was satisfactory compared with most
Risks associated with confining fans in pens were highlighted by the
Committee of Inquiry into Crowd Safety at Sports Grounds (the
Popplewell inquiry) after the
Bradford City stadium fire
Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985.
It made recommendations on the safety of crowds penned within
fences, including that "all exit gates should be manned at all
times ... and capable of being opened immediately from the inside by
anyone in an emergency".
Hillsborough hosted five FA Cup semi-finals in the 1980s. A crush
occurred at the Leppings Lane end of the ground during the 1981
semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and
Wolverhampton Wanderers after
hundreds more spectators were permitted to enter the terrace than
could safely be accommodated, resulting in 38 injuries, including
broken arms, legs and ribs. Police believed there had been a real
chance of fatalities had swift action not been taken, and recommended
the club reduce its capacity. In a post-match briefing to discuss the
Sheffield Wednesday chairman
Bert McGee remarked:
"Bollocks—no one would have been killed". The incident
Sheffield Wednesday to alter the layout at the
Leppings Lane end, dividing the terrace into three separate pens to
restrict sideways movement. This 1981 change and other later
changes to the stadium invalidated the stadium's safety certificate.
The safety certificate was never renewed and the stated capacity of
the stadium was never changed. The terrace was divided into
five pens when the club was promoted to the First Division in 1984,
and a crush barrier near the access tunnel was removed in 1986 to
improve the flow of fans entering and exiting the central enclosure.
After the crush in 1981, Hillsborough was not chosen to host an FA Cup
semi-final for six years until 1987. Serious overcrowding was
observed at the 1987 quarter-final between
Sheffield Wednesday and
Coventry City and again during the semi-final between Coventry
Leeds United at Hillsborough. Leeds were assigned the
Leppings Lane end. A Leeds fan described disorganisation at the
turnstiles and no steward or police direction inside the stadium,
resulting in the crowd in one enclosure becoming so compressed he was
at times unable to raise and clap his hands. Other accounts told
of fans having to be pulled to safety from above.
Nottingham Forest met in the semi-final at Hillsborough
in 1988, and fans reported crushing at the Leppings Lane end.
Liverpool lodged a complaint before the match in 1989. One supporter
wrote to the Football Association and Minister for Sport complaining,
"The whole area was packed solid to the point where it was impossible
to move and where I, and others around me, felt considerable concern
for personal safety".
Yorkshire police command changes
Police presence at the previous year's FA Cup semi-final (also between
Nottingham Forest and also at Hillsborough Stadium) had
been overseen by
Chief Superintendent Brian L. Mole. Mole had
supervised numerous police deployments at the stadium in the past. In
October 1988 a probationary PC in Mole's F division, South Yorkshire
was handcuffed, photographed, and stripped by fellow officers in a
fake robbery, as a hazing prank. Four officers resigned and seven were
disciplined over the incident.
Chief Superintendent Mole himself was
to be transferred to the Barnsley division for "career development
reasons". The transfer was to be done with immediate effect on 27
Meanwhile, Hillsborough was accepted as the FA Cup semi-final venue on
20 March 1989 by the Football Association. The first planning
meeting for the semi-final took place on 22 March and was attended by
Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, not by Mole. No
known minutes exist of this meeting. Although Mole could have been
assigned the semi-final match's planning despite his transfer, that
was not done. This left planning for the semi-final match to
Duckenfield, who had never commanded a sell-out football match before,
and who had "very little, if any" training or personal experience in
how to do so.
Leppings Lane was the sole access point for Liverpool supporters. The
approach has been described as a "bottleneck" in which attendees had
to fill two sides of the stadium.
As is common at domestic matches in England, opposing supporters were
Nottingham Forest supporters were allocated the South
Stands and Spion Kop[a] on the east end, with a combined capacity of
29,800, reached by 60 turnstiles spaced along two sides of the ground.
Liverpool supporters were allocated the North and West ends (Leppings
Lane), holding 24,256 fans, reached by 23 turnstiles from a narrow
concourse. Turnstiles numbered 1 to 10, 10 in all, provided access to
9,700 seats in the North Stand; a further 6 turnstiles (numbered 11 to
16) provided access to 4,456 seats in the upper tier of the West
Stand. Finally, 7 turnstiles (lettered A to G) provided access to
10,100 standing places in the lower tier of the West Stand. Although
Liverpool had more supporters,
Nottingham Forest was allocated the
larger area, to avoid the approach routes of rival fans crossing. As a
result of the stadium layout and segregation policy, turnstiles that
would normally have been used to enter the North Stand from the east
were off-limits and all Liverpool supporters had to converge on a
single entrance at Leppings Lane. On match day, radio and television
advised fans without tickets not to attend. Rather than establishing
crowd safety as the priority, clubs, local authorities and the police
viewed their roles and responsibilities through the 'lens of
Three chartered trains transported Liverpool supporters to Sheffield
for a match fixture[b] in 1988, but only one such train ran in 1989.
The 350 passengers arrived on the grounds about 2:20 pm. Many
supporters wished to enjoy the day and were in no hurry to enter the
stadium too early. Some supporters were delayed by roadworks while
Pennines on the
M62 motorway which resulted in minor
traffic congestion. Between 2:30 pm and 2:40 pm, there was a
build-up of supporters outside the turnstiles facing Leppings Lane,
eager to enter the stadium before the game began. At 2:46 pm,
the BBC's football commentator
John Motson had already noticed the
imbalance of distribution of people in the Leppings Lane pens. While
rehearsing for the match off-air, he suggested a nearby cameraman look
as well. "There's gaps, you know, in parts of the ground. Well, if
you look at the Liverpool end, to the right of the goal, there's
hardly anybody on those steps...that's it. Look down there."
Outside the stadium, a bottleneck developed with more fans arriving
than could be safely filtered through the turnstiles before
3:00 pm. People presenting tickets at the wrong turnstiles and
those who had been refused entry could not leave because of the crowd
behind them but remained as an obstruction. Fans outside could hear
cheering as the teams came on the pitch ten minutes before the match
started, and as the match kicked off, but could not gain entrance. A
police constable radioed control requesting that the game be delayed,
as it had been two years before, to ensure the safe passage of
supporters into the ground. The request to delay the start of the
match by 20 minutes was declined.
With an estimated 5,000 fans trying to enter through the turnstiles
and increasing safety concerns, the police, to avoid fatalities
outside the ground, opened a large exit gate (Gate C) that ordinarily
permitted the free flow of supporters departing the stadium. Two
further gates (A and B) were subsequently opened to relieve pressure.
After an initial rush, thousands of supporters entered the stadium
"steadily at a fast walk".
The scene outside the ground as the disaster began
BBC television cameras were at the ground to record the game for Match
of the Day. As the disaster unfolded, the events were relayed live to
the Saturday sports show, Grandstand. In Ireland, RTÉ also showed the
disaster unfolding, as it was covering the match live through its
programme Sports Stadium.
When the gates were opened, thousands of fans entered a narrow tunnel
leading to the rear of the terrace into two overcrowded central pens
(pens 3 and 4), creating pressure at the front. Hundreds of people
were pressed against one another and the fencing by the weight of the
crowd behind them. People entering were unaware of the problems at the
fence; police or stewards usually stood at the entrance to the tunnel
and, when the central pens reached capacity, directed fans to the side
pens, but on this occasion, for reasons not fully explained, they did
BBC TV news report conjectured that if police had
positioned two police horses correctly, they would have acted as
breakwaters directing many fans into side pens, but on this occasion,
it was not done.
The match between Liverpool and
Nottingham Forest began as scheduled
at 3:00 pm. Fans were still streaming into pens 3 and 4 from the
rear entrance tunnel as the match began. For some time, problems at
the front of the Liverpool central goal pens went largely unnoticed
except by those inside it, and by a few police at that end of the
pitch. Liverpool's goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, reported fans from
behind him pleading to him for help as the situation worsened. The
police at first attempted to stop fans from spilling out of the pens,
some believing this to be a pitch invasion. At approximately
3:05 pm in match action,
Peter Beardsley kicked a shot which
Nottingham Forest's goal bar. Possibly connected to the
excitement, a surge in pen 3 caused one of its metal crush barriers to
give way, thrusting people forward on top of one another, and into
the pen's front fences.
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police Superintendent Greenwood (the ground commander)
realised the situation, and ran on the field to gain referee Ray
Lewis's attention. Lewis stopped the match at 3:05:30 as fans
climbed the fence in an effort to escape the crush and went onto the
track. By this time, a small gate in the fence had been forced open
and some fans escaped via this route, as others continued to climb
over the fencing. Other fans were pulled to safety by fans in the West
Stand above the Leppings Lane terrace. The intensity of the crush
broke more crush barriers on the terraces. Holes in the perimeter
fencing were made by fans desperately attempting to rescue others.
The crowd in the Leppings Lane Stand overspilled onto the pitch, where
many injured and traumatised fans congregated who had climbed to
safety. Football players from both teams were ushered to their
respective dressing rooms, and told that there would be a 30-minute
postponement. Those still trapped in the pens were packed so
tightly that many victims died of compressive asphyxia while standing.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, police, stewards and members of the St John
Ambulance service were overwhelmed. Many uninjured fans assisted the
injured; several attempted
CPR and others tore down advertising
hoardings to use as stretchers.
Chief Superintendent John Nesbit
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police later briefed
Michael Shersby MP that
leaving the rescue to the fans was a deliberate strategy, and is
quoted as saying "We let the fans help so that they would not take out
their frustration on the police" at a Police Federation
Liverpool fans desperately try to climb the fence onto the safety of
the pitch while being stopped by the police.
As events unfolded, some police officers were still deployed making a
cordon three-quarters of the way down the pitch to prevent Liverpool
supporters reaching the opposing supporters. Without public address
announcements to explain the situation, many
Nottingham Forest fans on
the other end were chanting for their team and whistled their anger at
what they saw as a pitch invasion, incensing some of the Liverpool
supporters. Some fans tried to break through the cordon simply to
ferry injured fans to waiting ambulances on the
Nottingham Forest end
but were forcibly turned back.
SYMAS response to the crush
The agreed upon protocol for the South Yorkshire Metropolitan
Ambulance Service, or SYMAS was that ambulances were to queue at the
entrance to the gymnasium, termed the casualty reception point, or
CRP.:145 Any individuals within the stadium in need of medical
attention were to be delivered expeditiously by police and paramedics
to the CRP.:142
The system of ferrying injured from any location within the stadium to
the CRP required a formal declaration to be made by those in charge
for it to take effect.:137,138 As this declaration was not
immediately performed, confusion reigned over those attempting to
administer aid on the pitch. This confusion migrated to the first
responders waiting in ambulances at the CRP, a location which quickly
deteriorated into an ambulance parking lot.:143 Some crews were
hesitant to leave their vehicles, unsure of whether patients were
coming to them, or vice versa.:138-140 Others who did leave their
vehicles were then faced with the obstacles inherent in placing
distance between oneself and one's equipment. As the Panel explained
in their report:
"The equipment was no use on the ambulance vehicle when critical early
resuscitation was taking place some distance away on the pitch, behind
the Leppings Lane end and in the gymnasium. Some ambulance crew did
take equipment when they left their vehicle, but there was no
systematic direction to do so, not all did, and none initially had
been given any information about the situation inside the
A total of 42 ambulances arrived at the stadium.:149 Out of this
number, two managed of their own accord to make their way onto the
pitch — while a third ambulance made its way onto the pitch at the
direction of DCAO Hopkins, who felt its visibility might allay crowd
concerns.:149 The remaining 39 ambulances were
collectively able to transport approximately 149 people to either
Northern General Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, or Barnsley
Hospital for treatment.:149
Condolences flooded in from across the world, led by the Queen. Other
messages came from Pope John Paul II, US President George H. W. Bush,
and the chief executive of Juventus (fans of Liverpool and Juventus
were involved in the Heysel Stadium disaster) amongst many others.
Margaret Thatcher and
Home Secretary Douglas Hurd
visited Hillsborough the day after the disaster and met survivors.
Anfield Stadium was opened on the Sunday to allow fans to pay tribute
to the dead. Thousands of fans visited and the stadium filled with
flowers, scarves and other tributes. In the following days more
than 200,000 people visited the "shrine" inside the stadium. The
following Sunday, a link of football scarves spanning the 1.6
kilometres (0.99 mi) distance across Stanley Park from Goodison
Anfield was created, with the final scarf in position at
3:06 pm. Elsewhere on the same day, a silence–opened with
an air-raid siren at three o'clock–was held in central Nottingham
with the colours of Forest, Liverpool and Wednesday adorning
Nottingham Council House.
At Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, a requiem mass attended by 3,000
people was held by the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek
Worlock. The first reading was read by Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce
Grobbelaar. Liverpool players Ronnie Whelan, Steve Nicol, and former
Joe Fagan carried the communion bread and wine. David
Sheppard, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, on holiday on the Scottish
Barra on the day of the disaster, was airlifted by RAF
helicopter to attend.
The FA chief executive Graham Kelly, who had attended the match, said
the FA would conduct an inquiry into what had happened. Speaking after
the disaster, Kelly backed all-seater stadiums, saying "We must move
fans away from the ritual of standing on terraces". Standing on
terraces and the use of perimeter fencing around the pitch, the use of
CCTV, the timing of football matches and policing of sporting events
were factors for a subsequent inquiry to consider.
Jacques Georges caused controversy by describing the
Liverpool supporters as "beasts", wrongly suggesting that
hooliganism was the cause of the disaster, which had occurred less
than four years after the Heysel Stadium disaster. His remarks led to
Liverpool F.C. calling for his resignation, but he apologised on
discovering hooliganism was not the cause.
1989 FA Cup Final
1989 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and local rivals Everton,
held just five weeks after the Hillsborough disaster, the players from
both participating teams wore black armbands as a gesture of respect
to the victims, with a minute's silence also observed.
During the final match of the 1988–89 English Football League
season, contested on 26 May 1989 between Liverpool and second-place
Arsenal, the Arsenal players presented flowers to fans in different
Anfield in memory of those who had died in the Hillsborough
Disaster appeal fund
A disaster appeal fund was set up with donations of £500,000 from the
Government, £100,000 from
Liverpool F.C. and £25,000 each from the
cities of Liverpool,
Sheffield and Nottingham. Liverpool donated
the share of the money they would have received for the game.
Within days donations had passed £1 million, swelled by
donations from individuals, schools and businesses. Other fund
raising activities included a
Factory Records benefit concert and
several fundraising football matches. Bradford City and Lincoln City,
the teams involved in the Bradford City stadium fire, met for the
first time since the 1985 disaster in a game which raised £25,000.
When the appeal closed the following year, it had raised over
£12 million. Much of the money went to victims and relatives
of those involved in the disaster and provided funds for a college
course to improve the hospital phase of emergency care.
In May 1989, a charity version of the
Gerry and the Pacemakers
Gerry and the Pacemakers song
"Ferry Cross the Mersey" was released in aid of those affected. The
song featured Liverpool musicians Paul McCartney,
Gerry Marsden (of
the Pacemakers), Holly Johnson, and the Christians, and was produced
by Stock Aitken Waterman. It entered the
UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart at number 1
on 20 May, remaining at the top for a total of three weeks.
Although Gerry and the Pacemakers' earlier hit "You'll Never Walk
Alone" had stronger ties to Liverpool FC, it was not used because it
had recently been rerecorded for the Bradford City stadium fire
Effect on survivors
By the disaster's 10th anniversary in 1999, at least three people who
survived were known to have committed suicide. Another survivor had
spent eight years in psychiatric care. There were cases of alcoholism,
drug abuse, and collapsed marriages involving people who had witnessed
the events. The lingering effects of the disaster were seen as a
cause, or contributary factor, in all of these.
The Memorial to the fatalities of the
Hillsborough disaster at
A total of 96 people died as a result of injuries incurred during the
disaster. 94, aged from 10 to 67 years old, died on the day, either at
the stadium, in the ambulances, or shortly after arrival at
hospital. A total of 766 people were reported to have suffered
injuries, although less than half required hospital treatment. The
less seriously injured survivors who did not live in the Sheffield
area were advised to seek treatment for their injuries at hospitals
nearer to their homes. On 19 April, the death toll reached 95 when
14-year-old Lee Nicol died in hospital after his life support machine
was switched off. The death toll reached 96 in March 1993,
when artificial feeding and hydration were withdrawn from 22-year-old
Tony Bland after nearly four years, during which time he had remained
in a persistent vegetative state showing no sign of improvement. This
followed a legal challenge in the
High Court by his family to have his
treatment withdrawn, a landmark challenge which succeeded in November
Andrew Devine, aged 22 at the time of the disaster, suffered similar
Tony Bland and was also diagnosed as being in a persistent
vegetative state. In March 1997—just before the eighth anniversary
of the disaster—it was reported he had emerged from the condition
and was able to communicate using a touch-sensitive pad, and he had
been showing signs of awareness of his surroundings for up to three
years before. He is still alive as of 2015.
Two sisters, three pairs of brothers, and a father and son were among
those who died, as were two men about to become fathers for the
first time: 25-year-old Steven Brown of Wrexham and 30-year-old
Peter Thompson of Widnes. Jon-Paul Gilhooley, aged 10, was the
youngest person to die. His cousin, Steven Gerrard, then aged 8, went
on to become Liverpool F.C.'s captain. Gerrard has said the disaster
inspired him to lead the team he supported as a boy and become a top
professional football player. The oldest person to die at
Hillsborough was 67-year-old Gerard Baron, an older brother of the
late Liverpool player Kevin Baron (1926–1971), who had been on the
losing side in the 1950 FA Cup Final.
Stephen Whittle is considered by some to be the 97th victim of
Hillsborough, as due to work commitments, he had sold his ticket to a
friend (whom he and his family chose not to identify), who then died
in the disaster; the resulting feeling of survivor guilt is believed
to be the main reason for his suicide in February 2011.
The majority of victims that lost their lives were from Liverpool (37)
Merseyside (20). A further 20 were from counties adjacent
to Merseyside. An additional 3 victims came from
Sheffield with 2 more
living in counties adjacent to South Yorkshire. The remaining 14
victims lived in other parts of England.
Of those who died, 78 were aged under 30, 38 of whom were under 20,
and all but three of the victims were aged under 50.
1989 coroner's hearing
Inquests into the deaths, commencing later in 1989, proved
controversial. South Yorkshire coroner Stefan Popper limited the main
inquest to events up to 3:15 pm on the day of the disaster –
nine minutes after the match was halted and the crowd spilled onto the
pitch. Popper said this was because the victims were either dead, or
brain dead, by 3:15 pm. The decision angered the families, many
of whom felt the inquest was unable to consider the response of the
police and other emergency services after that time. The inquest
returned a verdict of accidental death on 26 March 1991, much to the
dismay of the bereaved families, who had been hoping for a verdict of
unlawful killing or an open verdict, and for manslaughter charges to
be brought against the officers who had been present at the disaster.
Popper's decision was subsequently endorsed by the Divisional Court
who considered it to have been justified in the light of the medical
evidence available to him. Relatives later failed to have the
inquest reopened to allow more scrutiny of police actions and closer
examination of the circumstances of individual cases.
One of the individual cases where the circumstances of death were not
fully resolved was that of Kevin Williams, the fifteen-year-old son of
Anne Williams. Anne Williams, who died in 2013, rejected the coroner's
decision that the Hillsborough victims, including her son, had died
before 3:15 pm, citing witness statements that described him
showing signs of life at 4:00 pm. She unsuccessfully appealed to
European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights in 2009. The Hillsborough
Independent Panel considered the available evidence and stated that
"the initial pathologist's opinion appeared definitive, but further
authoritative opinions raised significant doubts about the accuracy of
that initial opinion.":313
Main article: Taylor Report
After the disaster, Lord Justice Taylor was appointed to conduct an
inquiry into the events. The Taylor Inquiry sat for a total of 31 days
and published two reports: an interim report which laid out the events
of the day and immediate conclusions, and the final report which
outlined general recommendations on football ground safety. This
became known as the Taylor Report.
Taylor concluded that policing on the day "broke down" and "the main
reason for the disaster was the failure of police control".
Attention was focused on the decision to open the secondary gates;
moreover, the kick-off should have been delayed, as had been done at
other venues and matches.
Sheffield Wednesday was also criticised for the inadequate number of
turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end and the poor quality of the crush
barriers on the terraces, "respects in which failure by the Club
contributed to this disaster".
Taylor found there was "no provision" for controlling the entry of
spectators into the turnstile area. He dismissed the claim by senior
police officers that they had no reason to anticipate problems, since
congestion had occurred at both the 1987 and 1988 semi-finals. He
said that "the Operational Order and police tactics on the day failed
to provide for controlling a concentrated arrival of large numbers
should that occur in a short period. That it might so occur was
foreseeable". The failure by the police to give the order to
direct fans to empty areas of the stadium, was described by Taylor as
"a blunder of the first magnitude".
There was no means for calculating when individual enclosures had
reached capacity. A police officer ordinarily made a visual assessment
before guiding fans to other pens. However, on the day of the
disaster, "by 2.52 pm when gate C was opened, pens 3 and 4 were
over-full … to allow any more into those pens was likely to cause
injuries; to allow in a large stream was courting disaster".
The report noted that the official capacity of the central pens was
2,200, that the
Health and Safety Executive found this should have
been reduced to 1,693 due to crush barriers and perimeter gates,
but actually an estimated 3,000 people were in the pens around
3:00 pm. The report said "When spectators first appeared on the
track, the immediate assumption in the control room was that a pitch
invasion was threatened. This was unlikely at the beginning of a
match. It became still less likely when those on the track made no
move towards the pitch. ... [T]here was no effective leadership either
from control or on the pitch to harness and organise rescue efforts.
No orders were given for officers to enter the tunnel and relieve
pressure". Further that: "The anxiety to protect the sanctity of
the pitch has caused insufficient attention to be paid to the risk of
a crush due to overcrowding".
Lord Taylor regarded spectator allocation as irrelevant to the
disaster. "I do not consider choice of ends was causative of the
disaster. Had it been reversed, the disaster could well have occurred
in a similar manner but to
Behaviour of fans
Lord Taylor concluded that the behaviour of Liverpool fans, including
accusations of drunkenness, were secondary factors, and said that most
fans were: "not drunk, nor even the worse for drink". He concluded
that this formed an exacerbating factor but that police, seeking
to rationalise their loss of control, overestimated the element of
drunkenness in the crowd.
The report dismissed the theory, put forward by South Yorkshire
Police, that fans attempting to gain entry without tickets or with
forged tickets were contributing factors.
Taylor concluded his criticism of
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police by describing
senior officers in command as "defensive and evasive witnesses" who
refused to accept any responsibility for error: "In all some 65 police
officers gave oral evidence at the Inquiry. Sadly I must report that
for the most part the quality of their evidence was in inverse
proportion to their rank". Further stating: "South Yorkshire
Police were not prepared to concede they were in any respect at fault
in what occurred. ... [T]he police case was to blame the fans for
being late and drunk, and to blame the Club for failing to monitor the
pens. ... Such an unrealistic approach gives cause for anxiety as to
whether lessons have been learnt".
Effect on stadiums in Britain
The Den, opened in 1993, became the first new stadium fully compliant
with the safety recommendations of the Taylor Report.
Taylor Report had a deep impact on safety standards for stadiums
in the UK. Perimeter and lateral fencing was removed and many top
stadiums were converted to all-seated. Purpose-built stadiums for
Premier League and most
Football League teams since the report are
all-seater. Chester City F.C.'s
Deva Stadium was the first English
football stadium to fulfil the safety recommendations of the Taylor
Report, with Millwall F.C.'s
The Den being the first new stadium to be
built that fulfilled the recommendations.
In July 1992, the government announced a relaxation of the regulation
for the lower two English leagues (known now as League One and League
Two). The Football Spectators Act does not cover Scotland, but the
Premier League chose to make all-seater stadiums a
requirement of league membership. In England and Wales all-seating
is a requirement of the Premier League and of the Football League
for clubs who have been present in the Championship for more than
three seasons. Several campaigns have attempted to get the
government to relax the regulation and allow standing areas to return
to Premiership and Championship grounds.
In May 1997, when the Labour Party came into office, Home Secretary
Jack Straw ordered an investigation. It was performed by Lord Justice
Stuart-Smith. The appointment of Stuart-Smith was not without
controversy. At a meeting in Liverpool with relatives of those
involved in Hillsborough in October 1997, he flippantly remarked "Have
you got a few of your people or are they like the Liverpool fans, turn
up at the last minute?" He later apologised for his remark, saying
it was not intended to offend. The terms of reference of his
inquiry were limited to "new evidence", that is "...evidence which was
not available or was not presented to the previous inquires, courts or
authorities." Therefore, evidence such as witness statements which
had been altered were classed as inadmissible. When he presented his
report in February 1998, he concluded that there was insufficient
evidence for a new inquiry into the disaster. In paragraph 5 of his
summary, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith said:
I have come to the clear conclusion that there is no basis upon which
there should be a further Judicial Inquiry or a reopening of Lord
Taylor's Inquiry. There is no basis for a renewed application to the
Divisional Court or for the
Attorney General to exercise his powers
under the Coroners Act 1988. I do not consider that there is any
material which should be put before the Director of Public
Prosecutions or the Police Complaints Authority which might cause them
to reconsider the decisions they have already taken. Nor do I consider
that there is any justification for setting up any further inquiry
into the performance of the emergency and hospital services. I have
considered the circumstances in which alterations were made to some of
the self-written statements of
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police officers, but I
do not consider that there is any occasion for any further
Importantly, Stuart-Smith's report supported the coroner's assertion
that evidence after 3.15 pm was inadmissible as "that by
3.15 pm the principal cause of death, that is, the crushing, was
over." This was controversial as the subsequent response of the
police and emergency services would not be scrutinised. Announcing the
report to the House of Commons,
Jack Straw backed
Stuart-Smith's findings and said that "I do not believe that a further
inquiry could or would uncover significant new evidence or provide any
relief for the distress of those who have been bereaved." However
the determination by Stuart-Smith was heavily criticised by the
Justice Minister, Lord Falconer, who stated "I am absolutely sure that
Murray Stuart-Smith came completely to the wrong conclusion".
Falconer added: "It made the families in the Hillsborough disaster
feel after one establishment cover-up, here was another."
Hillsborough Independent Panel
Hillsborough Independent Panel
Hillsborough Independent Panel was instituted in 2009 by the
British government to investigate the Hillsborough disaster, to
oversee the disclosure of documents about the disaster and its
aftermath and to produce a report. On 12 September 2012, it published
its report and simultaneously launched a website containing 450,000
pages of material collated from 85 organisations and
individuals over two years.
In the years after the disaster, the Hillsborough Family Support
Group, had campaigned for the release of all relevant documents into
the public domain. After the disaster's 20th anniversary in April
2009, supported by the Culture secretary, Andy Burnham, and Minister
of State for Justice, Maria Eagle, the government asked the Home
Department of Culture, Media and Sport to investigate the
best way for this information to be made public. In April 2009,
Jacqui Smith announced she had requested secret
files concerning the disaster be made public.
In December 2009,
Alan Johnson said the Hillsborough
Independent Panel's remit would be to oversee "full public disclosure
of relevant government and local information within the limited
constraints set out in the disclosure protocol" and "consult with the
Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected
by the disaster are taken into account". An archive of all
relevant documentation would be created and a report produced within
two years explaining the work of the panel and its conclusions.
The panel was chaired by James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool. Other
Raju Bhatt, human rights lawyer
Christine Gifford, expert in the field of access to information
Katy Jones, investigative journalist
Bill Kirkup, Associate Chief Medical Officer in the Department of
Health (United Kingdom)
Paul Leighton, former
Deputy Chief Constable
Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of
Professor Phil Scraton, expert in criminology
Peter Sissons, broadcaster (media)
Sarah Tyacke, formerly Chief Executive of the National Archives
On 12 September 2012, the Hillsborough Independent Panel
concluded that no Liverpool fans were responsible in any way for the
disaster, and that its main cause was a "lack of police control".
Crowd safety was "compromised at every level" and overcrowding issues
had been recorded two years earlier. The panel concluded that "up to
41" of the 96 who perished might have survived had the emergency
services' reactions and co-ordination been improved. The number
is based on post-mortem examinations which found some victims may have
had heart, lung or blood circulation function for some time after
being removed from the crush. The report stated that placing fans who
were "merely unconscious" on their backs rather than in the recovery
position, would have resulted in their deaths due to airway
obstruction. Their report was in 395 pages and delivered 153 key
The findings concluded that 164 witness statements had been altered.
Of those statements, 116 were amended to remove or change negative
comments about South Yorkshire Police.
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police had
performed blood alcohol tests on the victims, some of them children,
and ran computer checks on the national police database in an attempt
to "impugn their reputation". The report concluded that the then
Conservative MP for
Sheffield Hallam, Irvine Patnick, passed
inaccurate and untrue information from the police to the
The panel noted that, despite being dismissed by the Taylor Report,
the idea that alcohol contributed to the disaster proved remarkably
durable. Documents disclosed confirm that repeated attempts were made
to find supporting evidence for alcohol being a factor, and that
available evidence was significantly misinterpreted. It noted "The
weight placed on alcohol in the face of objective evidence of a
pattern of consumption modest for a leisure event was inappropriate.
It has since fuelled persistent and unsustainable assertions about
drunken fan behaviour".
The evidence it released online, included altered police reports.
Subsequent apologies were released by Prime Minister
David Cameron on
behalf of the government,
Ed Miliband on behalf of the
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, South Yorkshire
Police, and former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, who apologised
for making false accusations under the headline "The Truth".
MacKenzie said he should have written a headline that read "The Lies",
although this apology was widely discredited by the Hillsborough
Family Support Group and Liverpool fans, as it was seen to be
"shifting the blame once again."
After publication, the Hillsborough Families Support Group called for
new inquests for the victims. They also called for prosecutions
for unlawful killing, corporate manslaughter and perversion of the
course of justice in respect of the actions of the police both in
causing the disaster and covering up their actions; and in respect of
Sheffield Wednesday FC,
Sheffield Council and the Football Association
for their various responsibilities for providing, certifying and
selecting the stadium for the fatal event.
Calls were made for the resignation of police officers involved in the
cover-up, and for
Sheffield Wednesday, the police and the Football
Association to admit their blame. Calls were also
made for Sir
Dave Richards to resign as chairman of the Premier League
and give up his knighthood as a result of his conduct at Sheffield
Wednesday at the time of the disaster. The
Home Secretary called
for investigations into law-breaking and promised resources to
investigate individual or systematic issues.
On 23 October 2012,
Norman Bettison resigned with immediate effect as
Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, after
Maria Eagle MP on the
floor of the House and protected by Parliamentary privilege, accused
him of boasting about concocting a story that all the Liverpool fans
were drunk and police were afraid they were going to break down the
gates and decided to open them. Bettison denied the
claim, and other allegations about his conduct, saying: "Fans'
behaviour, to the extent that it was relevant at all, made the job of
the police, in the crush outside Leppings Lane turnstiles, harder than
it needed to be. But it didn't cause the disaster any more than the
sunny day that encouraged people to linger outside the stadium as kick
off approached. I held those views then, I hold them now. I have
never, since hearing the Taylor evidence unfold, offered any other
interpretation in public or private."
Merseyside Police Authority
confirmed that Bettison would receive an £83,000 pension, unless
convicted of a criminal offence. Hillsborough families called for the
payments to be frozen during the IPCC investigation. In the same
22 October House of Commons debate, Stephen Mosley MP alleged West
Midlands police pressured witnesses—both police and civilians—to
change their statements.
Maria Eagle confirmed her understanding
that WMP actions in this respect would be the subject of IPCC
Second coroner's hearing
Following an application on 19 December 2012 by the Attorney General
Dominic Grieve, the
High Court quashed the verdicts in the original
inquests and ordered fresh inquests to be held. Sir John Goldring
was appointed as Assistant
Coroner for South Yorkshire (East) and West
Yorkshire (West) to conduct those inquests. The inquest hearings
started on Monday 31 March 2014 at Warrington. Transcripts of the
proceedings and evidence that was produced during the hearings were
published at the Hillsborough Inquests official website. On 6
April 2016, the nine jurors were sent out to consider their verdicts.
These were formally given to the inquest at 11:00 on 26 April
2016. The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing in respect
of all 96 victims (by majority verdict of 7–2). Upon
receiving the April 2016 verdict, Hillsborough Family Support Group
chair Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James was killed in the
"Let's be honest about this – people were against us. We had the
media against us, as well as the establishment. Everything was against
us. The only people that weren't against us was our own city. That's
why I am so grateful to my city and so proud of my city. They always
believed in us.
David Cameron also responded to the April 2016 verdict
by saying that it represented a "long overdue" but "landmark moment in
the quest for justice", adding "All families and survivors now have
official confirmation of what they always knew was the case, that the
Liverpool fans were utterly blameless in the disaster that unfolded at
Hillsborough." The Labour Party described the handling of the
Hillsborough disaster as the "greatest miscarriage of justice of our
times", with Labour MPs
Andy Burnham and
Steve Rotheram calling for
accountability and the prosecution of those responsible.
Liberal Democrat MP
John Pugh called for
David Cameron to make a
formal apology in the House of Commons to the families of those killed
at Hillsborough and to the city of Liverpool as a whole.
Kelvin MacKenzie, who wrote the now-infamous "The Truth" front page
for the Sun, said that although he was "duped" into publishing his
story, that his "heart goes out" to the families of those affected,
saying that "It's quite clear today the fans had nothing to do with
it". However, MacKenzie did not accept any personal responsibility for
During the inquest, Maxwell Groome – a police constable at the time
of the disaster – made allegations of a high-level "conspiracy" by
Freemasons to shift blame for the disaster onto Superintendent Roger
Marshall, also that junior officers were pressured into changing their
statements after the disaster, and told not to write their accounts in
their official police pocketbooks. Groome also claimed that match
commander Duckenfield was a member of the "highly influential" Dole
Sheffield (the same lodge as Brian Mole, his
John Goldring warned the jury that
there was "not a shred of evidence" that any Masonic meeting actually
took place, or that those named were all Freemasons, advising the
jury to cast aside "gossip and hearsay". During the inquest,
Duckenfield confirmed that he became a Freemason in 1975 and became
Worshipful Master of his local lodge in 1990, a year after the
disaster; following this revelation,
Freemasons were forbidden to take
part in the IPCC investigation as civilian investigators to prevent
any perceived bias.
Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation
Following the inquest verdict, South Yorkshire police announced it
would refer the actions of its officers to the Independent Police
Complaints Commission (IPCC). West Yorkshire Police announced it
would refer its Chief Constable, Norman Bettison, to the IPCC in mid
September. Bettison, had been one of a number of police officers who
were accused of manipulating evidence by the Hillsborough Independent
Panel. In early October, Bettison announced his retirement,
becoming the first senior figure to step down since publication of the
The IPCC announced on 12 October 2012 that it would investigate the
failure of the police to declare a major incident, failure to close
the tunnel to the stands which led to overcrowded pens despite
evidence it had been closed in such circumstances in the past; changes
made to the statements of police officers; actions which misled
Parliament and the media; shortcomings of previous investigations; and
the role played by Norman Bettison.
By 22 October 2012, the names of at least 1,444 serving and former
police officers had been referred to the IPCC investigation. In its
announcement, the IPCC praised the tenacity of the Hillsborough
families' campaign for truth and justice. On
16 October 2012, the
Attorney General announced in Parliament he had
applied to have the original inquest verdict quashed, arguing it
proceeded on a false basis and evidence now to hand required this
On 12 July 2013, it was reported that the IPCC had found that in
addition to the now 164 police statements known to have been altered,
a further 55 police officers had changed their statements. Deborah
Glass, deputy chair of the IPCC said, "We know the people who have
contacted us are the tip of the iceberg." That was after the IPCC's
Hillsborough Contact team had received 230 pieces of correspondence
since October 2012.
The IPCC is also investigating the actions of West Midlands Police,
who in 1989 had been tasked with investigating South Yorkshire
Police's conduct for both the original inquest and also the Taylor
In April 2016, the
Crown Prosecution Service
Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would
consider bringing charges against both individuals and corporate
bodies once the criminal investigation by the Independent Police
Complaints Commission – Operation Resolve – had been
Criminal and civil cases
In February 2000, a private prosecution was brought against Chief
Superintendent David Duckenfield and another officer, Bernard Murray.
The prosecution argued that the crush was "foreseeable" hence the
defendants were "grossly negligent". Prosecutor Alun Jones told the
court that Duckenfield gave the order to open the gates so that
hundreds of fans could be herded on to the already crowded terraces at
the stadium. Jones stated that minutes after the disaster, Duckenfield
"deceitfully and dishonestly" told senior FA officials that the
supporters had forced the gate open. Duckenfield admitted he had lied
in certain statements regarding the causes of the disaster. The
prosecution ended on 24 July 2000, when Murray was acquitted and the
jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Duckenfield. On 26
July 2000, the judge refused the prosecution's application for a
re-trial of Duckenfield.
Police disciplinary charges were abandoned when Duckenfield retired on
health grounds and, because he was unavailable, it was decided it
would be unfair to proceed with disciplinary charges against Bernard
Murray. Duckenfield took medical retirement on a full police
Theresa May announced on 18 December 2012 that a new
police enquiry would be initiated to examine the possibility of
charging agencies other than the police over the Hillsborough
deaths. The enquiry was headed by former Durham Chief Constable
Jon Stoddart. Now it is headed by
Assistant Commissioner Rob
On 28 June 2017, it was announced that six people were to be charged
with offences in relation to the disaster. Former Chief Superintendent
David Duckenfield, in charge of the match, faces 95 counts of
manslaughter by gross negligence. He faces no charge in respect of the
death of Tony Bland, who died four years after the disaster. Former
Chief Inspector Sir Norman Bettinson faces four counts of misconduct
in public office. Former
Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Club Secretary
Graham Mackrell faces a charge of breaching the Safety at Sports
Ground Act 1975. Solicitor Peter Metcalf, former Chief Superintendent
Donald Denton and former Detective Chief Inspector Alan Foster were
all charged with perverting the course of justice.
On 9 August, all except Duckenfield appeared at
Court. Mackrell pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. No
formal pleas were taken from the other four defendants. All five were
bailed to appear at the
Crown Court on 6 September. Duckenfield was
not required to appear as the
Crown Prosecution Service
Crown Prosecution Service has to apply
High Court to lift a court order before he can be prosecuted on
the manslaughter charges.
In December 2017, it was announced that a police officer and a farrier
would not be prosecuted over allegations that they fabricated a story
about a police horse being burned with cigarettes at Hillsborough.
Although there was enough evidence to charge the farrier with
perverting the course of justice, it was felt not to be in the public
interest to charge him. There was insufficient evidence against the
police officer to charge him with the offence.
Psychiatric injury and other litigation
Various negligence cases were brought against the police by spectators
who had been at the ground but had not been in the pens, and by people
who watched the incident unfolding on television (or heard about it on
the radio). A case, Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police
 1 A.C. 310, was eventually appealed to the Appellate Committee
House of Lords
House of Lords and was an important milestone in the law of
claims of secondary victims for negligently inflicted psychiatric
injury. It was held that claimants who watched the disaster on
television/listened on radio were not 'proximal' and their claims were
Another psychiatric injury claim was brought to the House of Lords,
White v Chief Constable of the
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police  2 A.C.
455. It was brought by police officers on duty against the Chief
Constable who was said to have been vicariously liable for the
disaster. Their claims were dismissed and the Alcock decision was
upheld. It affirmed the position of the courts once again towards
claims of psychiatric injuries of secondary victims.
A third legal case which resulted from the
Hillsborough disaster was
Airedale N.H.S. Trust v Bland  A.C. 789, a landmark House of
Lords decision in English criminal law, that allowed the life-support
machine of Tony Bland, a Hillsborough victim in a persistent
vegetative state, to be switched off.
In April 2016, a private prosecution was launched on behalf of
victims' relatives against both SYP and the
West Midlands Police
West Midlands Police force
(who had investigated the actions of SYP), alleging a concerted
cover-up designed to shift blame away from the police.
The Hillsborough memorial at Anfield
Several memorials have been erected in memory of the victims of the
Hillsborough disaster; all are listed below:
Flames were added either side of the
Liverpool F.C. crest in memory of
the 96 fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.
Alongside the Shankly Gates at Anfield, Liverpool's home stadium.
A memorial at Hillsborough stadium, unveiled on the tenth anniversary
of the disaster on 15 April 1999, reads: In memory of the 96 men,
women, and children who tragically died and the countless people whose
lives were changed forever. FA Cup semi-final Liverpool v Nottingham
Forest. 15 April 1989. "You’ll never walk alone."
A memorial stone in the pavement on the south side of Liverpool's
A memorial garden in Hillsborough Park with a 'You'll never walk
A headstone at the junction of Middlewood Road, Leppings Lane and
Wadsley Lane, near the ground and by the
Sheffield Supertram route.
A Hillsborough Memorial Rose Garden in Port Sunlight, Wirral.
A memorial rose garden on Sudley Estate in South Liverpool (also known
as the APH). Each of the six rose beds has a centre piece of a white
standard rosebush, surrounded by red rose bushes, named 'Liverpool
Remember'. There are brass memorial plaques on both sets of gates to
the garden, and a sundial inscribed with the words: "Time Marches On
But We Will Always Remember".
In the grounds of Crosby Library, to the memory of the 18 football
fans from Sefton who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.
The memorial, sited in a raised rose bed containing the Liverpool
Remembers red rose, is made of black granite. It is inscribed "In
loving memory of the 96 football supporters who died at Hillsborough,
Sheffield on 15 April 1989. Of those who lost their lives the
following young men were from Sefton families." The memorial was
unveiled on 4 October 1991 (two years before the death of Tony Bland)
by the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Syd Whitby. The project was carried
out by the Council after consultation with the Sefton Survivors Group.
The Memorial at Old Haymarket, Liverpool
A 7-foot high circular bronze memorial was unveiled in the Old
Haymarket district of Liverpool in April 2013. This memorial is
inscribed with the words: "Hillsborough Disaster – we will remember
them", and displays the names of the 96 victims who died.
An 8 foot high clock, dating from the 1780s, was installed at
Liverpool Town Hall
Liverpool Town Hall in April 2013, with the hands indicating 3:06 (the
time at which the match was abandoned). In 2015 it was announced that
the clock would now be on public display in the foyer of the Cunard
A memorial plaque dedicated to the 96 at
Goodison Park in Liverpool,
home of local rivals Everton F.C..
The disaster has been acknowledged on 15 April each year by the
community in Liverpool and football in general. An annual memorial
ceremony is held at
Anfield and at a church in Liverpool. The 10th and
20th anniversaries were marked by special services to remember the
From 2007, there was a Hillsborough Memorial service held at Spion
Kop, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa annually. The ceremony is held on the
Spion Kop Battlefield
Spion Kop Battlefield which gave its name to the Kop Stand at Anfield.
There is a permanent memorial to the 96 fans who died, in the form of
a bench in view of the battlefield at a nearby lodge. Dean Davis and
David Walters, South African Liverpool supporters, are responsible for
the service and the bench was commissioned by Guy Prowse in 2008.
Following on from, and out of respect for the Hillsborough families
decision to conclude official memorials at
Anfield as of 2016; there
will be no further Memorials held at Spion Kop. The Memorial bench
remains at Spion Kop Lodge.
Bench at Spion Kop, South Africa, acting as a permanent memorial to
those killed at Hillsborough.
In 2014, the FA decided all FA Cup, Premier League, Football League
and Football Conference matches played between 11–14 April, would
kick-off seven minutes later than originally scheduled with a
six-minute delay and a one-minute silence tribute.
Anfield was packed with a crowd of around 10,000 people ten
years after the disaster. A candle was lit for each of the 96
victims. The clock at the Kop End stood still at 3:06 pm, the
time that the referee had blown his whistle in 1989 and a minute's
silence was held, the start signalled by match referee from that day,
Ray Lewis. A service led by the Right Reverend James Jones, the Bishop
of Liverpool, was attended by past and present Liverpool players,
including Robbie Fowler,
Steve McManaman and Alan Hansen. According to
the BBC report: "The names of the victims were read from the memorial
book and floral tributes were laid at a plaque bearing their
names." A gospel choir performed and the ceremony ended with a
rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". The anniversary was also
marked by a minute's silence at the weekend's league games and FA Cup
Liverpool fans unfurl a banner displaying the names of the deceased on
the 20th anniversary of the disaster
In 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Liverpool's request
that their Champions League quarter-finals return leg, scheduled for
15 April, be played the day before was granted.
The event was remembered with a ceremony at
Anfield attended by over
28,000 people. The Kop, Centenary and Main Stands were
opened to the public before part of the
Anfield Road End was opened to
supporters. The memorial service, led by the
Bishop of Liverpool
Bishop of Liverpool began
at 14:45 BST and a two-minute silence (observed across Liverpool and
Sheffield and Nottingham, including public transport coming to a
stand-still) was held at the time of the disaster twenty
years earlier, 15:06 BST. Sports Minister
Andy Burnham addressed the
crowd but was heckled by supporters chanting "Justice for the
96". The ceremony was attended by survivors of the disaster,
families of victims and the Liverpool team, with goalkeeper Pepe Reina
leading the team and management staff onto the pitch. Team captain
Steven Gerrard and vice-captain
Jamie Carragher handed the freedom of
the city to the families of all the victims. Candles were lit for each
of the 96 people who died. Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's manager at the
time of the disaster, read a passage from the Bible, "Lamentations of
Jeremiah". The Liverpool manager, Rafael Benítez, set 96 balloons
free. The ceremony ended with 96 rings of church bells across the city
and a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone".
Other services took place at the same time, including at Liverpool's
Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals. After the two minutes' silence,
bells on civic buildings rang out throughout Merseyside.
A song was released to mark the 20th anniversary, entitled "Fields of
Anfield Road" which peaked at No. 14 in the UK charts.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United players showed
respect by wearing black armbands during their Champions League
matches on 14 and 15 April.
On 14 May, more than 20,000 people packed
Anfield for a match held in
memory of the victims. The Liverpool Legends, comprising ex-Liverpool
footballers beat the All Stars, captained by actor Ricky Tomlinson,
3–1. The event also raised cash for the Marina Dalglish Appeal which
was contributed towards a radiotherapy centre at University Hospital
With the imminent release of police documents relating to events on 15
April 1989, the Hillsborough Family Support Group launched Project 96,
a fundraising initiative on 1 August 2009. At least 96 current and
former Liverpool footballers are being lined up to raise £96,000 by
auctioning a limited edition (of 96) signed photographs.
On 11 April 2009, Liverpool fans sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" as a
tribute to the upcoming anniversary of the disaster before the home
game against Blackburn Rovers (which ended in Liverpool winning 4–0)
and was followed by former Liverpool player, Stephen Warnock
presenting a memorial wreath to the Kop showing the figure 96 in red
Hillsborough disaster touched not only Liverpool, but clubs in
England and around the world. Supporters of Everton, Liverpool's
traditional local rivals, were affected, many of them having lost
friends and family. Supporters laid down flowers and blue and white
scarves to show respect for the dead and unity with fellow
On 19 April 1989, the Wednesday after the disaster, the European Cup
semi-final tie between
A.C. Milan and Real Madrid was played. The
referee blew his whistle two minutes into the game to stop play and
hold a minute's silence for those who lost their lives at
Hillsborough. Halfway through the minute's silence, the A.C.
Milan fans sang Liverpool's "You'll Never Walk Alone" as a sign of
respect. In April 1989, Bradford City and Lincoln City held
a friendly match to benefit the victims of Hillsborough. The occasion
was the first in which the two teams had met since the 1985 Bradford
City stadium fire that had claimed 56 lives at Valley Parade.
On 30 April 1989, a match organised by
Celtic F.C. was played at
Celtic Park, Glasgow between the home club and Liverpool, the proceeds
going to the Hillsborough fund. Liverpool won the match by four goals
As a result of the disaster, Liverpool's scheduled fixture against
Arsenal[b] was delayed from 23 April until the end of the season and
eventually decided the league title. At this fixture, Arsenal players
brought flowers onto the pitch and presented them to the Liverpool
fans around the stadium before the game commenced.
During a 2011 debate in the House of Commons, the Labour MP for
Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram, read out a list of the victims and,
as a result, the names were entered into Hansard.
Initial media coverage – spurred by what
Phil Scraton calls in
Hillsborough: The Truth "the Heysel factor" and "hooligan hysteria"
– began to shift the blame onto the behaviour of the Liverpool fans
at the stadium, making it a public order issue. As well as The
Sun's 19 April 1989 "The Truth" article (see below) other newspapers
published similar allegations; the Daily Star headline on the same day
reported "Dead fans robbed by drunk thugs"; the
Daily Mail accused the
Liverpool fans of being "drunk and violent and their actions were
The Daily Express
The Daily Express ran a story alleging that "Police saw
'sick spectacle of pilfering from the dying'." Peter McKay in the
Evening Standard wrote that the "catastrophe was caused first and
foremost by violent enthusiasm for soccer and in this case the tribal
passions of Liverpool supporters [who] literally killed themselves and
others to be at the game" and published a front page
headline "Police attack 'vile' fans" on 18 April 1989, in which police
sources blamed the behaviour of a section of Liverpool fans for the
In regional newspapers, the
Liverpool Daily Post wrote in an article
titled "I Blame the Yobs" that "The gatecrashers wreaked their
fatal havoc ... Their uncontrolled fanaticism and mass hysteria ...
literally squeezed the life out of men, women and children ... yobbism
at its most base ... Scouse killed Scouse for no better reason than 22
men were kicking a ball"; the
Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News wrote
that the "
Anfield Army charged on to the terrace behind the goal –
many without tickets", and the
Yorkshire Post wrote that the
"trampling crush" had been started by "thousands of fans" who were
"latecomers ... forc[ing] their way into the ground". The
Sheffield Star published similar allegations to The Sun, running the
headline "Fans in Drunken Attacks on Police".
Many of the more serious allegations – such as stealing from the
dead and assault of police officers and rescue workers – appeared on
18 April, although several evening newspapers published on 15
April 1989 also gave inaccurate reporting of the disaster, as these
newspapers went to press before the full extent or circumstances of
the disaster had been confirmed or even reported. This included the
Wolverhampton-based Express & Star, which reported that the match
had been cancelled as a result of a "pitch invasion in which many fans
were injured". This article was presumably published before there were
any reports that people had been killed. These media reports and
others were examined during the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel
The false allegations on the front page of The Sun on 19 April 1989
On 19 April, four days after the disaster, Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of
The Sun, ordered "The Truth" as the front page headline, followed by
three sub-headlines: "Some fans picked pockets of victims", "Some fans
urinated on the brave cops" and "Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of
life". Mackenzie reportedly spent two hours deciding on which headline
to run; his original instinct being for "You Scum" before eventually
deciding on "The Truth".
The information was provided to the newspaper by Whites News Agency in
Sheffield; the newspaper cited claims by police inspector Gordon
Sykes, that Liverpool fans had pickpocketed the dead, as well as
other claims by unnamed police officers and local Conservative MP
The Daily Express
The Daily Express also carried Patnick's
version, under the headline "Police Accuse Drunken Fans" which gave
Patnick's views, saying he had told Margaret Thatcher, while escorting
her on a tour of the ground after the disaster, of the "mayhem caused
by drunks" and that policemen told him they were "hampered, harassed,
punched and kicked".
The story accompanying The Sun headlines claimed "drunken Liverpool
fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive
victims" and "police officers, firemen and ambulance crew were
punched, kicked and urinated upon". A quotation, attributed to an
unnamed policeman, claimed a partially unclothed dead girl had been
verbally abused, and that Liverpool fans were "openly urinating on us
and the bodies of the dead". In fact many Liverpool fans helped
security personnel stretcher away victims and gave first aid to the
The Guardian later wrote that "The claim that supporters
higher up the Leppings Lane terrace had urinated on police pulling
bodies out of the crush appeared to have roots in the fact that those
who were dying or sustaining serious injuries suffered compression
asphyxia and many involuntarily urinated, vomited and emptied their
bowels as they were crushed."
In their history of The Sun,
Peter Chippendale and Chris Horrie
As MacKenzie's layout was seen by more and more people, a collective
shudder ran through the office (but) MacKenzie's dominance was so
total there was nobody left in the organisation who could rein him in
except Murdoch. (Everyone in the office) seemed paralysed—"looking
like rabbits in the headlights"—as one hack described them. The
error staring them in the face was too glaring. It obviously wasn't a
silly mistake; nor was it a simple oversight. Nobody really had any
comment on it—they just took one look and went away shaking their
heads in wonder at the enormity of it. It was a 'classic smear'.
After The Sun's report, the newspaper was boycotted by most newsagents
in Liverpool and many readers cancelled their orders and refused to
buy it from newsagents; and from then afterwards many in Liverpool
refer to The Sun newspaper as The Scum. Some even refuse to say
the name or spell it as The S*n. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
organised a less successful national boycott that had some impact on
the paper's sales nationally.
MacKenzie explained his actions in 1993. Talking to a House of Commons
National Heritage Select Committee, he said: "I regret Hillsborough.
It was a fundamental mistake. The mistake was I believed what an MP
said. It was a Tory MP. If he had not said it and the Chief
Superintendent had not agreed with it, we would not have gone with
it." MacKenzie retracted the apology in November 2006, saying he
apologised because the newspaper's owner, Rupert Murdoch, had ordered
him to do so, stating: "I was not sorry then and I'm not sorry
now". MacKenzie refused to apologise when appearing on the BBC's
topical Question Time on 11 January 2007.
The Sun apologised for its treatment of the Hillsborough disaster
"without reservation" in a full page opinion piece on 7 July 2004,
saying it had "committed the most terrible mistake in its history" by
publishing it. The apology angered some Liverpudlians further. The
Liverpool Echo called the apology, "shabby" and "an attempt, once
again, to exploit the Hillsborough dead".
Poster urging the Liverpool public not to purchase The Sun newspaper
James Murdoch made a full apology for The Sun's coverage when he
appeared at a hearing of the House of Commons Select Committee dealing
News International phone hacking scandal
News International phone hacking scandal in 2012.
On 12 September 2012, after the publication of the report exonerating
the Liverpool fans, MacKenzie issued the following statement:
Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that
headline. I too was totally misled. Twenty-three years 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. As the prime minister has made clear, these
allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by
police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame
for the tragedy from themselves. It has taken more than two decades,
400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that
it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline The
Lies rather than The Truth. I published in good faith and I am sorry
that it was so wrong.
In response, Trevor Hicks, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support
Group, rejected MacKenzie's apology as "too little, too late", calling
him "lowlife, clever lowlife, but lowlife". A press conference
held by families of the victims also banned all Sun reporters from
entering, with a sign on the door reading "NO ENTRY TO SUN
JOURNALISTS". Sales of The Sun remain poor in
Merseyside and a
boycott is still practised. In 2004, its average circulation in
Liverpool was 12,000 copies a day.
Following the April 2016 verdict of unlawful killing, The Sun and the
first print edition of the Times (both owned by News International),
did not cover the stories on their front pages, with The Sun
relegating the story to pages 8 and 9. An apology appeared on page 10,
reiterating previous statements that the 1989 headline had been an
error of judgement.
The coverage was widely condemned on social media, with
saying that this reflected "Murdoch's view on Hillsborough", which was
a "smear", which "now daren't speak its name". On the night of
the verdict coverage, more than 124,000 tweets used the term The
However, on Sky News, The Sun's Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn
defended this decision, saying "I don't think it should all be about
The Sun – it was not us who committed Hillsborough." Trevor
Kavanagh, the political editor at the time of the Hillsborough
disaster, said that he was "not sorry at all" about the reporting and
supported his former boss Kelvin MacKenzie, claiming that "we were
clearly misled about the events and the authorities, including the
police, actively concealed the truth".
In February 2017,
Liverpool F.C. issued a ban on The Sun journalists
from entering their grounds in response to the coverage of
Hillsborough by the newspaper.
Everton F.C. followed in April
2017 on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the disaster after a column
Kelvin MacKenzie concerning Everton footballer Ross Barkley.
MacKenzie was suspended as a contributor to the newspaper.
The journalist Edward Pearce was criticised for writing a
controversial article in the aftermath of the disaster, at a time when
a number of victims' funerals were taking place. His article in The
Sunday Times on 23 April 1989, included the text:
"For the second time in half a decade a large body of Liverpool
supporters has killed people ... the shrine in the
the cursing of the police, all the theatricals, come sweetly to a city
which is already the world capital of self-pity. There are soapy
politicians to make a pet of Liverpool, and Liverpool itself is always
standing by to make a pet of itself. 'Why us? Why are we treated like
animals?' To which the plain answer is that a good and sufficient
minority of you behave like animals."
Pearce went on reflect that if
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police bore any
responsibility, it was "for not realising what brutes they had to
Phil Scraton described Pearce's comments as amongst the
"most bigoted and factually inaccurate" published in the wake of the
disaster. A number of complaints were made to the Press Council
concerning the article, but the Council ruled that it was unable to
adjudicate on comment pieces, though the Council noted that tragedy or
disaster is not an occasion for writers to exercise gratuitous
On 27 April 2016, Times staffers in the sports department expressed
their outrage over the paper's decision to cover 26 April inquest,
which ruled that the 96 dead were unlawfully killed, only on an inside
spread and the sports pages, with some in the newspaper claiming there
was a "mutiny" in the sports department.
The Times later tweeted
that "We made a mistake with the front page of our first edition, and
we fixed it for our second edition."
The Times was the only major UK newspaper not to give the story
front-page coverage other than fellow News UK-owned Sun.
Gary Lineker described the incident as "disgusting as it is
unsurprising", and David Walsh, chief sports writer at the Sunday
Times, said it was a "shocking misjudgment" to not include this story
on the front page. However, insiders dismissed any suggestion
that a visit by
News UK owner Rupert Murdoch to the Times newsroom on
the day of the verdict had anything to do with the editorial
The November 2002 edition of the men's lifestyle magazine
Australia was swiftly withdrawn from sale soon after its publication,
and a public apology made in the Australian and British editions,
because it contained jokes mocking the disaster. As a result,
Emap Australia, who owned
FHM at the time, pledged to make a donation
to the families of the victims. Although the original apology was
not printed in the magazine as it was not considered "serious
enough", its Australian editor, Geoff Campbell, released a
statement: "We deeply regret the photograph captions published in the
November issue of the Australian edition of FHM, accompanying an
article about the
Hillsborough disaster of 1989. The right course of
action is to withdraw this edition from sale – which we will be
doing. We have been in contact with the Hillsborough Family Support
Group and the Hillsborough Justice Campaign to express our deep regret
and sincere apologies." The British edition disassociated itself
from the controversy, stating: "
FHM Australia has its own editorial
team and these captions were written and published without
consultation with the UK edition, or any other edition of FHM."
The vice-chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Philip
Hammond, said he wanted all football fans to boycott the magazine,
saying, "I am going to write to every fanzine in the country –
including Liverpool F.C.'s – telling them to ban FHM. People are
very upset by it. I think there will be a real boycott." He added it
would be like making jokes about the 2002 Bali bombings, in which
eight fewer Australians were killed. The publication was finally
discontinued in 2016, for unrelated reasons.
The Spectator, was criticised for an editorial which appeared in the
magazine on 16 October 2004 following the death of British hostage
Kenneth John "Ken" Bigley in Iraq, in which it was claimed that the
response to Bigley's killing was fuelled by the fact he was from
Liverpool, and went on to criticise the "drunken" fans at Hillsborough
and call on them to accept responsibility for their "role" in the
The extreme reaction to Mr Bigley's murder is fed by the fact that he
was a Liverpudlian. Liverpool is a handsome city with a tribal sense
of community. A combination of economic misfortune—its docks were,
fundamentally, on the wrong side of England when Britain entered what
is now the European Union—and an excessive predilection for
welfarism have created a peculiar, and deeply unattractive, psyche
among many Liverpudlians. They see themselves whenever possible as
victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they
wallow in it. Part of this flawed psychological state is that they
cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their
misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby
deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of
society. The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at
Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single
death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for
Liverpool's failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played
in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who
mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday
afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun
newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to
hint at the wider causes of the incident.
Although the then-editor
Boris Johnson did not write this piece,
Simon Heffer alleged he had written the first draft of the
article "at Mr Johnson's request", and offered to apologise for its
publication after it attracted "a furore in the city [of
Liverpool]". Johnson apologised at the time of the article,
travelling to Liverpool to do so, and again following the
publication of the report of the
Hillsborough Independent Panel
Hillsborough Independent Panel in
2012; however, Johnson's apology was rejected by Margaret Aspinall,
chairperson of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, whose son
James, 18, died in the disaster:
What he has got to understand is that we were speaking the truth for
23 years and apologies have only started to come today from them
because of yesterday. It's too little, too late. It's fine to
apologise afterwards. They just don't want their names in any more
sleaze. No, his apology doesn't mean a thing to me.
The Spectator's comments were widely circulated following the April
2016 verdict by the Hillsborough inquest's second hearing proving
unlawful killing of the 96 dead at Hillsborough.
In November 2007, the BBC soap opera
EastEnders caused controversy
when the character
Minty Peterson (played by Cliff Parisi) made a
reference to the disaster. During the episode car mechanic Minty said:
"Five years out of Europe because of Heysel, because they penned you
lot in to stop you fighting on the pitch and then what did we end up
with? Hillsborough." This prompted 380 complaints and the BBC
apologised, saying that the character was simply reminding another
character, former football hooligan Jase Dyer, that the actions of
hooligans led to the fencing-in of football fans.
Ofcom also received
Charles Itandje was accused of having shown
disrespect towards the Hillsborough victims during the 2009
remembrance ceremony, as he was spotted on camera "smiling and
nudging" teammate Damien Plessis. He was suspended from the club for a
fortnight and many fans felt he should not play for the club again. He
was omitted from the first team squad and never played for the club in
any capacity again.
On 28 June 2010, following England's departure from the 2010 FIFA
World Cup competition in South Africa, the UK's Culture and Sport
Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the England fans for their behaviour
during the competition, saying "I mean, not a single arrest for a
football-related offence, and the terrible problems that we had in
Heysel and Hillsborough in the 1980s seem now to be behind us." He
later apologised and said "I know that fan unrest played no part in
the terrible events of April 1989 and I apologise to Liverpool fans
and the families of those killed and injured in the Hillsborough
disaster if my comments caused any offence." Margaret Aspinall,
chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, asked for a face
to face meeting with Hunt before deciding if she would accept the
Fans of rival football clubs such as Manchester United have been
known to mention the
Hillsborough disaster at fixtures[b] to upset
Liverpool fans. Following the findings of the Independent Panel in
Alex Ferguson and two Manchester United fan groups
called for an end to the "sick chants".
Leeds United chairman Ken
Bates endorsed this call in the club programme and stated, "Leeds have
suffered at times with reference to Galatasaray; some of our so-called
fans have also been guilty as well, particularly in relation to
Munich." This is a reference to the deaths of eight Manchester United
players in the
Munich air disaster
Munich air disaster of 1958.
In October 2011, Sir Oliver Popplewell, who chaired the public inquiry
into the 1985
Bradford City stadium fire
Bradford City stadium fire at
Valley Parade that killed
56 people, called on the families of the Hillsborough victims to look
at the "quiet dignity and great courage relatives in the West
Yorkshire city had shown in the years following the tragedy". He said:
"The citizens of Bradford behaved with quiet dignity and great
courage. They did not harbour conspiracy theories. They did not seek
endless further inquiries. They buried their dead, comforted the
bereaved and succoured the injured. They organised a sensible
compensation scheme and moved on. Is there, perhaps, a lesson there
for the Hillsborough campaigners?"
Popplewell was criticised for the comments, including a rebuke from a
survivor of the Bradford fire. Labour MP Steve Rotheram, commented:
"How insensitive does somebody have to be to write that load of
A formal complaint was made against David Crompton, South Yorkshire's
chief constable, over internal emails relating to the Hillsborough
disaster. In 2013 Crompton sent an email in which he said the
families' "version of certain events has become 'the truth' even
though it isn't". In September, David Crompton had emailed the force's
assistant chief constable Andy Holt and head of media Mark Thompson on
8 September, just four days before the Hillsborough Independent Panel
Report was published. The email came to light as the result of a
Freedom of Information request. South Yorkshire's police and crime
commissioner Shaun Wright has appointed chief constable Simon Parr of
Cambridgeshire Constabulary to head the investigation. Wright said:
"The request has been submitted by a firm of solicitors in Liverpool
acting on behalf of a number of individuals affected by the
In March 2016, Crompton announced that he would retire in November. On
26 April 2016, after the inquest jury delivered a verdict affirming
all the charges against the police, Crompton "unequivocally accepted"
the verdicts, including unlawful killing, said that the police
operation at the stadium on the day of the disaster had been
"catastrophically wrong", and apologised unreservedly.
Following continued criticism of Crompton in the wake of the unlawful
South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan
Billings suspended Crompton from duty on 27 April.
Main article: Hillsborough posts
In June 2014, an unnamed 24-year-old British civil servant was sacked
for posting offensive comments about the disaster on.
In 2009, nearly twenty years to the day after the disaster, Steven
Cohen, a presenter on Fox Soccer Channel and Sirius satellite radio in
the United States (an Englishman and Chelsea fan), stated on his radio
show that Liverpool fans "without tickets" were the "root cause" and
"perpetrators" of the disaster. A boycott of advertisers by American
Liverpool fans eventually brought about an apology from him.
Despite this he was replaced as presenter of Fox Football Fone-in. His
actions were disowned by Chelsea Football Club and he no longer works
as a broadcaster.
In 1996, Sir Bernard Ingham, former press secretary to former Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, caused controversy with his comments about
the disaster. In a letter addressed to a victim's parent, Ingham wrote
that the disaster was caused by "tanked up yobs". In another
letter written to a Liverpool supporter, also written in 1996, Ingham
remarked that people should "shut up about Hillsborough". On
the day of the inquest verdict, Ingham refused to apologise or respond
to the previous comments he made, telling a reporter, "I have nothing
to say." There have since been calls to have Ingham stripped
of his knighthood.
In March 2018, British clothing retailer
Topman marketed a t-shirt
which was interpreted by members of the public including relatives of
Hillsborough victims as mocking the disaster. The t-shirt was red with
white details like a Liverpool shirt, and had the number 96 on the
back like a football shirt with the text "Karma" and "What goes around
comes back around", and a white rose, as associated with Yorkshire.
Topman stated that the t-shirt was in reference to a Bob Marley song
re-released in 1996 and apologised and withdrew the item.
Television and theatre
1989: After Dark
On 20 May 1989, a week after the disaster,
Channel 4 broadcast a
special live discussion Football – The Final Whistle? Bereaved
parent Eileen Delaney was a guest, along with her husband James.
Extracts from what she said can be read here and in Hillsborough –
The Truth by
Phil Scraton (Mainstream Publishing 2016). The entire
After Dark programme can be accessed online here.
Main article: Hillsborough (film)
A television drama film, based on the disaster and subsequent events,
titled simply Hillsborough, was produced by Granada Television. It was
highly praised and won the BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama in 1997.
Ricky Tomlinson and Mark Womack were among the
leading actors appearing in the film. It was aired for the first time
in 1996, and has been aired four times since then, in 1998, 2009, in
September 2012 on the weekend following the release of the findings of
the Hillsborough Independent Panel, and again on 1 May 2016 on
Main article: Hillsborough (2014 documentary)
The American sports network ESPN, as part of its
30 for 30
30 for 30 series of
sports films (under a new "Soccer Stories" subdivision), aired the
documentary Hillsborough as a co-production with the BBC. Directed by
Daniel Gordon, the 2-hour film chronicles the disaster, the
investigations, and their lingering effects; it also included
interviews with survivors, victims' relatives, police officers and
investigators. Hillsborough aired the first time on 15 April 2014, the
25th anniversary of the disaster. The documentary was unable
to be shown in Great Britain upon initial release due to the 2012 High
Court inquest still being in progress. The documentary includes
previously unreleased security camera footage from the stadium on the
day of the disaster. However, after the inquest verdict the BBC
aired the documentary on 8 May 2016, with additional footage from the
inquest and its final verdict.
Two British stage plays also dealt with the disaster with different
Jonathan Harvey's Guiding Star showed a father coming to terms with
what had happened some years later.
Lance Nielsen wrote Waiting For Hillsborough about two Liverpool
families waiting for news of their missing loved ones on the day,
which leads to discussion of football safety and the culture of
blame. Nielsen's play won him an award at the 1999 Liverpool Arts
and Entertainment awards and was highly praised by the Liverpool
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Hillsborough Independent Panel
Hillsborough Independent Panel (includes digital archives of material
used for the panel's inquiry)
Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG)
Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC)
Liverpool Football Club Hillsborough Memorial
HFD – A brief but fact filled reposte of the myths of the
Detailed transcript of The Sun newspaper coverage of the Hillsborough
List of archive and library material relating to the disaster held at
Sheffield City Council's Libraries and Archives.
Bibliography of over 150 books, journal articles, TV programmes and
websites relating to the Disaster and its aftermath produced by
Sheffield City Council's Archives Service.
A 20 minute video of the disaster in Windows Media Player format.
Hillsborough disaster report (7.25 megabytes) (Archive)
Human stampedes and crushes
List of human stampedes
1823 Convent of the Minori Osservanti
1876 Brooklyn Theatre
1883 Victoria Hall
1902 Shiloh Baptist Church
1903 Iroquois Theatre
1908 Barnsley Public Hall
1913 Italian Hall
1927 Laurier Palace Theatre
1943 Bethnal Green tube station
1946 Burnden Park
1954 Kumbh Mela
1967 Kayseri Atatürk Stadium
1968 Monumental Stadium
1979 The Who concert
1981 Karaiskakis Stadium
1985 Heysel Stadium
1987 Shanghai Lujiazui
1988 Kathmandu stadium
1991 Oppenheimer Stadium
1993 Camp Randall Stadium
1993 Lan Kwai Fong
1996 Ujjain and Haridwar
1996 Estadio Mateo Flores
1997 Uphaar Cinema
2000 Roskilde Festival
2001 Ellis Park Stadium
2001 Accra Sports Stadium
2001 Akashi pedestrian bridge
2003 E2 nightclub
2003 The Station nightclub
2005 Mandher Devi temple
2005 Al-Aaimmah bridge
2005 Chennai (November)
2005 Chennai (December)
2006 PhilSports Stadium
2008 Naina Devi temple
2010 Kor Royal Cup
2010 Love Parade
2010 Phnom Penh
2012 Port Said Stadium
2012 Satsanga Deoghar
2013 Kiss nightclub
2013 Kumbh Mela
2013 Madhya Pradesh
2014 Stade Tata Raphaël
2014 Shanghai Bund
2015 30 June Stadium
2015 Colectiv nightclub
2017 Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino
Football in South Yorkshire
Dodworth Miners Welfare
Frecheville Community Association
Stocksbridge Park Steels
Worsbrough Bridge Athletic
Doncaster Rovers Belles
Oughtibridge War Memorial Ladies
Rotherham United Ladies
Sheffield United Community Ladies
Sheffield Wednesday Ladies
Steel City Wanderers
Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League (levels 11-13)
Doncaster & District Senior League (levels 14-15)
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup
Sheffield & Hallamshire Women's County League (levels 7-9)
Sheffield & Hallamshire Women's Challenge Cup
New York Stadium
Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA
The Rules derby
The Steel City derby
Liverpool Football Club
Records and statistics
Reserves & Academy
Founding Fathers of
League record by opponent
Manchester United rivalry
Reclaim The Kop
Spirit of Shankly
Liverpool (video game)
Well Red magazine
43 Years with the Same Bird
Red or Dead
Fifteen Minutes That Shook the World
One Night in Istanbul
"The Fields of
"You'll Never Walk Alone"
UEFA Champions League qualification
The Boot Room
Fenway Sports Group
Respect 4 All
Superleague Formula team
1915 British football betting scandal
Nottingham Forest Football Club
Forest Recreation Ground
Derby County rivalry (Brian Clough Trophy)
Leicester City rivalry
English football portal