The Hillsborough tragedy: twenty years on

Last week, the cities of Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield, along with swathes of the rest of the country, joined the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster to mark the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy that killed ninety-six Liverpool fans in April 1989. After police opened a gate that let hundreds of fans flood into the Sheffield Wednesday stadium for Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest, a horrific crush ensued that decimated the lives of so many people.

Some of you may be thinking that it is time to let the tragedy go: sad as it may be, it would be better for everyone if people tried to move on. Sadly, hundreds of people can’t. Dozens of tragic stories came to light in the press surrounding the anniversary: the man whose son tried to resuscitate his brother at the stadium, and slept on his grave for years, finally being killed himself on his return to work ten years later; the couple who went to the game with both of their teenage sons laughing in the back seat and returned alone; the many cases of severe trauma, depression and suicide that are attributed to the experiences of that day. But what is most difficult for many of the families is that they still don’t believe that they have had justice for the loved ones they’ve lost. The inquest into the deaths was deemed inadequate, as it did not take into account all of the events of the afternoon. Justice campaigns have sprung up across Liverpool, calling for a re-examination of the evidence.

The Boar hopes that any evidence that has previously been unreleased will be disclosed to help the families finally move on after all these years, and also appreciates the reminder that in sport, as we saw the blue scarves of Liverpool’s bitter rivals Everton mixed in the crowd, there are more important things than the game.

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