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There but for the Grace of God

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I took a few moments today to remember the fact that I had two brothers at Hillsborough on that fateful day and was lucky that both came home safe, whilst many other families could not say the same.

In the days before mobile phones, my own journey back from Villa Park has stayed long in the memory; elation at our own result turned to disbelief as the tragedy unfolded over the radio whilst we drove back up the M6. Whilst we slag off our dear neighbours for so many reasons, this is one case were local rivalries pale into insignificance.
Steve Guy, Harrogate     Posted 16/04/2011 at 09:56:54

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Mike Prendergast
1   Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:49:46

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Well said.
Andrew Mackenzie
2   Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:56:15

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I have the sames thoughts Steve, it was the first away game I was allowed to go to as a teenager. I clearly remember standing on the Holt End, segregated down the centre from Norwich fans. Scrappy goal... then listening in disbelief at what we were hearing on the radio on the coach before we finally set off for home to greet the other half getting off coaches at the Rocket and finding out what the hell went on. Dark days.

Otherwise, I remember that balmy evening Goodison derby for their first match and the cup final which was more of a Merseyside day out than anything! Never mind Sky, not sure I saw football in the same way after that day!

Don Kiddick
3   Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:12:25

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Here here
Lee Courtliff
4   Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:57:54

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Well said mate.
Paul Harnett
5   Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:36:58

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Well remembered Steve. I was also at Villa and remember the raucous exit suddenly going quiet and the rush for the phone boxes. I never went to a game for years after that and still avoid away matches, but relented one derby match when a red mate gave me his season ticket behind the Liverpool Director's box - I was the lone blue around when Kanchelskis scored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Roberto Birquet
6   Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:57:42

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My brother did not phone till 8.30 pm. He said you could not get to a phone, people were queuing up outside people's houses in Sheffield. That at a bloody football game. I couldn't believe it.

I wasn't at Villa, but out with a mate. I only remember going to check our score in a Dixons, "yes!" and then checked for Liverpool's and "Jesus!"

And still there's no honesty from above about what happened. Looking back and all what's gone on recently with police, NotW and phone-hacking, kettling, Tomliinson, attempting to lie about the Brazilian killed at Stockwell tube in 2005, they have lost a lot of my respect.
Eugene Ruane
7   Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:44:47

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Me too Steve.

Had a lot of red mates at the game (all who thankfully got out ok).

Still chills me to the bone when I sit and think of it and when I see those pictures.

Actually I remember being at Spurs in 85, absolutely jam-packed in the away section and (for the first time in my life) being more than a little scared at the match and thinking 'this can't be right, what if something gives here?'.

I always think of that game and think 'There but for the Grace of God...' etc.

As well as the police, whoever came up with the idea of fences in the first place got off light, imo.
Brian Denton
8   Posted 16/04/2011 at 23:47:38

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I remember that crush at Spurs too, Eugene. In fact I remarked on it when we had this thread after the 20th Anniversary Service at Anfield. There was hardly any movement when Andy Gray scored for us early on, because there was nowhere to move to. I think we got lucky that night, in retrospect.
Trevor Lynes
9   Posted 16/04/2011 at 23:58:07

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A horrific calamity in the history of Liverpool as a city with so many fans killed and injured.... it is chilling to think that when I first went to matches in the late 40's and early 50's its really amazing that we did not have any disasters with crowds of over 70,000 at Goodison....I actually attended matches with 75,000 and 72,000 when I had to be tied to the crush barrier with a scarf....
Andrew James
10   Posted 17/04/2011 at 01:41:36

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Trevor - off topic but why do half that amount come to Goodison now?

Could this be down to migration from Merseyside?
Roberto Birquet
11   Posted 17/04/2011 at 02:58:20

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Could this be down to migration from Merseyside?

That, the prices... probably a lot went in groups from working at the same factory together. I belive 3pm KO were to fit in with half-day Saturday working.

Just a guess; different days.
Paul Harnett
12   Posted 17/04/2011 at 10:44:38

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Emigration. Liverpool was second city of the empire in the 30s ? 1 million people ? yet not enough to qualify as a Metropolitan Area (½ million) in the reorganisation of counties.
Sega Kana
13   Posted 17/04/2011 at 10:57:26

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Andrew #10. It used to be 70K+ because it was terraces with standing room only, no seats. After Hillsborough, I believe rules where changed so that all stadiums have only seated arena.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 17/04/2011 at 13:22:10

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Horrible day to remember that. I was with my dad looking for the scores and started laughing at first because it just looked to be a pitch invasion but when the news started coming through it was horrendous to watch.

One of my sister's friends died there that day and it is the only time that I have been to Anfield. I went to lay down some flowers with lads from school, haven't been back since.

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