remembering Hillsborough

Posted: April 15, 2009 in football

Like many football fans, I was extremely moved by today’s emotional ceremony at Anfield to mark the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster when 96 Liverpool fans were killed at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

I was thinking about Hillsborough a few weeks ago when I took my six-year-old son Toby to his first big game (albeit a disappointing 0-0 between the Mighty QPR and Crystal Palace). Loftus Road may not be the most luxurious football ground in the world but siting in safety and comfort in the “family stand” was a million miles away from my experiences in the 1970s and early 1980s. I shudder when I think back to the many times I might have been crushed to death  on the heaving terraces – yes, even at Loftus Road in those heady days – as we were crushed by crowds against barriers and walls. It took the tragedy of Hillsborough to make football grounds safer and I for one will swap a little diminshed atmopshere over life and death any day.

Hopefully, when Toby takes himself to matches in the future it won’t be a life and death issue. The ultimate irony, of course, is that despite his Dad’s best efforts, he has declared himself a Liverpool fan.

Safely seated: Father and son at QPR, April 4, 2009

Safely seated: Father and son at QPR, April 4, 2009

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