April 15th, 1989. The day when 96 people went to Nottingham Forest – Liverpool and never went back home. It was 3:06 pm when the match that has never end was interrupted in the opening minutes. It’s been 30 years since that FA Cup semi-final between two of the greatest clubs in England. Unfortunately, with a sad end. Three decades of homesickness and demands for justice for the 96 Hillsborough victims.
Earlier this month, the families of the dead fans were further frustrated. The jury has not reached a verdict over the police chief responsible for the security of the match, David Duckenfeld – who, if convicted, could face life in prison. The prosecution will ask for a new trial.
The only culprit so far has been the former secretary of Sheffield Wednesday, owner of the Hillsborough stadium. His penalty will be announced in May but it will be a maximum of two years.
One of the 1966 World Cup stadiums, Hillsborough was chosen by the Football Association (FA) to host the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest, two of the greatest powers of the 80s.
At the prime of hooliganism and in the shadow of another tragedy, Heysel’s, almost every stadium had bars separating the seats from the pitch. But the protective barrier would become a trap in the face of the overcrowding industry known as Leppings Lane Terrace, a sort of “general” in which it was possible to watch standing games.
There were seven turnstiles to control the entrance of about 10 thousand fans. and apparently, only one was working properly. The funnel that formed generated agglomeration on the outside, and the solution presented to minimize the confusion that formed in the surroundings was to open one of the exit gates.
There was no control due, and the stands were overcrowded. The police were slow to understand that whoever tried to jump the grid sought to save and contained at first what he thought was a field invasion. Anyone who could not jump and stood by the grating was pressed, crushed, suffocated.
Ninety-six Liverpool fans died and more than 700 were injured. For legal purposes, only 95 deaths are counted, as one of the fans died almost a year after the tragedy. It is believed that at least 40 fatalities could have been avoided if they had received correct care while still in the stadium.
Amongst these 96, there were fathers. Children. Women. Dreams that will never come true. There was even a cousin of legendary Steven Gerrard amongst the 96. After 30 years, we claim Justice for the 96. Football in England was changed after the incident. The way of the modern-looking stadiums isn’t the same as they looked like in the ’80s. Even Liverpool’s crest isn’t the same. They have added two torches symbolizing mourning and demanding justice. Justice for the 96.