At the match on April 15th, 1989, Liverpool supporters were put into ‘pens’ in the stadium, with fences at the front to prevent any possible attempts by supporters to enter the field of play in a ‘pitch invasion’. At 2.50pm, ten minutes before the start of the match, the pens were full to capacity and a crush of people trying to get in began to develop outside the stadium. At 2.52pm, the police ordered an exit gate opened to alleviate this, and thousands more people entered the already full terraces. Six minutes after the start of the match, at 3.06pm, the police ordered that the match be stopped due to the developing crush. Minutes later the situation became a tragedy: a crush barrier collapsed, and as the crush intensified, some could not expand their chests to breathe in. They died of compression asphyxia.
What followed was one of the most extensive cover-ups and miscarriages of justice in British legal history. Minutes after the crush began, South Yorkshire Police had begun to concoct a version of events that would lay the blame fully with the supporters. Witnesses and relatives of the dead were interviewed as if they were criminals. The emerging narrative described the supporters as drunk, violent thugs who failed to comply with police orders to move back and form an orderly queue.
The coverup of the Hillsborough tragedy was part of a sustained attack on working-class communities and culture throughout the 1980s.
Thanks. God bless.