30 years ago: The disaster of Hillsborough


In Sheffield occurred on September 15. April 1989, the worst stadium disaster in Europe’s football. 96 people lose their lives. The police are making serious mistakes and covered up. The work-up continues to this day.

15. April will always be a special day for the Liverpool FC. On this day, the disaster at Hillsborough, when 96 supporters of the “Reds” were killed, marks the anniversary. In the Hillsborough stadium of Sheffield, Liverpool FC supporter at the lower edge of a crowded Blocks were pressed against the fence at the end 94 of them were dead. Another seriously injured died a few days later in the hospital, the last victim only after four years of coma. The youngest among the dead was Jon-Paul Gilhooley, ten-year-old Cousin of the later Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Tragic Wrong Decision

15. April 1989 was supposed to be a beautiful football afternoon. The sun shone on the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield. Liverpool FC against Nottingham Forest was the encounter in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The game ran only for a few minutes, as the biggest disaster took place in European football: in Some stand-up space-blocks on the West stand at Hillsborough stadium were already full to the brim. Nevertheless, more and more Fans of Liverpool FC have crowded in from the rear and the Front of the oppressed fences against the security. Fans who tried to escape over the fence on to the playing field, were detained by the police.

In their fear and desperation, a few Liverpool Fans saved themselves in the next higher tier for spectators

As in the case of the disaster in Brussels ‘ Heysel stadium four years earlier, opened the security forces, the gates, far too late, and let the panicky Fans on the lawn. Only forty minutes after game crash was the first ambulance in the stadium. The access gate was locked, the key was not to be found. The Fans of both camps helped each other: On torn banners they brought the wounded to safety.

Complete failure on the part of the police

Directly after the game, the English media jumped on the Liverpool Fans and gave them the blame. Finally, Hooligans from Liverpool, had been in the Heysel stadium responsible. However, a Commission of inquiry to the judge, Peter Murray Taylor came to a different conclusion: The so-called Taylor Report showed a complete failure on the part of the police.

On the ranks of Liverpool’s stadium to the 96 victims of Sheffield for 30 years

Apparently the police had opened great gates, in order to get the numerous, still in front of the stadium are Fans in time for the kick-off to the bleachers. However, they failed to direct the flows of masses in the still free areas of the West stand. So many people crowded in a narrow fenced-in blocks, from which it – was because the police closed held escape doors – no Escape.

No safe games

The Taylor Report has had a profound impact on the English and European football. A total of 76 recommendations were in the final paper of 1990. They addressed, among other things, with the serving of alcoholic beverages in the stadiums, with the arrangement of the barriers and fences in the stadium, and the turnstiles in front of it.

England’s football stadiums have been transformed into pure Seating arenas, besides, the iron disappeared grating between the bleachers and the playing field. Shortly thereafter, the world governing body FIFA and the European governing body, UEFA, to take on the rules. In international Play are offered, therefore, also in German stadiums only seat. In the Bundesliga, however, there is still floor space-blocks.

Re-examination – no accidental death

An independent investigation came in the fall of 2013 to the conclusion that you can save would have been living in Sheffield for 41 people when a faster help would come. In addition, the presiding judge made clear to the trial, that the victims meet not to blame, but the responsibility of the police liege. As a result, the High Court in London quashed all previous Verdicts for the Hillsborough disaster. A later success for the “Hillsborough Family Support Group (“HFSG), representing 74 families affected. For years, the group had to fight against the result of a first inquiry of 1991. At the time, had been decided on accidental death.

In the result of a new investigation Commission took the disaster under the microscope once again. In consequence, two proceedings were initiated against the police. Of a because of the misconduct of the stadium, another because of the subsequent cover-up of their own mistakes. More than 28 years after the disaster, the responsible parties were before the court.

No judgment against the chief of police

Ex-Police Chief David Duck Field

However, the trial against the former chief of police David Crouch’s field, was accused of a 96-counts of criminally negligent homicide, which ended a few days ago with a Wake-up call for the families of the victims: The court came to a judgment against the chief of police. The Prosecutor’s office announced a retrial. In contrast, the 69-year-old Graham Mackrell, former security officer of Sheffield Wednesday has been found guilty, to have the safety regulations are not respected. The sentence has not yet been set.

The Liverpool Fans keep track of the development of coming to terms with mixed feelings: sadness, anger, disappointment and hope. The hope is that the Team this season together with coach Jürgen Klopp for the first Time since 1990 English champion. Rare chances on the 19. Title for the “Reds” similar in size as this year.

Also, 30 years ago, the Sport was the best consolation in a Situation in which there could be no comfort: Three weeks after the disaster, of Hillsborough, Liverpool, and Nottingham played again against each other. Liverpool won the replay and moved into the final of the FA Cup. In may 1989, the “Reds defeated” at London’s Wembley stadium, FC Everton and the English Cup were the winner. After the game they celebrated like the victims of Hillsborough were still among them.