April 15th 1989 #JFT96
Today is one of the few days where I can pinpoint exactly where I was and what I was doing 25 years ago. The Cobblers were playing Sheffield United at the old County ground on April 15th 1989. It was a beautiful sunny day, there was a big crowd and a good match. We lost 2-1 as I recall but they were chasing promotion and had a fearsome forward in Brian Deane. At half time there was a stadium announcement to say that rioting had broken out at the FA cup semifinal at Hillsborough and that match had been abandoned.
When I got home I remember watching the TV scenes of devastation and chaos. 25 years later, there has still been no justice for the 96 people who like me went to watch a football match that afternoon but unlike me, never returned. The South Yorkshire Police have still not been properly held to account for their lies, repeated year after year about what actually happened that day. The media reporting and political reaction from the Conservative government was atrocious, shameful and contemptible. My thoughts today are with the families of the 96 who continue to fight against officialdom for justice for their loved ones. A terrible, terrible day for this country.
For any young people reading this post, April 15th 1989 was one of those days where when you look back, you realise that your world was changed. Any naive trust that I might have had as a youngster that the police were always honest and that you could believe things that were reported in the newspapers was lost that day. My great sadness is that nothing in the 25 years since has convinced me that anything has changed for the better.