Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: You'll Never Walk Alone

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    I guess it's not unfair per se that NZ is the only country that takes netball seriously enough to pay the players megabucks. It's a bit like the US always winning at American Football, or the Aussies at Aussie Rules (do they actually have *any* overseas top-level competition at that?) though.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Sports minister Andy Burnham tries to address a crowd of Liverpool supporters, gathered in the stands at Anfield for a memeorial service for the 96 who died in the Hillsborough tragedy 20 years ago.
    As he spoke, the corwd started shouting him down with prolonged chants of "justice for the 96".
    Living in London between 1989 and 1991, I didn't have an appreciation for how ordinary citizens could behave come football day, until finding myself on a platform with fans screaming obscenities at the away side on the other platform with police backup. Back then everyone said "don't get caught with Millwall fans", being on a platform with Arsenal fans was bad enough.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Note how the decline of violence at English football matches coincided with Millwall’s relegation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Note how the decline of violence at English football matches coincided with Millwall’s relegation.

    I thought it coincided with Acid House and the proliferation of 'e'? Give us a hug.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Note how the decline of violence at English football matches coincided with Millwall’s relegation.

    Indeed, I suspect pills & warehouse parties too.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Snap

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    From that same Guardian article;

    Without a conviction, or at least admission of liability, there could be no closure for the likes of John Glover, who lost his 20-year-old son Ian. He also considered his two other boys to be victims of Hillsborough. After the disaster, both were so traumatised that they were told they were unlikely ever to be able to work again. Joseph Glover, then 22, tried to resuscitate Ian with the kiss of life. For years, he slept on his brother's gravestone. He felt it was wrong that he'd survived and Ian hadn't. Ten years ago, he returned to work. On his first day back, he was crushed to death unloading a wagon. It was beyond irony. No wonder John Glover thought his family was cursed.

    Unbelievable.

    We were at Anfield last May and checked out the Justice shop, it's really really sad and my kids struggled to understand what it was all about.

    Also, a few of the Hammers fans have give some great descriptions of the 1988 FA Cup tie at QPR which thankfully wasn't a fenced ground. I don't think Steve would mind me posting this here;

    I was also at Loftus Road for that cup tie, and I'm
    convinced I would have died if there had been fences. I was told that
    QPR sold 21,000 tickets to West Ham fans. My ticket was for a seat
    down the side of the ground (because I thought standing that day would
    be crazy), but when I got to the ground at 2pm the police said that
    stand was already full and I had to go and stand behind the goal. West
    Ham fans occupied the majority of three sides of the ground, I've
    never seen anything like it. The line to get in was insane, with no
    help from the police, who just stood around making unhelpful snarky
    comments, and when I finally made it into the ground (at about 3.05,
    after kick-off), there were about a bazillion fans crammed into every
    centimeter of the stand. It was truly horrible. As the crush got worse
    and worse, people began spilling onto the plastic pitch. Thankfully.
    After which a policeman on a horse came over and tried to push us
    back, while his horse took a dump. Never was the chant "Shitty pitch,
    shitty pitch, shitty pitch" louder or more apt.

    Fences, poor ground management, and treating people like dirt. It's a perfect cocktail for a severe f**k up at some point.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Also, from that Guardian article, Steven Gerrard's 10 year old cousin died at Hillsborough. Gerrard was 8 years old.

    And the current Lord Mayor of Liverpool should have been in the Leppings Lane End but swapped his ticket for a stand seat.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Unbelievable.

    How F**king tragic.

    And the current Lord Mayor of Liverpool should have been in the Leppings Lane End but swapped his ticket for a stand seat.

    This is what Bruce Grobbelaar the Liverpool goalie recalled at the Leppings lane end.

    There are other interviews with a mother looking for her son, the only ambulance driver that got onto the field and some others recalling the day. Some very moving stories.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    I remember when I was in London a couple of years ago seeing an official police sign in a tube station saying: "Caution there is a football match this weekend at Emirates Stadium. Do not use this station as it will be filled with Arsenal supporters".

    Maybe it was more of a public service thing because they were going to have to do all of the station announcements in French that day?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    For those interested, there is a new documentary on Hillsborough to mark the 20 year anniversary being shown on History Channel tonight (not the excellent Jimmy McGovern docu-drama mind).

    The doco tonight will feature Dalglish talking publicly for the first time of the impact it had on him and the club.

    Yes, with 20/20 hindsight it now seems clear it (or something very much like 'it') was always a disaster waiting to happen, with clubs, football authorities, police, government, and indeed some fans all too willing to accept poor or compromised or outdated standards of safety.

    Have seen it suggested more than once that Conservatives considered football a grubby working-mans sport and were more than happy to see the sport dwindle and die (and indeed it was the likes of Conservative Ministers Douglas Hurd and Patnick who were all too willing to parlay the lies to The Sun that has so inflamed the Hillsborough tragedy).

    Its somewhat ironic that the tragedy led directly to the Taylor report which has led to all seater stadiums, premier league stuffed with foreign stars, players earning squillions, and average fans being priced out of a seat.

    I myself can still remember getting up early in the morning with a flatmate (also a mad Liverpool fan) to watch the game, and being so traumatised that we were still sitting on the couch staring at the TV later that night - didn't move all day.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie,

    In our office in Liverpool people observed two minutes silence. In town shop staff stood outside shops and many shoppers stood silently as well. Cars and taxis pulled over. Liverpudlians are perhaps not typically English in nature in that they are willing to wear their hearts on their sleeves when demonstrating their solidarity. Its one of the excuses that some other English people use to dislike them.

    Unlike some other football tragedies this one doesn’t seem to go away because of the sense of justice not being done. Its very sad because families don’t seem to be able to move on. South Yorkshire police gave an apology recently and I hope things like that help.

    I have lived here for about 5 years and am picking up on bits and pieces of the culture. Some time ago I was standing talking to my boyfriend’s aunty who ran the butty shop and newsagent at the back of the local train station waiting room. A man from out of town asked her “have you got the Sun love?”
    “No, we don’t sell it” she informed him. He looked a bit confused so I reassured him, “You don’t want to read that anyway, it’s a shit paper, full of lies”
    I practically felt like a local.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I'm a Liverpool fan and never been to Liverpool, or the UK.
    Rosie I like the sentiment you've expressed.

    What we need to be careful of is the power we give to others.
    Why were the Police in charge?
    Why was there no co-ordination? Why were the assumptions that the crowd were invading the pitch rather than trying to live?

    Some of my immediate thoughts revolve around class and power which are pretty ugly. Any other thoughts are welcome.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    The reaction to the speech given by Secretary of Culture and Sport Andy Burnham was touching, I think, and a reminder of the very raw feelings and animosity still held toward the authorities.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I remember the Hillsborough tragedy so well. I was standing behind the bar at the time serving punters, in a pub in London, and glancing from time to time at the TV, which was mounted above the front door. I watched the whole thing unfolding and it was so surreal. Because, of course, they showed the footage of people being squashed up against the fence for a long time afterwards. I remember them blaming the punters who couldn't get in the grounds, pushing their way in. They blamed alot of things.And I remember it taking a while before they came to the decision that taking the fences down wouldn't be the forerunner of global chaos.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    For those interested, there is a new documentary on Hillsborough to mark the 20 year anniversary being shown on History Channel tonight (not the excellent Jimmy McGovern docu-drama mind).

    Thanks Richard for the heads up. I watched the doco last night, my god what a monumental f**k-up by the police and the FA for not delaying the kickoff.The callousness of the authority and the Sun newspaper in the branding of innocent people who died was so unnecessary.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Hillsborough's impact was huge precisely because it was played out before a live TV audience. The attempt by the police and authorities to shirk any responsinbility and effectively blame the victims for what happend could never be reconcilled by a public who could easily recall the horrors they witnessed in their living rooms and pubs that day. The Sun newspaper’s sales have never recovered in Liverpool as a result of a boycott after the despicable “The Truth” smear headline, and the fact that no one has ever been held to account for the tradgedy to this day is still a source of great anger and resentment on Merseyside. Anyone who spent time on the terraces at British football grounds int he 70’s and 80’s as i did, when hooligans were the youth folk devils de jour, will be able to tell at least one story of a time they exeprienced a frightening life threatening crush exacerbated by heavy handed policing and fenced pens on the terraces. Hillsborough was an accident waiting to happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    What we need to be careful of is the power we give to others.
    Why were the Police in charge?
    Why was there no co-ordination? Why were the assumptions that the crowd were invading the pitch rather than trying to live?

    It was Thatcher's England, football fans were not liked by her government despite their toadying up to an increasingly conservative working/lower middle class in the southern part of the country.

    Add to this that the far north east and north west, especially Liverpool with a left wing city council was seen as the enemy within by her and her business & media toadies such as The Sun and you have the perfect climate for the almost sub-human treatment of LFCs fans on that day. Kelvin MacKenzie was the Sun editor who authorised the "The Truth" editorial and even his own staff were appalled by it. Amazingly the man still works in the media and is still insulting the Hillsborough victims and Liverpool fans even as recently as the last couple of years.


    The grounds were prehistoric death traps and the fans were the enemy. The father in the documentary Richard mentions above talked about shouting at a policeman from the side pen that his 2 daughters were trapped in the crushing centre pen and he was told to "shut his trap and stop causing trouble", that was the attitude on the day and it's easy to see why nothing was done until it was far too late.

    It wasn't all rosy here though, the most frightening crowd crush I've been in was at a Ranfurly Shield match at Lancaster Park in 1985. Lancaster Park was a grovel of a ground back then, the terraces moved as thousands of fans jumped up and down and pushed and jostled, the steps were just 2x4 framing, it was the pits. On this day the terraces were packed, I couldn't move and the surges were sweeping us off our feet completely out of control. I fought my way to the side at half time and hung onto a barrier. It was terrifying, and I can't begin to imagine what those people at Hillsborough went through in that centre pen on that day.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    There was a good doco on the history channel last night on it. Had interviews with people who had lost family (one has lost both daughters, another a 14 yo son) and also Liverpool players from the game. From watching that and from what I have read the main reason it happened was police ineptness, ie letting 2000 extra people into the section that was already being crushed. Then not letting the ambulances into the ground because the police said that the fans were rioting. Really a disgrace, but if it had not happened then it probably would have at some other time with people being horded into pens.
    The police didn't want to help they just saw the fans as scum.
    It is really a truly sad symbol of waste that the Thatcher years brought about.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    For those interested, there is a new documentary on Hillsborough to mark the 20 year anniversary being shown on History Channel tonight (not the excellent Jimmy McGovern docu-drama mind).

    Sorry missed that one, it was the same doco I saw

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Was just reading up on the Bradford City FC fire in 1985. Police and fans were apparently working together well there, but when an entire stand burns down in four minutes... the entire thing was a mass of wood and bitumen, and fire extinguishers were also not available there, in order to prevent them being used as missiles in-game by rowdy spectators.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    There was also the riot that killed 39 people in 1985 which led to every English club being banned from Uefa for 5-10 years. Unlike 1989 this was directly cause by hooliganism. These and others almost killed football in the 80's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heysel_Stadium_disaster

    Some say the turning point was Arsenal's amazing league victory on the last kick of the season that same year over Liverpool. That obviously coupled with the changes in the Taylor report brought the revival to what it is today (not that all of it has been good)

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Some say the turning point was Arsenal's amazing league victory on the last kick of the season that same year over Liverpool.

    Hmmmm, Michael Thomas never scored against Liverpool again, Liverpool bought him for the next season.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The Taylor report certainly changed English football.

    But probably not as much as the Bosman ruling.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    One of my minor papers this year, sports history, and it suggests that rioting at sports matches was a great drawcard in the 18th and 19th century [I mean, look at the Eton Wall Game] and was even encouraged at top level. Apparently it was the media's shift to cover live sport and wish to not be associated with violence which led to the gradual decline in hooliganism.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

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