Paying Our Respects To The 96

This is a hard subject to talk about for everyone but these people need to be remembered as we are one of them. We are all football fans or at least fans of sport in general. 

Sport has many advantages but bringing likeminded people together to watch the highs and lows of their teams or other peoples teams is top of the list. It drives us to keep turning up time and time again.

On that fatal afternoon on April 15th 1989, I sat watching Grandstand to see scenes of the tragic event unfolding.

Liverpool fans had been let into the over-crowded Leppings Lane stand at Hillsborough whilst a near empty corner stand could and should have been used.

The match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was abandoned after 6 minutes as fans spilled onto the pitch.

The frantic happenings, which started when entering the Leppings Lane stand of the ground had resulted in too many fans been in the one stand with many fans getting injured, and 96 fans paying with their lives for following their team.

Its a thought I remember on a regular basis as a 9 year old football fan, it scarred me, also the headline ran by The Sun newspaper, about Liverpool fans stealing from their own, angers me to this day.

Rest in Peace one and all. Your deaths weren’t in vain. I for one am grateful for all-seater stadia that the Taylor Report (produced after this disaster happened) advised in its findings.

I just wish it could have been learned from and help prevent other tragedies namely the recent disaster at Felix Houphouet-Biogny stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. These tragic events have to be stopped once and for all.

I hope the tributes on Wednesday are a fitting remembrance to the 96. You can find out more about Hillsborough at

I personally believe that BBC Sport should take the interactive button to the next level. The BBC Sport Channel.

They provide fantastic coverage of sport through various means; television, radio, internet, ceefax etc. I know I disagreed with their lack of Final Score at the International weekend recently, but their mistakes are minimal.

Interactive only works if you have the ‘red button’, many sports fans don’t. The BBC has excellent funding through the television license scheme, surely it’s time to compete with Sky, Setanta and also rans.

The coverage offered through its current means are fantastic, they have the knowledge, skill and understanding of offering its viewers each sport to its optimum, recent broadcasts of The Grand National and Formula 1 are testament to this.

Other shows televised like A Question of Sport, Inside Sport; radio offerings of 606 phone-ins and Fighting talk: on-line offerings like expert blogs (Tim Vickery and Jonathon Agnew spring to mind); put these all together and you have the basis of an excellent package.

Go on BBC give it a go. Sport needs you to do this, it really does and we want you to do this.

Cheers for reading. Enjoy your sports viewing this weekend!!


P.S. A huge well done to Arsene Wenger for sticking to his belief in his players. 23 games with with only one defeat (the away leg to AS Roma which they won on penalties) has shown his credentials as a great manager in charge of a fantastic group of players.

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