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    Changing times

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    derbygee

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    Changing times

    Post by derbygee on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:59 pm

    I was just pondering the Hillsborough disaster and thinking how times change both before and since.

    In the 70s and 80s I was in the RAF  and fully expected if killed on duty I'd have a corner of a foreign field that would be forever England, now we repatriate our war casualties to their families.

    In 1946 in the shadow of WW2 33 people were killed in remarkably similar circumstances to Hillsborough in a cup quarter final at Burnden Park, a further 400 were injured. The dead were lined up along a touchline and covered with coats. A fresh touchline was marked with sawdust and after the 400 injured were removed for medical attention the game resumed. Stanley Matthews played in the game and commented afterwards "perhaps the game should have been abandoned" There are no records of a witchunt or police cover ups just a seemingly passive acceptance.
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    Stockport Ram

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    Re: Changing times

    Post by Stockport Ram on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 10:34 pm

    That's because there was no police cover up, and the game was not all ticket. The turnstiles were closed twenty minutes before kick off, and no one opened any gates to allow extra fans in.

    There were similarities though. Just as the tunnel at Hillsborough drew those entering at the Leppings Lane End into pens 3 and 4, so other areas of the terrace where the crush occurred at Bolton were still being used by the MOD, post war, so people were effectively penned into an area smaller than expected.  

    You could argue that those entering "illegally" in 1946 by climbing over railings were in fact more culpable than those "tickeless Scouse yobs" entering through the gate opened by South Yorkshire Police.  The rumour was that someone tried to unpick a locked gate to get out in 1946, but that by doing so, allowed many more to get in. Others say that the gate was broken down by sheer force of fans from outside - we will never know.  Either way, it wasn't done by the authorities.


    Mistakes happen. I would suggest that the biggest one was scheduling the game at Hillsborough in the first place. Just look at the scenes at the 81 semi between Wolves and Spurs - after which Hillsborough was not allowed to host for six years.

    It was a disaster waiting to happen.


    "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."
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    bramhallram

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    Re: Changing times

    Post by bramhallram on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 10:33 am

    derbygee wrote:
    In 1946 in the shadow of WW2 33 people were killed in remarkably similar circumstances to Hillsborough in a cup quarter final at Burnden Park, a further 400 were injured. The dead were lined up along a touchline and covered with coats. A fresh touchline was marked with sawdust and after the 400 injured were removed for medical attention the game resumed. Stanley Matthews played in the game and commented afterwards "perhaps the game should have been abandoned" There are no records of a witchunt or police cover ups just a seemingly passive acceptance.

    It seems incredible to us (well to me anyway) that dead bodies could be 'lined up along a touchline and covered with coats' and the game allowed to continue, but 1946 was just after the war and I suppose people were hardened to seeing death all around them.

    But problems of overcrowding go back even further than 1946. The first Wembley FA Cup Final was played in 1923 and according to reports at the time the crowd was at least 10,000 over the official capacity of 100,000. People just scrambled over the walls, swarmed onto the pitch and had to be forced back by police on horseback. This video clip makes interesting viewing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UORQK_hRlhM

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    purpleram

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    Re: Changing times

    Post by purpleram on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 12:10 pm

    Also we had just come out of a savage world war, and people understandably were less sentimental about death, if that's the correct way to express it?
    In the heavy industry deaths were a regular occurrence in the days before HSE.

    As you say changing times, but it is stupid to judge history through our Western, first World eyes.
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    KeoghKeogh

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    Re: Changing times

    Post by KeoghKeogh on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:47 am

    Whilst the magnitude (and thankfully the outcome) was incomparable to any of the disasters mentioned, I was at the Burton v Chesterfield league game at the end of last season.

    I stood on the side terrace.

    It was obvious that there were too many Spireite fans for the space in the Burton away end. I could see Spireites who had got inside the ground (with tickets, I imagine) but who could not get into the stand itself.

    For most of the first half they were standing inside the ground and the back of their stand - some were watching the game through the fence in the corner between the away stand and the side terrace.

    Throughout the first half the Burton stewards were trying to make more space in the Away end - the isles were pretty full.

    By the start of the second half it seemd like the Spireites had either gone or did get into the away end.

    So, no tragedy - but due mainly to the patience of the Spireites and the efforts of the stewards. I was surprised that the Spireites were not allowed into the side terrace as the risk of trouble by doing so was minimal whereas leaving them in the ground but unable to get to see the game wasn't IMHO
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    old ewe

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    Re: Changing times

    Post by old ewe on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 9:02 am

    I was at Liverpool for the Chesterfield League/Milk? Cup replay. It took 30 mins to get us into the ground during which the police were very disparaging and seemed intent on sparking a fight so they could make arrests. They had cleared part of one end for us.... next to the small fenced corner for Away fans.  During the second half  of the game we were all shepherded through a gate into this area. We spent the rest of the game 'walking' fans from the back of the pen to the front on our shoulders because there just wasn't the ground space for us all.........men, women and children.
    Needless to say after the game there wasn't a policeman in sight as we walked through the park back to our buses....... but there WERE a lot of Liverpool fans waiting to put the boot in.........

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