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Old 26-05-21, 11:20 AM   #1961
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That's disgraceful
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Old 26-05-21, 01:44 PM   #1962
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This is depressing news.
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Old 26-05-21, 08:18 PM   #1963
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Just read the details of this, my understanding is that the judge is saying it's OK to alter statements and tamper wirlth evidence because it wasn't a statutory inquiry

Shocking decision there you just feel there will never be justice because the 'system' have been preventing it at every opportunity
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Old 26-05-21, 08:51 PM   #1964
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Old 26-05-21, 11:06 PM   #1965
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It's really sad, the poor families must be exhausted.

This and all this shite with Cummings and the Government makes me sad and ashamed to be British.
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Old 27-05-21, 08:29 AM   #1966
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https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57257199

Quote:
Hillsborough: Why the prosecutions collapsed
By Dominic Casciani
Home and legal correspondent

The collapse of the latest Hillsborough disaster trial was predicted - because of a legal technicality that was known to all involved.

It has been 32 years since 96 Liverpool fans were killed in the Hillsborough disaster that, by common acceptance, everyone now knows should never have happened.

There has been an inquiry into stadium safety, an independent review panel to get to the full truth, two sets of inquests - the second set to correct shortcomings of the first - and four criminal trials.

The upshot is that while the jury for the second set of inquests reached damning conclusions about police failings on the day, there has only been a single conviction - and that was the stadium's health and safety officer, who was fined £6,500.

Every other prosecution has failed.

First, the match day commander was found not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence - and now a solicitor and two senior police officers, accused of cooking up false accounts to cover up South Yorkshire Police's failures, have also been cleared.

The roots of the collapsed trial of solicitor Peter Metcalf and retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster can be found in a twist in the law which was clear from the outset of the case against them - and that raises questions for the Crown Prosecution Service as to why the trial went ahead at all.

The three men were alleged to have played a role in changing the accounts of some South Yorkshire Police officers who were involved in the day.

The specific crime the men were accused of committing was perverting the course of justice, which can lead to a life sentence.

It's one of the most serious offences in England and Wales, because it is a crime against the justice system itself as it prevents courts from getting to the truth.

And that's where the problem lay for the Crown Prosecution Service - it could not prove, as a matter of law, that the men had intended to lie to any court or judicial process at all

Some inquiries... are not real inquiries
The accounts the men were alleged to have manipulated had been prepared for Lord Justice Taylor's short inquiry into what had happened. He was under pressure to quickly come up with safety recommendations for football grounds before the start of the new season.

And so, and this is the key point, while he was a very senior judge in charge of a very important inquiry, it was not, in legal terms, a full "public inquiry" with the full powers to get to the truth. And that really matters if someone is going to be accused of lying or manipulating a formal judicial process or inquiry.

A series of important legal rulings down the years has clarified what the "course of justice" actually means - and it does not include the kind of review that was headed by Lord Justice Taylor.

He had no powers to force witnesses to attend or to give evidence under oath, as they would have to do in an official public inquiry or court. He could not even force those who did take part to tell him everything they knew.

And so, today, the judge in the trial of the three men concluded that none of the men could be accused of perverting the course of justice, because at the time the statements were prepared there had been no judicial process to pervert.

CPS warned in 2018
The Crown Prosecution Service knew about this technicality long before the trial began - because a previous judge involved in the Hillsborough saga had made exactly the same point in 2018.

So prosecutors had pinned their hopes on convincing a jury that although the accounts were prepared for the Taylor inquiry, everyone involved would have known that other formal proceedings were coming - inquests, criminal investigations or damages cases.

But the judge has said the CPS simply could not prove that case to a jury.

"The problem is that there is little or no evidence about those other proceedings and/or there is no basis upon which to say that anything done by any of these defendants had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice in relation to other proceedings," said Mr Justice William Davis in his ruling ending the case against the three men.

"I have concluded that there is no case fit for the jury's consideration."

Judges must follow the letter of the law - and whatever the actions of the three defendants back in 1989, they are all innocent of perverting the course of justice.

Their lawyers say the Crown Prosecution Service has serious questions to answer - labelling the entire affair a multi-million pound "witch-hunt" that should never have happened because there was no case against any of the men.

Some say there is an urgent need to change the law to ensure that a future and similar criminal case could be considered by a jury.

When he was an MP, Andy Burnham, the Merseyside-born mayor of Greater Manchester, lobbied for a "Hillsborough law" which would compel public institutions, and those working for them, to not only tell the truth in any kind of inquiry or proceedings, but to tell the full truth with candour and frankness.

But were that to be passed by Parliament, it would not apply to the tragic events of Hillsborough.
Essentially the Taylor inquiry wasn't a real inquiry as it didn't have the power to call witnesses, and those that were called weren't required to tell the truth. This seems remarkable and it seems like because of this the families never stood a chance of anyone being accountable.

The implication from reading this is that the police could do anything because they were preparing statements and evidence for an inquiry that had no legal standing. And because at that point there were no legal cases in preparation there are no consequences, even in the likely event that statements prepared for Taylor inquiry were used in subsequent legal trials which surely they must have been or at least those statements determined what evidence was and wasn't presented at those subsequent trials. It seems clear from what has been seen before that statements have been altered and this has collapsed because of a technicality and the failure of government to hold a 'real' inquiry back in 89.

When you look at it like this it's hard not to continue to think that the cover up began early and went all the way top the top of government, and despite the great efforts of the families you can't beat the system
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Old 27-05-21, 11:59 PM   #1967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exiled_red View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57257199



Essentially the Taylor inquiry wasn't a real inquiry as it didn't have the power to call witnesses, and those that were called weren't required to tell the truth. This seems remarkable and it seems like because of this the families never stood a chance of anyone being accountable.

The implication from reading this is that the police could do anything because they were preparing statements and evidence for an inquiry that had no legal standing. And because at that point there were no legal cases in preparation there are no consequences, even in the likely event that statements prepared for Taylor inquiry were used in subsequent legal trials which surely they must have been or at least those statements determined what evidence was and wasn't presented at those subsequent trials. It seems clear from what has been seen before that statements have been altered and this has collapsed because of a technicality and the failure of government to hold a 'real' inquiry back in 89.

When you look at it like this it's hard not to continue to think that the cover up began early and went all the way top the top of government, and despite the great efforts of the families you can't beat the system
That's why we need to throw our weight behind the campaign to change the system, with Burnham's "Hillsborough Law". It won't help us, or the Orgreave families. If it's passed quickly enough it might just help the Grenfell families though, and will help those that come after.

I long since gave up on any kind of real "justice". I'll have a nice bottle of red on standby for when the bastards Duckenfield and MacKenzie die, but beyond that I think a change in the law to prevent cover ups like this in future would be a great legacy. Let's get behind it.
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Old 28-05-21, 09:36 AM   #1968
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The statement that this is a cover up, of a cover up, of a cover up is pretty much bang on.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:35 PM   #1969
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Just got sent this and expect many more things to come out soon

Read this-

My family's Hillsborough cover up experience - I wanted to write this last week but was too devastated. Some of this will be very upsetting to read. It is accurately stated by many that South Yorkshire police used the same deceitful and corrupt tactics to cover up the disaster as they had against the miners during the '84-85 strike, most famously at Orgreave. What is far less mentioned is that they also used the same sexist and misogynistic tactics that West Yorkshire police had used to smear the Yorkshire Ripper's victims because they needed to cover up the serious failings and misconduct that marred that police investigation.

In the early hours of 16th April 1989, our friend Steve from Wallasey was interviewed by South Yorkshire police after he had just identified my mum's and Marian's bodies. They asked him about his relationship to my mum. He said sometimes my mum and us kids would stay at his if there was an evening match at Anfield and we'd catch the train home to London in the morning and he would stay at ours if Liverpool had been playing a night match in London and would return home to Merseyside the next day. One copper asked if he 'was shagging my mum'. Steve was shocked and burst out crying and the copper asked him the question again. This was done to smear her, him and all LFC fans. I also think they wanted a violent reaction from Steve, so it would support their drunken hooligan fake news/cover up story. They also tried to get him to say they'd all been drinking. He told me this on the night of my mum's funeral. I can't describe how painful, distressing and traumatic this was for me to hear. I had only just turned 17.

Two days after the funeral, 2 uniformed West Midlands police officers came to our house and took 2 illegal statements from both my brother and I. We were alone. No adults were present with us when they took our statements, which is illegal as we were under 18. The seperated us for interview. For me, it was just to say that the items they were returning were my mum's from that day. But it was much worse for my 13 year old brother. They tried to get him to say they'd all been drinking, which thankfully he refused to do. They also asked him questions such as, 'did your mum drink at home/at pubs, did she have a boyfriend/several boyfriends, did she go out drinking with these boyfriends,' etc? Exactly the same thing happened a few months later when plain clothes West Midlands CID came round and did the thing again to my brother. He told me all they asked about was whether they'd all been drinking.

This is a continuation of the questioning of Steve by South Yorkshire police on 16th April 1989. It proves that a false narrative had been constructed about my mum by 2 police forces - South Yorkshire and the 'investigating' West Midlands that sought to portray her as 1) a drunken hooligan, 2) a bad mother, 3) a slag/whore/promiscuous woman. There are no words that can do justice to the amount of pain, trauma and distress this has caused me. And the shame of my mum being smeared this way made me stay silent about it for years. But I refuse to any longer, this awful truth must be told.

In March 2014, the IOPC informed me that the 2 statements we had given to West Midlands police when they first visited in 1989 had been found. They told me this was 'proof of West Midlands police's corruption during the cover up and what made this worse was that both my brother and I were orphaned and wards or court (in the care of social services)'. No statements have ever been found from the CID visit and interview. They either don't want to show them or they didn't look hard enough.

I very strongly believe that mum was smeared in the most despicable manner by 2 UK police forces because they are institutionally racist - my mum married a non-white Asian man with whom she had 2 mixed race children and had an Asian surname. They are institutionally sexist and institutionally classist - my mum was poor, working class and a single parent. Thatcher had a war against single parents who were much demonised at that time for their 'immorality'.

I will NEVER EVER shut up about what they did to my family because THERE CAN NEVER BE PEACE WHILE THERE IS NO JUSTICE.

JFT96 YNWA Justice For All

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Old 04-06-21, 11:36 PM   #1970
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The South Yorkshire Police and the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad were a corrupt shower of bastards. Our campaign is probably done now, but I've donated to the Orgreave campaign and will be wearing their t-shirt to the first home game of next season. https://otjc.org.uk/about/
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Old 09-06-21, 01:22 PM   #1971
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Fair play - Theresa May used her question at PMQs today to argue for a change in the law


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Old 28-07-21, 09:39 PM   #1972
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Survivor Andrew Devine dies to become Hillsborough's 97th victim

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/spor...wsApp_AppShare

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Old 28-07-21, 10:03 PM   #1973
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Justice for the 97
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Old 28-07-21, 10:13 PM   #1974
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Heartbreaking.

JFT97
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Old 28-07-21, 10:18 PM   #1975
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RIP YNWA
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Old 28-07-21, 11:18 PM   #1976
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I just realised from reading the bbc article that I have sat behind him and his carer a few times at Anfield. Never knew he was at Hillsborough.

Rip
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Old 29-07-21, 11:24 AM   #1977
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Old 29-07-21, 11:53 AM   #1978
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Sad news

Thoughts with the family
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Old 05-08-21, 11:00 AM   #1979
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Liverpool Football Club will pay tribute to Andrew Devine, the 97th person unlawfully killed as a result of the Hillsborough disaster, ahead of the Reds' first Premier League home game on Saturday August 21.

A lifelong supporter of the club, Andrew passed away recently at the age of 55. Despite sustaining life-changing injuries at Hillsborough, he continued to attend matches at Anfield when possible.

In recognition of his passing, a minute’s silence will take place ahead of kick-off at our Premier League fixture against Burnley at Anfield to allow supporters, players and staff to come together to pay their respects. A special Kop mosaic will also be displayed, which will feature the Eternal Flames with the number 97.

LFC will also be reviewing its current 96 emblems with plans to change them to 97 in memory of Andrew. This will include the emblems on the backs of the playing shirts, although it is not possible to change them for the 2021-22 campaign at this point.

Andrew’s name will also be etched on the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield alongside the 96.

Liverpool Football Club’s thoughts continue to be with the Devine family and all those affected by the Hillsborough disaster.

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Old 05-08-21, 12:36 PM   #1980
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Although the coroner ruled the death unlawful killing I suppose it was only fair for the club to first consult with the family to see whether they were happy for things like the 96 to become 97 and for his name to be added. I assume the club taking these steps is the result of the discussions with the family
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Old 06-08-21, 08:41 AM   #1981
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‘No one who was there that day was ever the same again’ – the untold story of Hillsborough survivor Neil Hodgson
James Pearce Aug 5, 2021 36
“For a long time I couldn’t bring myself to talk about Hillsborough,” explains Neil Hodgson as he pulls up a chair in Taggy’s Bar on Anfield Road.
“Then in recent years we were told we couldn’t talk about it. We had to keep quiet because of the ongoing court cases. What a waste of time that was. Those who should have been held accountable were protected by the system in this country. Justice wasn’t done. I was there. I know what went on that day. Now they can’t stop me from telling people my story.”
It’s an extraordinary one. Thirty-two years may have passed since the worst disaster in the history of English football but the horrific memories of April 15, 1989, are still painfully vivid.
The devoted Liverpool supporter was caught up in the crush in the overcrowded central pens on the Leppings Lane End at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Having dropped to his knees and crawled through dozens of legs in order to reach the wall at the front of the terrace, Hodgson believes he owes his life to the persistence of goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, who convinced police to belatedly open the gate behind his goal to enable fans to escape on to the pitch.
“I wouldn’t be sat here now if Bruce hadn’t done what he did. No chance,” he says. The pair have since developed a close friendship which Hodgson cherishes.
On that fateful afternoon in Sheffield and in the devastating aftermath, he witnessed both the best and the worst of human nature. Kindness and camaraderie in stark contrast to cruelty and deception. Lies were peddled and a shameful cover-up launched by the authorities who tried to blame supporters for their own wretched failings.
Andrew Devine, who suffered permanent brain damage in the crush, legally became the 97th victim of Hillsborough when he passed away in July. The true toll is much greater.
A number of survivors have committed suicide over the years, others like Hodgson’s close friend Dave Cunningham, who emigrated to Australia, still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So many families were torn apart. So many still carry both physical and psychological scars.
“No one who was there that day was ever the same again,” Hodgson says. “It affected different people in different ways but it definitely changed us all.”
Home for Hodgson was on Cambria Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool, just a mile or so from Anfield. He lived with parents Joan and Andy, and his brother Carl.
“When I was a little kid, my mum used to leave the back door open when Liverpool were playing so we could hear the roar when they scored,” Hodgson smiles.
“When the really big games came along she would always make me a rosette to wear. I was born in 1966 and my first game was against West Brom in about 1977 or 1978. I was in the Annie Road End for that one.”
After attending Anfield Comprehensive School, he went to college and trained to be an electrician, working on the schooner “Spirit of Merseyside” at the docks before specialising in automotive electronics.

“As soon as I could drive I got myself a Ford Escort Mk2 and started going to all the away games with my mates. We used to meet up at the Flat Iron (a pub close to Anfield). The landlord would make us this peppery soup to put in our flasks for the journey if it was a long one. We went everywhere.
“We were never going to miss an FA Cup semi. April 15, 1989 was a glorious sunny day. I picked the lads up and we headed for Sheffield. We were all excited about watching the Reds hopefully get to another Wembley final.”
Neil was joined in the car by his brother Carl and friends Dave and Stevie. They headed for the Silver Fox pub in Stocksbridge, just 20 minutes away from the stadium.
“We had some sarnies and played killer pool. I wasn’t drinking as I was driving,” he recalls.
“We left about 2pm and drove down into Sheffield. We parked up in Harris Road. We’d done the same thing the year before when we also played Forest in the semis at Hillsborough.

“But the difference compared to 12 months earlier was massive. In 1988 there were regular ticket checks on the walk to the ground. That regulated and staggered the flow of people. But in 1989 we didn’t get stopped once. It was a shambles. The Leppings Lane End was like a funnel and the closer we got the scarier things became. There was no organisation, no control, no cordons. There was a bottleneck.
“We were a few yards from the turnstiles at about 2.45pm and I was thinking, ‘It’s getting a bit nuts around here’. A police horse got spooked and its arse was in our faces. My mate Dave was up against the wall and it looked like this horse was going to crush him so I grabbed hold of him and threw him right through the turnstile.
“The next thing the police ordered that they opened Gate C. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing. I went through the turnstile next to that gate and into the tunnel.”
That tunnel should have been closed off by police. It led to central pens three and four which were already dangerously packed. As they emerged onto the standing terrace Hodgson soon realised that they were in serious danger.
“The game had just kicked off and I could see Bruce in his goal,” he says.
“We tried to get across to the left but suddenly I got flipped around and I was facing the stand. We were so tightly packed together I couldn’t move back around. Dave was on one side of the barrier and I was on the other side of it.
“Dave’s face started going purple and blue. He was saying ‘Neil, I can’t breathe’. He was bent over the bar. I put my hands on his chest to push him back but because there was nowhere for him to go all that was happening was that I was collapsing his lungs.
“Next thing the barrier collapsed under all the pressure and I dropped to the floor. I was on my hands and knees. There was no way I could stand back up. There was more room down there than up top.”
Hodgson’s mind was racing but he remembered seeing a gate just to the left of Grobbelaar’s goal and made a beeline for it.
“I started crawling through people’s legs. The noise above me was terrible, screaming and groaning. It was hell. It took a few minutes but somehow I got down to the brick wall at the front, I turned right and found that gate. I was one of the first to come through it.
“It was only later that I realised how important Bruce had been in saving my life. I found out subsequently that he realised people were in serious trouble while the game was still going on and he was shouting at the police to get that gate open. Eventually, they did. If I’d spent time by that gate when it was still locked it would have been no good, I wouldn’t be here.
“I just remember stepping out onto the grass thinking, ‘What the fuck happened there?’ I was a goalkeeper myself for our pub team and Bruce was my hero. He was standing there right in front of me. It was surreal.
“I know it sounds stupid but my next thought was, ‘My mum is going to think I’m a right divvie for getting on the pitch’. She was in hospital at the time and I knew she’d be watching on TV.
“But then more and more people started coming through that gate. I turned to my left and saw my mate Dave getting passed over people’s heads. He was semi-conscious. We got one of the advertising hoardings, put him on that and took him to the top of the West Stand.
“We were getting some stick off the Forest fans initially. They didn’t know what had gone on. They thought we had just invaded the pitch. Then was that bloody stupid police line. Those officers just stood there watching while the fans helped the injured and the dying.

Hillsborough, April 15, 1989: (Photo: David Cannon/Allsport)
“We waited for an ambulance. It was about 40 minutes before we got any help. The medic said he needed to loosen Dave’s belt but as he pulled his jeans, his skin came off with them. He was screaming in agony. It was horrible to see. Imagine how much pressure is required to force fibres into someone’s skin. They tried to make him comfy and put him in an ambulance. I went back to try and find the others.”
In a daze, Hodgson returned to his car where he met Craig Zelly, a compassionate Sheffield Wednesday fan who lived on Harris Road. Friends and family were slowly reunited there.
“What a lovely man. He welcomed us into his house, gave us cups of tea and sandwiches and let us use his phone. We were mates from that day forward,” he says.
“Initially, I thought I’d lost my brother. He was nowhere to be seen. Then I heard someone say he was walking up the road. It turned out he had been going around the bodies trying to find me.
“My mate Tony Kelly had travelled in another car with his dad, Dave Jones and another fella. Thankfully, everyone we had gone with was OK.”
Hodgson travelled to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital to check on Dave Cunningham. He walked into “absolute mayhem”.
“There were priests standing on tables shouting out details about dead people’s belongings,” he says.
“They’d be shouting out stuff like what was engraved on a watch or holding up some trainers. Then you’d hear a scream or a shout of ‘oh my God, no’ as someone realised they’d lost a loved one. I’ve never seen so much anguish.
“We knew Dave had survived and with the help of a priest we found out what ward he was in. He’d lost a lot of skin but he was lucky his pelvic bone never snapped. Dave was like, ‘I’m not staying here, this bed is for someone who really needs it’. His mum came for him and the rest of us drove back to Liverpool.”
The 70-mile journey home was conducted in stunned silence.
“We had the radio on in the car and the numbers just kept going up and up. We went straight to the Flat Iron for a drink and everyone was asking us about what had gone on.
“When I finally got home I got a whack around the head from my old fella. He said I should have gone straight to see him before going to the pub. He was right. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
Hodgson returned to Sheffield in the days that followed to give flowers, chocolates and a baby Liverpool shirt to Craig and his pregnant wife. He also went back inside Hillsborough.
“I was looking at the other end of the stadium thinking, ‘We should have been in there, it was so much bigger’. My dad wrote Craig a letter thanking him for looking after us and then Craig sent my dad a Christmas card every single year after that. Quite a few times over the years he’d come over to Liverpool and stay at mine. Whenever I was in Sheffield I’d always pop in to see him. He passed away last year and we went over there for his funeral. I’ll never forget what he did for us.”
It was four days after the disaster when The Sun newspaper ran their despicable front page with the headline: “The Truth.” They alleged that Liverpool fans stole from the dead, urinated on police and beat up officers who were attempting to help the victims. They were all falsehoods generated by senior South Yorkshire Police officers and Conservative MP Irvine Patnick. A malicious narrative was created that Hillsborough had been caused by drunk, ticketless fans.
“I was actually waiting for the police to put their hands up and admit they got it badly wrong. Fat chance of that,” Hodgson says.
“I remember people talking about that front page but I didn’t want to see it myself. There was stuff on the news and I was like: ‘Oh my god, they’ve got no idea what really went on’.
“It was just a horrible feeling that people would even think that. People believed those terrible lies. Some actually thought we did those things but we never. The fact is that mud sticks. There was all that stuff about police notebooks getting changed so they all had their stories straight to try to hide their own mistakes.
“With social media and camera phones these days, there’s no way they could get away with what they did back then. But for a long time I carried a sense of shame. Not because of what we’d done but because of what some people thought we’d done. If we went away on holiday and got chatting to people I wouldn’t even mention I was at Hillsborough. It was easier that way.”
Following the disaster in 1989, Hodgson was visited at home by West Midlands Police who had been tasked with investigating South Yorkshire officers’ conduct for a public inquiry. Then a 23-year-old married father of two, he was asked to give a statement.
“At the time I played guitar in a rock and roll band and we went around playing the clubs. When they rang the door early one morning I got out of bed to speak to them.
“I had these two officers sat in my front room and next thing one of them nudges the other and goes, ‘He looks like a bit of a lad this one’. They started making comments about my flat top hairdo. I was like, ‘What’s that got to do with what I saw on the day?’
“They said, ‘Yeah, but I bet you can have a go, can’t you?’, insinuating that I liked a fight. I told them I was a family man. They said, ‘Oh, we’re just saying you look like you could handle yourself’. They seemed to be goading me, like they wanted me to say, ‘Oh yeah, you should have seen us at West Ham away…’
“At the time I just thought they were being daft. It was only later that I realised what the police were trying to do — make us look like a bunch of animals who had caused it in order to save their mates’ skin. I was disgusted.”
A fortnight after Hillsborough, Kenny Dalglish’s side returned to action with a friendly against Celtic. Hodgson made the trip to Glasgow and had another narrow escape.
“I had a rear-end blowout on the way home. My Ford Escort Mk2 bounced down the motorway and into the fast lane of the opposite carriageway. It was on its roof and I was kicking the door trying to get out.
“I managed to get out, pulled my mate out the other side and the four of us waited on the central reservation. We were shaken up but not hurt. The ambulance guy told us he thought he’d be dealing with four fatalities.
“We went to the scrapyard to get the engine out of my car and we put it in my brother’s Escort because mine was more powerful. That became the new away car. The following week we went to Old Trafford for the rearranged FA Cup semi with Forest.
“It’s weird the way it works. I know some people who were at Hillsborough who couldn’t ever go back to matches. For me, it went the other way. I needed to be close to that club. I needed to support them more than ever after Hillsborough.
“I had been winding down in terms of going to the aways as I needed to save money for the kids and for holidays. Jean and I already had our sons Mark and Andrew, and then in 1991 we had Sean Bruce, who we named after my hero.
“But after Hillsborough I needed to go wherever Liverpool were playing. I became really obsessive. When we got back into Europe in the early 1990s I went everywhere. Kuusysi Lahti away in the first round of the UEFA Cup, Genoa, Moscow, Sion, Auxerre, I was there.
“I changed and I’d say it ruined my first marriage. We just grew apart. I never saw anyone (to help with the psychological side). I just felt the people who had lost loves ones needed it more than me. I didn’t want to take up time so I dealt with it myself.”
What about his friend Dave who suffered those pelvic injuries?
“It was terrifying for him. He lives in Perth now. He’s got PTSD and struggles with his back. He’s always thanking me for saving his life. Mainly for what I did outside the ground because that horse was going to flatten him but I was only looking out for a mate.”
It was many years after Hillsborough that Hodgson got the opportunity through a mutual friend Tage Herstad (Taggy) to tell Grobbelaar about his debt of gratitude to him.
“I was doing a roast for Mother’s Day and Taggy asked if Bruce could come over for lunch. My mum and dad couldn’t believe it when he turned up.

“It was emotional telling him how I owed my life to his actions. People always say you should never meet your heroes but that’s not the case with Bruce. He’s become such a close family friend. I’ve been on holiday with him and Taggy. We take it in turns to cook for each other.”
Hodgson remarried in 2006 and had two more children with second wife Louise — Joseph and Olivia. The latter was born on April 15. “Louise already had a boy called Kieran and I’m lucky to have such a great family. It’s all friendly with my ex-wife too, which is brilliant.”
He gave evidence at the new inquest which took place in Warrington between 2014 and 2016 — the longest case heard by a jury in British legal history. The truth was finally established with the verdict of unlawful killing. The fans were completely exonerated. The jury ruled that a catalogue of failings by police and the ambulance services contributed to the deaths.
It was vindication for all the families and the survivors who had campaigned so tirelessly against the police’s efforts to blame supporters for the tragedy.
“When they read that out on the TV, it was like something burst inside me,” Hodgson says.
“I couldn’t hold back the tears. That was so important. That verdict helped me so much. Then I could talk more about Hillsborough. Then I could hold my head up high. With all the lies, it was difficult before that.”
The hope then was that justice would follow. However, Sheffield Wednesday’s safety officer at the time, Graham Mackrell, remains the only individual to be convicted of an offence in relation to the unlawful killings. He was fined £6,500 for failing to ensure there were enough turnstiles to prevent a build-up of large crowds outside the ground he was responsible for. There were just seven turnstiles available to the 10,100 Liverpool fans who had tickets to stand on the Leppings Lane and north-west terraces.
In 2019, former South Yorkshire police chief superintendent David Duckenfield, the match commander on the day, was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter after a retrial in Preston. Duckenfield, who had never previously overseen a match at Hillsborough, had ordered the opening of Gate C.
Then in May, the last criminal trial connected with the disaster collapsed. Retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster, as well as former solicitor Peter Metcalf, had denied perverting the course of justice by altering police statements.
Mr Justice William Davis ruled they had no case to answer as the statements had been prepared for the public inquiry chaired by Lord Taylor in 1990 which was not considered a court of law.
Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the disaster, described the ruling as “an absolute mockery” and a “shambles”. She talked about “a cover-up over a cover-up” but insisted the families “could go no further”.
Hodgson says: “They must be so tired — 32 years of fighting. They have been magnificent.
“Every time they got knocked down, they picked themselves up and kept going. They refused to be silenced.
“It’s wrong that heads didn’t roll. How can you have so many people unlawfully killed but no one really punished for it? That sticks in my throat. It hurts but I don’t let it get to me. If I did then they’d have won. They know what they did.”

Hodgson now combines work as an electrician with another of his passions in life, cooking. He’s the chef at Hotel Tia and Taggy’s Bar on Anfield Road. Having his own bistro is the realisation of a dream.
“It started off as a hobby and went from there,” he adds.
“With cooking, you are creating something. It’s like an exam every time. The customer is judging what you put in front of them. I love that. My curry is my speciality.
“If I can get away, I’ll get a ticket to the home games but I’m just as happy sitting in the bar when everyone has gone down to the stadium and watching it on TV these days.
“We have the patio doors open and you can hear the roars when we score. It’s like being back in Kensington when I was a little kid.”
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Old 21-08-21, 03:53 PM   #1982
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I see that next season all of the kits etc will have 97 as opposed to 96.

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