I’m a United fan , born and raised in Old Trafford and I know United fan srespect the victims of Hillsborough. I’ve never heard United fans chant about Hillsborough at Old Trafford, but I’ve heard a dozen idiots on the concourse do it and I’ve heard the Munich chants at games from Liverpool fans but that died off pretty much after Hillsborough.
United and Liverpool fans love to hate each other, chant unrepeatable tasteless stereotypes about the slums and eating rats and cats at each other , at what cheats the other team is and vent their spleen, after all we don’t want to spoil the fun. However as fans of the two biggest clubs we all realiseHillsborough is too big for that and every human being in this country should pay homage to the bravery and persistence of the families of the 96.The media are trying to make out that football fans are scummy enough to sing songs that dishonour the dead , is it a clumsy attempt to blame fans for the cover up and 23 years of pain?
After 23 years Hillsborough is now a fast moving story as the ugly truth emerges. It displays the best and worst of this country – the worst being that a cover up and smear campaign cannot only be carried out but hold fast for 23 years in the face of several supposedly honest judge led and police led inquiries. The best of it is that ordinary powerless people refused to be cowed by a powerful and possibly corrupt establishment, they stuck with it throughout all the obstacles with a wonderfully poignant demand for truth and justice.
Now the truth is out there I hope justice will be getting its boots on as surely as Scholes and Gerrard tomorrow, and getting ready to play. There are decorated former police officers sat in golf clubs sipping large whiskeys enjoying their nice pay offs and fat pensions , much of it won by impugning the dead and heaping misery on their victims families and traducing the reputation of the people of one of our major cities.
You wonder how those people slept at night for 23 years, well they are sleeping less easily now they risk being hauled into court as the truth finally emerges that what we had was an organised cover up and the cynical doctoring of evidence.
Indeed in the case of Sir Norman Bettison, we have one of the most senior police officers in the country, the chief constable of West Yorkshire , who was one of the senior officers in the South Yorkshire police whose job it was to investigate what happened. He didn’t find much did he – not the amended statements, not the smears, not the cover ups where officers knew the drunken fans stuff was all lies – so why didn’t he find it , is it because he was complicit or just that he’s not Sherlock Holmes material.
As for Kelvin Mackenzie’s apology , he waits 23 years to do it , did the scales only fall from his eyes last week , and he still believed the poison he dripped on the families and the city of Liverpool until then.
As football fans , let’s not allow the inherent class bias in the media to hi-jack Hillsborough and write about a few idiots at the game. Let’s insteaddemand a new inquest as the original one was clearly worthless, let’s wonder how the South Yorkshire police got away with the cover up, and realise that one part was the low view of football fans as dangerous troublesome scum. If this had been 96 dead at a Wimbledon tennis semi-final would we have waited 23 years for the truth.
I do wonder if some of us, myself included ,need to consider how we talk about other people and cities – the harmless banter we think doesn’t mean much, like thieves, layabouts etc just rivalry type jokes but perhaps that sort of stuff made it easier for the smears by the police and the press to gain credence. Mancs and Scousers, we’re like Sunni and Shi-ite Muslims , basically the same , but it’s the small differences that make all the difference. Diverting the story of the hunt for justice for the 96 is not one of our differences. Oh and I hope United win 6-0 you scouse ****.