The closing weeks of the 1988-89 football season produced a mixture of emotions for me as Tranmere's automatic promotion to the old Division 3 was tempered by the Hillsborough Disaster on 15th April 1989.
Much has been written since and today's article in The Observer is a powerful piece coming as it does a single month short of the 20th anniversary of that day in the sun. It tells of a Liverpool fan shunted into the Leppings Lane end of the ground despite having a ticket for the Nottingham Forest end - he was with his Forest-supporting brother - and the ensuing crush:
- Within feet of me people were standing dead, bolt upright. Three men had long stopped breathing and were now staring, with a fixed, almost disinterested expression, into the distance. Their faces were bleached white, but turning blue, their lips a cold violet.
- Yorkshire policemen chat with folded arms
while people try and save their fellow fans
The Prowse song begins with the words,
- Mckenzie's soul lies above the ground
In that pyramid near Maryland
Liverpool has another soundex soulman: Kelvin MacKenzie.
For those of you unfamiliar with this reprobate's role in the history of the matter, he was Editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned titfest, The Sun at the time and was forced into a grovelling apology for printing a story headlined 'The Truth', which falsely claimed that drunken, ticketless fans stole from the dead and urinated on their bodies.
It took until 2004 for a full apology to surface as scum is wont to do in an attempt to rebuild circulation figures for a paper whose name is dirt. Mackenzie - in 2006 - though remained unrepentant:
- "I was not sorry then and I'm not sorry now," Mr MacKenzie told his audience. "All I did wrong there was [to] tell the truth."
So, the memory lingers. Nothing has changed over at Murdoch's empire. The Sun routinely prints lies - see The Sun Lies - and the campaign for justice continues.
Further reading can be found as a zip file at The Kirkby Times