“Hillsborough” Militant April 1989

“I took someone to their first football match on Saturday 15 April. What a day to choose!
We were herded in and treated like animals. We even miss the kick-off, but we still have to pay four pounds.

Loads of people have radios, listening to the semi-finals. I ask a bloke near me what the scores are: 1 – 0 to Everton, but something has happened at Hillsborough. What? Seven dead he says. Never!

Near the end of the match, Newcastle fans start chanting: “Liverpool, Liverpool!” Were they just taunting Arsenal or what?

In the pub afterwards everyone is talking about Hillsborough. I’m sad and angry. On the tube people stare at the early editions of the Sundays. A man give me his copy and I see the pictures for the first time.

On Sunday I watched all the news reports with tears in my eyes. Then I got really mad when the politicians and ‘experts’ reel out the usual pious platitudes. David Evans MP says that this proves ID cards have to be introduced – idiot!

It’s the same old story. When a ship rolls over, blame the crew for not being in their places at once. When a train crashes blame the overworked electrician or better still the driver if he’s dead. A football disaster – blame the fans. Blame anyone except those who are really responsible.

As usual Thatcher the vulture hovers around the scene, expressing her grief. In the background, behind the click of the cameras, you can almost hear the Tories mixing buckets of whitewash.

Where should all my sadness and anger be directed? We can step up West Ham against the ID cards and expand it into a safety campaign. We’ve got to stop the cards and get the fans to have some control over their sport.

Most of all I want revenge. I might not ever see Newcastle United win anything, but I’ll definitely live to see Thatcher, the Tories and all the money-grabbing short-sighted parasites who own and run football pay for their crimes.



The above was written in the first days after Hillsborough. Despite a massive propaganda campaign led by Thatcher and Murdoch and echoed in the BBC & ITN, all of whom slandered working class Liverpool Football Club fans, the Militant newspaper stood firm and laid the blame firmly on the shoulders of the police and capitalist system. Today the families of the Hillsborough victims and all those who stood with them have been vindicated.



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