On This Day 15th April

On This Day 15th April

All Liverpool fans know only too well the significance of what happened on this day 15th April. The exact date of course was on this day 15th April, 1989. Twenty nine years to the day when in the region of 25,000 Liverpool fans attended a football match, but 96 did not make it home. Even now 29 years on it is so difficult to get my head around that. Fans of such differing backgrounds in many instances. Male and female, young and not so young did not come home from a football match. When you stop and think about it for a moment it is so difficult to comprehend. And still, to this day, no-one responsible has yet paid the price for the lies, the deceipt and the corruption. But they will one day. Justice is coming.

On This Day 15th April 1989

Justice For The 96
Justice For The 96

For those old enough to remember, like me, that day will be permanently etched in the memory. As it happened I didn’t actually go the match. I intended to, but couldn’t get a ticket. At the time I was working in the Isle of Man and I came home especially to go to the match. I remember the weather was absolutely beautiful that day. Not a cloud in the sky and very warm for that time of the year. I wasn’t sure if my mates had got a ticket for me, so when the three of them came to my house on the Saturday morning to announce they only had three tickets I decided not to go.

The intention was if I didn’t have a ticket I would go over to Sheffield and have a few drinks in one of my old locals in Sheffield. As I studied in Sheffield in the early 80’s, the city was familiar to me and I still had friends there. Back in those days the game wasn’t televised. And it was a normal 3pm kick off. So watching it on TV wasn’t an option of course. But at least I could catch up with a few old pals and get score updates while having a pint or two.

But on the spur of the moment I decided not to go. Instead I went to one of my local pubs in Chester with my radio. When the game stopped it wasn’t initially clear on the radio as to why. A few moments later Peter, the landlord, came down the stairs from his private quarters and announced jokingly to me, “typical, Liverpool supporters kicking off”. He knew I was a Liverpool supporter and was only trying to engage in a bit of banter.

I asked, “joking aside Peter, can you go back upstairs and see what’s happening on Grandstand”. Grandstand in case you didn’t know was the Saturday afternoon, BBC sports programme. Peter duly went upstairs and a fair few minutes later he came down ashen faced. He said to me, “it’s not good. They are reporting some fans may have died”.

TV Rental Shop

Upon hearing this I left the pub and went to a TV rental shop in the nearby shopping precinct. Already there were quite a few standing outside looking at the screens in the shop. The crowd grew as the nightmare unfolded. Soon after I went home to watch the events unfold further. Obviously I was concerned for my pals who went. It must have been quite late on the saturday night that I found out they were all OK. I saw them the next day and the stories they had to tell were pretty grim to say the least.

All of that day is so vivid and to coin an old cliche, it only seemed like yesterday. The memories are still so fresh.

From that fateful day the battle for justice has been a long and a painful one. Justice is coming though. We will never give up. Let’s all offer our thoughts and prayers for the 96 today. Justice for the 96.

On this day 15th April 1989 is a very poignant and sorrowful for Reds everywhere. As well as offering up a prayer for the 96, let us all also remember their families. A special thank you as well to all those who have supported the campaign for justice. Thanks to the Bournemouth fans yesterday who played their part.

On this day 15th April will never be forgotten. JFT96 – always in our thoughts.

You can see the special 20 year commemorative recording by clicking HERE.



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