On 15 April 1989, at Hillsborough Stadium, the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death following crowd management errors made by the police. A further 766 people were injured in the tragedy.
Following the event, a cover-up campaign sought to maliciously besmirch the actions of the Liverpool fans in an effort to shift the blame. In particular, the national newspaper The Sun ran a disgraceful front page story under the Banner Headline, “The Truth.”
According to The Sun, some Liverpool fans picked the pockets of the victims, some fans urinated on the ‘brave cops’ and some fans beat up a PC giving the kiss of life to a victim. It was reporter Harry Arnold who wrote that infamous article and editor Kelvin Mackenzie who apparently edited it and subsequently approved it for publishing apparently removing cautionary and legally necessary words such as ‘allegedly’.
But the REAL TRUTH is that The Sun newspaper lied in the most despicable way about the events on that fateful day.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel … in September 2012 concluded … no Liverpool fans were responsible for the deaths, and that attempts had been made by the authorities to conceal what had happened. – Wikipedia
But the extent of the cover-up has only recently been made public. According to official sources, no less than 164 official police statements were ‘doctored’ in an attempt to shift blame away from the police and onto the fans. Since then, the British Prime Minister has apologised, The Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police has apologised and, yes, even The Sun has apologised.
David Cameron, British Prime Minister said:
Several newspapers reported false allegations that fans were drunk and violent and stole from the dead. The Sun’s report sensationalised these allegations under a banner headline “The Truth.” This was clearly wrong and caused huge offence, distress and hurt.
The Sun Said:
The Sun’s reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy 23 years ago is without doubt the blackest day in this newspaper’s history.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report into the disaster lays bare the disgraceful attempt by South Yorkshire Police to hide their culpability behind a smokescreen of lies.
It highlights a concerted campaign by senior officers to smear the innocent by fabricating lurid allegations about Liverpool fans — and then feeding them to the media.
The Sun printed the above in its article under the headline, “We are Sorry for Our Gravest Error.” It is a shame they could not bring themselves to print the headline, “The Truth: WE LIED!”
This tragedy unites the whole of Liverpool in condemnation of the outrageous behaviour of those who were too cowardly to face the truth. As regular readers will know, a lifelong Everton fan, I was born just a short distance from Goodison Park. It was really heart-warming to hear Stephen Gerrad’s comments about the support of the entire city for the families affected.
Following the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, Liverpool fans were completely exonerated of any blame for what happened. It is a terrible shame that it has taken 23 years and the continuous campaigning of the families affected for the real truth to emerge.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia