BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
Memories of that day are still vivid
 real 28k

Family Support Group's Phil Hammmond
"Lives were taken needlessly"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 April, 1999, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Hillsborough tragedy remembered
flloral tributes outside gates
Floral tributes to the dead outside the stadium gates
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Jones reported from Liverpool on the tenth anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Every year on 15 April, thousands of people converge on Liverpool's Kop. They come to stand and remember the 96 football fans who died at Hillsborough.

1999 marked the tenth anniversary of the disaster which changed the face of football in Britain.

In 1989, thousands of football fans, young and old, men and women, made the journey from Liverpool and from Nottingham to watch their respective teams.

Ninety-six of them never returned home.

Exactly why South Yorkshire Police officers opened the gates and allowed fans into the Leppings Lane end terraces minutes before kick-off has been debated ever since by the families of those who died.

But the facts are plain: the fans, desperate to see their heroes tried to get inside. A gate was opened and the fans moved towards a central section of the terrace which was already full to bursting point.

In the crush that followed, 96 people were killed. As the full horror became apparent, the referee stopped the game and ordered the players off the pitch.

The time was six minutes past three.

On Thursday 15 April 1999, families, friends and supporters alike gathered at the home of Liverpool Football Club, Anfield, to mark the tenth anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Many fans caught in the crush never returned home
Since the disaster, the victims have been remembered at Anfield with an eternal flame at a memorial alongside the Shankly gates.

Now their memory will also be kept in mind at the scene of the tragedy itself after the unveiling of a memorial plaque bearing each of their names.

You only get a full image of the tragedy when you see the list of names. Ten-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley - he would be 20.

And then there were the families where more than one person died. Gary and Stephen Harrison, Carl and Nick Hewitt, Thomas and Tommy Howard, Christopher and Martin Traynor and two sisters, Sarah and Victoria Hicks.

The memorial service was led by the Rt Rev James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool who invited the audience them to sing Abide With Me.

Clergy from the Liverpool area read out the names of those that died. As they do so a candle was lit in memory of that person.

At 1506 BST a minute's silence was held and thousands of people throughout the city, unable to attend the service, also observed the moment of quiet reflection.

The service was concluded with an impassioned plea from Trevor Hicks, Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, asking for justice for the victims of the disaster.

A joint statement issued by the Rt Rev Jones and other Merseyside and Region church leaders - the Rev Keith Hobbs, Moderator of the Free Churches, and the Most Rev Patrick Kelly, the Archbishop of Liverpool - called upon the whole community of Liverpool to pray for the bereaved.

It said: "This important occasion provides a time for reflection on what has happened since that tragedy.

"Nothing can ever make up for the loss of people near and dear to us. The greatest memorial to those who died is to ensure that such an incident will never be repeated."

Father Desmond Power, Parish Priest of the St Paschal Baylon Roman Catholic Church, conducted the funerals of James Aspinall and Graham Wright.

He said: "My earnest prayer is that someone will at long last admit responsibility for a tragedy that should not have invited the slander of the press but the honest confession of mistakes.

"Only with this can the grief of so many families be assuaged."

Just as Americans can remember where they were when Kennedy was shot, football fans from around the globe can remember when they heard about Hillsborough.

But for the bereaved, the tenth anniversary was just a date like any other - they still wake up every day and have to deal with the loss of a loved one.

They had gone to watch a game of football on a bright spring day and they never came back.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories