bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Witness  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
 
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1989: Hillsborough - a survivor's story
Sixteen-year-old Jamie travelled to Hillsborough with a group of friends - eagerly anticipating a great day's football and victory for Liverpool.

But he became caught in the Leppings Lane crush and only narrowly escaped serious injury or death

We waited outside for half an hour for the queue to go, but it didn't so we joined it. It was becoming congested, but no more than you used to experience at any big game.

A police officer, on a white horse inside the main gate, was obviously concerned at the growing push to get into the stadium and I think he gave the signal to open the gates.

I have no recollection of how long I was in the crush for

This relieved the congestion outside, but now we didn't know where to go or which turnstile to enter. I approached a police officer and showed him my ticket and he ushered me towards the central turnstile.

The crowd was growing behind us.

Once through the open turnstile we entered a tunnel passing under the upper tier of the Leppings Lane stand, which was packed full of excited fans.

I got half-way and the crowd stopped. It began to become uncomfortable and after about two minutes I was lifted from my feet and carried with the tide of people on to an already overcrowded terrace.

I have no recollection of how long I was in the crush for.

I wanted to close my eyes and rest - but I'm sure if I did I would not have opened them

I believed all "scousers" to be hard as nails and tough as old boots. But when tough looking 30-year-olds began to scream like I have never heard before I realised this was serious.

People began turning blue - I could feel people pulling at my ankles under the crowd, and could hear the metal crash barriers snapping.

I felt tremendous pressure on my head from other peoples' bodies. I could not take a breath - if I exhaled I physically could not breath in again because of the crush. I can only compare the sensation to that of drowning.

I wanted to close my eyes and rest - but I'm sure if I did I would not have opened them. My shoes had also come off.

Bodies

Then the crush paused for a moment - I was now standing on the terrace again, there was a gap and I could see the fence and I began to stumble towards it.

I looked down to see horrific scenes of bodies contorted at bizarre angles - all with the look of excruciating pain in their still open eyes. I could see 10 or more, some young, some old, but all dead.

I had to clamber over them to reach the fence and I could only manage to climb the fence because my shoes had come off, (my toes fitted into the gaps).

I collapsed on top of the fence and a police lady with blonde hair pulled me off the fence and onto the ground, where I recuperated for a while.

We then set about helping the injured, ripping down advertising hoardings and using them as make-shift stretches.

I left the stadium on my own without knowing where my friends or cousin were. I was stopped outside a house on the streets of Sheffield by a middle-aged woman and she asked if I wanted to use her phone.

I phoned my Mum and told her that I loved her and eventually found all my friends safe and well at the car.

I couldn't go to see my beloved LFC for another two years and football for me will never be the same.

 E-mail this story to a friend


Police horses trying to control the crowds outside the ground
The fatal build-up began outside the Sheffield stadium


Liverpool football fans try to help those being crushed at Hillsborough
Many observers initially assumed the fans were invading the pitch
Witness Stories


 
Search ON THIS DAY by date
 

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy