Once FA Cup celebrations had quietened down and the Blues great end to a dramatic season faded over the horizon, talk at CFCnet turned to some of the stranger events that had happened over the previous nine months. A sort of football version of the X Files.
Chief amongst these was the anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster on May 29th 2009. Even Mulder and Sculley would have been hard pushed to find any media coverage of this event. Just like one of the famous X Files episodes of the Nineties, it seems that grey aliens and reptilian humanoids aren’t the only thing to disappear mysteriously into the moonlit sky.
What makes the intrigue even more perplexing is that a month earlier 28 thousand fans and officials of Liverpool Football Club sombrely paid tribute to the 96 fans who sadly lost their lives 20 years earlier in another calamity – the Hillsbrough Football Disaster.
There’s no question that Hillsbrough was a desperately tragic event that affected not just the dead fans and their families, but also the City of Liverpool itself. It was a defining moment that has etched April 15th into the hearts and souls of every Liverpool fan and indeed Merseyside, Blue and Red alike.
CFCnet respects the mourning and grief that surrounds Hillsbrough, not least the ongoing search for justice deftly sidestepped by the British judiciary. The Hillsbrough memorial committee has been a paragon of dignity who have campaigned for justice with great persistence and fortitude.
But hang on a minute. Wait up! What happened on the anniversary of Heysel? Err, not a lot. Whereas the 20th anniversary of the Hillsbrough disaster stole acres of newsprint and prime time media slots, the 24th anniversary of Heysel couldn’t have been quieter if the Ministry of Defence had slapped a D Notice over it. How come?
Wikipedia clarifies that the 39 fans that died in the European Cup Final between Juventus and Liverpool were mostly fans of Juve. Quote, “fans of Liverpool FC breached a fence separating them from rival Juve fans causing the Italians to retreat putting pressure on a dilapidated retaining wall which then collapsed.”
Any remaining doubts as to the culpable party are then dismissed with the reminder that “a number of Liverpool fans were subsequently tried for manslaughter”. UEFA said simply it was the darkest hour in their history.
With that in mind, it seems odd that Liverpool FC manage to wheel out 28,000 fans, officials, dignitaries and Government ministers for the anniversary of Hillsbrough yet the only remembrance for Heysel was one man in Stanley Park who bowed to his knees in silent prayer. Even then it’s not known whether he was praying for the departed or lamenting Liverpool’s 1-0 loss.
For the above reason, CFCnet is sad to award its ‘hypocrite of the year’ award to Liverpool FC. A life’s a life but if it’s a Scouser it’s obviously worth a little more. Very sad indeed.