I interviewed Neil Irving for the documentary, a Spurs fan who was at the Hillsborough stadium for the 1981 semi-final v Wolves. I am massively grateful for him for giving his time so freely to help tell the real truth of the Hillsborough disaster. He’s one of many rival fans who have offered support, solidarity and who are only too aware that this disaster could have happened to them. For Neil, he came closer than most other club’s supporters to that horrendous reality.
Neil was behind a crush barrier on the Leppings Lane terrace, and when the crushing became unbearable he lifted himself into the air so his ribs were clear of the barrier. He ended up spending 90 minutes pinned in the air, with the weight of the crowd behind him pinning his thighs firmly against the crush barrier. The crucial difference in 1981, is that South Yorkshire Police opened the gates at the front and let over 500 Spurs fans spill onto the perimeter of the pitch as you clearly see in the video below.
This is a video that Neil has put together himself, which shows Tottenham fans spilling onto the pitch that day:
If you are a Spurs fan, and you were at Hillsborough for this match in 1981, please leave a reply with your recollections below.