West Ham 1 v Southampton 2 – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

On the day of the Hillsborough Disaster, West Ham United played Southampton in a division one match at Upton Park. The match ended with the visitors winning 1-2.

As a part of my documentary about the Hillsborough disaster which unfolded as this game was taking place, I am asking fans of all clubs to contribute with their thoughts & recollections of that awful day.

Maybe you were at this match or following it on the television or radio? Maybe you had been to Hillsborough previously, and have a story to tell about that?

Spurs & Leeds fans have told their stories about crushing in the ’81 and ’87 semi-finals at Hillsborough, and I have heard from a Man Utd fan who had a terrible experience at the ground in a league game. Some Coventry fans may have been at this game and the 1981 semi-final in which Spurs fans were crushed, thankfully, not fatally?

Whatever you have to say, I’d be grateful if you could leave a reply with your thoughts – please just scroll down for the reply box.

Thanks in advance for your input. Please follow me on Twitter @HillsboroughDoc and/or like the Facebook page to keep up-to-date.

One thought on “West Ham 1 v Southampton 2 – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

  1. 25 years – where did that go? Can’t recall the all the facts, but the emotions are fresh. Was at this game in the Saints end. Remember the news filtering through the terraces that the game had been delayed “for crowd trouble” – scousers up to no good again, to be honest, was the immediate reaction from most. Suddenly though, news got horribly worse (this was all communicated by some bloke with a crappy radio of course – relaying the BBC view of the facts). Then the game was cancelled. Must be something real bad. Can’t recall when, but grapevine came through that 2-3 had died. Disbelief. WTF was going on up there? Still no idea of context. Lot of chatter at our game, but wasn’t until we got back to Euston after (was living in Bham then) and met up with a mate who’d gone to Arsenal (I think) bits started filtering through. Radio silence on the train. Got home to find messages on the old answer phone checking if I was ok? I guess there was a thought we might have gone to Sheffield – we had mates at all sorts of clubs then and used to go to all sorts of games, so not as crazy as it sounds. Then it was 20. Re-grouped at the pub that night. Met up with a Forest fan who was there. I have goose bumps now as I write. Story he told was awful, just awful-no need for details here, save to say he said he was done with football. News only got worse. What was clear at that point, to any of our crowd, who’d spent their youth being treated as cattle (and I clearly remember being crushed behind fences trying to leave Coventry one night as the police and stewards looked on) was this was an institutional f$&k up, and nothing to do with “crowd trouble”. Not one of us, from all sorts of clubs, for one second that night and consistently to this day, thought that this was anything other than the fault of the authorities. We’d blindly gone to games naively thinking some competent body was looking out for us, that despite the crap we had to endure, “they” knew what they were doing. How sadly stupid was that? The politicians, papers and journalists can wring their hands now, but those of us who lived that life back then knew the score. None of us fell for the scandalous and cheap blame game that followed. I’m not clever enough to write appropriate condolences to those that were there or their families – I wish I was. I won’t presume to think anything I write would help. It can’t. All I can say is that is that we know, and we’re rooting for you, and we hope you get whatever you need to get some solace even now after 25 years.

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