Wimbledon 1 v Spurs 2 – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

On the day of the Hillsborough Disaster, Wimbledon played Tottenham in a division one match at the Old Plough Lane, with the visitors winning 1-2.

As a part of my documentary about the Hillsborough disaster that happened while this game was taking place, I am asking fans of all clubs to contribute with their thoughts.

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. Just scroll down.

Thanks in advance for your input.

3 thoughts on “Wimbledon 1 v Spurs 2 – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

  1. I was at this game. There was a big Spurs support, being a very easy away fixture to get to. I remember how small the ground was and the standing behind the goal on the concrete steps. I recall we won the game. I recall the walk to and back to the tube station and I recall who I was there with. But most of all I recall the tannoy announcement at half time telling us there had been crowd trouble at the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough. I am sad to say that due to the way things were back then, everyone assumed there had been crowd trouble created by the Liverpool fans. I remember most of the crowd started singing anti-Scouse songs and cursing the scum for causing trouble at such an important occasion. I am not sure whether we heard the more serious nature of the day at the game itself (this was long before mobile phones, internet etc), but maybe someone had a portable radio on the terrace. We knew something serious had happened.

    It was not until I got home later that evening that I fully found out the days events and the tragic nature of what had unfolded. Certainly taught me never to assume the crowd were always to blame.

  2. I went to the Wimbledon v Spurs game for several years in the late 80s as Wimbledon was close to where I lived at the time and this was the easiest game to get to as a Spurs fan. So I was at this game and I remember it for two reasons. Firstly because Spurs won the game and it was the only time I saw them win at Plough Lane. It was never a happy place to go and the games were usually terrible to watch.

    The second thing I remember is exactly as Anselm writes above. At half time the PA announced that there had been a pitch invasion at Hillsborough by the Liverpool fans. My immediate thought, and that of most people in the ground, was that the Liverpool fans were ruining any chances of English clubs being allowed back into European competition as they were all still serving the ban from the Heysel stadium disaster. The whole ground then began to sing anti-Liverpool as one. In fact I remember for almost the rest of the half time break the Spurs fans were singing “We hate Scousers” and being applauded by the Wimbledon fans and the Wimbledon fans doing the same with the Spurs fans applauding and this going backwards and forwards.

    I don’t remember when I heard what had actually happened. We certainly weren’t told by the PA announcer, it was probably at some point on the way home. I have always felt ashamed of this episode, even though it was a result of the climate at football at the time, one where the authorities saw most fans as hooligans, and so people on the pitch could mean only one thing.

  3. West Bromwich Albion 2 Plymouth Argyle 2.

    On the day of the Hillsborough tragedy I was standing in the Birmingham Road End of The Hawthorns, watching West Brom fritter away a 2 goal lead v Plymouth, who equalised in the final minute. This meant promotion back to the top flight was not going to happen as Albion floundered in 8th spot in the old Second Division. They had lead the division on New Years Day.

    These were The days of the transistor radio. Not many people carried radios to football matches then only a select few and not many knew what happened by half time. The announcement at half time given by the Albion half time announcer said crowd trouble had led the game to being abandoned. There were a few ironic cheers from the sceptics present. Little did we know people had died whilst we watched our club. Only on the bus on the way home, did we learn from a bloke with a ‘tranny’ that there had been fatalities.

    It could have been anyone then. Policing of football grounds and facilities were particularly Draconian.I was caught in a crush at Stoke in November 1987 when Albion supporters were penned in to an areas far to small by police. I moved down the terrace in the crush without touching the floor and there were minor injuries to some fans. Meanwhile pens next to us remained empty. Luckily they were not blocked off al la Leppings Lane, and police opened access to them, but it was on my mind 18 months later when I knew what happened. That couldn’t waiting to happen.

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