Leicester v Chelsea – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

On the day of the Hillsborough Disaster, Leicester City played Chelsea in a division two match which ended 2-0 to Leicester.

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. Many people think that the disaster was ‘a Liverpool thing’ but the truth of the matter is that it could have happened to any team.

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 “Leicester v Chelsea – The day of the Hillsborough disaster

  1. I remember that day vividly.

    Chelsea had gone months unbeaten in the league (2nd division), led it by miles and needed a point for promotion back to the top flight. Over 10000 fans made the journey to Filbert Street expecting to join in the celebration party.

    Except it didn’t happen.

    Goals by Paul Reid and Nicky Cross gave the home side a 2-0 victory that we thoroughly deserved on the balance of play. The Foxes could even afford the luxury of a missed penalty, Gary McAllister having his spot-kick saved by Dave Beasant.

    Sections of the Chelsea contingent did not take defeat well. Tensions between Chelsea and Leicester, which had been simmering for much of the previous decade, finally reached boiling point. Fighting raged in sections of the ground for much of the game, though in the light of events elsewhere, both clubs escaped the sanctions that would surely have been forthcoming in any other circumstances.

    I recall going back to my brother’s car after the game and switching on the radio, which brought news from Hillsborough of dozens being killed.
    My mind went numb. Any elation at a Leicester victory was instantly dissipated.

    A close friend was at Hillsborough that day. Although he was in the Kop and not the Leppings Lane end, he returned to Leicester deeply traumatised by what he had witnessed. It would take many weeks, and months, of counselling before he could fully overcome his shock and grief.

    On 16th April 1997, eight years and one day after the disaster, many thousands of Leicester City fans, me included, were in the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough. The Football League, in an act of monumental insensitivity, chose that venue and that date to stage our cup final replay with Middlesbrough.

    The euphoria and joy at seeing my club win that match and thus lift our first major trophy since 1964 was heavily tempered by stewards directing me down the infamous tunnel of death after the game. I felt an eerie chill as I walked through that tunnel, as if possessed by the restless souls of those who had perished there.

    It is a scandal and a disgrace that the dead, their friends and families are still awaiting justice, 23 years on. I hope that they will find it, and soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s