Remembering the 96..

I’m going to start this piece deeply inappropriately.  I, like many Forest fans, bloody hate Liverpool.  If I am honest, the annual discussions that crop up about the Hillsborough disaster each anniversary on Forest forums leave me somewhat cold and uncomfortable, partly due to my own ignorance, and because of the over-eagerness to apportion blame rather than just reflect on what a bloody tragedy it was.

As a mere young ‘un I wasn’t present at the semi-final in 1989, and frankly I am rather thankful for that – I know more than one fellow Forest fan who was there and still feels unable to talk about that fateful day.  I also don’t profess to have any real knowledge – nor real opinion – as to the validity of the findings of the Taylor Report.  Whilst I’m no fan of all-seater stadia, his recommendations ensured such an incident shouldn’t occur in this country again.

So whilst ‘the blame game’ leaves me unmoved, I do – however – find it incredibly upsetting to think of the fate of those ninety six people who should never have departed this world on that day, and of their families whose must still mourn that awful loss.  So irrespective of my ‘day job’ dislike of Liverpool, I’ll be taking a few moments over the course of today to think about those that were lost.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly once said in a rather tongue-in-cheek fashion that football was much more important than life and death, of course he didn’t really mean it despite the plentiful re-quoting of the saying.  Along with other tragic events – such as recent events in Ivory Coast, or contemporary ones like the fire at Bradford, they should transcend our parochial rivalries or hatred, and we should all pause for a moment to pay our respects.

Rest in peace.