sport news IAN HERBERT: The testimonies of Newcastle fans at Hillsborough had a chilling ... trends now

sport news IAN HERBERT: The testimonies of Newcastle fans at Hillsborough had a chilling ... trends now
sport news IAN HERBERT: The testimonies of Newcastle fans at Hillsborough had a chilling ... trends now

sport news IAN HERBERT: The testimonies of Newcastle fans at Hillsborough had a chilling ... trends now

It was the blind and contemptible refusal to acknowledge the fact there was a problem in the years leading up to the Hillsborough disaster which made that dark day all the worse.

Supporters had been crushed during an FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham and Wolves at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in 1981. Fans had been crushed when Liverpool and Nottingham Forest met at the same stage of the competition in 1988.

There were other episodes, too. Warning signs everywhere, year after year, and yet the response of the club and the authorities was risible. Nothing to see. Nothing to say.

'Never again' football said in the aftermath of the 1989 disaster which would eventually claim 97 lives, yet the silence from Sheffield Wednesday was deafening after Newcastle supporters reported crushing and overcrowding in the Leppings Lane end during their FA Cup tie there at the weekend.

Hillsborough was the venue for the clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle

Hillsborough was the venue for the clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle 

Sheffield Wednesday's Leppings Lane stand was the location of the stadium disaster in 1989

Sheffield Wednesday's Leppings Lane stand was the location of the stadium disaster in 1989

A view of the Leppings Lane tunnel that fans must walk through to get to their seats

A view of the Leppings Lane tunnel that fans must walk through to get to their seats

Narrow access tunnels, non-existent crowd management, children in tears — the details in the testimonies of Newcastle fans had a chilling ring of familiarity.

Fans were funnelled through a narrow gangway to a seating area and once out into the lower tier, they were forced to rip a covering from seats designated as out of use, to alleviate the pressure.

'People were getting desperate and shouting, 'Let them up, let them up (into the stand)',' said a dad who was with his 14-year-old. 'The only option was to get the kids on your shoulders.'

A tangible sense of concern from Wednesday felt like a minimum requirement in the aftermath, though until late yesterday there was not so much as a statement.

Newcastle supporters complained of overcrowding and crushing in their FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday

Newcastle supporters complained of overcrowding and crushing in their FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday say they have submitted their observations to the Football Association

And when the response did come there was no declaration of intent to investigate or a request to hear from those supporters.

'There were no reports of injuries or medical assistance required logged with the club's first aid operations manager before, during and after the game,' the club said. 'While we continue to assist and engage with the FA and explore all options, the club will be making no further comment at this time.'

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish watches on as scenes unfold at the Hillsborough tragedy

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish watches on as scenes unfold at the Hillsborough tragedy

Dalglish watched on in anguish as the horrific scenes of crushing unfolded in front of him

Dalglish watched on in anguish

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