Tag Archives: Liverpool FC

Hillsborough 15th April 1989 “The Guilt That Lingers”.

In the 25 years that have passed since 15th April 1989 – At such a pace that it would seem like the interim years have somehow eluded me – I have ruminated about that fateful day on many occasions, reflected upon my ignorant, and at times unconscious thought toward the effect that it would have upon me as a young man, how ultimately it would change my perspective not only on football and Liverpool, but my life itself – How I would go on to deal with my experiences, and relate those back to that day.

I have only ever written about Hillsborough on two occasions in all those years, mainly defensive articles, predominantly in reply to those individuals who have taken it upon themselves to contemptuously deride the day itself – in magnification of printed words, or ramblings intent on riding on the back of rage fixated articles. A cacophony of lies have been twisted manipulated & repeated as if freedom of speech allowed such brutal banging of a delusional drum, extenuated by those protagonists responsible.

Liverpool people have constantly become targets from some hell-bent on portraying both supporters of the club, and residents of the city, with a media tar brush focused on painting them as constant victims – attention seeking that includes feigning and exaggerating both illness and its effect – in a pursuit of a sick-note from society.

I was 22 years old in April 1989, no longer a boy; unquestionably I was neither a man. I had no idea what I would become, like many young people of that age I had however convinced myself that I was indeed invincible, and could not care less where my life would lead me, or how I could facilitate the journey.

Bravado and self-confident I would stride through the mid-eighties –Fight with the police on picket lines, battle against Thatcher’s Britain -Obsessed with Alan Bleasdale. I purposely strode through my days carefree, fear having been abandon long since. I would assume a similar arrogance as my peers, believe nothing, and question everything. If my fingers could not touch it, feel it – Then surely it did not exist.

When I see images from Hillsborough, stills of people fighting for their last breath, negotiating broken bodies in mis-held belief that they were aiding Emergency Services, when fundamentally they had in fact taken over those jobs, whilst minutes away those employed to do that very job would be held back by those in power, unaware how their dereliction of duty would take over 20 years to come to light – To return and haunt them.

As I watched from my vantage point which hours earlier I had specifically located, credence that this very spot would be exactly where I would view my heroes progress toward Wembley as they would proficiently deliver silverware once again.

The scouse hijacked terrain amongst opposing fans where I would find myself, would indeed if for the wrong reasons be an incredible vantage point – Clearly we would see lifeless bodies who only moments earlier would struggle for their last gasping breath, laid out in some sort of macabre pageant for the deceased. In my mind I need not go so deep to envisage those sights once more.

I’m still not completely sure how my mind attempted to process images from that day – Dead bodies being carried & taken from where they had fallen, to be placed on dismantled advertising hoarding – used as stretchers. This would be the first time in my short life I would see someone dead or dying before my eyes, as cripplingly close as I could touch them. I’m not really sure that these words could do such an image justice.

I had only ever seen one dead person prior to Hillsborough – An old nun at my primary school she would be 70 or 80 years of age. This day I would see possibly 30 more, supposed lifeless bodies in the space of an hour – Middle aged men and women, interspersed would be the motionless bodies of children. I am at pain to call them Dead as we all now know this may not have been the case, and the thought that we were indeed witnessing children dying, is a horrific thought, quite haunting.

I would not lose my life at Hillsborough that day, nor would I lose blood relatives – For years I would feel guilty that I actually felt that I gained from that very experience, maybe a sick disturbing understanding of the true effects of that day. Down the years I have met people who in a sense “ dined out” on the fact they survived Hillsborough – I can say that, but not without remorse, having at times being guilty of that myself – That is what we do as humans at times, am I sorry? Yes, most definitely. The immediate years after Hillsborough the trauma would have different compounding effect of people – Different types of people.

That is maybe the point, you can’t change how you were many years ago, but you can regretfully take a look back in an attempt to put that right, as such I feel answerable to myself . I am far from perfect, but when I talk about Justice For 96 strangers I went to a football match with some years ago – I mean that.

My brother said he had not seen me cry since I was 8 years old, I suppose I was just that kind of kid ,stronger than most – I would make up for it that day and subsequently over the next year with Images of Hillsborough seemingly on a constant rewind in my head and on my Television screen. I would never go back to Hillsborough after that day, and I believe I never will.

I don’t require a sick-note from society – I am not a victim of Hillsborough, I just happen to be someone amongst thousands of others that has a story to regale about that day – And I have also become tired at keeping that story to myself, and I refuse to feel guilty that my emotions or thoughts do not matter.

There are defining moments in all our lives, where uncontrollable instants will rocket you in a direction you were otherwise never to live through, some would call it fate possibly a destiny. I changed after that day, at times not for the better, I would find perspective through its very experience. Others will constantly promote a “Move On” mentality, usually those who believe they have the an understanding of Hillsborough having seen it on their TV screens over a constant of years, as repeated our shouts for Justice have gathered apace. They remain unaware that many of us did & have moved on, and that new journey took us fleet-footed toward justice and the truth, unbeknown this would not be as swift as anticipated.

I still question whether indeed we have had Justice, after all these years I have a distrust of a system which still seems intent on perpetuating its own agenda – Clearly the example in the canonising of Thatcher this last year, and how her many friends within the system have attempted to whitewash her role in the initial cover-up, and the subsequent years of lies coupled with deception on a grand scale.

We certainly are still to have TRUTH – the whole truth that is, and not this distortion of the guilty that still goes on, the protectionism of the few top brass lacking in integrity whilst intent on criminality, the full stop that has been placed on their crimes just before the point where they should be in a courtroom charged with manslaughter & fraud.

The 15th April should not however be about my rage – More so about remembering and honouring The 96 and those affected by their deaths.

 

You can find me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/christobinsingsImage

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Brendan Rodgers – Criminal Intent

Brendan Rodgers – Criminal Intent.

If there is one thing worse than a poor loser then surely it is someone unable to accept victory no matter the cost. The striving to ascend and achieve , without excuse & above all showing an ambition to constantly perform to a higher level as is possible – Above all endeavour, success.

Brendan Rodgers - Rabbit Rabbit Yap Yap.

Brendan Rodgers – Rabbit Rabbit Yap Yap.

To quote a famous Shankly quote;

“If a man….who’s playing in front of the public, is being well paid, and he doesn’t dedicate himself to the job, I’d be hard on him. If I could I would put him in jail, out of the road of society. Because he’s a menace”

This week Brendan Rodgers would put himself precariously in the High Court of Shankly, he would assume the role of menace, even if only in words he would be guilty as charged as he lacked Shank’s expected dedication. His crime would be that of suggesting that perhaps not qualifying for European Football next season may be a blessing in disguise, as Liverpool would have a greater chance of finishing within the elite top four of next seasons Premier League – Without such distractions.

Firstly and to add balance Rodgers exact quote –

“We would love to be in there and we want to finish as high as we possibly can, but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t qualify for Europe. If it doesn’t happen then it could end up being a blessing for us”.

Liverpool’s abject failure to qualify for even a Europa League place should be seen as a complete disaster in terms of the clubs statue and as such Rodgers rather than looking for & finding a silver lining in a sows ear of a campaign, would be far better suited to expressing the unacceptable position of this great club – It would be no less than three weeks ago when Rodgers opinion; albeit it agenda ridden; Liverpool could achieve a coveted top four position.

This seems to be the agenda for Brendan Rodgers – self-preservation. At times like this his rhetoric becomes rather less palatable. Indeed unacceptable. Does he expect supporters to become apathetic toward success, by his reasoning our early exits from both The F.A. Cup and League Cup should surely have resulted in a far greater league position this season – Failure excused by future triumphs, losing battles to have opportunity to attend the war.

Rodgers expectation for his Liverpool team has been up & down on more occasions, than a whores knickers, & with it the fans expectations have become watered down with each passing week or press conference.

It costs nothing to kiss The Blarney Stone. It appears that this season Rodgers has made many a pilgrimage to west Cork & Blarney Castle. His chat has become rather nonsensical at times, more reminiscent of Allardyce, Redknapp or Steve McLaren – As much as I like our manager for footballing reasons and remain less reticent as regard this, I am increasingly concerned around his discourse, at times completely embarrassed by it.

I do however understand he is a young man still finding his feet at one of the world’s biggest clubs. With my critique I do feel rather like I am criticizing my friend’s new Adidas trainers for appearing slightly garish.

Football managers do not have, or indeed expect immunity from supporter’s intent on clarification and justification, through their medium of criticism. Blindly following the messiah whilst unable to see and point out his shortcomings won’t win trophies. As Bill Shankly said “is being well paid” –

Abraham Lincoln once said “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

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My Liverpool Gang Will Never Walk Alone

When I was young I followed the biggest gang around, the most powerful, auspicious group imaginable. My posse was run by the greatest of gang leaders, our very own Godfather Liverpool gangster William “Bill” Shankly, and later the baton would be passed down through like minded folk, commissioned with an assignment, a brief to bully, to impose greatness upon our foes. We would expose weakness, landing critical blows, all would be legal and above-board, but also ferocious, a brutality with a football at its feet, quick minds with ingenuity, geniuses to a man.

They would have  preference and bias toward Silver, becoming hoarders with each new piece of swag accumulated, with all our defeated opponents suffering a malaise of jealousy. This would be what would draw me to a converted follower kneeling and praying at my Gods alter.

Our First Gang Bosses Bill & Bob

That’s my excuse for becoming a disciple a hanger-on to Liverpool Football Club, how my heart would become lost to those that refused to walk alone, a red army, where foot soldiers would hoist scarves above their heads and loudly sing about hope in my heart, and how when I walked through a storm I must hold my head up high, their hymn for this great church.

After many years being the biggest bully in our footballing playground, we would slowly lose our Godfathers, through Bob, Joe and Kenny sparkling jewels would be pillaged, we would not question them, believing they knew best, we were not worthy, our guides through the storm were at the head of the pack toward the sound of the sweet silver song of the lark, we were but followers toward an acceptance that the dark would change to light.

When things changed, the new members of our gang would be less supportive, less principled constantly within moments of overthrowing our incumbent pack leader, as time went on and our gang would acquire less and less booty, membership would not be magnanimous not as tolerant, they would assume a position of louder more boisterous if less educated stance.

The sweet silver lark would be replaced with a P45 which would be waiting at the end of any slight shower that may darken our golden skies; dreams that were once tossed and blown had now taken on nightmare proportions. There would be no hope in hearts broken by defeat to Sunderland or Bolton, they would sing the song but not walk the walk, that had become a lonely walk.

Maybe the more modern fashionable supporter of today has no interest in gang culture which in itself is surprising given where society finds itself at this moment in time, where glory has no meaning beyond its inception of a Wembley weekend, quickly forgotten replaced with talk of revolution and the masses drown out the old with a new song, a song without words; an instrumental made up of throats regurgitating boos, with only a chorus of “What a load of rubbish”

Success Has Many Godfathers

Storming the castles of forums with their right to opinion, compassionate support with volleys of crass indignation toward the institution they are followers of, with illegal punches, rabbit and below the belt with the lowest of blows, why I find myself the self-appointed referee in this illegal underground scrap, as they try to legitimise their brand of keyboard killings within the ropes of the social media ring.

I can’t understand why anyone wants to follow my team these days, one tiny miniscule trophy that wouldn’t raise a smile from a pawnbroker, in the space of six barren years, tactics that would only cause a shaking of the head, players that are over-paid for the under achievements, signed for millions by those who should be held responsible, taken outside and shot, and no goals being scored “We need a goal scorer”. Does that resemble the team you follow? Well it does not mine, my team are mighty men in red, passionately striding toward a new era of greatness, where the Godfather has returned to reclaim his gang and put them back at the top, it is a different kind of scrapping, and we need to learn those fighting skills, it may take time but we will get better.

Those new members trying to change the tune need not look to me for change, they need to look for a change within themselves, or ultimately find a new gang. I remember the words to that song when I was initiated into the gang “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone, you’ll never walk alone”

#YNWA

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