15 Apr 2015

Hillsborough: the real truth, 26 years on

“It is always,” sighs Richie Greaves, “a very difficult day to get through. Not least because you’ll meet up again with so many other relatives and survivors so it all comes flooding back.”

He runs a courier business but there will be no work done today.

Several commemorations, Richie will attend the one Liverpool city centre but the families will also be at Anfield of course and some, elsewhere perhaps either physically or emotionally, will be raising a glass, saying a prayer, pausing to remember in their own private ways.


For so many of them the game changer was the Hillsborough Independent Panel report published on 12 September 2012.

For the first time the fans were exonerated and just as importantly the country, the world was brought into the beginning of the truth and the beginning of justice about Hillsborough.

“It just took a weight off us as survivors,” says Richie, “and it put the rest of the county in the picture for the first time.”

Right now the continuing long inquests in Warrington have been another emotional rollercoaster for many directly connected to the disaster.

The families are assiduous in pointing out legal warnings about comment on the inquests but clearly the evidential value of it and its painstaking thoroughness is not in doubt.

Equally many families and survivors have been little grateful for the Easter break which encompasses today’s anniversary – and who could blame them for that.

So maybe just pause somewhere somehow in your day today. Spare a moment for those who lost their lives in such terrible fashion but pause too for all those who struggled afterwards amid pain and grief.

They fought what was revealed by the Independent Panel’s report to be the lies, the cover-ups, the usual depressing response of the establishment year after year – and brought us all closer along the road towards justice.

They did a great service for the 96. They did a service for us all. Hillsborough has its victims. But Hillsborough has its heroes.

We remember them today.

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