15th April 1989 - we don't walk alone

Posted by Rushian on April 15, 2004, 01:14:12 AM

In a strange way, I look forward to this day every year. It is a day when I realise that I am not alone. At times, I do feel that I walk alone but on this day I become reassured that I am walking with so many people, a football club, a community, a whole city.

We lost a lot of friends 15 years ago and the events are such that I will never and can never forget. Unfortunately, as time passes, there are a lot of people that do forget; it seems a long time ago, it may seem irrelevant and from a different era to them. I have lived approximately half my life before 15 April 1989 and half of it afterwards. It seems so harsh that a kid of 15 should have to go through something like that.

It is important never to forget – not just for justice but to honour the memory of those that did not make it back to Liverpool. Justice is more important to some than others. I support the justice campaign, but in a passive way. This is not because I do not believe in it but rather that if justice were earned then we could not bring anybody back. It will certainly make some of us feel much better that those that WE know were to such a large extent responsible for the tragedy could be brought to justice but as I say, it will bring no-one back. If I had lost a member of my family perhaps I would feel differently, perhaps I have a responsibility to fight but what for?

I think that those that do fight for justice do a great job and I wish them well - my way of dealing with it is to try and forget about it for the majority of the year.

The most enduring memory for me was the moment that my dad and I got back into Sheffield city centre afterwards. The traffic jam was terrible and we had arranged to meet my mum who wanted to have her own day-out shopping in Sheffield. We tried to get to the spot where we had arranged to meet after the “game” and actually turned up late even though we had left the ground an hour earlier than we would have done if the game had finished at the normal time.

She was with a lady from Nottingham whose husband was at the game. The rumour in the city was that a stand had collapsed and so she was convinced that we were dead. That moment, when I saw her is the most emotional of my life. We were in a queue of traffic but as I saw her I ran across the road, not bothering to look at the traffic and ran into her arms. She screamed, I cried, my dad tried to park the car.

The lady from Nottingham cried as well – we reassured here that her husband would be fine and she hugged my mum who seemed to be 10 years older than she had been 4 hours before. There was a sense of elation that we were ok - the feelings of guilt because we were ok would not start for quite some time.

We travelled back to Merseyside in almost silence. We stopped somewhere in the Pennines- a peaceful, almost idyllic spot. The sun was going down, there was a strong wind, there were people wandering around all over the car park, all seemed to be Liverpool fans and most of them appeared to be crying.

It was a long time before I could direct my anger at anyone, but as I say above, my anger has passed - the 96 can’t be brought back. What is important to me now is to be able to honour their memory, to support the team even more - we need to make up for them when singing, when being elated at winning and being depressed for days when we lose.

I haven’t been to the service since the 10th anniversary due to being in Santiago but hope that those that can make it will pay my respects for me. Remember that there are people affected all over the world. Today, more than any other day, we do not walk alone.

May God rest their souls, may we support the team for evermore.

RIP 96

Santiago Red 2004

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