Report stirs difficult memories of Sheffield disaster

Hillsborough Disaster Documents Released'The memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans that lost their lives in the tragedy
Hillsborough Disaster Documents Released'The memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans that lost their lives in the tragedy

SHOCK, compassion and continuing anger - these are the feelings in Sheffield after the Hillsborough panel report laid bare scores of revelations about the tragedy.

City leaders, football fans and residents today said a mixture of emotions were still running high and memories had come flooding back.

A special prayer has been written by Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft for those affected.

He said: “I think people have been moved this week by a deep compassion for the bereaved and the injured and all those who have gone on suffering for so many years.

“That is the first response of those I have talked to this week. A lot of people’s memories of a very difficult period have been stirred again.

“What has been revealed is just so far reaching and enormous that it going to take some time for everything we have heard to be absorbed.

“We have been praying for everyone involved in our churches all week.”

Owl Neville Wright, of Lodgemoor, hosted families whose sons suffered crush injuries at Hillsborough and said 23 years was ‘just too long’ for the truth to emerge.

He said: “I was not at all surprised by the findings of the report, what is going to happen now?

“There is anger now but not triggered anger, that has been there all the time.

“I just look forward to the next stage which is, if needed, the criminal prosecutions.

“I think people had their heads in the sand for far too long.”

Resident Ken Wain, 71, of Gleadless Townend, said: “I think the reaction of the city has been entirely shock, I really do.

“I have been speaking to member of my family, who are Owls although I’m neutral about football, mostly about it and they are absolutely shocked.

“I can remember when Hillsborough happened because we were shopping on Manor Top and saw a whole fleet of ambulances going past.

“Although I think people did think there would be some implications from the report I don’t think it was expected there would be this many.”

Tony Barrington, of Beauchief, aged 81, added: “I think people are shocked because there’s always been a bit of mystery over what really happened that day, there were so many stories.

“I think prosecutions could happen now, because if there has been any misbehaviour and misconduct, then I think it should be brought out into the open.”

On The Star’s Facebook fan page reader Lynn Carnall said: “I’m ashamed to say I live in Sheffield. South Yorkshire Police have put sheffield in a bad position. Who can trust them ever again? I for one will not.”

And Owl Paul Timmins, who said a number of factors had ‘added up to a tragedy’, added: “It can’t be anything but bad and damning on our city.”

But current Hillsborough MP David Blunkett said the city should ‘hold its head high’.

He added: “I think the people of Sheffield need to be clear that none of this was their doing.

“The city could not have behaved better, and whatever the police and ambulance services did and no matter how inept the coroner, the city can hold its head high.”

Bishop’s Hillsborough prayer:

God, who understands the human heart,

Your Son, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

We pray for all affected by the Hillsborough disaster:

We remember those who died, we pray for the injured and those who grieve.

We pray that the truths which have been brought to light will show the way to justice, healing, love and life.

Help us to learn lessons and to build together a safer, more open and more just society

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen.