Fanzines - voice of the ordinary supporter

We highlight Liverpool 'zine 'Through The Wind and Rain' - always a staunch supporter of the HJC and a voice that has kept alive and published articles on Hillsborough throuout the last 12 years. You can read all of their back issue articles about Hillsborough here

Contact Us - Contact TTWR

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
134 Oakfield Road
L4 0UG
Tel / fax : 0151 2605262


Through the Wind and Rain
PO Box 23
L30 2SA


Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

The worst word in the English language is if. Take football for instance. If the ref and disallowed Arsenal's first goal. If Barnes had gone for the corner flag, to waste the last few seconds. If Nicol's challenge had just been enough to get out of a paper bag. If someone had just grabbed Thomas by the scruff of his neck. If he'd missed. You climb a mountain of ifs and what does it say at the summit? Arsenal are the champions. End of story.

That's trivia compared to the loss of someone you respect of love. For the people left behind, the worst thing about death is if. If they'd been doing something else, if they'd done it somewhere else, at a different time. If it could have been you. Those ifs become like sharp needles, endlessly tormenting. On exploring every avenue, every possibility, you disappear into a maze of your own making and all it come down to is that the person is gone forever and there's not a damn thing you can say or do that will make any difference. Dedications in football fanzines are as much use to the bereaved as a statue of an all-seater stadium - none. I would still like to say a few words about three men in particular.

Gary Riddell was a very young, promising centre half for Dunfermline Athletic. He died as an indirect result of his desire to help those less fortunate than himself - people hundreds of miles away, people he didn't even know. Tragic seems to small a word. Cruel is more like it.

Pete De Freitas was killed by a motorist in Staffs, while riding on his motor cycle. I didn't really want to go into music too much - you've bought this fanzine because of football, but Pete was the best drummer in the world for one-time best band in the world, Echo and the Bunnymen. I've lost count of the hours of pleasure they gave me, but one day in particular stands out. Saturday May 12th 1984. We went to see Liverpool play Notts County - it was a poor match, but the Reds clinched the title that day. Back at Lime Street around 8 o'clock, I crossed the road and saw the Bunnymen play St. Georges Hall, one of the best concerts I'd ever seen. It was a fabulous day. Pete's contribution to the group was vital, especially live. Even though they'd split, you always hoped they'd reform. Sadly, that will never happen. Mac's new record is great, though, and it would be nice if Ian, Les and Will got together on last time, to record a tribute to Pete. If it was worthy of him, it would be single of the year - easily.

Alan Johnstone was on one of the 95 fans who died at Hillsborough. I didn't know him personally, but my sister worked with him at Fazakerly Hospital for many years. It was the same story throughout the city - the dead had relatives, then friends, then there were friends of friends and so on. The communal grief suffered by Liverpool was, for many, heightened by a sense of personal loss, no matter how little we knew of them. The bitter pill for his family was Alan's absence from football that season, as he was saving up to get married. The lure of the semi final was too great - Alan felt compelled, even obliged to see his team once more. Many of us have felt the same way. Perhaps that would be a fitting tribute to the 95 who died - that one day we can all feel the same way again, without worrying about our safety.

Is there such a thing as death which is worse than others? Perhaps when the person who has gone was, as the saying goes, so full of life. In their own ways, Gary, Pete and Alan had so much more to offer - all three were in their 20's. The only things of any substance that any of us can pass on are good memories in the minds of those we leave behind. There is no doubt that these young me succeeded there. As Ian McCulloch said, "We have had too much death this year."

Rest In Peace the Hillsborough 95, Gary Riddell, Pete De Freitas.