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

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Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

Football Supporters Association

When the Football Supporters association was first launched, I was thinking about Europe, not England. What was pissing me off at the time was the knowledge that if the Juventus fans and the Liverpool fans had met in an alehouse to organise the game they could not have cocked it up any worse. The feeling was that UEFA had stuck us in a stadium which was falling down, they hadn't given us enough tickets, many had been sold on the black market, there were no police inside the stadium, there was blue murder in Turin 4 months earlier, there was even worse blue murder in Rome 12 months previously: and we all knew. Except them. And at the end of the day there are 39 supporters dead…there are more dead supporters: just like at Bolton; just like at Ibrox, and just like there were in the last century according to the gentleman's magazine in march 1899 "its strange that more people die watching football than playing it these days". A very sombre note runs through the history of football spectating and it was that what was driving me, a Liverpool fan sitting in Liverpool, stewing in the guilt and the shame and the awfulness of it all after Hillsborough.

Rogan Taylor

Pity that feeling doesn't drive everyone. In my view, the start of the FSA was the best thing to happen to football supporters in this country, but a declining membership hints at current apathy. Perhaps it is disillusionment? You could hardly be blamed; killed people in the marcana? -You can be Brazilian Minister of sport. Charged with manslaughter for Bastia? -Heres a job with the UEFA executive (no doubt greeted by that little beast Jacques George). The people who gave Liverpool fewer tickets than Forest-Graham 2000 challenges Kelly and Bert "no-one wanted fences to come down"Millchip are still there. It doesn't get more depressing than that, and yes the FSA does just talk a bit too much and yes it is a forlorn hope that change will come-but that's cos you aren't a member-8 years on-and were still to get the slightest grip on the game. And we need to.

Because Rogan Taylor is right-everyone knew-except them. They never know-not now or then or ever. And supporters are going to die again, because they don't give a toss. Mind you, even footballs hierarchy are better than politician; who else would think an identity card would work? The reaction to 1985 was "we have to fence these animals in"-and look what happened then. Thatchers post-Heysal response was classic "It was an appalling thing that one set of supporters could not stand beside another without being attacked". That's just what Billy said sitting in a pile of broken glass on a coach from Rome to Liverpool. No politician was listening then because it didn't suit them.

The press? - Even the best journalists have their bigotry; Brian Glanvilles super book on the European Cup is spoilt by his obvious loathing of Liverpool supporters, and his usual blind eye to anything bad in the Italian game. "It would be little use telling a scouser how much difference there was between a plebeian Roman and a supercilious Torinese". Besides the odd idea of needing knowledge of sociology to attend a cup final, read the last 6 pages again. Brandishing knives, throwing bottles, throwing chunks of "stadium" at police (with red scarves covering their faces) the huge "red animals" banner, spitting and kicking. Yes, very supercilious.

What is clear from what I've read (and what I've been sent) is the part played by mass consumption of alcohol? I know most people just have a couple and there are people who can handle it if they drink more, but I've seen the change come over people with drink inside them. Personalities can change in an instant and I'm not all sure what the solution could be. Perhaps a campaign to encourage drinking in moderation? - but who would take part in it? - a club sponsored by a beer company? - probably not.

Liverpool FC has its share of scum who follow them; the evil little bigot even abusing his own players at Boundary Park, the inebriated foul mouthed the duck with turret syndrome-on the coach (of all things) the coca cola cup match in (of all places) Sheffield, the fans who hit out at their own if Liverpool lose-not only have I seen it - I've been the victim of it - they're there allright, and I'll never be happy until they are eradicated from this club. Which means I'll probably never be completely happy. Sad but true.

That's a small part of the picture; since I've started this fanzine I've come across some of the nicest, most generous people I've ever met-and all of them were Liverpool supporters. I just don't think its fair to lump them in with Heysal. Dave Wallace touched on the scouser myth (and Glanville sends the boot in, too) and he's certainly right about that. What you don't do is replace one myth with another one that's equally bogus - which has happened to us over the last 8 years.

I have to say that the Manchurians are pretty adept at this; who else has the nerve to criticise another Cities crime rate? Anyone who's seen Uniteds Scumzine (read is not the appropriate verb) will know of their misty eyed reminders of their "heyday" in the 70's-eg: "we got off de coach and what we did see but 5000 Leeds fans come twards us and there were but 10 of us but we did kik their heads in they did make a loverly splat on the concrete and then oh no! annuver 5000" and so on. Of course, their usual comeback is "we never killed no-one"; no thanks to you moron. The least said about the murderers chants of the "Stanley knife? -What's that?" "Xenophobia-never heard of it"Evertonians the better, though I will say that if I want a lesson on living in harmony with other races then I'll go were they haven't burned crosses thank you very much.

The arguments can fly around all you want but what matters in the end is that 39 people went to a football match and lost their lives. Hooliganism was (is?) a sickness but you don't you don't deal with reality by ignoring it, the way UEFA and the Belgian Police ignored it. Four years later, after a press campaign of finding the least fault in any supporter and multiplying it by 100, 95 lost their lives too; another 2 fans are as good as dead. Then Bastia; the response from the hierarchy every time was to find a scapegoat (usually the very people who were the victims), anything to protect their privileged positions. Positions that they have held for far too long; positions that true fans of the game should hold, and never will-until we ACT. (SK)