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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The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
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Tel / fax : 0151 2605262


Through the Wind and Rain
PO Box 23
L30 2SA


Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

Issue 25 - Cracker Letters

The writer of Cracker, Jirnmy McGovern, has been criticised by several people in #24, and I feel his side of the story should be told because he didn't mean to offend anyone. On 9th September he gave an interview to the Echo concerning the 3 part story. He was quoted as saying 'the character Albie will give his philosophy of what HE feels caused Hillsborough' On the subject of 'exploitation', he said 'part of the reason I wrote it was because of the way Hillsborough was handled in the press in the aftermath' He had wanted 'Brookside' characters to burn the Sun newspaper to mark the first anniversary; this idea was vetoed and he didn't write for them again.

It should also be pointed out that representatives of the bereaved families were given the opportunity to view 'Cracker' in advance - and approved. Having seen all three episodes, my impression was that McGovern was trying to emphasise the frustration and injustice still felt by so many people affected by Hillsborough. I don't know if the watching millions saw it that way. 'Cracker' was fiction, and leading psychologists have scoffed at the idea that the opinions of an alcoholic, chain-smoking compulsive gambler would be taken seriously by police. Any reasonable viewer would surely have realised this.

A couple of letters in #24 accused 'Cracker' of being 'sick', but this programme wasn't the only one to feature Hillsborough; it followed on from The Cook Report, Decisions, The Day I Nearly Died and Dispatches - it even featured on Rock 'N' Roll Years. Of all these, The Day I Nearly Died is the one that was sick. It comprised half an hour of survivors reliving their experiences on peak-time TV. Hillsborough was only one of a series of programmes which included King's Cross, Piper Alpha and Lockerbie. In my opinion all it succeeded in doing was to bring back painful memories for some people while others were being 'entertained' by listening to real life horror stories. It was totally pointless. There was no message, just a sheer exploitation of the tragedy. 'Cracker' did attempt to deliver a message but, like you, I don't believe it succeeded. Using a bayonet- wielding skinhead hell-bent on killing 96 people in revenge for Hillsborough was not the right way to go about it.

Simon Pinnington - Prenton

A Reply By Jimmy Mc Govern

You and Alan Cookson and others can say what you like about CRACKER. I don't mind. I've been insulted by intelligent people. But Alan Cookson gives the game away when he tells us that you, Steven, once rejected a Hillsborough article because you were, frankly, bored with the subject - despite the fact that the families of the 96 were desperately pursuing Justice. At the very least CRACKER put Hillsborough back on the agenda and forced people like you to confront the issue again. Of that, I am proud. For that, quite a few of the families were grateful. Certainly not one of the bereaved has contacted me to say I was wrong to do it. Many have told me I was right to do so.

Jimmy McGovern

Other Letters

Mr RB Differdange is quite right about my Kop video review and also very dreamy. We are talking about a BBC LFC product; the chances of Flag Days or Kop protests getting a mention are nil minus several million. In a perfect world they'd be mentioned, but in a perfect world the Kop would still exist and those who screwed up at Hillsborough would be taking the rap, not us. These videos exist to reflect the official line that has us as customers who cheer wins and boo defeats, like sheep, not thinking active participants; if we ignore that aim we'll never he satisfied with any video, and the Kop one was good despite this. It was still worth getting - so there!

Anyway, the real reason for this letter is to mention the 10th anniversary of Heysel. I wondered if some gesture from us was called for. It needn't be anything more than a floral wreath to Juventus' ground on the day before, when they play Cagliari on the 28th May. I don't think Reds can ignore that date, especially after the way Italian fans reacted after Hillsborough. I could only see a problem if it was interpreted as a confession, and I don't want it seen as an admission of.our total responsibility. I recently saw an Italian book which said Heysel was due to fighting "between" opposing fans so perhaps people do know what happened. I wonder how LFC would react, and if anyone else reckons it's a good idea or is it a truly awful mistake.

Rex Nash Surbiton

I'm sure the FSA (formed in '85 as a response to the disaster) are planning something, I can find out from them if the club will be represented in any Italian ceremony. Maybe Ian could go there for us, and hand over a floral tribute from the fans? Over to you.( SK )

We all know about the lies from the Sun and to a lesser extent the Daily Star but which was the first to carry stories blaming the Liverpool Fans? Step fo ward the City's own "Daily Post".Their edition of April 18th 1989 carries an article by one John Williams-try theese quotes for size; "This was yobbism at it's most base". "People without tickets who had no right to be there were crushing to death their fellow Scousers"." Scouse killed Scouse for no better reason than 22 men were kicking a ball.

Williams based his views on his experiences at a Wrexham v Liverpool cup tie - a mere 24 years previously! On that day he says Liverpool fans 'stole tickets as they were being handed to turnstile keepers or else climbed over barriers to gain entry. His further comments on Hillsborough do not make nice reading. 'Hundreds of fans poured onto the pitch as Saturday's disaster unfolded. They did not all come to help their fellow supporters. Ask the press photographers how much equipment was stolen that afternoon'' His evidence? Surprise surprise - none. He goes on to say "Others did not steal but vented their anger and frustration by viciously beating the journalists who were hurting inside just as much as their attackers' Evidence? Not a shred. His final comment was to pour scorn on the floral tributes which were by now turning Anfield into a shrine. He felt they were 'mawkish". Not surprisingly, there was an outcry about Williarns' article and the "Post" printed numerous letters over the next few days, all of them disrnissing the writer's point of view as lies.

Williams himself was unrepentant though, and further fanned the flames in another article in the Daily Post" exactly one week after his original crap. He stated "I stand by every word with no apology. After a thorough search, I cannot find it in my heart to apologise for inveighing against those who so thoughtlessly took lives away." Williams is no longer at the Post; in fact I have some vague recollection of him dying some time ago. Whatever, good riddance to a journalist who wouldn't recognise truth if it jumped up and bit him on the arse.