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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Through the Wind and Rain
PO Box 23
L30 2SA


Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

Issue 26 - The Day Of The Hillsborough Disaster

"You can't picture the sounds on television. You can hear a deafening hum, but you can't hear the person next to you screaming in your ear and you can't hear people dying and you can't hear bones crushig and you can't smell the smells. You could smell people dying Combined with the actual sensation of being crushed as well, you've every sense bombarded at the same time." - Anonymous Male Spectator

This quote from 'The Day Of The Hillsborough Disaster' by Rogan Taylor, Andrew Ward and Tim Newbum (Liverpool University Press. £8.95) might have dissuaded others from going on; after all, how can a book describe such horror? The fact that they carried on with their task is admirable - that they convey at least some of the nightmare of pain and anguish, typified by the above. is almost miraculous. This article is so late because the authors requested no reviews before April 9th, and this is the first TRW&R since then. The publicity blurb set out their agenda in one sentence; 'what do we really know about Hillsborough'?' Given that many an 'expert' has thrown in their bob's worth while knowing absolutely NOTHING, Taylor Ward & Newbum wisely use the tested formula of interviews which served '3 Sides of the Mersey' so well. From the sunny morning optimism through to the dark depression of the day's end. this is a chilling read. It provokes a wild series of emotions. sadness and anger dominant. I'm ashamed to admit I even smiled once.

The book isn't a whitewash; opinion is kept at a minimum. There are accounts from those who went, and those who stayed and waited (mostly those who waited in vain), Forest fans, police officers, doctors and social workers. The Forest inclusions are important because they go some way to explaining the bigotry and lies that came later. Phrases like 'typical dumb scouser', 'more mindless nonsense', 'traditional soccer tribal behaviour'. 'the ubiquitous clenched fist' show that preconceptions existed then and have largely refused to go away. It was offensive for a Forest fan to talk of our 'behaviour' and the charge to the Kop without mentioning what sparked it off - Forest fans singing 'We Hate Scousers' (or was it 'You Scouse Bastards'?) as our friends lay dead or dying. That isn't in the book (although it was in When Sunday Comes' disaster issue), and it's one of the few irritating omissions.

The time between 2.30 and 4.30 is obviously the core of the book and the most painful to read. I must confess to skimming over parts, knowing what was coming and not being able to read some of it. There is a line of reasoning that goes.. 'we know it's the police's fault, we don't have to read this' but really you just kid yourself. I chickened out. Once the story was taken up again, it's noticeable that the experiences of Jenny & Trevor Hicks are prominent. There is the horrific passage where they are told by 'this absolute swine' of a police officer that their daughte ,Vicki was "nothing to do with you any, more" Can you believe that their treatment became even worse after that? I think you can. Their story becomes more and more bewildering. a bureaucratic nightmare that makes' The Trial' read like 'Paddington goes Shopping'.

The final words come from Pat Nicol, whose son Lee was only 14 and was kept alive for 2 days before his machine was switched off. 'Four people benefited from Lee's organs. A small boy received Lee's liver. Two girls recieved his kidneys. A man recieved his heart valve. All are doing fine and leading new lives. Thats when I just crumpled. I don't know whether this was because the book had taken it's toll. or ~ this ending (strictly speaking not the day of the disaster at all) was artificial, placed there deliberately to achieve such an effect; 'hope out of horror', if you like. I felt ~ with this 'coda' although it's good Pat was given this crumb of solace to cling to. Then again, I'm always angry if I get caught out by my emotions - and the outrageous number of Art(ifice) makes me weep when real-life atrocities raise barely a flicker. Som kind of macho bullshit that a psychiatrist could work out, no doubt. I'd felt it was unnecessary. anyway.

I should explain about the opening paragraph, and what I could possibly find to smile about in this book. it was more of a grimace; during the section on the immediate aftermath and chaos after the gates had been opened, Trevor Hicks says 'I spent most of my time trying to suck vomit and mucus out of Vicki's mouth. sorry to give it to you straight.. is that fucking English or what? Here's a man, describing how (like anyone would) he was doing anything possible to, make his beloved daughter breathe again - and he's apologising for telling us something unpleasant ! The 'smile' lasts a second. It vanishes at soon as you realise ~ THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO READ THIS BOOK NEVER WILL. Never mind that it tells the truth, a truth that many people (for varying reasons) don't want to hear. Pain. blood, vomit, cracking bones, suffering, screaming - why put yours through it? We're Liverpool fans and many of us won't read it either, but at least we know what happened that day. The people who should read this book are those who speak of 'dead fans robbed by drunk thugs', of 'tanked up mobs', of 'Liverpool people killed Liverpool people', of 'those bastards did it, they got lnterflora to do a cover-up' and 'you might know it would be 'those bastards fault we have to sit down'.

Hillsborough's now about sides; us versus them. Pick your side and we'll deal with you from there. I'm past arguing, though never past caring. It's getting harder to listen to someone saying 'yer've gotta admi it, Cloughie's got a point though, Ste' without screaming 'fuck off you cokroach, and never speak to me again'. Some of them don't mean any harm. but do so without realising. They won't read this book. and the only way they'll ever know is too hideous to contemplate - to find out for themselves. Like some of our fans didn't know about Munich, and then they knew. They knew ten tunes full and overflowing.

£8.95 is nothing to pay for an historical document. 'Recommended' is hardly the word; you MUST own this book. It's got no answers - Christ, how could it? - and it doesn't help you deal with the growing wave of spite that,s coming our way. but all we can do is REMEMBER and 'The Day of the Hillsborough Disaster' is a vital part of that remembrance.