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 27

Issue 26's review of the Hillsborough book brought back memories of a painful episode i don't really want to relate but i guess I have to, just part of a story that has sadly been attracting new controversy non-stop since last October and that idiot Clough. I totally agree with Steven's review. In Sportspages, before I made my way to West Ham (0~3) 1 peeked at a few pages. That was more than enough; reading more than a paragraph at a time was all but impossible, but that's how it has to be. Definitely one for the strong-willed - which is exactly why McKenzie, Clough, lngam, Waugh etc etc won't go near it. The one good thing to come from the last big Hillsborough court case, involving certain S. Yorkshire police, was that it focused attention back (however briefly) on the disaster. The real question, the lack of Justice, was generally not well dealt with, but who expected it to be? At least people have taken some note of the problems that remain. Compare this with Bastia; in April, 6 French officials were jailed for manslaughter and others got a suspended sentence. None were too long, 2 years tops, but it's better than no Justice at all - which is what we got. Odd isn't it? A soldier kills a joyrider and the press whip the country into a self-righteous frenzy; the police help to kill 96 innocent football fans and leave countless others in a living hell and ........ well, what? NOTHING.

Whatever the merits or otherwise of the police claim, everything else must wait until Duckinfield et al are brought to book and the interests of Justice are satisfied. It's a sad comment on this 'civilised' country that there are still people suffering due to something that happened six years ago, and those responsible are allowed to just wander off into comfortable obscurity. The silliest thing I heard, if indeed I heard right, was from the South Yorks Police spokesman interviewed on '5 Live' afterwards. Paul Middup complained that the verdict was wrong because senior ranks had failed in their duty. Does anyone know if this is the same Paul Middup who took every opportunity in 1989 to blame us rather than her majesty's finest? Who, more than almost anyone, helped to blacken our name? just a little teaser, answer in the next issue .........

Last season, I had a disturbing first-hand experience of the pain some still carry with them. After a game at Anfield, I ended up at a railway station (not in Liverpool) at 1 in the morning. This lad walked in, sees my colours, asks about the match, has a look at my programme and we had a good chat about recent form for a few minutes. All of a sudden, he goes 'Did you go to Hillsborough?" I thought (stupidly?) he meant the 2-1 win in February, as we'd been talking about the games, so 1 say 'no'. Assuming he had gone, I ask him if it was any good. He said he was talking about the Disaster, that he hasn't had a job since due to the trauma, that he was still getting therapy and couldn't sleep. I desperately tried to think of something to say, and came up with some standard stuff about how lots of people were still being affected by those events. After a couple of minutes talking (I don't remember what about), he says he'd better get home. He smiled slightly, wished me a safe journey home and all the best. I did the same. He walked off and that was that. What I was supposed to make of all this I do not know. How that lad is and how he is coping, long-term, we can only take a guess at. Since he lives outside Merseyside, we can't be sure he is getting all the help he needs, particularly from potential employers. If all the chat shows hosted by prats like Kilroy were any guide, there is a good chance he would not have got the necessary compassion and patience; the number of ignorant macho bastards on those shows who refused to accept PTSD even exists is amazing, given this is supposed to be the back end of the 20th century (all credit to the relatives who went on those shows, behaving with dignity and answering the myths). That lad may also not have anyone to turn to - if he's at a railway station at that hour, it's not likely - no trains came in or out. It raises the wider question of how many people from outside Merseyside were injured, or worse, at Hillsborough. Liverpool fans come from all over the country, some must have been there that day. Who can say, with any confidence, that they all got what they needed afterwards?

My feelings about it are obviously less important than his, but this incident does spark all sorts of emotions within me. Uselessness is one. I just couldn't think of anything to say or how to respond. Condolences seemed right out of place, and I didn't know if he wanted (or needed) to talk openly about his experiences, or whether that would just bring it all back. Even though I was pretty spaced out by the utter weirdness of it all - here I was talking to a complete stranger at an empty railway station and he'd just told me something very personal and painful - I still have to conclude that I let a fellow Red down in an hour of need. I realise how bad my "was it any good" sounded. He sounded so genuine, with a real pain in his eyes, that I just froze. The other emotions are sadness, that a human life has been so fucked up in this way through absolutely no fault of his own. Anger at the sheer injustice of it all. If there is a God, he'd better have some damn good explanations for all this.

Ultimately, there was a deep burning hatred that I have to confess is very unhealthy. When I think of that lad, it reminds me of those who caused this - swanning round golf courses on a full police pension (paid for by us), quietly enjoying life without a single care - and 1 feel like I'm going mad with rage. I'm one of those 'tedious' people still saying Prosecute/Don't But the S**, and that night only strengthened my resolve. In a strange way, by fixing on a single identifiable individual who suffered, the disaster became more 'real' (that sounds awful, but you know what I mean). But the more I think about it, the worse it gets. I know this happened, but already it seems like a strange dream; the figment of a tired mind at the end of a long day. In my heart I know I failed him. I can still see his face, and his hunched walk as he went up the steps to the station exit, Liverpool scarf wrapped round his neck to keep the cold out. If, by some coincidence, he is reading this, I'm sorry. I hope you and everyone else in your situation finds proper help and some peace of mind eventually.

Rex Nash