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

New Labour, New Inquest. It's like buses, isn't it? For years, no-one gave a toss about Hillsborough And then, in the last 6 months, everyone- starts getting involved There is now a new urgency to the campaign for Justice, and everything is much more positive. The power of television, indeed. We owe respect to Straw for grasping the nettle, unlike the spineless Howard. The drip-drip of evidence and news and events lifts up the pressure so much that not even a politician could ignore.

Some of the reports e.g. 'Justice At Last' are just nonsense. This is where the battle starts; do you really think the police and Sheffield Wednesday and the rest will sit back waiting for the new evidence? The hard work starts now, because they will fight every point and won't concede anything unless we drag it out of them. The legal struggle will be long and difficult.

The campaign HAS re-opened the inquiry, though. We may see the true story of that day in a legal setting - not just in books and fanzines. Eliminating the 3.15 cut off point brings SWFC, Sheffield Council and the emergency services into play, along with their inept SYP colleagues. Don't apply for that FA job yet, Mackrell. Please - no more bullying of fans and survivors, no more bullshit. No more words in witnesses' mouths. Just the truth, followed by Justice, and as quick as you can.

This all overshadows what's been done over the last six months, but since #34, it's all happened; the campaign office we mentioned did not go ahead, but lots of other stuff did. The Spurs Day of Support, the Justice Concert, the procession at Hillsborough, not to mention the shit SYP and Sheffield Wednesday's stewards put Reds through on that day. An~ would think they were trying to provoke us into confirming all the 1989 ties. Perish the thought.

Tottenham came to Anfield on May 3rd, and basically the day was a success. It may have been marred by the media's lack of interest, but the Spurs fans were great and co-operated totally - from my spec in the Kop, that was really important. A massive 'thank you' to them for that. The whole stadium looked good, in fact, and it was a testament to the effort everyone put in that it went well. The players did their bit (especially David James), and the mascot business at half time was a very nice touch.

The story's not all good, though. The diplomacy displayed by the families arid the FSA is totally understandable, but one-day the real story of the Hillsborough campaign will be told. The Day of Support in itself is a long tale of delay, prevarication and lack of co-operation and other pains in the arse. The feeling that the event was something certain individuals did not really want to see happen was never more than a second away. If LFC are 'one of the best professionally run clubs in England*, that doesn't say much for the rest- Simple messages didn't get through, ~ calls took ages to receive any meaningful reply, people were being sent back and forth to sort out things we had already done etc.

Crucially, they had agreed (a) to contact Sky to make sure they covered the occasion, as they knew someone there who would sort it out (b) to get the stewards to put the 40,000 Justice cards on each and every seat. Great, that's the hard work dealt with - wrong come the Wednesday morning before the game, the stewards are told they are not to put the cards out; by the evening, the FSA get a call saying they have to do the job themselves and are given a time to sort it out - 5 PM on Friday. Brilliant, just brilliant. To everyone's enormous credit, we somehow rustled up an assorted legion of people; ordinary Reds, as well as some of the Bereaved themselves. That they, of all people, should have had to traipse around Anfield on a Friday night sticking cards on dusty and dirty plastic seats was disgraceful.

Everyone assembles, at 4.50 by the main entrance, and the usual chaos reigns. It turned out that the Main Stand, the Annie Road and some of the KOP had been done already We were told later than 20-odd stewards decided to grab a box each and do it anyway - and thanks to them for that. That still doesn't alter what we were told about the change of plans, and when we were told, a few days before the event. Why are things always so hard with this club. We ran up and down the Kop and the Centenary for a few hours, and eventually did the rest. A happy ending?

Wrong again. Did Sky cover the event? Did they bollocks. They cut to an ad break, and but for the aforementioned James it probably wouldn't have been touched at all. The demo was ignored, the half-time stuff ditto. Sky's story is that they never knew - Liverpool say they did. It did turn out that their hot contact at Sky was only a technician and nothing to do with programme content or scheduling. Even if they'd told him he, was no use. Sky's head of sport wrote back; "I am quite prepared to admit it that people on the ground might have been unaware of what was happening but I am sure you will appreciate the pressure all our people are under" EH? So they are all standing around Anfield, there's 40,000 A5 red cards around the place, and NO-ONE thinks to find out what the story is and inform the producer? What initiative The credibility becomes even more threadbare when you read a letter sent to Tottenharn's ISA by Andy Melvin, exec director of football at Sky; "It is, I believe vital - no matter how worthwhile the cause - that television is not used as a vehicle for promoting such demonstrations it may sound harsh, but we are there to cover a Football match. If we get involved in one demonstration. Cause or protest then it would have serious implications on TV's role in sport"

Not one word of which was said by Wakeling I'm glad. "Serious implications for TV's role" are being considered - how about considering the fucking up of the fixture list till it's unrecognisable Or even just mentioning (or showing a few seconds of) a peaceful deem that supported families who had their loved ones ripped away from them at a game of football. This was an important part of the c~, an event Sky were supposed to he covering Far from being 'neutral', avoiding this demo as if it never really happened at all was an act in itself. Unless you believe the story about Sky being victim of a of information, of course.

Meanwhile, the BBC say their editor was caught between two places., editing the highlights of Leicester v Man U for transmission, and then returning to the Liverpool game to edit that for later (the kick-off times of these games differing SEVEN hours, I only mention in passing). He did not know about the demo, and no-one passed the info on (although he has told us that had he known, he would have covered it). Otherwise, it was a blackout. The only media interest we saw came from the 'Post', the 'Sunday Times (excellent) and, erm, one line in the 'Telegraph'.

Anyway, move forward one week and let's Rock!! Yes, the Justice Concert rolls into town, accompanied by the darkest clouds for months. The weather aside, the bands were well received; Anfield looked great, Frank Sidebottom did some amusing Man U stuff and the whole event was excellent. Even here, there were questions to he asked; did LFC charge rent for the day? We've heard that they did, and nothing insubstantial either. Who profited from the refreshments (the families or the club)? Why was Liver World open-and who thought having Frank Skinner along was clever giving his long history of oh so witty scouser jokes? Broudie; mates are mates but this was a bad move. Having that bigot singing along to YNWA just takes the piss.

That aside, there were some very poignant moments: Holly Johnson's 'Ferry Cross The Mersey', The Beautiful South's Lean On Me' (and Paul Heaton reading out the Justice card) and You'll Never Walk Alone of course, done twice and incredibly loud. The rain could have spoilt it all, but I didn't mind getting wet when I could stand on the pitch and see how the players see Anfield. It is scary!

Many thanks to the bands for playing for free, and contributing to a memorable moving day. At got a bit more media coverage, but not much. ITV showed highlights a week later; the 'Echo', 'Post' and 'Mirror' (Readey again) covered it. What do you have to do to get people's attention - torch SWFC (now there's a thought....)? 1 don't suppose we expected much after the Saturday before, but it was still disappointing although the NME did the concert and CD proud, so thanks to Stuart Bailie and Steven Wells for that. Let's hope the CD sells well; John Peel hasn't stopped playing it ~c - we expect no less from the great man. Cheers. Overall figures of around £1m have been suggested, which will come in useful.

So, Stage 3; 11th May, Hillsborough. South Yorkshire FSA helped us arrange a small procession down Leppings Lane, which due to police timings had to be at 10 am! Six hours before kick-off. A few Reds and some local fans made their way to the ground and laid some flowers down. Shame that Sheffield Wednesday had left two grotty tables for us to leave them on.

Nice touch, such caring bastards. The local media were told we were coming, and the attitude of the stewards didn't impress them; we got some good coverage from the radio and the papers. Graham Lightfoot edits one of their fanzines 'Spitting Feathers', and we admire his guts for really getting involved. We delivered a Letter to the club, calling for a proper memorial, and that got a full mention in the 'Independent'. Yeah, it's all very cosy, letters and flowers, when we would prefer stronger stuff, but we figured it's best to give SWFC the chance to be good boys for once - and save some interesting, strong inside info to hurt them when they act the goat as usual.

After the treatment meted out to Reds at the game itself that day can't come quickly enough. Police following fans around with camcorders and harassing them, stewards refusing to allow any banners mentioning Hillsborough into Hillsborough ( ! ), landlords throwing Reds out the moment they arrived etc. Odd, isn't it? Foreign police start in on united fans, and everyone says how terrible it is. Acts of blatant provocation (and just how long have they had that motto about 'Justice and courage? Pass the sick bag) went totally unreported here. LFC might start defending us at some point If they're not too busy counting money that is. The Reds who went did the right thing by ignoring the obvious goading.

So, three different events with a common purpose. Have we made any difference? Who knows financially, we definitely have, and we've contributed to events the Families wanted done, they're happy with what we did and that's what counts. Its all shadow boxing, compared to the legal battle. Why was the DPP taking so long to decide about new evidence, your Orwellian word play over whether it is 'new' aside? There is a sneaky feeling that a private prosecution may finally get Mackrell and Duckinfield anyway. Watch out boys, the years of ignoring us are nearly over. We will still do what we can, but the legal side is now the real struggle.

At least, when the history of Hillsborough is written, there are some who will come out of it well, including many ordinary Reds. Some higher up in the scheme of things may not be so fortunate; your story will be told one day. Count on it. Thanks to everyone who's done their bit, especially that warm Friday evening on the Kop. All moaning aside, it was actually a lot of fun Our Letter to fanzines around the country produced a good response, too. The following are only those mags that we've seen it printed in, but they have our thanks; Cock-a-Doodle doo, When Skies Are Grey, Forest Forever, Southend Glory (and a fabulous petition), One F in Fulham We Are Leeds, King of the Kippax The Number 9, 4,000 Holes, The Hanging sheep Mad As A Hatter, Latic Fanatic, The Sheeping Giant, One Team in Bristol (another great petition), Dribble, Mass Hibsteria Where's The Money Gone, Heroes & Villains, The Absolute Game, Leyton Orienteer, Highbury High - and Saturday Comes' for covering the demo in it's editorial.

Thanks to everyone in Sheffield who helped, notably BIFA and the FSA (especially Tim Pinto), Mark Perryman and Bernie Kingsley from Spurs for their help and ideas, to the stewards who stuck half the cards before the Spurs game, to Mark Scanlon of CDP Print Management in Liverpool for the free Justice cards. The war is nowhere near won, but the first battle is won. We can he proud of what's been done so far. Remember; the Great only appear Great because we are on knees. Let us rise up.