HJC Details - Who we are & Why we're here

In this section you can read about some of the past and present members of the HJC - mothers, fathers, brothers, survivors and supporters - their stories in their words and why they continue to struggle for Justice.

There are still very many people affected by Hillsborough . If you are a survivor, we can assist in identifying sources of help and provide a space to talk with people who went through the same experiences.

We still need help to continue the legal struggle, some survivors of the disaster may be able to assist as witnesses in up coming court cases. There are many other ways you can help us and we can help with school projects, research etc.

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Interview with John Glover August 2001

My name is John Glover. I'm the father of Ian Thomas Glover who died at the Hillsborough disaster on 15th April 1989, and also the father of Joseph Glover who was also crushed to death. Although Joe survived the Hillsborough disaster and tried to revive his brother on the pitch, he also died more or less ten years to the date when he died on 12 May 1999, and he was...I think he was one of the most traumatized I've ever seen over the disaster, what he had to go through with the gymnasium, stuff like that.

Q When Joe died there was a tremendous response from people, wasn't there, people reached out to you, people were very upset.

A Oh yeah, I mean, when Joe actually died, to tell you the truth I still hadn't got over Ian and I was still mourning the loss of Ian, and when he died the help that I got from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign is beyond belief, you know, I couldn't thank them enough, and I want to make a special thanks to all the people that wrote in on the internet, and I know like there's many people that wanted to do that but never had access to internet. But the response I got from all over the country was just amazing, even down to the Guardian newspaper, they did an article on Joe, the journalist had interviewed Joe, like other newspapers, quite a few times. What gets to me over Joe's death was that he was actually coming out of the post-traumatic stress disorder a little bit and he got his very first job, he started at 8 o'clock in the morning, worked up till 10 o'clock and then started to have a break, he had a break and he was laughing and joking, as soon as the break had finished he climbed onto the wagon, five minutes later he was dead, you know, that's how quick it happened. And I actually got taken down to where the wagon was, I was trying to get into the back to see him and all that but I can understand now, but at the time I didn't, they were keeping me away from the wagon as it could have gone over again, do you know what I mean? So the last two years I've been on more medication trying to get over this. The medication that they put me on he just more or less doped me and put me in the chair, and because of unforeseen circumstances they've actually taken me off this medication because it is causing another problem and it's got to be seen to next July. I wouldn't go on medication any more anyway because it really put me on a downer, really put me into the armchair. I've got nothing but praise for the people that responded to Joe's death and the people that helped, I got a lot of financial help and everything off the Justice Campaign, but I didn't even get a card off the Family Support Group. What hurts me more than anything was, it was a group I was actually in for 8 years, 9 years, and I'd done a lot of work in that group, I was a committee member, and it just disgusts me the insensitivity of these people, I mean what does a card cost, couldn't even send a card. But I'd like all the supporters to know, I want to thank them very much for what they've done for us, and especially at the church at his funeral, you just couldn't move there, the amount of people, you know, there was hundreds and hundreds there.

Q If you could just go back to 15 April 1989, because I think it is important to record how people like yourself first came to realize that children were in danger without knowing that they were dead at the time. How did you first realize? Were you watching the television?

A I was actually watching the television, I was watching snooker, I think it was the world championships, semi-final or something like that. I was either watching the snooker, I had headphones on, I was also listening to the build-up on the radio to the match, and just after kick-off I started seeing all the people coming over because that got shown on the television. The match wasn't actually broadcast live, they were going to show the highlights at the night time. I always remember looking at it, and as soon as the commentator or whoever said it that there were problems in the Lepping Lane I knew right away, that's where my lads were, I knew they were in there, and because the problem was coming from directly behind the goal I knew that's where they'd be because they liked to go behind the goal. You know, it was just coming over the television, 'we believe there's one fatality,' and I remember saying to Theresa, 'Do you know what, when they get into these crowds you always get someone taking a heart attack.' I always remember saying that to her, with them saying one dead, I thought someone had died of a heart attack. And then it went up to so many more dead, I think it was 70, and injuries.

And then all of a sudden it started to dawn up on me, you know, it showed you like photographs of a lot of people climbing over, you could actually see people where the police, they seemed to be like... they were certainly pushing them back in through the gate, I know that Joe actually tried to get out the gate at the first attempt and was more or less pushed half way back in, but he fought it and he actually got out of that gate. So they were pushing them back in, in that sense, do you know what I mean. And then it just went worse and worse. I really started panicking. My wife never said nothing, but you could see there was a worried look on her face. I don't know what it was but she actually said to me, she said, she's told me this, she actually got a pain in her chest. Now they reckon this is something to do with mother and son, you know, some reaction to that, and she said, 'There's something happened, there's something happened.' So they give a telephone number over the television, I had to run round to the neighbours, I was running around the street like a madman, so I think it was about 3.40 when my brother-in-law got a phone call to say that Ian was dead and John and Joe had been taken to hospital. But the phone call was actually from John himself, he must have said like, 'Me and Joe have been taken to the hospital but Ian's dead.' And I remember Tommy coming in the house and he just took Theresa in the back kitchen. She screamed. That scream has tormented me for 12 years. I remember Tommy shouting, 'It's your Ian, it's your Ian,' and five minutes after I was in our Jim's in our Street, which is more than a mile away, how I got there I don't know. And I was talking to my sister and people came out in the street, I just went right off my head, I mean. Anyway, that was that, so I had a good friend named Frank Murray, and I don't know what the time was but I got taken back to the house, you know, and Frank knocked at the door and he said "come on", and he put me in his car and he took me right up. He didn't know at the time because the ambulance people or the police never said to them what hospital they were going to, so half way there he stopped and telephoned and he was talking to Barnsley Hospital, Barnsley Royal Infirmary, or somewhere. So we got to Barnsley Royal Infirmary and I saw Joe sitting outside the hospital, sitting on the wall in the car park, and I'm crying, do you know what I mean, like, and Joe was heartbroken.

Q Was he by himself?

A Yeah, no one with him.

Q Sitting on the wall.

A He was heartbroken, he was more or less lying across the wall, do you know what I mean, and only for Frank Murray, he went in and started asking questions and we seen John sitting at the side, he had his head in his hands, you know, and I always remember, I went mad, and I remember this fella getting hold of me and he took me down and put me in this room and he sent the doctor over to me and he said I was in shock. He give me these tablets anyway, and eventually after like it must have been a quarter of an hour or something I started to go all right, do you know what I mean, but it was either a policeman or a security officer and I said, 'Listen, I want to see my son, where is he?' He said, 'He's not here. What you'll have to do is...come with me,' he said, and he went on this computer thing with all the names on, he said, 'I don't think your son's dead because is name is not up on the computer.' I went back to Joe and John and I had murder with them. I said, you know, I swore and everything, 'You're telling me he's dead and they've just told me now they don't think he is dead, what's going on here, where is he?' They said, 'He's in the gymnasium, they put a tag on him,' and I said, 'and these don't know that, something going on here.' I was fuming. So they took me over to the Police Station, and I always remember, as we walked in there, I wanted to go to the toilet, and I said to the policeman, I said, 'Can I use your toilet?' and he refused, 'No,' he said, 'you'll be going over to a boys' club and you can use the toilet there.' They were callous bastards as far as I'm concerned, the police. And then you know, Frank kept running to phones, must have been phoning home, so Teresa must have been getting the message that Ian's not dead, he is dead, he's not dead, he is dead. But then they said to us, 'Follow this policeman, go to the boys' club.' So we all goes to the boys' club, and I recognized a few lads in there, there was hundreds there looking for people, do you know what I mean. So that was the time when the policeman got up on the table and made an announcement, I actually seen that, and our name was the first name called at 9.20 to board this double-decker bus that was going to take us to the ground. So we went back to the ground and as we went into the ground I wouldn't say the police were any better there, they were just as bad, talking to us like shit, you know.

So the next thing I know is they said, 'Have a look at these photographs.' There must have been about 70 at the time, 70 photographs, polaroid photographs, and I had a look at them and I said no. But Frank said: "number 37" and he took that photograph away. He said, 'Stay here for a bit and we'll bring your son out to you,' so I had a vicar holding that hand and a policeman that hand.

Q Were Joe and John with you at this point?

A Yeah, behind me. I just collapsed, and they lifted me up, they took me into this room and then they brought him out. but he was lying on his side with his feet hanging over like that and he had a dirty old yellow blanket over him. The police didn't want to know, honest to God, so I said, 'Couldn't you lay him out properly?' He should have been laid out properly in the mortuary. So then after he said that not to touch him but I touched him all right, do you know what I mean, I just got hold of him.

I had the priest there and he said, 'We'll give him the last rites now,' so they done it, gave him the last rites there and then, you know, then he said, 'We'd like you to go over to that policeman there,' who was on another table, plain-clothes fella, and as soon as I got to the table he said, 'I'm very sorry, Mr Glover, both your sons Ian and Joseph are both dead.' I didn't know whether I was dreaming, do you know what I mean, but he told me the two of them were dead, and I don't remember the words exactly now. I didn't know whether it was my mind or Joe was dead as well. And then once we'd sorted that out, I always remember the fella when he went down on this form and he started must have been scratching Joe's name on the form. And then we had to go and sit at another table, and the first thing he said, he asked us our names and all that, Frank Murray more or less answered then because I was that bad, he said...give my name and address, the father of Ian Glover, and the policeman said to Frank and me, 'I've got to ask you this, I don't like to ask you this, but did you stop on the way for a drink?' Frank said, 'What are you on about? We never stopped to have a drink. We stopped on the way to go to the hospital to pick these two lads up,' you know, and apparently they were asking everyone that but I didn't know. So there was no sorrow in them. He just said, 'You've identified your son, we'll be in touch.' And we had to go then, do you know what I mean? And then the trouble started then as far as I'm concerned when we got home, because as soon as I went down the street there was all kinds of media, television, because I think with Ian, he was the only one in that area. We had them all there. You know, one minute I'm sitting watching the snooker and then going through all that, it's a thing I never want to go through in my life ever again. At the time I thought I couldn't face it again, and from that minute to the day he got buried I never went to sleep at all. The doctor was coming and giving me needles and all that, you know, but I just couldn't go asleep. I stayed awake right till the day. I must have been there 4 or 5 days, day and night, and I think it was the Monday morning or the Tuesday morning, the Monday I think, I decided at that stage I'd just go and get a paper and I walked down to the shop, and to be truthful I used to buy the Sun because I used to like a bet on the horses, and I walked back and I was about to sit down, I opened it, and then the next minute our John snatched it out of my hands. He must have seen it beforehand. I wondered what was going on, and he tore it up, that was the paper that had 'the truth', the Sun newspaper had the truth, and they slagged off the supporters as you know. But things like that was happening, news media was knocking at other people's doors, and I only actually seen it in the papers a couple of days ago, someone gave me all those papers with 'the truth' in it, where they were going knocking at neighbours' doors and asking questions. We were all in a terrible state. The family is all destroyed. But you won't see any comments from me or anyone because we chased them, do you know what I mean? As I say, that was basically it, and we just had the job then of burying Ian.

Q When did he come home?

A Well I had to go on Granada television, I done an interview in the bedroom upstairs in the little boxroom, and what I actually said to them at the time, he said...someone must have phoned the coroner or the police, he said, 'You're not going to get him home for about 2 maybe 3 weeks because it's a criminal thing going on,' so I said, 'I'll come up now,' I said, 'I'm bringing him home,' I said, 'I don't care what he said, I'm bringing him home.' And I went on television saying this. The next thing we got told that we could have him home, I think it was the Monday, not the Monday after the disaster, but anyway it was one of the very first, and I think it was only because I went on television screaming that we got him home. We had him home for about a week, and even up to the day he got buried there was no change in him. And the house, there was hundreds of people, like Peter Kilfoyle, the MP, he was there, there was loads of people, and we buried Ian and we just had to get on with things after that. We were just a normal family but we all ended up seeing doctors and psychiatrists, do you know what I mean. I said at the time, 'If it ever happens again I'll kill myself. And then what happens, I get it again ten years after, and that's the situation I'm in now, two years after Joe died I'm full of tablets, depressed all the time, back to square one.

Q Joe was very badly affected, wasn't he, after Hillsborough ?

A Oh he was destroyed. Joe had to give Ian the kiss of life on the pitch. He told me straight he didn't know how to do it and didn't know what to do, and he asked people to help him, you know, he never got any help from the police, but when he got back into the gymnasium with Ian, a doctor found a pulse on Ian. Now, you know, all of a sudden now that doctor cannot be traced but he pronounced quite a few people dead inside that gymnasium, but the police don't know who he was, so you know what I mean. But you know we had all this slandering about the supporters and all that, we had to cope with that as well as everything else.

Q In the early days, after the disaster, because of the inquiry that was being undertaken, did you feel that people would be held responsible and that it would be at some point acknowledged how the 96 people, or 95 at that time, had died? Did you feel you'd get Justice in the early days?

A Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, with hindsight I know a lot more now, you know, they're all saying about the police causing that disaster. The police partly caused it, but others were also to blame. The police aren't the only ones who got away with it. I will get the truth out any way I can - on the internet, I'll get it all over the world.

Q There are criticisms to make about other people around the condition of the Hillsborough ground and also the licensing of that venue.

A Well, to tell you the truth, I've got criticisms of the FA, especially Graham Kelly, the ground, the engineers, and the police. Directly after the disaster I didn't have criticisms of the ground. I didn't know, I didn't have the information, but since I've got the information I know exactly what happened at Hillsborough , and one day, if we can't get this into court because of the Establishment, they're the only people that will stop us winning this. I don't even feel as though we've got to go into court to win it because it's already there, the truth is there, but it needs to come out, and certain people don't want it to come out, but I will make a promise that I will get the truth of Hillsborough out. I've always said that, and I've got the truth now, I know the truth, and I think a lot of people when they see it they're going to be flabbergasted, because they never walked into a football ground, they walked into a death trap, you know. And it was only with a little bit of luck that they walked out of that death trap the year before in 1988, because there was bad crushing that year, there was all kinds of complaints went in and, you know, it's just sad that there was nothing done about those complaints, there was nothing done about the ground. But, you know, as I said, I know exactly what I want to put down and what I want to get out to the people.

Q If we can move it forward a bit to when the inquest was taking place, the Taylor Report indicated that the police lost control and that was a cause of the disaster. OK, now subsequently there's evidence around the condition of the ground etc, but when the inquest went ahead we had the ridiculous situation of the mini-inquest because the DPP hadn't decided whether or not there would be prosecutions, but then there was the resumed inquest and I know that you attended every day, travelling back and forth to Sheffield. I just want you to describe that because it was a marathon, wasn't it?

A Oh yeah.

Q And going back to the city where your son had died as well.

A Yeah. Well I'll go back, first of all the Taylor Inquiry, now I think the Taylor Inquiry was set up by the establishment for the establishment. It wasn't set up for us people, no way was it set up for us, it was set up for the Establishment. And the thing is, Lord Justice Taylor, he was right to criticize the police but I think by doing that he took the blame off the other people that was involved in this, and I think that was set up by the Establishment. And then we moved on to the mini-inquest. Well previous to that we were told not to touch Ian when we brought him home because his neck had been broken and we were told that by a Catholic priest, the undertaker and a probation officer, so my wife couldn't actually give Ian a kiss when he was in the coffin and all that, you know, she wasn't supposed to touch him, but while all this went on we went to the mini-inquest and I brought this up at the mini-inquest and what they said is, they started making excuses, do you know what I mean, well Ian had no broken bones in his body, so the people that told me this mustn't have known, more or less saying the Catholic priest is telling lies and the undertaker is telling lies because they're the people who told me. The undertaker must know because he done it, he done all the work, and they must have said to him he's got a broken neck, but I examined his neck, when he was lying in the coffin. Teresa went over to look at him and as she was doing it his head fell to one side, and the reason it went is because he was leaking fluid, you know. It might have been embalming fluid, I don't know. They said it was because his neck was broken. But the autopsy report said no broken bones in his body, and very mild symptoms of traumatic asphyxia. Well it proved to me that the doctor was right in the gymnasium in the first place because he said he could get a heartbeat just before Joe and John were taken in the ambulance, must have been around 3.50, something like that. He worked on him for twenty minutes. Now a doctor fights to save a life for twenty minutes, he can't be much of a doctor if that person is already dead twenty minutes ago, he can't be much of a doctor. Now these are questions I wanted to bring up at the mini-inquest but that doctor could not be traced. Besides that, we had representation at the mini inquest, the time we went it was Doug Frazer from Silverman and Livermore, solicitors. Now he was approximately 7 or 8 yards away from me in the court. There was also a television room at the back of the court, you know, in a separate room where I know John and Joe were sitting there watching it, so that if they got a bit upset they could walk out. They were upset because we actually went on the way to see Tony Bland in hospital and he was in a very bad state, that kid, you know, and we were sick leaving there and we carried on to this inquest. But the coroner said to us, 'Now there is a lot of questions you want to ask but I must say to you that on this occasion we're only trying to find out why, you know, and all this, who they were, and you will definitely be able to ask questions at the main inquest, Mr Glover.' But every time I wanted to ask something, Doug Frazer had his back to us, so how were we going to tell them we wanted to ask this, because he wasn't coming over to us and you couldn't shout to him in the court because you had to keep quiet, so it was a big farce. So then eventually we came to the main inquest.

What I'd like to say about that, that was another farce because first of all there was a vote in the Family Support Group and the vote was for two barristers - one was Benet-Hytner qC, and the other person was Sir David Napley who was an expert on inquests, and he felt as though he could have done a very good job for us at that inquest. So they had the vote and I always remember at the time there was quite a bit of argument going on in the Family Support Group over this, but at the end of the day the vote went to Hytner. With that, the inquest started and who have we got? A junior barrister!

We got told by the chair of the steering committee of solicitors(Liz Steele) 'if you haven't got the money to pay for the Rolls Royce treatment you can have the Ford Anglia', which is the junior, and we ended up getting a junior barrister Tim King, who had never actually done an inquest in his life. This was his first one, and I just felt that he did a very bad job for us, a very, very bad job, and I still stay that they were all working for the Establishment, the barrister and everyone. We were on a loser anyway because I think it was about 9 to 1 against in legal people. They had about 9 solicitors, a solicitor for every single copper, you know, Duckinfield, Murray, every one of them, and we had a junior barrister representing 43 families.

Q Your family paid for your representation, the same amount as other people, but did you feel that you were represented fairly or equally with other people in terms of the questions King asked on your behalf?

A No. Before the inquest started I decided to try and get my own barrister. I needed 3 more families to come in with me. I couldn't get them. So eventually, I think it was about a quarter of the way through the inquest, I actually paid my 3,000.

Q The point there, John, is that even before the resumed inquest began, because of your experience at the mini-inquest, you had an idea that you weren't going to get the best representation and you were trying to correct that, but you didn't have support from other people?

A Like I said, I only needed support from maybe 2 or 3 families but people were afraid of going against the group (HFSG). Some of the families that I didn't know at the time later said that they would have come in with me, but it was too late then. The thing is, the inquest itself disgusted me as well, although at the time King was supposed to be representing all of us. What annoys me more than anything was that if you wrote a note saying you wanted the barrister to ask a question, we'd have to write on a piece of paper and then we'd have to pass that piece of paper forward. The solicitors' clerk would read it and would either pass it forward or bin it. Most of mine got binned. Trevor Hicks' notes were always passed to the barrister.

Q Some questions were getting asked but not others, and my own recollection is that your notes tended to be cast to one side and put in the bin and your questions weren't asked.

A The only question I think I got out was, ask Duckinfield did he have a drink. 'oh I never had no drink,' do you know what I mean. But what done me more than anything was what they put the survivors through. I'm speaking about my own lad, Joe, I had to beg him to give evidence at that inquest and when he gave the evidence, honest to God, I was sick for days and days afterwards what I put the lad through, because he collapsed in the box, as you know, and he got taken out and put in the first-aid room. Now because that happened to him they dismissed him, they got him out of the way because he was badly affected, he couldn't answer the questions properly because of the way he was, but that disgusted me, he should have been given time to say what he wanted to say.

Q His evidence didn't really reflect what he'd seen and what he'd experienced because he was in a bad state.

A I don't know, I've actually got that on video, I've got Joe giving evidence inside the court on video.

Q But generally the fans giving evidence were shown their statement a couple of minutes before they went into court and then it was taken off them, and that was in sharp contrast to the police who gave evidence who went in with their statements, they kept their statements in the witness box and could refer to them.

A They already had them, they probably had them at home, but they come in, they made a point of not giving the statement until they knew that they were going to go into the box so they'd had literally a couple of minutes. I think one lad had about 29 pages and about 2 minutes to go over it.

Q And I think the other point John worth bringing out is the fact that the fans weren't represented. The lawyers made it very clear that they were representing the families not the survivors, and so effectively those fans went into the witness box totally on their own. Every police officer who gave evidence was warned that they didn't have to incriminate themselves. The fans were never given any such warning, and they had no one to represent them, they were on their own.

A I've been involved with the fans since day one. When I say day one, I'm talking about a couple of weeks after because I was that bad the first few days, but when I got involved I used to go to the meetings with them in Stanley Park and the Hillsborough Centre, and that's how I got to know Peter Carney and Alf Langley.

But the thing is these people, I seen them in that court and I seen what the system was putting them through, I made it a point of going to Liverpool Football Club on quite a number of occasions and phoning them. I even phoned the Liverpool Supporters Club, I don't know who was in charge at that time, they didn't want to know. I was saying, 'Why don't you get someone up to represent these supporters, these are not shitbags and scum, get somebody up there to represent them, they're putting them through fuckin' hell up there.'

Q They were heroes, many of them, weren't they?

A Yes,but what they're actually saying is that my son Joseph was scum. I was born and bred in Liverpool, I've supported Liverpool all my life, but I changed against Liverpool Football Club then because the thing is they didn't want to know about their own supporters who had acted so bravely. They've got their own legal people, Liverpool, they could have had somebody up there. The lads would have put the money in the buckets at the gates to pay for it, but Liverpool Football Club just washed their hands of them. Now there was only one person and I always admired him for it and he actually stayed there for half a day and that was Bob Paisley, and now he was a sick man, he was the only person in Liverpool who turned up at that inquest. I mean, I put a written request to the coroner to call the likes of Bruce Grobelaar to give evidence, Kenny Dalglish to give evidence, Peter Robinson to give evidence. I blame one person for so much of the failure of the legal cases and I'll say his name again, Trevor Hicks. He's destroyed us all the way through, every single thing that we've tried to do he's gone against us or he's gone along with it, like the recent court cases in Leeds, that man was not seen. Now I understand he wasn't seen up till he gave his evidence but once he'd given his evidence, he completely changed his evidence that day to what he actually did at the Taylor Inquiry, something to do with...when Taylor asked him what was said when he shouted up to the police officer, the police officer shouted back to him, 'Shut your fuckin' prattle'. They were the actual words, swear words. When he gave evidence at the court in Leeds he said the policeman made no comment whatsoever, no comment whatsoever, so what did he get to gain from that, and this is the struggle we've had, you know. I mean, I've said it once, I'll say it a hundred times, the Hillsborough Family Support Group has never ever been a support group, they treated my son Joe like scum when they left him in the rain, they treated me like scum because I exposed them for doing deals with the Sun newspaper. I'll never ever forgive that man.

Q So after the inquest when the accidental death verdict was returned you had previously been told to wait until the verdict before seeking a judicial review. But after accidental death verdict you were then told there was nothing you could do, weren't you? Basically, they took their money and ran, the lawyers.

A Oh yeah, yeah.

Q And some people were prepared to go away, but yourself and a few other families were not prepared to go away, and you continued to fight. You were one of 6 families who took your case to the High Court in London to appeal against the inquest verdict, to have the inquest verdict quashed, and you were very much at the forefront of that. Now that failed and we know that these decisions are political, but after that I know that you've continued fighting. But after that if we bring it to the Stuart-Smith Scrutiny, how did you feel...did you feel that you might get the truth out at that point, or by that time were you disillusioned with the whole system?

A No, I've been disillusioned from day one. Once I knew what was going on from the Taylor Inquiry onwards I knew quite well we wouldn't get nothing. And when he said it was only a scrutiny, I knew right away there was nothing there. But saying that, you still have that little bit of hope that something might come up.

Q And you submitted evidence.

A Oh yeah, but the questions I wanted answering, you know, when they put the Stuart-Smith Report out, all the private questions that we asked were not in that report. We got that given to us in a separate envelope. But the same thing again, we go down in a scruffy old bus, they ( the HFSG committee) go down on the train. Dave Church asked Jack Straw if he knew that Stuart-Smith was a member of MI5, I don't know in what capacity, and then Trevor Hicks is tapping Jack Straw on the back saying he was a busy man and had to get back to the 'House'. Trevor Hicks' behaviour on that occasion was very suspect. He was so protective of Jack Straw. People need to know these things.

Q It was very much a stitch-up, and that's what it's commonly known as, the Stuart-Smith stitch-up, isn't it? After the stitch-up, if we talk a little bit after that around the formation of the Justice Campaign because obviously you're one of the founder members. Do you want to say a bit about how that came about at that point after the Stuart-Smith Scrutiny. How did you come to form the Hillsborough Justice Campaign?

A Well, there was the Jimmy McGovern documentary and Ricky Tomlinson came over to our house. It was arranged for him to come so that he could see the way I talk and act.

Q Ricky portrayed you.

A Ricky portrayed me, and he sat down and he said to me, 'John,' he said, 'let me do this myself.' He wanted to do it his own way. Anyway, this film got shown and I believe it was a good success, you know, there was a donation made to the Family Support Group, I don't know what happened to that, 40,000. What I must state is that everything that we've done for Granada television, the Jimmy McGovern documentary, it's cost us money, we've never been paid and no one has ever took money off anybody. The only time I've ever taken money for doing any kind of a documentary was in this shop when I got 50, but I put that into the kitty. But going back with Ricky, he come over a couple of times and just had a cup of tea and he knew the score. I haven't even watched, even to this day watched the film right through, because when it gets to a certain part I break down, so I've got to watch it right through, but what I've seen of him, he's done a very good job. It was a lot more horrific on the day than the film, but the reason for that, Jimmy McGovern told me, they couldn't make it too dramatic for the public. And then that all got done and there was a bit of an uproar then, you know, we need to get this Justice, and it was very high profile for a while, in the papers and everything, and then it was starting to quieten down again. And then that was the time when I was still actually in the Family Support Group and then, you know, as a lot of people know, but there's millions that don't know, that's when I exposed Trevor Hicks for his dealing with the Sun newspaper. Now I know he was already having meetings in London on his own, you know. I know what's going on with them, and basically what it was, the players were losing money because they weren't advertising in the Sun newspaper, but you could never have the Sun newspaper again on Merseyside as far as I'm concerned, because if you look back at the paper, what they said about the people of Liverpool and all that, it was disgusting, it was really disgusting, you know. So I exposed Trevor Hicks on that in the media and with that he called me and I got expelled, but not only me, a lot of good families got expelled including Joan McBride who is a very good-living woman, she was expelled. Then there was an ultimatum given, you either join their gang or you join our gang (the HFSG). Now survivors couldn't join the HFSG. So a group of us felt that it was important to have a group that incorporated all those affected by the Hillsborough Disaster.The actual start of the group was when I drove around all over the place with Ricky Tomlinson looking for a shop and eventually we come across this one and, you know, we got the keys. It was in a terrible state, and Ricky was very helpful, he said if you need money for this we'll get it.. And at the time he wasn't doing a lot of work so he couldn't have had much money himself. But that's when it started, we started getting survivors coming in, and once I started seeing them, you know, I used to say to myself, why wouldn't he have them in that group, the Family Support Group, because it would have made us strong, but he didn't want that, he just wanted his own little clique, which he's got now, do you know what I mean. I was made up then with this group because it done good for our Joe. It done good for me. It has helped the survivors.But what I would say is because we are here and because what we're doing, people in the other group are putting announcements out like 'the legal road is finished, there's no roads we can go down now,' and people outside are listening to this.

Q He gives the impression that he speaks for everyone when he doesn't really.

A No, he always says when he does an interview, 'I'm speaking on behalf of the families,' when they don't want this or they don't want that, but I've actually said to him, 'You're not speaking on behalf of me, or my family, but he makes it look as though the families are all still together, but they're not. What we need to do now is to get the public behind us in what we're doing because no matter what the HFSG says there are still legal things getting done. Now the one person out of everyone who needs this to be over to get a little bit of life is myself, because at the time of Hillsborough I was 49, I've also had another disaster when I was 59 losing Joe. I'm 61 now. I don't want to be going on till I'm 70, if I live that long, I want an end to Hillsborough but an end with success - where we have had Justice. We need the people, we need the supporters and we need everyone backing us.

Q Do you want to say something about, the cases in Leeds, what you felt about them and what they were, last year?

A Well at the beginning of this interview I said the Taylor Inquiry was a farce, the judicial review was a farce, the Stuart-Smith was a farce, and I didn't get any surprises when I went to Leeds because what actually got said in that court was the same thing over again, the supporters, the drunken hooligans. They brought people in saying they were rotten, stinkin' drunk, that was all dismissed after the Taylor Inquiry because it never happened. That's all the Leeds case was about. I know for a fact that some supporters were going in there that lived in Leeds and walking out because of the crap that was getting said in that court, but we got accused of demonstrating outside the court, we got warned by the police and by the judge that there's going to be a thing put around the court so that there can't be no demonstration. It never happened. All the media outside, everyone that said to me, there's been nothing wrong outside, what's going on here, they knew the truth but they wouldn't print it, I don't know why but they wouldn't print it, too scared, whereas I can say things they won't say them.

Q But after that case the Family Support Group very clearly said that's the end of the legal road. How did that make you feel because, you know, it was as if they, and Trevor Hicks in particular, were speaking for you, and yet for you clearly it's not the end of the legal road.

A This is what we need to get out to the supporters and survivors and all the people who want to give us help, Trevor Hicks made this statement in the paper. Now if I was to go down to the paper, or any other family in this group was to go down to the paper and say that the legal fight is not over - they wouldn't print it. That is what we are up against - when anything to do with Hillsborough comes up they go to Hicks. To them Hicks is Hillsborough . Yes, he lost his daughters but a lot of other people lost their loved ones. Their views are just as important as his. That's why the Hillsborough Justice Campaign is so important to me. It gives me a voice. It recognises my views as a bereaved father and supports me in my fight for Justice.