I am a Manchester United fan and proud of it.Both as a Club and a City, our most intense rivalry is with Liverpool. So much so that at the moment I am willing on our local rivals to win the Premier League, rather than the Scousers.
But all that animosity fades away to nothingness in one area. That is Hillsborough, and wanted happened there thirty years ago today.
Like those of my parent’s generation, for whom it was the Kennedy Assassination, I will never forget where I was when I learned about Hillsborough. I will never forget putting on my car radio, an hour after the match, unknown to me, had been abandoned, and the first thing I heard was silence. No-one was speaking. All I could hear was the crowd. I had an instant, sick feeling that something had gone horrbly wrong. It was the same sound that I had heard when I’d put on the TV for the European Cup Final at the Heysel.
Rivalry was forgotten then. These were people I understood, people who but for their affiliation were me, with a different scarf, different badges.
Thirty years on, the loss remains undiminished, an awful disruption to lives and loves. Justice has come to the 96 and their families, but even now the bastard who was responsible, who allowed it to happen, has escaped conviction. Given thirty years, he may end up escaping permanently, without suffering the least punishment for his craven stupidity.
Thirty years today. Our hearts are on the ground for our brothers and sisters.