Justice for Hillsborough 96

I apologise for not going with the normal flow of things here tonight, but I couldnt think of anything mind control related that I could discuss (feel free to suggest as a comment), and I’ve pretty well worn out everything else of late. So, given that the result of the inquiry into that awful day in 1989, was announced yesterday, and there was plenty of fallout today, lets roll with that.

Given that the only soccer team I’ve ever followed was Bradford City, who suffered a tragic fire at their stadium in 1985, I know how awful it must be for the families of those who lose people in these tragedies. When I say, follow, it pretty tenuous, as I havent barely looked at any soccer in over a decade, apart from a couple of remarkable events. One of which was Bradford making a cup final, in recent times, but anyway…

What I do remember, was that in 1989, at an FA Cup Semi Final in Sheffield (they play these things at a neutral venue), 96 Liverpool supporters sadly lost their lives, as they got crushed to death, as the police allowed excess numbers of people into the stand. I can say that safely now, because yesterday, finally, after 27 years, an inquiry decided that South Yorkshire Police were to blame for these events, and not anyone else, as they opened the gates, and thousands of people literally flooded into one small area of stands.

To know that its taken this long for justice to be done, is sad. But given that most of the reason for that has been a police cover up, only makes it more shameful. Anyway, today, the current Chief Constable of the force has been suspended from duty, probably forever, as he was due to retire at the end of this year. You may be asking why he’s going like this, when he wasnt here in 1989, I hear you say? Well, because for the last 4 years, he’s been putting up a campaign to discredit the football supporters on that day, and blame them, and not his police force, even though all signs signaled that wasnt the case. The only shame, he continues to get paid for now, an injustice, for sure.

The only blessing for those poor families, is that it is finally over, and sorted. But isnt it awful that because of the Police, trying to avoid admitting the truth about events, its taken this long? But finally…

As to the video, some might say its not an apt choice, given the nature of the lyrics. But the idea of Police, singing about losing people, just seemed loaded with irony.

RIP, those 96 unfortunate people

That David and Goliath moment

Or it could also be called, the beauty of British sport.

Over in the US, all the big 4 sports are franchised, no one else gets a look in. So yes, in theory in baseball they talk of little teams like the Baltimore Orioles making the playoffs, but in all honesty, any MLB team is pretty much a money making juggernaut by most standards, but agreed, compared to the Yankees, or the Dodgers, well maybe they are a minnow, but in a true sense, no.

You could say some sports over here are pretty much franchised, Cricket has its 18 first class counties, Rugby League has its Super League, and they are the giants. But in the old days of cricket, and even now in Rugby, the minnows get a chance to bloody the nose of the big boys. It may not happen often, but it does. Of course for me, talking International Cricket, that wonderful moment when Ireland beat both Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007, and even more so, England in 2011 were truly precious.

And then we come to football, or should I say soccer, for my American friends. I know that the Premier League gets shown on TV over there, I’ve seen it myself, so I know. Thing is, thats probably all that most of them know, and in all honesty, interest is probably limited to a few of those teams. But, we have 3 leagues below them, and in 2 cups every year, the minnows get the chance to bloody a few noses, before letting one of the big boys win the cup. Except…

This year that plan hasnt played out. On Sunday, we have the final of the League Cup, and not one of the giants will be sighted. Yes, there will be a Premier League side there, but its Swansea, not any of the big names. Lets face it, unless you’re a UK footy fan reading this, how many of their players could you name? But thats not the high point of this story, far from it, and what makes this so precious to me, is the other team. 3 Leagues, and a different financial world below them, sit Bradford City in what is called League 2. Actually its the 4th level of football, but technicalities like that dont really matter in the big money world of sport, lets face it. After all, Baseball claims it holds the World Series, but only 2 Countries (barely, with Canada) get the chance to win it.

Yes, incredibly the ‘might’ of Bradford City have knocked out 3 Premier League sides on the way to the final, and on Sunday, they head to Wembley for the final. No, I dont expect them to win it, but then again, no one expected them to beat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa either! I cant say that I follow them faithfully, but when I was growing up, they were my ‘local team’ so I suppose I’ve always had a soft spot for them, even if I have no interest in the game. But yes, I have an old Bradford City shirt (circa last century, end of), and will be wearing it on Sunday at work, for all the good it will probably do them. But, you never know… More importantly for the club, the money this has all brought in will help the club finances dramatically, and that has to be a good thing.

Good luck Bradford, have a great day, win or lose.

The video, well it will probably play Sunday for one team or the other, and it should be Swansea. But you just never know… 😉