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TÁL 38 - Editorial

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A TRIBUTE TO HENRIK.

So where were you when Henrik Larsson signed for the Celtic on that bright sunny day in July 1997? Ask any Bhoy or Ghirl and they will tell you that this was a major historical event worthy of such reflection.

I remember hearing the news on a 2FM sports update as we drove from Enniskillen to visit friends down in Co Meath. My immediate reaction was Henrik who. £650.000? "Ah Well," I thought, "The biscuit tin mentality is still alive & well within the corridors of power at Celtic Park!"

You could be forgiven for thinking such things at this particular juncture of the clubs history. After all this was on the back of the Huns equalling OUR 9 and although Fergus McCann was ushering in a new era in the East End (new stadium, new manager etc) any hope that we had of stopping them doing the 10 had more to do with blind faith than justifiable confidence.

To say that the ˜Magnificent Seven' got off to an inauspicious start in the Hoops is something of an under-statement. A defeat at Easter Rd on the opening day of the 1997/98 season, with Henrik having a helping hand in Chic Charnley's screamer for Hibs meant that even blind faith now seemed somewhat misguided! But the rest as they say is the stuff of fairy-tales. Cut to the last day of the season and a Celtic victory over St Johnstone at Paradise would mean 10 became 1. Step forward 'The King of Kings', for it was he who set us on our way with a screamer of his own with little more than 3 minutes played. Harald Brattback sealed the flag late on with the 2nd.

The outpouring of euphoria, relief, celebration, call it what you will, owed as much to what it wasn't (10) as to what it was (1). And so with Henrik's Celtic career still only in its infancy already he had found a place in our hearts and the clubs history. Of course many of you who remember the day will recall that there was the small matter of a helicopter that was hired to bring the Huns from Tannadice back to the Reichstag had they done the 10. In light of this I think that 'SAM missiles in the sky' is a fitting metaphor for Henrik’s glorious strike that afternoon!

But it is what he has achieved in the years since that has elevated him to the status of legend. 4 League Championships, 2 Scottish Cups (Hopefully!) 2 League Cups, (Alas he missed out on the victory over Aberdeen in 2000), a major European Final and not to mention the small matter of a Golden Boot for his exploits in the Treble winning season. Yet even in his final year at Celtic Park he continues to set new records having surpassed those previously held by such greats as Bobby Lennox and Stevie Chalmers, records that have stood for 3 decades or more. This is all the more remarkable when you consider he missed three quarters of the 1999/2000 season following the horrific injury he suffered in Lyon.

Needless to say at the time some of the sports journalists that operate at the murkier end of the Scottish newspaper scene were writing him off in the immediate aftermath of his leg break, saying he would never be the same player again. Of course they were right, he wasn’t. Because in fact he came back better than ever! And if proof of such were needed he provided it by scoring a fantastic goal for Sweden against Italy in the 2000 European Championship finals in Belgium/Holland. This he then followed up with 53 league and cup goals for Celtic in Martin O'Neill's all-conquering first season at the club. No, not the same player at all!

But it is not just his ability to score goals that have endeared him to the Faithful. His willingness to work for the team often goes unnoticed by others, to a large extent because he is ultimately recognised as a prolific goal-scorer. Chris Sutton has repeatedly proclaimed Henrik as one of the best players he has ever played alongside. It is fair to say that their almost telepathic understanding is a huge testament to Larsson’s many other attributes.

He is also a man of great integrity. In an age where 'professional' footballers are as likely to feature on the front pages of  the nations newspapers, as they are the back, earn huge amounts of money and eagerly court the next big endorsement deal, Henrik bucks the trend. Time and again he has spurned the advances of those who would seek to exploit his undoubted marketability for there own ends. All because he would much rather spend time at home with his family, time he would otherwise have to give up in order to meet the demands of sponsorship and promotion. Whilst there can be no argument that football has made him a rich man even without such deals, so too has he provided football with a richness which is there for all to admire. He is indeed a breed apart from most of his fellow Pros.

But the fateful day draws ever closer and soon all we'll be left with are the memories he has provided us with. Like the last game of his first season, or the many goals against the Rangers: Singles, doubles, left-foot, right-foot, headers, exquisite lobs. Hat-tricks V Hearts, or the one against Killie in the 2001 League Cup Final. The goals against Liverpool, Blackburn & Boavista that took us to Seville or the 2 he scored in the final itself of course. No more will we see the tongue that was a feature of his goal celebrations in the early stages of his Celtic career or the outstretched arms in the latter. Nor will we hear the theme tune from the Magnificent 7 pumping out over the Paradise PA to greet another Larsson strike. 'Oh please don't take my Larsson away' It is indeed the end of an era.

Whilst I could never hope to do justice to Henrik in this article I think Sepp Blatter went a long way towards doing just that in an interview he gave recently. This summer Portugal will play host to Euro 2004. This is a competition that will see the likes of Henry, Del Piero, Figo, Beckham, Raul, Zidane, Vieira, Totti, Van Nistelrooy and Pires turn out for their countries. In an effort to persuade Henke to reconsider his international retirement and play for Sweden Blatter is on record as saying that tournaments such as these need the Worlds best players performing in them. Henrik Larsson truly is a World Class player.

All that's left for me to say is that Henrik Larsson, Celtic legend, in your presence you were idolised, in your absence you will be immortalised. From the hearts of Celtic supporters everywhere we wish you and your family well,

Slan go foill.

Holloway Gael.

PLC BOARD LACK EURO AMBITION

PLC BOARD DENY US SUCCESS IN EUROPE

 

Getting to the quarter Finals of the UEFA Cup could be seen as a victory of sorts, a sign of progress, and a monumental achievement for most clubs in Scotland. Not for us.

 

Given that we got to the Final of the same competition last season, only getting to this season's quarters is a step back for us. Two steps back if we're being pedantic. Its all the more galling when we look at where our opponents from last years UEFA Cup Final are, flying high in the semis of the Champions League, and going by what’s left in that competition, they have a realistic

chance of winning it.

       

For sure it was great to take the scalp of Barcelona over the two legs. Barcelona are one of Europe's top-drawer sides, and it’s to the credit of Martin O’Neill, that he managed to steer us past possibly the most formidable opponents that we have met under his stewardship. Even without the cup-tied Davids and the out of sorts Kluivert, they have quality oozing throughout their team. We surprised a lot of people with the result against them, and the hero of the hour was young David Marshall between the sticks; who performed quite brilliantly in the Camp Nou, and hadn’t done to badly at Celtic Park either; with his second half display.

    

Going in to the Villareal match expectations were high: they weren’t as good as Barca; they were lower down La Liga than Barca; they had no European pedigree nor had they the presence of World Cup winners in their team - unlike Barca.

 

I’m not for one minute suggesting that Villareal are a duff outfit. As we found out to our cost, they were the real deal and they played the better football over the two legs and were worthy winners.

 

The sight of Henrik ploughing a lone furrow up front, and later Jamie Smith and Ross Wallace being brought on as subs late in the second half of the second leg, hardly inspired confidence that the 2 goal deficit would be overhauled. We were missing our European top guns. No Big Bad John-the away goal specialist. No Thommo to fire in the crosses, or weigh in with an away goal. The injury to Chris Sutton wasn’t recovered from in time, so Big Chris didn’t make the cut either.

 

The one thing that became clear post -Villareal was that we just don’t have the strength and depth in our current squad to achieve success at the high level that is the football climate in European competition.

 

This fact was underpinned by our crashing out of the Champions League Group Stage One yet again. Goalkeeping errors in Munich, failure to score v Bayern at Celtic Park, and our failure to beat a ten-man Anderlecht in Brussels-A great chance to record our first away victory in that particular competition was blown and we were put out by the slimmest of margins after the last game in Lyon.

     

The players' effort cannot be faulted on our European travels, and in my opinion, neither can Martin O’Neill. We have punched above our weight with MON in charge. Forever the pragmatist, ON got on with the job with the available tools at his disposal. He is turning 'making do’, into an art form.

 

He gave it our best shot in both European competitions this season. The reality though, is that our best shots were, like last year in Sevilla, not quite good enough this time around.

      

We need more quality in the side in all departments. We need defenders who are wise to the trickery of the simulators, and are alert to the gamesmanship often employed by European Teams. We also need a more mobile centre- back, a playmaker, and a prolific striker to try and replace the soon to depart legend that is Henrik Larsson. All these will cost money, and wont be readily found in the Bosman bargain basement. We are a few players short of getting to where we, and Martin O’Neill want to be.

   

It’s now up to the PLC Board - and in particular Dermot Desmond - to start putting our money (some of his own wouldn’t go amiss either) where their mouths are. They say a lot and do nothing. They promised that they are as ambitious as us, and more recently that they will back MON to the hilt. Its time for the PLC Board to prioritise the Football side of the Club and to turn the hollow statements into action. Supporters of the Board will say that the PLC are repaying the debts, that there is not a lot of money around in the game these days, and that overspending on Transfers will lead us down the rotten road to financial ruin that the Huns, Leeds and others have went to.

 

No one is saying we should do that. But substantial investment in the Team at the end of last season, would certainly have given us a better chance and ensured our advancement in Europe. Getting to the knockout stage of the Champions League would have guaranteed 10 million into the bank. An outlay of three to five million on players would have been a wise investment. Not so for the Board. Now we have an ageing squad, and because players were not replaced in the last transfer window or at the beginning of the season, it means that we will need major surgery to the Team this close season.

 

The PLC Board didn’t give this a thought, and that is where they fail miserably. They are not football men, never mind being Celtic men. Our major shareholder-Dermot Desmond- is a man who recently said live on an interview on RTE that: 'Shamrock Rovers play in the stripes -the same as Celtic”. That says it all for me.

 

Martin O'Neill has said that we need six non-Bosman players this summer just to enable us to stand still. i.e. To be in with a shout of progressing in Europe, and to remain consistent in domestic competitions.

 

Our banners at the start of the season in response to the PLC Boards parsimonious approach said it all . . ."Give Martin The Money". Lets hope this time they do it.

 

By Jimmy G

Miller Moves To Manchester

WHAT PRICE LOYALTY?

 

Liam Miller burst into the first team and he was the ‘next big thing’. Yes I admit it even I said it! Me and my Mate travelled from Brum when we played Arsenal in the pre-season friendly and everyone was enthralled by his superbly taken goal, especially my mate who hailed from Liam’s County Cork. The thing is we have talked up players who have not quite made the grade, but this bhoy was the real deal, wasn’t he? His performance in the Champions League against Anderlecht seemed to confirm all of our hopes and expectations that ere was a real Celtic discovery whose talents we would be able to savour in years to come.


The fact that he ‘came through the ranks’ and was allegedly 100% Celtic seemed to fool all of us. Celtic’s backroom team nursed him through injury and stood by him throughout, and how did he repay us? Well we all know the score by now, he signed a contract with Man Utd while still on Celtics payroll. That he was illegally ‘tapped’ by Man U is without doubt and that he misled and lied to the club and it’s support throughout his secret negotiations with Fergie & Co is also not in question. If he’d been honest about the fact that he was looking to pastures new and would not be re-signing with Celtic he might have left Parkhead with a bit of integrity still intact.


The thing that really sticks in the throat, however, is that he made out that Celtic was the only team for him, why do people do that? In fact how much money do people really want, if Miller had stuck with us it’s not as if he wouldn’t have been more than comfortable on the £20,000 per week that was offered to him by Celtic.

 

Let’s compare his actions to that of ‘The King of Kings’. The loyalty and dedication that Henrik has shown to the Celtic cause has been second to none. He had chances to leave us throughout his career at Paradise but Henrik spent the 7 years of his career at Celtic conducting himself on and off the park admirably. Larsson is from the same mould that gave us the Lisbon Lions, whereas Miller’s behaviour is more akin to the Judas that was Mo Johnson – i.e. his is the action of a football mercenary.


I didn’t agree with those Celtic supporters that booed Miller when he came on against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. That’s in no way a defence of him, but in my opinion such action will only serve to unnerve the rest of the team. Every player who dons the hoops and who is called into action for the first team squad must be given encouragement when they are on the park. I understand the frustration felt by the supporters over the Miller affair but I cannot see what good it does to the team generally to have one of their number booed from the stands.


Miller must now resign himself to moving from being Celtic first team material to the Manchester United bench for the foreseeable future.  Well, that’s up to him – there’s already a new crop of youngsters coming through the ranks who will live and die for the Hoops. Let’s concentrate on them, and draw a line under Millers departure. As one of the members of TAL’s Internet Forum commented, ‘Miller should have been condemned for the rest of his Celtic career to cleaning the players cars and boots.’

 

Personally, I wouldn’t have let him near my chamois cloth never mind my car.

 

By Brummie Bhoy

My first experience of Celtic Park

MY FIRST TIME...

It was the early 70's when I first became aware of the Celtic. My Father & Mother (from Kerry & Limerick respectively) were running a bar at the bottom of the Holloway Road and it was about this time that they were approached by the London No. 1 CSC who were on the lookout for a new venue and of course they were welcomed with open arms.

One of the members of the Club at the time was Brian McColgan who to this day I still bump into wherever there is a Celtic event taking place in London. There were also a couple of middle-aged women in the Club who never seemed to miss either a meeting or a trip up to see the Bhoys. This was great news for me as an 8 or 9 year old as they never returned from Paradise without bringing me back a souvenir of some sort. These ranged from pin badges to sew on patches & towels to mirrors. They also bought me my first ever Celtic strip, which I think I wore until it literally fell off me! I also remember being given a Celtic Belt which was very much in keeping with the clothes trend of the day i.e.: flared trousers & shirts with fly-away collars. The belt was wide & white with a huge Celtic crest as the buckle! But despite this fashion faux pas a love of the hoops was born!

When I think back now the dedication these people showed to following the 'Tic was immeasurable. Remember these were the days before cheap air travel and a trip up to Glasgow by hired coach meant leaving London on the Friday night before the game. Usually just after last orders & with the bus suitably stocked with alcoholic beverages (& a bucket!) for the 10+ hours Journey. (This was obviously the fore-runner of the luxury coaches that now exist with fully licensed bar & toilet facilities!) They were indeed faithful through & through.

Anyway, the first full game I ever saw was the 1977 Scottish cup final when Celtic beat the Huns 1-0 thanks to an Andy Lynch penalty. I was in Ireland on School holidays at the time & the match was shown live on RTE1. This was the game that saw Alfie Conn win a Scottish Cup Winners medal playing for Celtic against Rangers having previously won one playing for the Huns against us. (He used to be a Hun but he's alright now, Alfie, Alfie!).

However, it was to be another 5 years before I made the pilgrimage to Glasgow for my Celtic Park 'debut'. October 30th 1982 to be precise & coincidentally it was again an 'Old Firm' fixture, the first of that particular season. My parents were now running another pub just a stones throw away from Arsenal football ground. Although it was an Irish bar there was a sizable contingent of Glaswegians who drank there, most of whom were Bhoys although there was the odd 'Bear' or two!

You will be surprised to learn then that it was with a Hun (who became & still is a very close friend of mine), that I travelled 'up the Road' for this particular fixture! My Father was strongly opposed to my going as he had bought into the 'No Mean City' stereotyping that Glasgow suffered from at that time. His judgement also had much to do with the explosion of tensions that would erupt in  'Scots Corner' (This being the name given to the area in the bar where the 'Bhoys & Bears' would congregate), around the time of an 'Old Firm' game.

Eventually Dad reluctantly agreed to my going after 'Roy' my Rangers pal ensured him of my safe passage to & from Glasgow, or to be more exact East Kilbride. We reached EK just in time for last orders having caught the early evening train from Euston. I was a teetotaller at the time so my drink of choice was a bitter lemon. This was just as well as I needed the quick reactions of a sober mind for no sooner had we turned away from the bar when someone swung for me with a pool cue screaming that 'none of his mates were Micks'. Fortunately I managed to avoid being struck & he was very quickly subdued & profuse apologies ensued. 'Well' I thought 'at least that's the introductions out of the way'..!!

And so to the day of the game, it was an early start but there was good reason for this as there was a peculiar local custom which had to be observed. Basically this involved all who were present to purchase & consume before midday, a half bottle of Buckie & 6 cans of Tenents. In those days the tins still had the scantily clad lovelies on them though I found out in later years that actually this did nothing to improve the taste..!! Or for that matter alleviate any subsequent hang-over..!!

Then came the parting of the ways when 'Roy' conceded guardianship & I was fostered off to a couple of his pals who were Celtic supporters. From this point onwards it was Green & White utopia. We travelled to Parkhead on one of the EK CSC buses & all the way through to the East End there was relentless singing of Celtic & Republican songs. Sean South was by far the most popular choice but it was 1982 and new songs & chants relating to the previous years Hunger Strike were beginning to emerge.

Weather-wise it was an awful day & by the time we reached the ground it was pishing. As we made our approach to the turnstiles one of my minders handed me a half bottle & ordered me to stuff it into the waist band of my jeans, which I did against my better judgement, thankfully I was successful in the smuggling operation. We were in the ground about 30mins prior to Kick-Off and even though the place seemed full even then, there were many more thousands made there way in to swell the attendance to well over the official figure of 67.000. The place was heaving.

Although it was difficult to hear the Huns it was obvious that all their poison was directed at the jungle in particular, which is where we were stood. I recall that approximately 10 minutes before K-O the Huns support seemed to part and about a dozen figures dressed in what appeared to be Masonic regalia made their way to the front of the Rangers end. All hell broke loose & it seemed that every one in the jungle wanted to get at them. At the time I failed to recognise the significance of this display but I knew there & then from the reaction all around Celtic Park it wasn't appreciated.

The game started soon after and the pace of it all stunned me, of course the rain hadn't helped matters. Like me, Paul McStay was making his senior 'Old Firm' debut that afternoon so I was in good company..!! The Huns scored first through Robert Prytz but, as he had done his entire career, McStay rose to the occasion & slotted home an equaliser within minutes of the opening goal. Unfortunately the Huns scored again through Davie Cooper & went in at the break 2-1 up.

The Bhoys were not too be outdone however and half way through the 2nd half Frank McGarvey levelled and with little over 3 minutes left on the clock Murdo McCleod was put clear and drove the ball past Stewart at the Rangers end to send three quarters of Celtic Park into delirium. Complete strangers embraced like long lost brothers (the support was still predominantly male in the early 80's..!!) and the referee was to urged to blow his whistle at the earliest possible opportunity. Of course he didn't, but what's new? Eventually he did however & all that was left to do was to wave the Huns out of the Rangers end before departing ourselves.

As we made our way out onto Janefield St there was a period of time which was probably no more than 30 seconds where my feet didn't touch the ground & it had nothing to do with elation. (Or levitation for that matter..!!) I was literally wedged among the crowd and was carried along for that half minute or so. It was as frightening as it was exhilarating. We managed to locate our supporter's bus and headed triumphant, back to East Kilbride.

It was later that evening that I met up with Roy who as you might expect was not in the best of form and not just because of the result. It turned out that when Murdo scored the winner the Huns had surged forward & he lost one of his shoes! To make matters worse he missed the bus back to EK & ended up walking (hopping..??) to Castlemilk before one of his mates spotted him & gave him a lift home.

I made my way back to London that same night but had to go to Motherwell to catch the train from Edinburgh. As it pulled into the platform who should stick his head out of a window only Brian McColgan. Needless to say there was much back-slapping & embracing & we settled down for a sing-song that lasted all the way back to Euston. The Huns on board were also reminded of the score on a regular basis throughout..!! So there you have it, the story of my first ever trip to Celtic Park.

When I take my place now at the new Paradise, it is sometimes difficult to remember the Celtic Park that I was introduced to. How you would stand on the jungle, where the first roars of approval would rise because you could see the players coming up the tunnel before anyone else. Ten jersey's green & white, without the 'stain' of sponsorship (or numbers I hear the older ones say) to tarnish them, Songs of Irish freedom would echo around the old terracing before being taken up by those in the Celtic end. Although the new stadium is a wonderful structure of which we are all mightily proud, you can't help feeling that when the Jungle went something also went with it  Ah well, at least the walk along the Gallowgate hasn't changed that much over the years and we're beating the Rangers for fun again..!! You know what..?? I feel a song coming on - "Fritz A Grand Old Team To Play For!"

Slan agus Tiocfaidh Ar La.

By Holloway Gael.

Hillsborough Justice Campaign

Hillsborough - 15 Years And Still No

 Justice

15TH April 2004 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. For bereaved families and survivors it has been fifteen long years of fighting for justice. Fifteen years of struggling to have the truth of Hillsborough officially recognised. 'Fifteen' has taken on a great significance in this the year 2004...

15 April 1989 Liverpool v Nottingham Forest, F.A. Cup semi-final, Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield 15 years of age, Kevin Williams excitedly went to his first away game. He never came home.

15 years ago 96 people were killed at the Hillsborough Stadium. Thousands of others suffered both physical and mental injuries, which have remained to the present day. Some have been unable to cope with life 'post Hillsborough' and have committed suicide.

15:15 - the time, according to the Sheffield Coroner, that everybody was dead by or had reached the point that made death inevitable.

15 years on - a survivor's perspective

Fifteen years is a long time, some would say 'too long' to keep going, plenty of time to 'move on', to 'put the past behind you' to 'get on with life'. What they don't say is 'how'? How do you 'get on with your life' when you know that your son was still alive 45 minutes after 'British justice' says he was dead? How can you 'put the past behind you' when that past includes a massive cover up as to the facts of how your son died? How can it ever be 'too long to keep going' when every fibre of your being is telling you to fight for justice for your son because that is what he would have done, not just for you, but for anyone because that is the kind of person he was? How long is a piece of string? Too long? Too short?

How do you know? Well you know when it's the size that you want. It's the same with Justice - you can't put a time limit on it and say the fight has gone on too long. The right time to 'move on', to 'get on with your life' is when justice has been attained. It doesn't matter whether that is six months, a year or fifty years. It might not even be in your lifetime. No one knows better than the bereaved and survivors how long the last fifteen years have been. If they still have the stamina to fight on for justice then we all owe it to them to stand alongside to show a collective unity and strength.

Of course we all hope that it won't take another fifteen years, however, we have to be prepared for it and if it does, then so be it. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign will continue to fight for JUSTICE FOR THE 96 for as long as it takes. Stay with us in that fight.

All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing

What's new to the website and the justice campaign?

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign is made up of bereaved families, survivors and supporters campaigning for Justice for the 96 people who died at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough football ground on 15th April 1989. The legal struggle for Justice is not over, despite what others may say, despite the showtrial in Leeds in 2000. Hillsborough is NOT rubber

 

stamped into the history books. The families and survivors in the HJC continue to fight on.

 

 

 

Reflections of a Hillsborough Survivor -

 15 years on

I can't stand the month of April, detest it with a passion. To me there are only 11 months in the year because April doesn't exist. But unfortunately it does and as we enter April you can't get away from it.

I can't stand seeing April as a date written on anything, like the top of newspapers or pages on teletext. It sends a cold feeling down my spine, but there is no getting away from it.

Then there are the other reminders like walking around the supermarket and sell by dates on food start getting closer to the 15th - another reminder and one which catches you off your guard.

Easter as a holiday has gone out of the window because you know what's going to follow.

April is the start of spring, where nature starts showing signs of new life and a feeling of the end of the darkness of winter and the start of something new, but April feels darker than any of the winter months.

Obviously I have never bought the scum and have never subscribed to sky sports or anything else that will line Murdochs pockets.

I always enjoyed Mayday because of political reasons but now it has added significance because it marks the end of April.

So I find that from the 8th onwards I start trying to recollect what my movements would have been leading up to the semi in 1989 (probably struggling with maths homework). But I find that I cant really recall much before the 15th but obviously everything following the match.

I can remember doing a sweepstake as I always did with mates at school for the first scorer and making sure that I got a standing ticket for Leppings Lane because in 1988 I could only get a seat in the upper Leppings Lane but not much else.

I'd never seen a dead body before the 15.4.89, not even a relative, that soon changed.

So many bodies.

As for many the Anniversary is the only day when you open that box of feelings held deep inside yourself and open the lock that keeps it all contained and allow all those feelings to come to the surface.

Personally I always used to attend the Anniversary service wherever it was held because it was a sanctuary and being amongst others who understood your feelings for that one day, a place to feel comfortable in letting your feelings show.

Until the 12th Anniversary when the addresses towards the end of the memorial seemed to change in content to something more akin to a political broadcast.

It was the last thing I wanted to hear. I don't need my guilt being added to the survivors guilt I already feel about getting out of those cages of death alive, when 96 of our friends didn't and especially don't need it adding to on the 15th when that lock on my box of feelings has been released.

I just wish that the lectures about issues like standing at football matches would be kept for another day.

So come the 13th Anniversary I just couldn't handle attending and went down the Mersey instead and just watched the river, but that just felt worse.

So the only place for me on the 15th is at the Memorial service, I've tried spending the day elsewhere but for me it doesn't work, I can't release that lock.

So now I feel that my sanctuary has been compromised and I don't know what to do?

Now I find that the only way now to attend the Memorial is to leave before the final addresses which means having to miss the singing of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

I would prefer not to but for my own sanity with that lock open, for a short time once a year, I have enough emotion and feelings floating around without anyone else adding to it.

Personally the 15th is a day of remembrance in a month full of shit. I just hope we are able to do just that ...

Remember.

JUSTICE FOR THE 96

Gary Burns

Gary was 17 at the time of Hillsborough. He remembers it as if it were yesterday. Gary's account of what happended in pen 4 is very graphic.

 

He tells it how it was, including the reaction of people outside Liverpool, based upon the crap they read in the Sun.