Ambulance man first thought Hillsborough disaster was ‘usual idiots’ attempting pitch invasion

An ambulance on the pitch during the disaster
An ambulance on the pitch during the disaster
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An ambulance man initially thought fans coming onto the pitch during the Hillsborough disaster were ‘the usual idiots’ attempting a pitch invasion, a court heard.

Stephen Chippendale, who worked for South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service in 1989, said he had noticed fans climbing over the Leppings Lane terrace fences shortly after kick-off.

Hillsborough Disaster 15th April 1989'Too little, too late...an ambulance on the pitch

Hillsborough Disaster 15th April 1989'Too little, too late...an ambulance on the pitch

Giving evidence at the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters, he said: “I thought it was just the usual idiots trying to climb onto the pitch, get their five minutes of fame.”

After going closer to the terraces, Mr Chippendale said he still thought it was a pitch invasion and was looking out for casualties on the pitch rather than on the terraces.

He said: “I assumed the police were dealing with the people behind the fencing.”

With the match still ongoing, Mr Chippendale was directed to help a man near the goalposts with a suspected fractured leg. He said at this stage he believed there had been a few people injured as a result of a pitch invasion. Mr Chippendale went to fetch equipment from an ambulance but said he did not expect to be treating people with crush injuries when he returned.

He said when he came back the scene was ‘more chaotic’. Mr Chippendale said after he treated the man with the suspected fracture he saw supporters giving CPR to injured people. He then started trying to help other casualties.