A survivor of the Hillsborough disaster tried to stop the match in a bid to save his friends as they were caught in crushing on the terraces, a court heard.
David Roberts travelled the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with friends Alan McGlone and Joseph Clark, who were both among the 96 Liverpool supporters who died.
Mr Roberts told the new inquests he was separated from them during crushing on the Leppings Lane terrace in the minutes before kick-off and ended up on the pitch after a gate was opened.
He said he saw Joseph in the crowd who at that stage ‘wasn’t in any danger’.
Mr Roberts said: “We were always joking, that’s all we did.
“He shouted to me ‘Ginger, you t*t’, because I was on the pitch.”
Mr Roberts said he saw people crushed against the fence and climbed it to look for Alan and Joseph.
He said he could see Joseph ‘in trouble’ but could not reach him as he tried to grab him.
He said: “He couldn’t move, but he shouted to me ‘get me out’.”
Mr Roberts added: “I realised I couldn’t help Joseph where he is, and everybody at the back was shouting ‘stop the game, stop the game’.
“I climbed down from the fence, ran onto the pitch and tried to stop the game.
“I went up to the referee.”
He said someone else had already stopped the game and when he went back to the fence he couldn’t see Joseph any more.
The inquests continue.