‘Fans were not to blame’ Hillsborough journalist tells jury

Stephen Curry, Hillsborough journalist.
Stephen Curry, Hillsborough journalist.
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A journalist who has covered football for 50 years told the Hillsborough inquests Liverpool supporters should take no blame for what happened on the day of the tragedy.

Stephen Curry, who was chief football writer for the Daily Express in 1989, also said he had ‘just as good a view’ of the Leppings Lanes pens as the police and he could not understand why the gates onto the pitch weren’t opened to let fans escape the crush.

The jury heard Mr Curry, a lifelong Manchester United fan, attended the 1989 FA Cup semi-final as a journalist and took his seat in the press box at about 2.25pm.

He told Matthew Hill, on behalf of the coroner, that at about 2.45pm he looked towards the west terrace and saw the central pens were filling up quickly and people at the front looked ‘a bit uncomfortable’.

Mr Curry said he always took binoculars to games and told the coroner: “You get a feeling something is not quite right, it is almost like an instinct, sir. 
“I felt it that day quite forcibly.”

He told a colleague next to him “I don’t like the look of what’s going on over there.”

Mr Curry said the situation worsened at kick off.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off it, sir, to be honest,” he said.

Asked about the police reaction to the situation, he told Mr Hill: “There didn’t seem to be any, that is what concerned me.

“I know that the control room was to my left, because I could see it quite clearly and they had just as good a view as I did of what was going on.

“And I was actually shouting in the press box ‘open the gates’.”

Mr Curry said the fans should take no blame adding Liverpool fans were ‘some of the best in the country’.

The hearing continues.