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Hillsborough is ‘burned in the memory’

Red Roses are placed upon 96 seats at Hillsborough today in respect for those who lost their lives -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Red Roses are placed upon 96 seats at Hillsborough today in respect for those who lost their lives -Pic by: Richard Parkes

A quarter of a century may have passed but the harrowing memories of Hillsborough on April 15, 1989, will never fade for those who were there.

Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws was on the pitch as the horror of Britain’s worst sporting disaster started to unfold.

Just a few minutes of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Laws’ Nottingham Forest had been played when fans began to spill out of the Leppings Lane End.

The players were taken from the field amid chaos and confusion but what occurred, as the scale of tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters became apparent, is forever etched into Laws’ consciousness.

“I think for everybody that was involved that day it is burned in the memory,” said Laws, now 52, who was Forest’s right-back that day.

“You just can’t forget it. It is something that is embedded there, it is very strong. From the day it happened to now, it is clear, it is one of those moments in life that you just never, ever forget and you can’t forget.”

Laws, like most of the players, had little idea why so many fans had come onto the pitch at the point when referee Ray Lewis halted play and took the teams back to the dressing room.

He said: “I remember vividly what I thought at the time was an invasion of supporters coming over from the Leppings Lane end, which I was about 10 yards from when we had a throw-in.

“I was going to throw the ball in and I remember a couple of Liverpool fans running across the pitch screaming.

“At the time I think we all thought it was just a hooligan element trying to destroy or upset a game. Everything else then started to unfold.

“We had no thought that anyone might have lost their life.

“Sometimes you do forget things but I think everyone would say the same thing - they still remember this so clearly.

“It is embedded in my memory and I will never, ever forget it. It will never go away.”

n The Star tomorrow will be a special edition marking the 25th anniversary.

 
 
 

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