SWFC – What To Write… JFT96

Today I’m tasked with writing a blog on Sheffield Wednesday on the same day that David Cameron stated in the House of Commons, “Today’s report is black and white. The Liverpool fans were not the cause of the (Hillsborough) disaster.”

Cameron then went on to issue a “proper and profound apology on behalf of the government and the country”.

How am I meant to follow this? Lets face it, the biggest news to come out of Sheffield Wednesday of late is that, 23 years after the incident, the club have apologised for what happened that day.

A statement said, “Chairman Milan Mandaric and the current board of directors have adopted a policy of complete compliance with the requests of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and on behalf of the club would like to offer our sincere condolences and an apology to all the families who have suffered as a consequence of the tragic events of 15 April, 1989.”

As for the national news, the full extent of the huge police cover up that ensued after the Hillsborough Disaster is now out in the open. Sickeningly, it is thought that 41 of the 96 fans that died could have survived after the cut-off point of 15.15pm set by the coroner, meanwhile, 116 of the 164 police statements had been altered to fit better what the police wanted people to believe.

In the HoC, Ed Miliband said it best, he said, “It shames us as a country that it has taken 23 years to get to the truth of what happened at Hillsborough.”

I’m sorry, as a Wednesdayite I wanted to do a blog on how we need to use the Brighton game this weekend to bounce back from the Crystal Palace defeat, how the international break may have given us a chance to regroup, and how I want Dave Jones to make sure that the defeat remains as a blip and not the beginning of a bad spell.

However, as a football fan it’s hard. 96 people were lost at a football game, in my home city. I know that the state of football grounds back then was an accident waiting to happen. I know that there are several factors to look at with regards to what happened that day and that several people must take the blame for what transpired. I also know that it shouldn’t have taken place, those people shouldn’t have died, and more importantly, my local police force shouldn’t have tried to cover it up and try to blame the innocent.

I have no doubt there were a handful of drunken Liverpool fans in and around Hillsborough that day, I think you’d be pushed to find a football ground in the country that doesn’t have a few people who are bevvied up in it’s parameters on match day, however, does that mean they can be blamed for what happened? Of course it doesn’t. Does that give the police the right to try and scapegoat them? No it bloody well doesn’t.

I can’t really even fathom what the families of the victims must have been going through all these years. Personally I’m horrified that the police force in my local area would have gone to such extents to exonerate themselves, and secondly, I’m embarrassed that I didn’t do more to help the cause over the years.

I wasn’t even born when all of this went on, all I’ve been able to do is read about it from people who were there, who saw it all. I’m not going to profess to being an expert on the matter, but after today’s revelations what I can do is concur with my team’s statement when they say, “We can only hope that the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report goes some way to providing the closure sought by all those involved.

“The thoughts of everyone at Sheffield Wednesday FC remain with the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives, their families, and the wider Liverpool community who have all been affected so deeply by the disaster of 23 years ago.”

This weekend we take on Brighton, a team level with us on points, but five goals ahead of us with regards to goal difference. A win would put us back on track and help us continue the push towards the Premier League that so many Owls fans are looking for.

It’s going to be a tough week or so for Jones and his boys if they’re looking to start another unbeaten run, after Brighton we’ve got Huddersfield and Bolton to consider, but I’m confident.

I’ve said it before, one defeat isn’t a problem, it’s a stumbling block. It’s all about how you overcome that block that sets the tone for your season. And do you know what? I have complete faith that DJ can help our talented squad overcome this stumble with flying colours. Onwards and upwards boys.

By the way, it looks like we’re all but certain to get Ross Barkley from Everton on loan. No one can really say how this will work out, but he’s a damn talented boy and should be a good addition to our ranks.

After truth, comes justice. JFT96

Can We Kick It? @YesWeCrann