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It could have been us

Submitted by on September 18, 2012 – 7:57 amOne Comment

By Phil Martin
(written BEFORE the findings of the Hillsborough report last week)

United Road was heaving; I stood on the half way line,
I dreamt of FA glory, that trophy would be mine,
It was just a quarter final but it meant so much back then,
I’d watched the boys in 85 and craved cup victory again.

It meant a lot to everyone, the lads were going barmy,
Everyone was singing ‘on the march with Fergie’s army.’
But Forest had a handy team and hit us on the break,
Come on United equalise, for FFF Fergie’s sake.

We piled on the chances but the ball just woun’t go in,
But then we had a corner and I knew we could still win,
United Road was surging, to see I had to dodge,
As Brian McClair’s overhead was cleared by Stevie Hodge.

The Stretford End went wild; it must’ve crossed the line,
But the referee disagreed and then he blew full time,
United fans were raging, at least ten thousand fought,
The trouble lasted ages, all over the fore court.

My heart was devastated, couldn’t believe that we’d gone out,
We would have beaten Liverpool, of that I had no doubt,
So fast forward to April and the day of that semi,
My young mind disliked both those teams due to jealousy.

That day I sat in K-stand, Derby’s Goodard skinned Steve Bruce,
Then Hillsborough news filtered through and two morons gave abuse,
The rest of K-stand turned on ‘em and shout-ed the morons down,
And an uneasy, eerie silence engulfed everyone in the ground.

The news that some supporters died, slowly filtered through,
The game had lost significance; no one knew quite what to do,
The match day buzz had disappeared as we waited for the bus,
If Brian Hill had given that goal, it really could’ve been us.

It could have been your brother or you sister that had perished,
Maybe your dad or just a friend but someone that you cherished,
I had some friends on my Manchester street who followed Liverpool,
They celebrated every goal on the fencing as a rule.

I wondered if they had got out, I feared that they had died,
It wasn’t until the evening that I learned that they’d survived,
They were singing on the fences at just gone two o’clock,
But sensed it getting too busy and moved over a block.

I’ve been to Anfield many times, the rivalry’s intense,
But you’d miss them too if they weren’t here, so show some common sense,
Coz as much as you hate Liverpool, we share a lot with them,
And few teams had the followings that we both had way back then,

I went to Hillsborough that very year, when Choccy scored a brace,
Twenty six thousands reds rocking; our support was really ace,
But if we’d beat the Forest, and the ref had give that goal,
It could have been those very fans that that fateful day had stole.

Because we travel in our numbers just like Liverpool,
And when we’ve got those numbers, there’s mob mentality rule,
Our aways are far from saints, let’s not kid anyone,
So would the same thing happen if it was us that day that’d gone?

Maybe there was pushing, I don’t know I wasn’t there,
A few folk might have jibbed in but I really couldn’t care,
Coz we woulda turned up without tickets, we woulda turned up late,
We would have gone into the ground if the cops opened those gates?

Ninety six innocents were taken that tragic day,
But United in the Leppings Lane might’ve acted the same way,
We would’ve tried to get in, in time for the opening goal,
See it wasn’t down to surging fans but lack of crowd control.

They couldn’t control the numbers that turned up for that semi
But just coz it needs controlling don’t make that crowd guilty,
And alleviate at one end and cause a problem at the other?
Why couldn’t those in control… communicate with each other?

Two pens with space, one pen full but no way those fans could know,
And once you’re though those turnstiles there’s only one way to go,
Those fences should’ve been opened way be-fore three o-clock,
They should’ve ripped down the lot before the game was stopped.

Read their stories, research their lives and never act the fool,
Coz the only real difference was their love for Liverpool,
Too many questions and few replies, two decades plus now on,
And still no answers for those fans about what really went on.

Think back to that poor bloke, who lost both his teenage daughters,
If you still can’t find that sympathy, you’re heartless and you’re soulless,
Look at the innocence in their photos and make it personal,
And if this tragedy don’t hit you hard, it says all we need to know.

So next time when it’s April and it’s semi-final day,
Forget about the Munich chants and the shite they used to say,
The ones that died were innocents, fathers, sons and daughters,
So remember the respect… that our own tragedy has taught us.

In whole we’ve been respectful but this is my regret,
That future generations… of United may forget,
Of what just really happened and who it happened to,
And that those innocents of Hillsborough could’ve been me and you.

See all those people out there who abuse on the internet,
You never knew this tragedy, otherwise you’d not forget,
But you say ‘this’ because they say ‘that’, who cares where it starts,
Abusing about these tragedies says just what’s in your hearts.

So by all means don’t like Liverpool, keep the rivalry intense,
But show respect for stolen souls, coz let’s make no pretence,
If our love for Man United had taken us there that fateful day,
We’d be demanding our own justice for the ones that passed away.

RIP 96 (justice for football fans)
RIP The Flowers of Manchester

One Comment »

  • TH says:

    From The Guardian:

    Liverpool and Manchester United will talk about a tribute to the Hillsborough victims and their families for Sunday, not how to prevent distasteful chanting, in preparation for an emotionally-charged occasion at Anfield.

    United are Liverpool’s first opponents at Anfield since the Hillsborough Independent Panel revealed the extent of the establishment cover-up over the loss of 96 lives in 1989. A meeting between the north west rivals is always charged but the timing of Sunday’s game, the anti-Liverpool chants from a minority of United supporters against Wigan Athletic on Saturday and the ill-feeling between Luis Suárez and Patrice Evra has added to the scrutiny on their latest encounter.

    Despite the controversy generated at Old Trafford on Saturday Liverpool have no plans to treat United’s visit differently to any other high-profile home fixture. There will be a standard meeting between the clubs this week, warnings about offensive behaviour to all supporters and players reminded of their responsibilities before kick-off.

    The only extraordinary measures being taken for the game by Liverpool relate to the findings of the Hillsborough panel. Anfield officials are liaising with representatives of the Hillsborough family groups and an announcement on a tribute to the victims, and those who fought for 23 years to expose the truth, will be made closer to the game. A mosaic on the Kop is one idea under consideration while Liverpool players may again wear tracksuit tops emblazoned with 96 on the back, as they did at Sunderland on Saturday. Relatives of the Hillsborough victims will be invited to take part in a tribute and United are expected to pay their own respects before kick-off.

    Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Brendan Rodgers appealed for supporters to cease chanting about tragedies suffered by United and Liverpool following the panel’s findings last week. A repeat could be made before Sunday in light of some United supporters ignoring Ferguson’s request.

    As for Suárez and Evra, Liverpool are confident there will be no repetition of February’s controversy at Old Trafford when the Uruguay international refused to shake the United defender’s hand before kick off. Suarez was made acutely aware of Liverpool’s anger the following day by managing director Ian Ayre and then manager Kenny Dalglish and issued his own apology for events at Old Trafford.

    The referee for Sunday’s Premier League meeting at Anfield, meanwhile, has been confirmed as Mark Halsey.

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