The Harrogate District Branch of the Liverpool F.C. Supporters Club was co-founded in 1985 by David Houlgate and organises tickets and travel to Liverpool matches.
The current Branch Chair is Nick White.
The Supporters club have commented on the recently published report on the Hillsborough disaster when 96 people lost their lives.
The Harrogate District Branch of the Liverpool F.C. Supporters Club said:
The Harrogate and District Branch of the Liverpool F.C. Supporters Club welcomes the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which finally brings to the attention of the British public the real truth of what happened on 15th April 1989 and thereafter.
This is relevant here in the Harrogate District because over 50 members of the Branch – women, men and children – local people from the Harrogate District, attended the match on that fateful day.
Despite some Branch members being in pens 3 and 4, thankfully all survived but nevertheless were forever changed by the experience.
In the intervening years there have been lies put forward as the truth, perpetrated by the Authorities and by some in the media such as Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of The Sun, which were intended to shift the blame and smear the good name and reputation of ‘the 96’, the people of Liverpool and supporters like ourselves who live outside the city.
It is now revealed what we supporters have always known and maintained, that this was not only an avoidable disaster – where at senior level those responsible for public safety failed adjectively – but that there then followed the most shameful cover-up of the highest magnitude. That the report has revealed even more than even we suspected including the revelation that 41 of the 96 lives lost could possibly have been saved and that 164 statements were altered, is truly shocking.
The fight for Justice over the last 23 years has now been fully vindicated
The Harrogate Branch continues to attend matches to this day and what happened at Hillsborough and the cover-up in the intervening years will always be with us.
We thank the Hillsborough Independent Panel for their diligent work and we pay tribute to the families of ‘the 96’ and supporters of the fight for Justice, who never gave up.
Now that the real truth is known, we continue to wish them every success and give our support in their ongoing pursuit of justice.
Andy Johnston from Summerbridge, who is not a member of the supporters club, has also commented. He saw first hand the atrocities of the day.
Andy Johnston added:
The apologies of South Yorkshire Police and particularly McKenzie and The FA do not go far enough and certain Senior Police officers both now and in 89 have serious questions to answer. I was never of the opinion that Supt. Duckinfield et al should be prosecuted.
I have changed my opinion.
The scale and calculating nature of the lies, cover up’s and altering of evidence could well be criminal in nature and if there is a case, that should now be put before the court.
The FA’s decision to hold the game there in spite of all the evidence that the venue was not safe in itself could be grounds for possible manslaughter through gross negligence.
It may be 23 years, but for all of us who witnessed it at first hand, or lost loved ones, it feels like yesterday
My mum said just this morning that my character changed after Hillsborogh and it took me a long time before she saw me smile again.
45,000 of us watched the horror that day. I went with a group of five and we returned with 4. Our friend, alive, in Hospital, but it was many hours before we knew this. Many were not so lucky.