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Hillsborough 20th Anniversary Never Walk Alone

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Published on Apr 19, 2009

Relatives of the Hillsborough disaster victims have demanded to see secret files about the tragedy.

Controversy has long surrounded the role of the police in what was Britain's worst ever sporting disaster.

Families of those killed believe a Major Incident Plan was never initiated by South Yorkshire police while some fans were denied emergency medical attention.

They also dispute the findings of the single inquest into all 96 deaths, which ruled the victims were all dead, or brain dead, by 3.15pm.

It subsequently recorded a verdict of accidental death.


After the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has confirmed that hundreds of official documents could be made public 10 years early.

They are currently subject to the 30-year-rule, effectively keeping them under lock and key for another decade.

Trevor Hicks, of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, who lost two teenage daughters on the day, said: "We have heard that a request has been made about the documents and we are expecting confirmation this week.

"I am pleased, it's better late than never.

"This will enable us to see the full picture of events in a way that we have been denied for 20 years."

The documents in question could include police files and the records of other emergency services, government departments and local authorities.

Families say they are particularly keen to see the minutes of a meeting between then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and senior South Yorkshire Police officers.

It is thought to have taken place on the Sunday morning after the disaster.

"We believe that a decision was made at that meeting that the police would not be blamed for what happened," Mr Hicks said.

"We would like to see the minutes of the meeting, to know what the Prime Minister was told and what decisions were taken."

The tragedy unfolded when Liverpool met Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989.

Some 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush of fans.

The 20th anniversary was marked last week with memorial services in Nottingham, Sheffield and Liverpool.

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