Hillsborough police officer 'raised stadium access concerns'

The Hillsborough disaster Ninety-six fans died as a result of the crush at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final

A South Yorkshire police officer raised concerns about access at the Hillsborough stadium three years before a fatal crush developed at the ground.

At new inquests into the tragedy, former superintendent Terence Stuart was shown a police memo highlighting problems over access to the ground.

Mr Stuart had helped draft a letter to Sheffield City Council giving the stadium "a clean bill of health".

He said he had not seen the memo before but it merited "very serious action".

The memo was written in June 1986 by Insp Clive Calvert to the head of the force's F Division, Ch Supt Brian Mole.

Insp Calvert was the police force's liaison officer with Sheffield Wednesday at the time and attended meetings of the officer working party, the committee which oversaw the club's safety certificate.

'Absolutely stunning'

In the memo, he "highlighted various topics" which had been raised with the football club "with very little success".

It said: "One of the greatest problems we have is access to the ground, particularly at the Leppings Lane end.

"The redesigned turnstiles do not give anything like the access to the ground, either on the Leppings Lane Terraces or in the West Stand, needed by away fans.

"On occasions last season when large numbers attended we had away supporters who were justifiably irate because of the inefficiency of the system, which was turned on the police and could have resulted in public disorder."

The Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough was where all of the Liverpool fans that died as a result of the crush on 15 April 1989 had accessed the ground.

Mr Stuart said he found the document "absolutely stunning".

"Surely the chief superintendent of that division should have brought it to the attention of the officers who were meeting regularly for this and ensured that it got some attention," he said.

"Why it hasn't I've not got a clue but it should have had.

"It should have been brought to the attention of all the people that attended the safety of Sports Grounds meetings.

"That's what we are there for, so it should go to that."

'Clean bill of health'

Mr Stuart was involved in drafting a reply to Sheffield City Council after the authority, in November 1986, asked for the police force's opinion on Hillsborough, in relation to the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975.

He told the jury he could not recall the letter but accepted that he had not heard Insp Calvert's views on the access into the ground before it was sent.

Referring to the memo, Jonathan Hough QC, junior counsel to the inquests, said: "It may be suggested in a properly run system, when asked to produce a document of this kind giving a clean bill of health to the stadium, from your point of view, you should have spoken to Inspector Calvert."

Mr Stuart said: "Well, I should, providing I know what he is doing."

Fiona Barton QC, representing South Yorkshire Police, showed documents to the jury which appeared to show the force consulting with the club about some concerns.

One of them illustrated how Sheffield Wednesday's engineers were asked to investigate the turnstiles at Leppings Lane, but could not find a solution.

She said: "The '86 memo from Calvert has given rise to discussions about the adequacy and efficacy of the turnstiles.

"Concerns that had been raised by the police had been taken to the club and looked at by the surveyors who came up with no answer."

Mr Stuart replied: "That appears to be the case."

After seeing those documents, Mr Hough asked Mr Stuart: "The fact remains Mr Calvert raised a concern about the turnstile access, nothing was done about it, but a clean bill of health was still given?"

Mr Stuart replied: "Yes."

The new inquests in Warrington are being held to investigate how 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.

The hearing continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool



11 °C 9 °C

BBC Local Live

    18:00: Good night

    That's all for Local Live. The service returns at 08:00 on Friday. You can still reach the team by email at merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk.

    17:52: Coming up Roger Johnson Presenter, North West Tonight

    The family of Darren Taylor from Liverpool who was killed in Thailand last year anxiously wait for the result of a trial in which another Merseyside man, James Dornan, is accused of his murder.

    Also Knowsley Council's announced 130 jobs will be lost during the next financial year and we have the latest from the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington.

    Watch more on BBC One at 18:30.

    17:45: Chester's terrorism warning Chester Chronicle
    17:42: Police chief's honour

    The Chief Constable of Merseyside Police has received an honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

    Sir Jon Murphy

    Sir Jon Murphy was recognised for his "exceptional services to policing and community relations". The ceremony took place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

    17:35: Family hear details of killing Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    The family of Darren Taylor, from Liverpool, hear trial details of how a fellow Liverpudlian allegedly killed him in Thailand.

    Taylor family

    More on BBC North West Tonight on BBC One at 18:30.

    17:29: Cloudy with patchy drizzle Charlie Slater Weather Presenter, BBC

    Another cloudy and murky night with extensive low cloud and some patchy light rain or drizzle.

    Weather forecast

    Transient fog patches are possible where any clearer breaks develop, especially across the Wirral.

    Minimum Temperature: 4C (39F)

    17:16: Motorway delays

    BBC Travel reports very slow traffic on the M57 northbound between Junction 6, (Kirkby) and Junction 7, M58 (Switch Island).

    17:09: Rodgers relishes decider BBC Sport

    Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he is delighted his side remain in control of their Champions League destiny going into their final group game.

    Brendan Rodgers

    The Reds conceded a late equaliser at Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, but will still reach the last 16 if they beat Basel at Anfield next month.

    "It is all in our hands going into last game - I can't ask any more than that," he said Rodgers after the 2-2 draw.

    17:04: Restrict laxatives sale bid Bronwyn Jones BBC North West

    A woman whose teenage daughter was hospitalised as a result of overdosing on laxatives is calling for their sale to children to be heavily regulated.

    Carolyn Jones, from Liverpool, wants age and quantity restrictions to apply.

    Her 16-year-old daughter Sarah, who has anorexia, bought hundreds of laxatives and collapsed after taking 28 pills.

    16:57: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The leader of Knowsley Council says "there's more pain to come", as he announces 130 council jobs are to be cut.

    Ron Round says the decision's been made in light of reduced funding from central government and claims the borough's been hit harder than other parts of the country.

    16:54: Radio toy appeal Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Generous listeners are donating toys to BBC Radio Merseyside's Christmas appeal by the bag load.

    toy appeal

    Here our A Team volunteer Mary O'Brien (left) and receptionist June Bickford (right) show what they've received in the last few days.

    16:47: On air Paul Salt BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'm talking to the mother of a Liverpool teenager who overdosed on laxatives as part of her anorexia.

    Carolyn Jones from Childwall is campaigning for tougher checks for over-the-counter pills after she found her 16-year-old daughter had stashed 150 packets in the house.

    Listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside until 18:00.

    16:42: Major slip road closing

    A major slip road in Widnes is to be closed for five months as part of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge.

    Artist's impression of Mersey Gateway bridge

    The Ditton junction to Speke Road will be shut from Tuesday to build the link roads to the six-lane toll bridge, linking Runcorn and Widnes.

    Local diversions will be in place.

    16:30: Crack house closed

    A Chester crack house has been closed down to prevent drug abuse, say Cheshire Police.

    Crack house closed down

    Officers issued a closure order at the house on Lache Hall Crescent, Lache.

    Police said no-one is allowed in the house for three months or they could be arrested and face up to six months in prison or a £5,000 fine, or both.

    16:20: Hillsborough inquests Ben Schofield BBC Radio Merseyside

    A senior St John Ambulance volunteer described the moment he realised people were "in desperate trouble" at Hillsborough and turning blue.

    Peter Wells told the inquests: "My first thought was we have got to get the fence down."

    He said he didn't have any suitable equipment in the organisation's two ambulances at the game so he asked a police officer on a radio for bolt cutters.

    16:15: What do you think?

    We've introduced BBC Local Live from our base in Liverpool to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

    16:06: Baltic Triangle tribute Liverpool Echo

    A new exhibition has been unveiled in the heart of Liverpool's Baltic Triangle dedicated to the memory of two founding members of Baltic Creative.

    15:58: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The leader of Knowsley Council says: "there's more pain to come", as he announces 130 council jobs are to be cut.

    Ron Round says the decision's been made in light of reduced funding from central government and claims the borough's been hit harder than other parts of the country.

    15:52: Tranmere news James Mountford BBC Radio Merseyside

    Tranmere boss Micky Adams has been giving his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's home match against Portsmouth in League Two.

    Prenton Park

    Goalkeeper Peter Brezovan is a doubt with a back injury. Loan striker Danny Johnson has returned to Cardiff City - he scored once in five appearances.

    15:44: Balotelli 'struggling' at Liverpool London Evening Standard Newspaper
    15:39: Appeal for missing boy

    Concerns are growing for a missing 16-year-old boy from Birkenhead, say Merseyside Police.

    Joshua Lewis

    Joshua Lewis was last seen on 10 November. He has links to Birkenhead, Wallasey, Liverpool and Runcorn.

    15:26: Campaign for laxative law Phil Cooper BBC Radio Merseyside

    The mother of an anorexic Liverpool teenager who overdosed on 28 laxatives is campaigning for tougher checks for over-the-counter pills.

    Carolyn Jones, from Childwall, discovered her 16-year-old daughter Sarah was taking laxatives when she collapsed and had to be taken into hospital.

    She said body image is causing many young girls to want to lose any weight they gain from eating but there's nothing stopping them buying too many laxatives.

    15:10: Mercian march

    Mercian Regiment soldiers will parade in Widnes and Runcorn next week as they return from deployment on a NATO exercise in Lithuania.

    More than 100 soldier will march from 11:00 on Monday along Widnes Road and Albert Road in Widnes.

    The Runcorn parade will move along High Street, Church Street, Regent Street and Devonshire Place from 12:15.

    15:00: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    A senior St John Ambulance volunteer at the Hillsborough disaster says he didn't see a professional ambulance worker until more than 30 minutes after the match was called off.

    The inquests have moved into a new phase of evidence looking at how the emergency services responded.

    14:56: Gerrard 'threw first punch' Liverpool Echo

    A businessman accused of blackmailing Steven Gerrard told a court that the Liverpool FC captain landed the first punch in a street brawl.

    Steven Gerrard
    14:45: Remembering Gary Speed

    Everton FC tweets: Three years ago today, the football world lost a true great. RIP Gary Speed, gone but never forgotten.

    Gary Speed when he played for Everton
    14:31: coming up Claire Minter BBC Radio Merseyside

    Born and bred in Liverpool, Dave Sinclair worked for the Militant and has collected in this book 160 classic images of Liverpool in the 1980s.

    And a new film starring 1990s icon Luke Perry comes to the city this weekend - Billy Butler chats with the writer and composer of the film.

    14:19: McAteer joins podcast

    Former Liverpool FC star Jason McAteer is joining the award-winning podcast the Anfield Wrap for their debut live appearance at O2 Academy Liverpool on 5 December.

    Jason McAteer

    Jason will be joining Neil Atkinson and John Gibbons for a session of interactive football talk and banter, followed by a performance from Liverpool's top live group the Tea Street Band, and sets from Sugarmen and 35 Summers.

    14:09: Ban sale of laxatives to young The Daily Mail
    13:59: News on the hour Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    One hundred and thirty jobs are to go at Knowsley Council.

    The authority says despite having already made £60m the level of government cuts means it's facing a further deficit of £34m over the next two years.

    13:49: What do you think? Lynette Horsburgh BBC News

    We've introduced BBC Local Live from our base in Liverpool to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

    13:45: Seventeen drug arrests

    Seventeen people have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences following raids at 18 addresses in Huyton, Knowsley, said Merseyside Police.

    13:34: Your questions for Mayor via Facebook

    Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson is in the hot seat now and here are some of your questions.

    Joe Anderson

    Steve Harper asks: Why are we now having a review about houses to be built on Sefton Meadows? Another victory for the "nimbys"?

    Mark Parry says: Can he start behaving in a way that befits his status, not like the last time I heard him on this station

    13:20: More from Hillsborough Ben Schofield BBC Radio Merseyside

    St. John ambulance volunteer Peter Wells said he ran to his ambulance at the ground and fetched an oxygen cylinder and poked the tube through the fence and put it into peoples' mouths, hoping they would get some oxygen.

    He said it didn't appear as if it worked. He commended police officers at the ground for their response and said the fans who helped were "fantastic."

    But he said he didn't see anyone from South Yorkshire ambulance service until the ambulance pulled onto the pitch at 15:37.

    Asked about his overall impression of the professionals, he replied: "I never saw them."

    13:16: Hillsborough latest Ben Schofield BBC Radio Merseyside

    A senior St. John Ambulance volunteer at Hillsborough says he didn't see a professional ambulance worker for more than half an hour after the match stopped.

    Peter Wells, who was in charge of 33 first-aiders at the match gave evidence at the inquests in Warrington.

    He described running over to the Leppings Lane end after noticing overcrowding on the terraces. He said he tried to clear the airways of two fans pressed up against the fences at the front of the pens.

    13:07: Remaining cloudy Charlie Slater Weather Presenter, BBC

    It is staying rather cloudy and misty in places this afternoon, with outbreaks of light rain or drizzle.

    Charlie Slater

    However, the odd brighter spell may develop at times, especially around the Wirral and Southport.

    Maximum Temperature: 9C (48F)

    12:55: News on the Hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A senior St. John Ambulance volunteer who was at the Hillsborough disaster says he didn't see a professional ambulance service worker until more than half an hour after the match was stopped.

    12:49: Tranmere reject Evans talk Wirral News
    12:37: Coming up Annabel Tiffin Presenter, North West Tonight

    The latest from the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington.

    Also claims by Manchester Airport that devolving air passenger duty from Westminster to Scotland could undercut airports like Manchester and Liverpool.

    We also have more on the online ratings of local police forces.

    Watch more on BBC One at 13:30.

    12:24: Claire Hamilton Political reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Mayor's talking to us about negative headlines generated by his spat with Kim Cattrall - and says he was right to speak out.

    Kim Cattrall

    The Liverpool-born Sex in the City star said developing the area next to the park would "encroach on the people's land".

    Mr Anderson said her comments were "ill-informed", asking: "What does she really know of the issues that Liverpool faces?"

    12:12: Novelist's Costa nomination Helen Jones BBC Radio Merseyside

    Big congratulations to novelist Carys Bray from Southport.

    Helen Jones with Carys Bray

    Her debut novel has been shortlisted for this year's Costa First Novel Award.

    12:06: Traindeer in Warrington

    Virgin Trains tweets: The @VirginTrains train deer passing through WBQ this morning. It's all rather festive #traindeer

    11:57: news on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    As our local forces are rated online first the first time, there's a warning from one of the chiefs of Merseyside Police that they will have to continue to serve the public in the face of cuts.

    11:43: Plans to transform pit sites St Helens Star
    11:30: Mayor in the hot seat Claire Hamilton Political reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    Do you have a question for the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson? You can ask him direct on BBC Radio Merseyside this lunchtime.

    He joins Will Batchelor standing in for Roger Phillips in the hot seat at 12.

    Call 0151 709 933 or Tweet us.

    11:20: Celebrating Lancashire Day via Facebook

    Earlier, Tony Snell asked for your favourite things about Lancashire as it's Lancashire Day.

    Moira Callaghan said: Liverpool used to be in Lancashire. Cheese.

    Barry Sarath said: Best thing about Lancashire... it forms a natural barrier between us and Yorkshire!

    11:10: Delays in Warrington Harriet Gulliver BBC Radio Merseyside

    There are delays on the Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington at Bridge Foot island in both directions.

    Get the latest with BBC Travel.

    11:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A new online tool activated this morning now shows residents how their local police force is performing and Merseyside and Cheshire are rated as good.

    10:53: Body in the boot concerns Warrington Guardian

    Serious concerns have been raised over a Cheshire Police decision to unconditionally bail the 'body in the boot' killer - two weeks before he beat his estranged wife to death in a sadistic attack.

    10:46: Attempted murder arrest

    A man has been arrested for attempted murder in Widnes after a 25-year-old was injured in a shooting in October, say Cheshire Police.

    The shooting happened at a property on St Michael′s View, Widnes on 15 October.

    A 19-year-old man has also been charged possession of a shotgun and possession of a firearm with intent and will appear at Halton Magistrates' Court later.

    10:39: Sefton job losses? Southport Visiter
    10:33: Arouna Kone return? BBC Sport

    Everton could include Arouna Kone in their squad for tonight's Europa league game at Wolfsburg.

    Arouna Kone

    The striker hasn't played a first team game for over 12 months because of a serious knee injury.

    10:22: Men bailed over indecent images

    Thirteen men arrested on suspicion of uploading and distributing indecent images of children in morning raids across Cheshire have been bailed, say Cheshire Police.

    Computers and other devices owned by the men, aged between 20 and 68, were also seized in the raids.

    10:10: Talking mischief Helen Jones BBC Radio Merseyside

    After seeing the video of a two-year-old Tallulah cutting her fringe off to stop it getting in her eyes - I want to know what mischief your kids have got up to.

    Or 'fess up to what you got up to as a youngster.

    Call 0151 709 9333 or text 81333 with Mersey before your text or send your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    10:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Thirteen men arrested in Cheshire by detectives investigating indecent child image distribution have been now been released on bail.

    Several homes across the region were raided and forensic teams are now examining computers and other devices with internet access.

    09:50: Murder trail in Thailand Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A man's due to stand trial in Thailand later charged with the murder of a Darren Taylor from Liverpool.

    James Durnan is accused of pushing Mr Taylor, who had lived in Thailand for three years, from a sixth-floor balcony in Bangkok in June last year.

    09:41: Sefton Park Meadows BBC Radio Merseyside

    Campaigners in Liverpool are welcoming the news that an independent panel will review plans to build houses on Sefton Park Meadows.

    Sefton Park
    09:26: Road closure in Birkenhead BBC Radio Merseyside

    Conway Street, Birkenhead is closed both ways due to an accident at Park Road East/Victoria Street.

    Get the latest with BBC Travel.

    09:20: Celebrating Lancashire Day Lynette Horsburgh BBC News

    It's Lancashire Day and Tony Snell is asking what is your favourite Lancashire people, places and things.

    Blackpool Illuminations

    Mine are butter pies and Blackpool Illuminations!

    Get in touch with yours on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    09:05: Everton charged by FA BBC Sport

    Everton and West Ham have been charged by the Football Association over their players not "conducting themselves in an orderly fashion".

    James McCarthy and Winston Reid

    Players from both sides started pushing each other during their Premier League game on 22 November, which the Toffees won 2-1.

    Everton's James McCarthy and West Ham's Winston Reid were both booked for their parts in the first-half altercation.

    08:58: news on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Cheshire Police says a new online tool - that will show residents how their force is performing - is a fair deal for taxpayers.

    Crime figures, as well as data on value for money, are being made available on the HMIC website from 09:30.

    08:50: Project 'creates 360 new jobs' Liverpool Echo

    An independent report estimates the proposed regeneration of Anfield will directly create 360 new jobs and give Liverpool's economy a £14.5m annual boost.

    08:42: Traffic headlines Jenny Summers BBC Radio Merseyside

    There is queuing traffic on the Formby by-pass southbound between the Liverpool Road junction in Formby and the Green Lane junction in Liverpool.

    There are also queues at the Runcorn Widnes Bridge in both directions due to road works.

    08:35: Payback scheme Marc Gaier BBC Radio Merseyside

    I've been to a scheme in Kensington giving women offenders the chance to pay back their debt to society.

    Community payback

    They take part in gardening projects or help out at food banks. They are also given employment advice.

    Its being led by Adelaide House - which houses women under community orders or who've been released from prison on licence.

    08:22: Lancashire Day Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    It's Lancashire Day and I want your favourite places, people or things. Tell me what the county or Lancastrians ever done for us?

    I'll start, Chorley Cakes!

    Listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

    08:14: Train delays Jenny Summers BBC Radio Merseyside

    There's a replacement bus service running on Northern Rail between Liverpool Lime Street and Wigan North Western due to an "operating incident" at Bryn.

    This is delaying journey times by up to 20 minutes with disruption expected until around 17:00.

    08:07: Murky and cloudy Charlie Slater Weather Presenter, BBC

    It is another largely cloudy and rather murky day for most, with outbreaks of light rain or drizzle.

    Charlie Slater

    However, the odd brighter spell may develop at times, especially around the Wirral and Southport.

    Maximum Temperature: 9C (48F).

    08:00: News on the hour Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'll have more on people across Merseyside and Cheshire being able to go online to see how their police forces are performing, as a new internet tool goes live.

    From 09:30, figures on crime and anti-social behaviour will be on the HMIC website.

    08:00: Good morning Lynette Horsburgh BBC News

    I'm here to bring you the news, sport, weather and travel from around Merseyside.

    If you'd like to share your pictures and comments, you can email, Facebook or Twitter



Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out


  • A model with a projection mapped onto her faceClick Watch

    Face hacking - how to use a computer to turn your face into a work of digital art

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.