North East Wales

Hillsborough conclusion: Inquest 'has not brought closure'

John Davies

A man who survived the Hillsborough football disaster which left 96 people dead has said the inquest conclusion of unlawful killing cannot bring him closure after 27 years.

John Davies was in the Sheffield stadium when police failures at the turnstiles led to a fatal crush.

Mr Davies also thinks although the truth has been heard, they have still "not had the justice".

He suffered three broken ribs and spent two days in hospital.

'Almighty surge'

Mr Davies, from Wrexham, told BBC Radio Wales he had been at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough stadium on 15 April 1989 with a friend waiting for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest to start when the crush began.

"It started getting really bad and the next thing I can remember is there was one almighty surge and I went from three-quarters of the way up the terracing straight down to the front against the fence."

His friend, John, got out when the pen was opened, and Mr Davies remembers John shouting to him to make his way to the gate.

"I was just stuck there. You couldn't move your arms or anything. Later on there was a bit of a lull in the crush and I started dragging myself along the fence but then the crush came back," he said.

Image caption The 1989 match at Sheffield Wednesday's ground was called off six minutes after kick-off

As the pressure eased again, Mr Davies was making his way to the gate when he fell across steps and others fell on top of him.

He added: "It seemed as if I was there for an eternity. I was there for about 10 or 15 minutes until the crowd subsided and they managed to drag me out."

Despite his injuries, he said he was "one of the lucky ones".


Mr Davies said: "There was no way I was going to go to bed last night and wake up and forget about Hillsborough. It will always be there."

Asked if he had experienced survivor's guilt, he replied: "Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt. I have done for 27 years.

"You blame yourself. Some of the things I've seen that day, people dying around me, you think to yourself, 'I was looking after myself. Was there anything else I could have done to help somebody around me?'

"There wasn't, but in your dark periods, you still think, 'did I do something wrong?'

"Thankfully with the verdicts yesterday, all the fans that were in the Leppings Lane end were verified that they didn't do anything wrong."

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He said finally hearing the unlawful killing verdicts was "unbelievable... It was fantastic".

However, he continued: "We've always asked for truth and justice. I think the truth came out yesterday, but I don't personally think we've had the justice, so I think somebody should be made accountable for their actions on that day."

Two criminal investigations into the disaster and its aftermath are ongoing and could finish by the end of 2016.

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