Hillsborough: Roger Marshall sorry for 'misleading' inquests

Roger Marshall Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests
Image caption Footage of Roger Marshall at the Leppings Lane end turnstiles was shown as part of his evidence

A former superintendent who served at Hillsborough has apologised after discovering part of the evidence he gave to the inquests was incorrect.

Roger Marshall testified on 2 and 8 October that he policed 27,500 fans at a rugby league match at the ground on 26 December 1989 with 12 officers.

The court was told he was not at the tie and it was not held in Sheffield.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Marshall offered "an unreserved apology for misleading the court".

Ninety-six fans died following a crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Sheffield ground on 15 April 1989.

Giving evidence on 2 October, the jury heard Mr Marshall explain he was match commander for a rugby league match between Wigan and St Helens on Boxing Day 1989, which he said was held at Hillsborough.

Mr Marshall compared that match with the FA Cup semi-final, in which 801 police officer were on duty - 38% of the force's manpower at the time.

"It might interest you to know that on Boxing Day the same year Wigan and St Helens played at Hillsborough [and] 27,500 people came to that game," he said.

"Do you know, I policed that game, I policed it with 12 policemen."

'Erroneous evidence'

On 8 October, he was asked how he had policed that game with only 12 officers with "no public order problems".

The former superintendent said: "It is a family game, family people, no problem."

He also remarked how "it can't be said of rugby league that it is some upper middle-class dilettante sport" and that "just as with some football supporters" those who go to watch rugby league "like a beer as well".

The 1989 Boxing Day game between Wigan and St Helens actually took place in Greater Manchester - at Wigan's then home ground, Central Park.

In a statement read to the court on Tuesday, Mr Marshall said: "It has been brought to my attention that... I gave erroneous evidence in that: 1. I did not police the Wigan-St Helens game on 26 December 1989 and 2. That game was not played at Hillsborough.

"I offer my unreserved apology for misleading the court. I am embarrassed and distressed that I made this mistake."

The inquests, being held in Warrington, have now adjourned until 3 November.

Who were the 96 victims?

Image copyright other

BBC News: Profiles of all those who died

Related Internet links

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