Those of you who know me will know that I live and breath Liverpool Football Club. Of course, being a supporter involves cheering on your team, debating tactics with friends, talking about potential transfers et al. But supporting our team is a little different to most, it is about something bigger than the football. We have a responsibility to make our voices heard, to continue the pursuit for justice for 96 fans and their families, and never let those who perished at Hillsborough ever be forgotten.
For those of you who don’t know anything about what happened at Hillsborough, please click on this link: http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/history/history-html.htm
Please, please, please sign the Government petition to release all hidden documents that were part of the cover up. 22 years on, and parents don’t have justice for the deaths of their children, children for the deaths of their grandparents, friends for the death their friends.
As someone who has some sort of audience, like the script writer, the poet, the artist, I felt I had a responsibility to do my part to make sure that Hillsborough didn’t become abstract, that it was kept very real, and that the fight for justice, and the memory of those who perished was kept at the forefront of the minds of as many as possible. So in 2009, I wrote a piece to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragedy titled: Epitaph (for Hillsborough). Below is a performance of the piece, as well as the work’s program note.
[pullquote] [soundcloud id=’16894589′]
Epitaph (for Hillsborough) was written on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster, April 15 1989, in memory of the 96 victims. All of the victims were fans of Liverpool Football Club, the club I have supported since I was a young child.
The disaster unfolded in front of the BBC television cameras, and due to the importance of the match (FA Cup semi final), millions, including myself, witnessed it first hand, leaving a lasting impression in the public psyche.
Several features of the piece were determined by the tragedy. The length of the piece, around 7 minutes, represents the minutes of the game that were played that day (The match was abandoned after 6 minutes), and the 60 seconds of the work, where the band gently applaud, is a reference to the first match played after the tragedy, a European Cup semi final between AC Milan and Real Madrid.
After 6 minutes, the referee blew his whistle and all the players stood still where they were, both sets of fans applauded in memory of the perished, and the fans of AC Milan began singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, the anthem of Liverpool Football Club.
The work also features 96 strikes of the tubular bells, in memory of each person who lost their life.
Epitaph is dedicated to the 96 people who died that day, and to their families whose fight for justice is an inspiration to all.[/pullquote]