My Father : GEORGE ALEXANDER SMITH
As he put his coat on to go to the game I asked if I could go with him, he laughed as he pointed out that my two older brothers weren't going with him as it was too big a match, he turned and kissed us all goodbye. He was off to meet up with his brother John and his brother in law Alex. It was the usual after the New Year plenty of presents for us all still to play with and my brother's birthday the next day.
The weather was foggy and cold. As the day went on it didn't seem any different from any other. At about ten to five a news flash interrupted the T.V. there had been an accident at Ibrox that's all it said no mention of the scale just some people had been injured, my brothers immediately pointed out that the picture that had been flashed up on the screen was not of Ibrox something that STV was very good at. My mother looked worried but not concerned, as time moved on though she did, usually he would go to the pub after the game but on this night they had arranged to go to the golf club dance, she started to get worried why hadn¹t he called, she started to call round his friends and family but no one had heard from any of them that were at the match.
It was now getting late and you could tell there was something not right just by my mothers expressions, she was on the phone constantly. We lived at that time in a high rise flat 14th floor up at Tarfside Oval. Above our living room was the landing that lead to the lift, I remember a loud noise a lot of people walking along it at the same time then the door bell went my brother Stephen went up the stairs to answer it, I was sitting in the livingroom with my other brother George people were coming down the stairs my mum screamed then George screamed tears were streaming down their cheeks, I couldn't understand what was going on.
My father and his brother and brother in law were standing at the Rangers end it was 1-0 to Celtic near the final whistle then Rangers scored jubilantly they made their was to the to of the terracing at stairway 13, as they got nearer the top they could feel the crowd getting tighter. People behind pushing them on and over the top of the stairs, worried looks on people as if they knew there was something wrong, over they went being forced by the weight behind them, it seemed that they were about half way down the stairs, John was now lifted off his feet, Alex had managed somehow to get over the fence which was at the side of the stairs, my dad pushed John up and over towards the fence people were pulling each other over the fence, as John got over he looked out on the sea of faces it was obvious that people were dead,he turned to look for his brother George as he reached for him he saw him swept away with the force of the crowd, screaming at him he saw his brother,my father die, upright. The life squeezed from him.
As my fathers family made their way to my house, they went to my grans house first, my mothers mother, who lived across the street. In there were my mothers brothers who had been waiting to go to the golf club dance. When she answered the door my uncles said that they had lost George at Ibrox he was dead.
It was decided that my mother's brothers would come over and tell us the news. On the way they met two policemen who were about to come over and they said that they would break the news to their sister, the police looked relieved, who wouldn't be, that was the crowd of people who came to the door that night, my fathers brothers couldn't move with shock who could blame them.
Anger followed this that a stairway on which had already had deaths could be left to kill so many, on the same stairway in September 1961 two were killed, then on September 1967 eight were injured and again on 2nd of January 1969 twenty-four were injured.
At that time we lived in house 66 on the 14 floor although you had to walk down to our livingroom on the 13th floor. My father was born on the 14th of August, was killed on the 13th stair and was one of 66 killed.
This is to the memory of all 66 who were killed and to the scars of the 145 injured
Craig Smith, Livingston