Shankly Got It Wrong

Last updated : 02 January 2003 By Grandmaster Suck
One of the rare occasions when Bill Shankly got it wrong was when he said that football "wasn't a matter of life and death, it's more important than that." The loss of 66 people in January 1971 made a mockery of that, and the multiple deaths at Heysel, Bradford and at Hillsborough Stadiums in their turn all brought back bitter memories which would have been better left undisturbed for many of our supporters.

Willie Waddell is said to have pointed to the re-built Ibrox stadium itself, when asked about a memorial to those who lost their lives that day. Many of us take Ibrox for granted, but it is a truly magnificent Stadium, befitting a Club with real history and roots, even though now these are being sadly neglected.

As for myself, the effect on my family were profound, even though none of us were directly affected. My Dad, Uncle and the three friends who went to almost every game missed the events on Stairway 13 by minutes. They came home like many others knowing nothing of what had gone on that day, having used that very exit on the way out. These events were never discussed, but all of us, even us kids, knew what was left unsaid.

Words seem trite, cheap almost, when remembering what happened on the 2nd January 1971 but the Club's long-overdue decison to involve the families of those who died that day should be welcomed all the same. It should be enough to say we remember them, we will always try to remember them and to remind others to do the same.