The days after the disaster

Wednesday 14 April 1999 00:02
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Sunday 16 April 1989: Liverpool announce they will play no more games until the dead are buried. The FA's chief executive, Graham Kelly, says more seats and less terracing are needed at football grounds. Sepp Blatter, then the general secretary and the now president of Fifa, says that until grounds are improved "the prospects of them [English clubs] playing again in Europe have worsened."

Monday 17: In Liverpool, the 2pm radio news starts with a roll call of the dead. The 94 names (later to rise to 96) takes 12 minutes to read. The FA says that the question of a replay lies in Liverpool's hands. Derby and Spurs start dismantling fencing at their grounds. Others contemplate doing the same. Arsenal cancel their Tuesday match against Wimbledon, against the will of the FA.

Tuesday 18: Lord Justice Taylor visits Hillsborough. Lee Nichol, aged 14, dies of his injuries in hospital to take the death toll to 95.

Wednesday 19: The first bodies return to Liverpool. Southampton play the first First Division match since the disaster and draw 0-0 with Norwich. Manager Chris Nicholl says: "Winning and losing seems of little importance." The FA announces that Saturday's matches will start at 3.06pm.

Thursday 20: After a day of debate, Liverpool and Everton announce they will pull down fencing at their grounds.

Friday 21: The funerals of 14 victims take place in Liverpool. Queues at Anfield are half a mile long and it's estimated that 500,000 pilgrims have contributed to the blanket of flowers and scarves on the pitch.

Saturday 22: First Division matches (except Liverpool's game with Arsenal) go ahead. Liverpool comes to a halt at 3.06pm for a minute's silence.

Sunday 23: John Barnes pulls out the England squad to face Albania to attend fans' funerals.

Sunday 30: Liverpool play a friendly in Glasgow against Celtic, winning 4-0 and raising pounds 350,000 for the Hillsborough fund and then announce they will play the FA Cup replay against Forest. (The game eventually takes place on Sunday 7 May. Dalglish's side run out 3-1 winners. They go on to win an all Merseyside final 3-2).

Wednesday 3 May: Liverpool play their first competitive match since Hillsborough, against Everton at Goodison, in front of 45,000 people. The 0-0 scoreline is irrelevant. A banner in the Liverpool end reads: "The Kop thanks you all. We never walked alone."

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