Sunday, 13 April 2014

From the silence.

21:28:00 Posted by Shaun Brookes , , , , 1 comment
This weekend, football grounds across the country have fallen silent to mark the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
On the car radio today, I listened to the names of all 96 supporters being read out before the Liverpool game and found myself, in the middle of Tesco car park with tears across my cheeks.
It is an emotive thing football. It brings entire communities out in uproar and drives hard divides between rival towns yet, once a year, all that tribal behaviour is put aside as we look back and remember the 96 fallen supporters.
Every year, I try to write some kind of poem about the event. Things that move me on the news and continue to move me for so many years later, I feel deserve to have poems written about them. Every year though, I fail at writing something I am happy with. I'm conscious that I have no real right to the subject matter other than the fact I'm a football fan and so, every year I move aside, leaving it to someone who can better capture the emotion of it all.
This year though, marks 25 years since the disaster and finally, after a huge wave of public support, things have started to move in the right direction- that is peace for the families and importantly, justice for the 96.
With all this in mind, and with the inquest getting under way then- I've decided to post my effort from this year. It clearly needs some sharpening up but, given that I've spent the last week trying to work out how to read Hamlet's soliloquy for an upcoming event- I've simply not had the clarity of mind to tackle such weighty tweaks.

Thanks for reading, and here's (enjoy is the wrong word) the poem.

A Warrington Inquiry

Has finally come around it seems
the slurs and poisons of two dozen years
the anguish. All the lies.
It is a mere dream that truth will out
So much evidence has little clout
Due to testiments from undrunk yobs
All suited still to uniform jobs -
(some writing for The Sun).
But hold this inquest- it is due
Not for us, not for them but for people who
Could have easily been in that Leppings End
If their team had made it happen.
If we'd put our passion there that day
The news would hone in on our family ways
We'd be freshly slurred and left in a haze
The terror. The bloody carnage.
But a warzone this was not- no way
Two teams the country loved watch play
In a neutral ground for their own safety
Just to watch it gives me shivers.
It's emotion running up my spine
from my deepest guts through my heart to mind
Every time- the tears well in my eyes
So, yes, justice must be seen.
Because every week I support my team
And whether in red, bright blue or green
It seems everyone's feeling the same.
There's no reason for it. No fan blame.
Whispered, cold faced decisions with no-ones name
Those on duty there daren't recall that game
When their memories differ from statements.
This is not just law its protection rackets
It's a cover up that had Margaret flapping
It's a bloody disgrace that they've still not cracked it
This is England's public shame.
We've had twenty five years of hard nosed scandal
Honest folk pursued as vandals,
Hooligans, thieving drunken
Animals. It just simply wasn't true.
For them and their loved ones, memorial's due
There's a plinth in Trafalgar Square would do
For they've fought and they've fought
and they've fought the law
They've put petitions in the PMs front door
They've been knocked back and hushed up and still
they've sought more. There's no number of red chiselled bricks
Can make up for the 96.
But in their name football understands
In the front rooms all across the land
Whether Cockney or Manc, whether Red or true Blue
Supporters seek truth. Only justice will do.



vicky ellis said...

That gave me shivers at the end. A great tribute to the fans and their tireless families, still looking for justice. Nicely done Shaun.