UK & World News

  • 29 May 2014, 23:05

Hillsborough Jury Shown 1981 Crush Footage

Footage of a near-fatal crush at the Hillsborough stadium years before the 1989 disaster has been shown at the inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans.

The jury was told 38 fans were injured during a similar crush at the 1981 FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On that occasion, the Tottenham fans were allocated the Leppings Lane terrace at the stadium, the same stand allocated to Liverpool fans in 1989.

The jury was told that in 1981, there was congestion at the Leppings Lane turnstiles, resulting in a gate being opened to allow fans into the ground.

The inquest heard the crush occurred as the crowd on the terraces surged forward when Spurs scored four minutes into the match.

The game was televised and the footage shown to the court included clips where stands can be seen behind the action on the pitch.

Six minutes into the game, fans are filmed climbing over the fence between the crowded stands and the pitch and sitting down behind the goal.

By the 11th minute, dozens of fans were sitting on the pitch with more still climbing the fence.

Two minutes later, St John Ambulance workers are seen carrying a stretcher along the sideline to help a spectator.

Half an hour into the game, so many fans had managed to escape the crush on the terraces they were lining the pitch behind the western goal and in front of the south stand.

At half-time, spectators ran across the pitch.

The jury was told perimeter fences were opened, allowing between 100 and 250 fans to leave the crowded terrace.

The inquest heard that following the near-tragedy, Hillsborough was not used for FA Cup semi-finals until 1987.

The jury was told that after 1981, consideration was given to whether the capacity for the stand, stated on the ground's safety certificate as 10,100, was too high.

Eight years later in a crush on the same terrace, after the same gate was opened to relieve congestion at the Leppings Lane turnstiles, 96 Liverpool fans died.

The inquests continue.

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