ADAM HAMMILL says there have been very mixed emotions this week for Town’s band of Liverpudlians.
Hammill was just over a year old on April 15, 1989, the date of the Hillsborough disaster, but he has lived with the aftermath of it throughout his childhood, teens and now adult years.
One of the 96 Liverpool fans who died – 10-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the youngest victim – was a cousin of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and therefore related to his cousin, Town central defender Anthony, who could make his first League start for the club against Derby County today.
Wolves loan man Hammill, Gerrard and fellow Scouser Calum Woods have followed the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report into the events at the FA Cup semi-final 23 years ago very closely indeed.
It’s been a sobering issue alongside the excitement of Town’s return to Championship action after the international break.
Hammill, naturally, has strong views on the subject.
“Anthony Gerrard has a relative, the youngest person who died there, so it’s tough for him, and those of us who drive in were all talking about it with very mixed emotions,” said the 24-year-old wideman.
“The people of Liverpool knew the truth all along and for it to finally come out, it’s 23 years too late really.
“There have been a lot of cover-ups and we’ve been labelled with a reputation we didn’t deserve or warrant.
“The people who did that should hang their heads in shame.
“The apologies are too late, but it shows the character of Liverpool to come through this. Whether you support Liverpool or you are Evertonian, everyone has united and stuck together to try and get through it and to get the justice.”
The report revealed a police cover-up had taken place which had intended to shift blame for the disaster to the victims themselves.
The ground did not have a valid safety certificate at the time of the match. The FA and Sheffield Wednesday football club, who staged the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, have apologised, along with South Yorkshire police, ambulance service and others associated with events on the day.
“I had family friends there and people who I know,” added Hammill.