Letter to Julian Knight MP

Since the scenes of supporters rushing barriers, fighting and causing disruption before the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday 11 July, commentators have referenced similarities to what happened at Hillsborough. This is a completely false narrative and one that must be corrected.

On 14 July, the Chair of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Julian Knight MP appeared on the news again drawing untrue parallels.  Spirit of Shankly Chair, Joe Blott, has written to him asking that he apologise for his comments. Here is a copy of the letter.


Dear Mr Knight

I am writing on behalf of Spirit of Shankly, the recognised Liverpool FC supporters trust, and Liverpool fans across the world to express our disappointment and anger at your linking the events at Wembley on Sunday to those at Hillsborough in 1989. To quote you from Sky News on 14 July 2021 “the crush (on Sunday) was awfully reminiscent of Hillsborough”.

As you will be fully aware, the inquests into the deaths of 96 people in 2016 concluded that supporter behaviour played no part in those tragic deaths.

In fact, the unlawful killing of those individuals was confirmed to be a direct result of errors in:
Police planning
Police turnstile management
Terrace Police commander
Police commander opening gates
Stadium design
Stadium safety
Sheffield Wednesday planning
Stadium engineers
Police response
Ambulance response

Given these facts, it defies belief that you as Chair of the DCMS Select Committee would ignore these and continue with the ignorant, irresponsible and plainly untrue narrative that supporter behaviour was responsible for the events at Hillsborough.

You may also wish to read this BBC summary which dispels the myths about what happened at Hillsborough https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-35473732

We urge you to refrain from any further commentary linking Sunday’s events to Hillsborough and publicly apologise for having done so previously.

Yours sincerely

Joe Blott
Spirit of Shankly