Hillsborough author’s thanks to Leeds United fans

12 April 1987. Leeds United players Neil Aspin and goalkeeper Mervyn Day try unsuccessfully to block a shot from Coventry City substitute Micky Gynn (out of picture) in the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough.

12 April 1987. Leeds United players Neil Aspin and goalkeeper Mervyn Day try unsuccessfully to block a shot from Coventry City substitute Micky Gynn (out of picture) in the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough.

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The author of a new book about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has thanked Leeds United fans for the overwhelming response they gave to his request for memories of a match at the stadium two years earlier.

Mike Nicholson appealed in 2014 to speak to Leeds supporters who were stood on the terraces behind the goal at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s home ground during an FA Cup Semi-final against Coventry City in April 1987.

He hoped they would shed light on what it was like for supporters in the central pens of the stand two years before the country’s biggest sporting disaster took place.

Mr Nicholson said prior to 1987 the ground had not been used for an FA Cup semi-final since 1981, when Spurs fans suffered crushing injuries during the game. Lateral fences were introduced on the Leppings Lane stand in the six years, splitting it into individual pens.

His book, The Hillsborough Disaster in Their Own words, has now been published by Amberley Publishing and is available from Amazon, WHSmith and Waterstones.

Mr Nicholson: “I was overwhelmed with the many hundreds of emails I received from Leeds United fans, and disturbed by the tales of severe over-crowding they experienced.

“I cannot thank those who took the time to write enough for their help and support. It was not possible to include every story, that would be a book in itself, but some of those Leeds United words appear in the new book.”

In April, an inquest jury ruled that the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989 were unlawfully killed.

One hundred per cent of the royalties from the book will be donated to the Alder Hey Childrens Hospital in Liverpool. More information is available at www.facebook.com/hillsboroughbook.

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