Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.
HI Brendan. I went to the FA Cup semi-final with Leeds at Hillsborough in 1987 and was in the Leppings Lane End. there were overcrowding problems that day, were the players aware of anything?
Dave Smith, Beeston.
I WASN’T actually aware of anything on that day, I’ve got to admit. We just knew it was a sell-out – the semi-final of the FA Cup against Coventry – and Leeds always used to have loads of fans going everywhere, so it was always going to be packed.
There may have been a delay to kick-off because of the crowd, I can’t quite remember. I know it was on TV as well, but from what I recall, it didn’t go out live but was on a bit later.
When you are playing, you never think something like a crush is going to happen. At any rate, your mind is just concentrating on the match. If you look at the crowd in a game like that, you just think: ‘Great, what a big crowd and what a game to play in’.
Hillsborough was so tragic. In the 1980s when people came on to the pitch, it was usually hooligans and it maybe took the players a while to understand what was going on.
Back then, the fences were there to stop people from running on to the pitch. But unfortunately, that contributed to what happened in 1989 with a lot of the deaths being fans stuck against the fences and not being able to get out.
Hillsborough was a terrible day for football. I remember on the day, there was a game at Elland Road, although I wasn’t playing as I was injured.
I was in one of the hospitality suites having a coffee and then all the stuff started to come through on the news. At first, everyone thought it was a riot, but then it started to filter through what really happened.
When you first heard about people dying, it just brought home how awful the situation was.
It was a terrible day for the families and for the two sets of teams involved. People go to watch matches and you expect to see them again after the game and have a moan about the result and all that. For some to go to a game and not come home afterwards is just unbelievable.
With the terraces, there were some big crowds and packed ends in the 1970s and 1980s.
I used to watch Aston Villa in those days and it was nearly all standing. The Holte End there was massive; it was just like bank after bank, while I’ve been at the Witton End and it used to get packed as well.
I remember my brothers used to carry me and lift me up and the ends were jam-packed.
If you think about it now, you can see why crushes would happen.
But fortunately, in those days, there were no fences.