Burnley full-back Michael Duff’s ‘disgust’ over Hillsborough report
ONE of Burnley’s longest serving players, who was present at the Hillsborough disaster, has spoken of his ‘disgust’ at the length of time it has taken for information about the tragedy to be released.
Full-back Michael Duff, who at the time was an 11-year-old schoolboy player for Nottingham Forest, was in the crowd in Sheffield in April 1989.
The Northern Ireland international, who has played 233 times for the Clarets, grew up in Bedale, North Yorks. He was taken to the game in Sheffield to see Forest play Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final as a treat by his dad John.
Michael, 33, said: “It was the first big game I’d ever attended so I was excited. But then we noticed Liverpool fans climbing over the fence and the situation just grew out of control.
“Shortly after the game was stopped there was a Liverpool fan right in front of us trying to rip away an advertising board to use as a makeshift stretcher.
"He was crying and screaming to us that he had five brothers with him and that he couldn’t find any of them. It was then we started to see lifeless bodies being carried across the pitch.”
Michael and his dad left the ground at around 3.30pm. “It was miles away before we could find a phone box without massive queues to tell my mum we were safe,” he said.
As a result of the crush that day, 96 Liverpool fans died.
Michael added that he was relieved that yesterday saw the disclosure of information about the disaster and attempts to deflect the blame on to fans.
He said: “It’s disgusting it’s taken this long for the families of those innocent people who lost their lives to get this information.