SILENCE WAS BEST TRIBUTE TO TRAGIC 96
DID anyone else feel uncomfortable about the Hillsborough disaster being marked by a minute’s applause during last weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals?
Generally, I’ve got nothing against clapping. It is harder to sabotage, less prone to accidental interruption. And it is often more appropriate to the person who has died.
You don’t want a minute’s silence for George Best, for instance. He revelled in his talent and he revelled in his fame. Though alcohol took everything he had, he regretted nothing and begged no sympathy. His was a life to celebrate. You don’t want a minute’s silence for Tom Finney either. He was 91 when he died, his time richly spent. That day at Deepdale was a chance to express gratitude for his service and admiration for his brilliance, not mourn the death of an old man. His, too, was a life to celebrate.
But the deaths of 96 people, many of them teenagers, killed in the most awful way thanks to the incompetence of police who then tried to blame them for it? Families destroyed, marriages wrecked, futures snuffed out?
If the relatives of those involved think differently, I apologise. But to me there is nothing to celebrate about that. It’s why I stayed silent at Wembley last week