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Glenconner

Ibrox Disaster 1971....Were you there?

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It's coming close to the 45th anniversary of the disaster.

There was probably close on 80,000 people in Ibrox that afternoon.

Other than myself, were any other forum members there that January day 45 years ago?

Of the match i can only remember the final couple of minutes ie the goals.

The same spot as always at the corner flag just under the cover.

I remember it being foggy and probably more than a hour later going by the front door of Ibrox and wondering why there was blue lights everywhere including fire engines.

Take it the M8 hadn't been built.

There was no radio on the supporters bus so the first news was when the supporters bus arrived back at the pick up point and a crowd was waiting.

Even the crowd seemed unsure, possibly a fight?

And the figure of 66 dead hadn't happened yet, folks were talking in single figures.

I take it anybody who was there that day would now be in their 50s or older.

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I was there on that tragic day. I left the game along with my mate with 5 minutes remaining so missed the actual crush, although we always left the ground by stairway 13. It was horrible, dismal day weather wise, freezing fog. Walking along Paisley Road West we saw an ambulance speeding by, at the time we though it was trouble between fans but shortly after another 2 ambulances and police cars speed on towards the ground.

It was when we got to Partick that we heard that there were 2 fatalities but no one had any idea of the full gravity of what was happening at this time. We both went home to be met by very concerned parents as both of us had brothers at the game, thankfully they were all ok.

I was a good friend of one of the victims, Robert Mullholland who, like the many of the 66 was only a teenager at the time, 16 years of age. May the 66 rest in peace.

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That BBC documentary on at the 30th anniversary was incredibly moving - all those kids from Fife who were victims.

I remember being kind of haunted by the words of one of their mums - a German woman - for ages afterwards; as well as by the words of a survivor whose last memory of his dad was hearing his panic stricken shouts for his son.

Bloody awful.

Edited by Monkey Tennis

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Thanks for that youngsy.

Years later i found out a local lad nearby had died in the disaster.

Although i didn't personally know the family so i won't go into names.

In the mid 1990s i became a neighbour to another couple who'd lost a teenage son in the disaster.

In passing the subject came up and i mentioned being at the game.

The lady has passed away herself now a number of years but i always look back and think that this poor mother had never received any bereavement counselling in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Basically the parents recieved £3000 in compensation and were left to it.

Time healed eff all for that poor woman.

All so sad.

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It's coming close to the 45th anniversary of the disaster.

There was probably close on 80,000 people in Ibrox that afternoon.

Other than myself, were any other forum members there that January day 45 years ago?

Of the match i can only remember the final couple of minutes ie the goals.

The same spot as always at the corner flag just under the cover.

I remember it being foggy and probably more than a hour later going by the front door of Ibrox and wondering why there was blue lights everywhere including fire engines.

Take it the M8 hadn't been built.

There was no radio on the supporters bus so the first news was when the supporters bus arrived back at the pick up point and a crowd was waiting.

Even the crowd seemed unsure, possibly a fight?

And the figure of 66 dead hadn't happened yet, folks were talking in single figures.

I take it anybody who was there that day would now be in their 50s or older.

Both my grandads attended the game , my granny on my dads side told me about the panic amongst many of the wives at the time with obviously no updates around like today , or mobile phones , ended up with a lot of the wives waiting on the supporters busses parking up at whichever pub they usually stopped at waiting to check their husbands and sons and so on had made it back , many who were still oblivious to the severity of the situation which had taken place

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That BBC documentary on at the 30th anniversary was incredibly moving - all those kids from Fife who were victims.

I remember being kind of haunted by the words of one of their mums - a German woman - for ages afterwards; as well as by the words of a survivor whose last memory of his dad was hearing his panic stricken shouts for his son.

Bloody awful.

Yeh i remember the documentary and the German woman.

Her words ate into you.

Read a report today online from a survivor.

The report was dated 2004.

Harrowing stuff.

The chap never went to another game for 18 years.

Even stranger was he'd never met any of the other 145 survivors who were hospitalisd in all the years afterwards.

Surprising over the years how few people i've met that were at the game considering at least half the 80,000 crowd must have under say 30 years of age.

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Both my grandads attended the game , my granny on my dads side told me about the panic amongst many of the wives at the time with obviously no updates around like today , or mobile phones , ended up with a lot of the wives waiting on the supporters busses parking up at whichever pub they usually stopped at waiting to check their husbands and sons and so on had made it back , many who were still oblivious to the severity of the situation which had taken place

That was memory i have of the crowd waiting.

And being a big scheme pub there supporters busses from both sides.

Can remember the voices on the bus saying "what's happened here".

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Is the story true of jock stein getting tore into a reporter who asked him "if he was disappointed at losing a goal so quickly after taking the lead" true?

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The woman you speak of persuaded her husband to let their 13 year old son attend the match as a reward for doing well in school, his dad did not want to let him go and she spoke in said documentary of how that has haunted her all her days, poor woman, absolutely heartbreaking to watch her talk about it

My dad was at the match, in the Celtic end obviously, and said how, in the days before multi news and sports channels and the internet he and many others knew nothing till they got a newspaper the following day.

What is just as big a tragedy is that no lessons were learned outwith Ibrox regarding stadium safety and it took the loss of nearly 150 lives at Bradford and Hillsborough before the majority of death trap stadiums were made safe

I will be honest I have grown up throughout the late 90s and so on , so my experience of football grounds have always been of the seated and safely designed stadiums we have today and I will admit as a young guy I find the sight of old terracings mesmerising and would love to have experienced it , one of the things I have enjoyed about us being in the lower leagues is getting the chance to sample some of the old terracings at grounds around the country and have discussed it with my old man who says for all the great experiences it gave their were some genuinley terrifying ones aswell , he said there was a few times as a younger guy he felt his feet being swepped off the ground and some crushing Edited by forever_blue

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Something i came across today online threw me.

I was always under the impression the disaster happened immediately after the final whistle.

Yet i now see that up to ten minutes might have passed until the disaster happened.

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Something i came across today online threw me.

I was always under the impression the disaster happened immediately after the final whistle.

Yet i now see that up to ten minutes might have passed until the disaster happened.

The common story was that it was due to many Rangers fans leaving after celtic had scored so late on to take the lead only to turn round after hearing the roar from Rangers equaliser

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I will be honest I have grown up throughout the late 90s and so on , so my experience of football grounds have always been of the seated and safely designed stadiums we have today and I will admit as a young guy I find the sight of old terracings mesmerising and would love to have experienced it , one of the things I have enjoyed about us being in the lower leagues is getting the chance to sample some of the old terracings at grounds around the country and have discussed it with my old man who says for all the great experiences it gave their were some genuinley terrifying ones aswell , he said there was a few times as a younger guy he felt his feet being swepped off the ground and some crushing

Regarding terracing, my father attended the 1939 New Year game that is given as the record attendance for Ibrox, 118,000.

You can add on another 10,000 schoolchildren that were probably lifted over the turnstiles.

He got into the ground okay but never got beyond the top of the stairs.

He ended up leaving along with plenty of others who never saw the pitch.

The saying was,

"A bob to get in and two bob to get out".

A bob (shilling) being 5p for you youngsters.

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There has been an urban myth about the crush being caused by leaving fans stopping or turning round when they heard the roar signalling Colin Stein's goal and subsequently the momentum of those already leaving caused the subsequent collapse and crush.

The Stairway 13 BBC docu spoke to two or three eyewitnesses/survivors who stated it happened a good ten mins or so after FT and was started simply by a young lad on his fathers shoulders falling and those behind him unable to stop their momentum and they fell over the two or three people in front of them, dozens behind tripped and fell which quickly became hundreds which horribly resulted in the ensuing tragedy

My memory might be failing but there didn't seem to be the same questioning that happens now amongst the general public compared say to the cleaning van in George Square or the Clutha disasters.

The neighbour who lost her son at Ibrox never once asked me about safety or the condition of the stairwell.

Yet i asked why did the van not stop or why the helicopter crashed at least 50 times each.

40+ years apart yet we question everything, quite rightly in my opinion.

Without looking at old photographs i remember railway sleepers at each side of the stairwell which stopped you escaping a crush.

Maybe our elders should have spoken out more back then.

Who knows.

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My older brother was at a UEFA cup game between Celtic and Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the mid 80's and he told of a horrendous crush in the away end with the Celtic fans hoarded into a penned section completely fenced in with far too many people in it, think he was about 16 at the time and he said in later years it was eerily similar to what would subsequently happen at Hillsborough in 1989, think there were a few injuries, broken ribs etc that night but no fatalaties.

Ibrox, Hillsborough and Bradford were all accidents waiting to happen in an era when clubs just wanted to cram as many people in as possible with no regard to comfort or safety

Think the penning system in England was orginally a safety feature all be it a cheap and nasty one.

Which appeared after the Ibrox disaster.

Theory was so many safely in each pen and it stops movement across the terracing.

Nobody thought to ask, what if you lose control of the crowd?

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My memory might be failing but there didn't seem to be the same questioning that happens now amongst the general public compared say to the cleaning van in George Square or the Clutha disasters.

The neighbour who lost her son at Ibrox never once asked me about safety or the condition of the stairwell.

Yet i asked why did the van not stop or why the helicopter crashed at least 50 times each.

40+ years apart yet we question everything, quite rightly in my opinion.

Without looking at old photographs i remember railway sleepers at each side of the stairwell which stopped you escaping a crush.

Maybe our elders should have spoken out more back then.

Who knows.

I think it is the same reason for most things back then , we have culturally changed , the same reason that there was more laid back approach to drink driving , not wearing seat belts etc. so my basic answer and guess is culturally we have changed , let's not forget a lot of these elders will most likely have lived through the war and brought up in a different sort of enviroment we are used to I.e the old fashioned tenements pre and post war upbringing for example where health and safety rules were never really an important issue .

I know the point I am trying to make here but I don't think I have got it across well here

Edited by forever_blue

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I will be honest I have grown up throughout the late 90s and so on , so my experience of football grounds have always been of the seated and safely designed stadiums we have today and I will admit as a young guy I find the sight of old terracings mesmerising and would love to have experienced it , one of the things I have enjoyed about us being in the lower leagues is getting the chance to sample some of the old terracings at grounds around the country and have discussed it with my old man who says for all the great experiences it gave their were some genuinley terrifying ones aswell , he said there was a few times as a younger guy he felt his feet being swepped off the ground and some crushing

Just to point out the disaster happened on a stairwell not on the actual terracing.

If i could grant you a wish, it would be to pick any major game from the past and let you see terracing in all its glory.

It was dangerous, smelly and everything that was wrong about health and safety.

It was also whatever you think it was like multiplied by a hundred.

You'd have loved it.

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That BBC documentary on at the 30th anniversary was incredibly moving - all those kids from Fife who were victims.

I remember being kind of haunted by the words of one of their mums - a German woman - for ages afterwards; as well as by the words of a survivor whose last memory of his dad was hearing his panic stricken shouts for his son.

Bloody awful.

The lady was the mother of 13 year old Peter Easton, one of the five young lads from Markinch, Fife who lost their lives that day.

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I think it is the same reason for most things back then , we have culturally changed , the same reason that there was more laid back approach to drink driving , not wearing seat belts etc. so my basic answer and guess is culturally we have changed , let's not forget a lot of these elders will most likely have lived through the war and brought up in a different sort of enviroment we are used to I.e the old fashioned tenements pre and post war upbringing for example where health and safety rules were never really an important issue .

I know the point I am trying to make here but I don't think I have got it across well here

The point is a sensible one.

The term 'Health and Safety' is usually used as a pejorative these days.

We're actually fortunate that there's such a fixation with it though. Those with responsibility for the safety of others are now more accountable,which is a good thing.

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I think it is the same reason for most things back then , we have culturally changed , the same reason that there was more laid back approach to drink driving , not wearing seat belts etc. so my basic answer and guess is culturally we have changed , let's not forget a lot of these elders will most likely have lived through the war and brought up in a different sort of enviroment we are used to I.e the old fashioned tenements pre and post war upbringing for example where health and safety rules were never really an important issue .

I know the point I am trying to make here but I don't think I have got it across well here

We know what you mean young in.

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I believe in what was an excellent thread on pie and bovril which was filled with old pictures of scottish stadiums over the years there was a picture of tannadice from years back where part of the stand was still being built and there was a what looked like a very quickly put together makeway staircase put in place for the fans to get into the stand which was not fully built yet . When I seen I thought it was an excellent reference to show just how the attitude to health and safety nowadays is night and day to how it was back then

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