27 years on and the closing of one chapter in the story of the survivors and the grievers from the Hillsborough tragedy where 96 football fans lost their lives. Can I imagine what it must have been like to persistently seek truth and justice for so long? Hardly.
I wasn't there. I remember trying to contact my friends who were to see if they were OK. It was pre-mobile phones, so not an easy task and a frightening few hours. I was at the Final ... the second all Merseyside FA Cup Final. Undoubtedly one of the most moving football occasions of my life. 100,000 football fans united in grief.
Today, following yesterday's verdict of unlawful killing, I'm simply grateful to God for my life over the past 27 years, for the privilege of a wife and family who could have grown up telling the story of a dad they never knew. It could have been me. It could have been any number of us. I'm not getting over dramatic, as I didn't even attempt to get a ticket that day, but I always stood on there terraces ... sitting in a seat was no way to watch a football match! I know what it's like to be herded like an animal by the police viewing anyone with a scarf round their neck as a hooligan, but today I'm simply grateful ... and prayerful for those who feel they've had their hopes and dreams robbed.