No Ordinary Saturday

As it turned out, the 15th April 1989 was the last occasion that the two FA Cup semi-finals were scheduled to be played simultaneously on a Saturday afternoon.  I didn’t go to a match that day. I had recently bought my first house and with the arrival of spring had a lot to do in the garden. I booked a skip which arrived shortly before eight o’clock. I started work and, with the help of my father, worked methodically until he left shortly after three o’clock. This seemed like a good time to break for a cup of tea and a sandwich. I switched on the television to catch up with the football. The first news was that fans had invaded the pitch and caused the Liverpool-Forest tie to be suspended.

‘Bloody idiots’ I said to myself.

The updates came thick and fast. Within five minutes I had mentally retracted my initial judgement. I sat and watched as the scale of the disaster unfolded. Before five o’clock the horror of it all was clear. A chilly breeze lifted the net curtain. My tea had gone cold. My sandwich was untouched. The mess in the garden was suddenly unimportant.          

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