Magilton on Hillsborough 20 Years On

Last updated : 15 April 2009 By Site Editor

Magilton was with the Liverpool side for the FA Cup Semi Final that took place on 15th April when the disaster happened, and says that following the disaster there should be no return to terracing in English Football.

"It was a traumatic day and something that I will never forget." Magilton told the Official Club Website this afternoon.

"When the fans first started climbing the fences and going on to the pitch I thought it was overspill and would calm down.

"I went down into the players' lounge with the other lads and we started watching the scenes on the TV and we couldn't believe what we were watching.

"It was meant to be a football match but there were people ripping down the hoardings and using them as stretchers. There were bodies on the pitch and ambulances arriving. It was devastating.

"It was surreal watching it all unfold in front of us. I struggled to take it all in and I couldn't understand why it was happening.

"Liverpool Football Club opened its gates as a kind of sanctuary for the supporters and there wasn't anyone involved with the club who wasn't affected by that day and the aftermath. The place was awash with flowers and tears.

"I was playing in the reserves for Liverpool and some of the supporters who used to come and watch us play died on that day.

"The players and staff attended memorial services in the city and further afield. I went to Belfast to represent the club at a memorial service there. I was only 20 and it was a daunting occasion.

"There were thousands of fans there and it struck me then what a massive club Liverpool are and how many people had been affected by the tragedy.

"You only have to listen to the likes of Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson and Kenny Dalglish speak about the disaster as they have done this week to realise how it affected the players and staff at the Club as well.

"It's a day that will never be forgotten and while I can understand supporters saying that you lose some of the atmosphere with all seater stadiums, the lessons of Hillsborough should never be forgotten. You don't lose lives at football matches and if that means all seater stadiums then that's the way it should stay.

"We had a reminder of what can happen in the Ivory Coast recently when fans were killed in a crush at a game and I don't think the authorities should contemplate any changes to the guidelines we have in our stadia now."

Click here for a photo gallery of fans at the Hillsborough Memorial taking place this afternoon.