Socialist Worker

‘More Hillsborough fans could have survived with better medical care’

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2423

A former police officer who was on duty during the Hillsborough football disaster has said more fans could have survived with better medical attention.

Some 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush at the Sheffield stadium in April 1989. 

Former officer Alison Schofield gave evidence at fresh inquests into their deaths on Thursday of last week and Monday of this week. 

Schofield was a registered general nurse and a registered midwife when she joined the police in 1987. 

Mr George, representing 22 families of the dead, referred to injured fans being transported across the pitch on their backs on advertising hoardings.

He asked her if this could mean they went “from being alive and potentially survivable at the point when they are picked up to being beyond recovery by the time they got the gym?”

Schofield replied, “That’s correct. Yes.”

She also described transporting a boy “that we resuscitated” across the pitch and staying with him until he left in an ambulance.

Schofield agreed that she could see that at least one fan who was trapped in a pen had already died when she arrived on the pitch. 

But under questioning on Monday she said, “It would be difficult to say whether they were actually dead at the time.”

Lillyan Sosnowski, another former officer, also gave evidence to the inquests. She said it was difficult to pull fans out partly because an exit gate at the front of the pens was so narrow.

Andrew Waters questioned Sosnowski on behalf of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. 

He confirmed that the gate to pen four was “77cm wide and that the guide at the time required it to be 110cm wide. So it was 33cm too narrow.”

Waters said the “real problem” in evacuating fans was the number of fans in the pen.

The inquests continue.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.