On the 15th of April 1989 I woke as normal, went by train from Fazakerley Station to my workplace; HMV in Lord Street, Liverpool.
I was a semi regular attender of matches; turn up and pay on the door, go to the occasional semi final, the occasional final, I don't recall tickets ever being hard to come by.
My two younger brothers didn't go to work that day. Neither worked Saturdays, both were free to go to the FA Cup semi final on a glorious sunny day. As was my father, my uncle and everybody that we knew from standing on the Kop.
When the news of the events at Hillsborough started to break from the radio and word of mouth in the shop it was confused and fractured. There was no real appreciation of exactly how bad it was at first as the numbers started to build. My only positive thought was that at least my mother wouldn't have heard about any of this. I knew she was out for the day and would be nowhere near a radio and nowhere near a television, although I don't think it actually occurred to me that the TV would be showing any of the disaster; after all this was in the days before rolling news coverage.
Obviously my mother heard the news as quickly as everybody else did. She heard it from portable transistor radios on the bus and saw it in the window of television shops and she rushed home to wait on any word arriving from her husband and sons.
"My mother collapsed into her arms at the door and said 'they're okay, they're all okay'"
My girlfriend (now my wife) arrived at our house before I did. My mother collapsed into her arms at the door and said 'they're okay, they're all okay'. There had been a phone call, Keith and Kevin's phone call just one from a long line of dazed, shocked fans ringing from the house of a wonderful, nameless lady in Sheffield.
I don't remember the time that they made it home, Keith and Kevin by car, my dad later having travelled by coach. The coach had been held up in Sheffield as a passenger was missing. Eventually they'd let them leave but had taken the missing passenger's son off to stay in the hope that they'd find him. I don't know who that missing passenger was but his name is one of the 96 that appears on the eternal flame at Anfield.
Mike Forshaw has a similar story to myself. He was too young to truly appreciate what was happening at the time but remembers seeing his father consoling a young man in their kitchen, a young man who was in tears. He only found out later that this young man was a cousin that he didn't really know, a cousin who had swapped his ticket with a friend.
That friend was one of the 96 victims.
Now Mike Forshaw is attempting to make a film about that appalling day. Many documentaries have been produced about the disaster itself and Jimmy McGovern's impeccable film covered the tragedy and the aftermath for the victims' relatives magnificently but Mike wants to tell a different story; he wants to tell the story if the people that waited, the city that waited, at home, waited for news in a world where we weren't in the immediate contact that we are now. He wants to tell the story of the people that didn't know what was happening or whether their loved ones would return.
It's not my story that he's telling. Not precisely. But it's my story in spirit; it's mine and my mum's and that of thousands of other people. It's the story of everybody that was affected by Hillsborough and it can't be told often enough.
"this isn't about Liverpool fans... this is about family."
I don't know Mike Forshaw. I pledged after hearing him on City Talk's breakfast show because I felt that he had a story that should be told, a film that needed to be made. I pledged because we live in an age where television is packed with a lack of ambition and flooded with meaningless, shallow, lowest common denominator 'entertainment'.
Here is a man who actually wants to say something that will resonate with people, actually touch a genuine human emotion. As ever, this isn't about Liverpool fans, this isn't even about football fans, this is about family.
Mike and his associates have until Sunday to raise the last £18,000 that they need to fund their project. 1800 people pledging £10 would achieve that. 18,000 pledging just £1 would achieve that....
I don't know Mike Forshaw but I want his film to be made.
If you do too, then please pledge your support at Kickstarter.